Chefs/cookbook authors. Hoping to start a cooking program with ex-offenders. Wish we had a yard and a grill.

  • Website
  • Location: NYC
  • Favorite foods: Anything that looks good at Pino the butcher.
  • Last bite on earth: Phil: the paccheri with eggplant and pesto at Aurora Soho. Or maybe a whole grilled fish. Lauren: a giant awesome steak

Worthless items

sorry...forgot's good in there.

How many cookbooks do you have?

Great question! From the answers I see what I've suspected. A massive range, with many interesting social observations (not to get too heavy). A ton of books (we also have 100s) means cooking interest but also maybe home space or just into cookbooks. 3 or 4 not so much space but maybe like cooking OR, and more concerning: total reliance on the web. Cookbooks are a good window into current life patterns. One thing's pretty clear: no cookbooks, probably no pans.

Steak Tartare - Manhattan

Balthazar for sure.

don't got to quality meats or Employees Only. Weird that steakhouses often make crappy tartare.

Anyone a fan of Chef Sam Mason and see his company?

thanks-will check out his site. seems like an arrogant guy but I saw him whup some serious but on iron chef so he must know what he's doing.

Dinner Doldrums

This is a good, universal dilemma. It's tough right at the cusp of a new season. Maybe you should shift from the reheating focus; nothing wrong with cold/room temp food.

1. Do you ever do sandwiches? They may or may not get soggy, but you can always assemble last minute. I'd give you ideas if you'd like.

Is anyone sous-viding at home?

we do it sometimes and as far as I can tell it's just meant as a different method to cook proteins (i'm not convinced on the veg side). And then make whatever you want.

Muffin or Cupcake?

Quinoa "Mac and Cheese"

wow. I can only assume this is for health reasons.

Baby Shower

Bring wine. Big time appreciated at these things.

The case of the $15. glass of wine....

u gotta ask. $15 while steep isn't unheard of for a mice place. At least it isn't the $25 Per Se scammed me out of at the bar a few years ago.

Paula Deen's Diabetes Reveal

i like her defense that she's always always been about moderation. Of lard.

Taste Test: Grapefruit Juice

I can't believe your office squeezed juice didn't get a 10 out of 10. If you like grapefruit juice...

What to cook for dinner party for 15 in NY kitchen

giant bowl of hot soup.

I'm Rethinking Pasta Sauce!

Agree. sometimes long-cooking doesn't mean better. Check out Scott Conant's video (it's somewhere) on his tomato sauce. Pretty quick and simple. Also, Italian food is (mostly) about quick merging of great ingredients and simplicity, which is why I love that whole Roman antipasti thing.

Most irritating restaurant policy peeves...

agree with Jerzee. don't return. I haven't come across too many irritating policies, but it's more a bunch of trends such as the small plate thing, which is a transparent way to jack up the bill.

Also, restaurants that don't take reservations drive me nuts, especially when it's like freezing and I don't want to wait around.

I need recipes that can stretch a small amount of protein!

Nutrela - High Protein Soy Chunks

yeah sounds terrible


ahh-u TOO! drinkin a beer now. Tom maybe wine. Or something stronger depending on the level of family chaos. Like warm gin

What kitchen gifts are you making for others?

wow. not making anything. except xmas dinner.

Where to Eat in Kansas City area? (Classics and new?)

dunno i have a mandatory family visit there and suffer through every moment.

eat the bbq

2nd Annual Serious Eats Meet Up??

How to Brew Coffee in a Siphon or Vacuum Brewer

I assume the meth lab was a Breaking Bad reference in which case Walt claims it's the best cup he's ever had, and I trust Walt with my life. Or meth.

I can't believe they don't like...!

I'm always surprised about mayo hatred. Which means no chicken salad, a favorite.

There Goes That Season

yeesh-right in front of the house-that's tough

L.A. Fish Taco Battle: Ricky's Fish Tacos vs. Best Fish Taco in Ensenada

jeez did you have to write this? I love fish tacos and I'm stuck in NYC. They look sooo good.

Worthless items

Celery tops my list. It's good in, say, chicken salad, but purely for the crunch. Much appreciated. Otherwise it sucks and only comes in annoyingly giant heads which turn to spaghetti in the fridge.

dried herbs also suck. Flavored oils bother me. So do most silicone molds and general rubber kitchen stuff. And...

I've found the best nyc panini:here's why

here it is: Salume on West Broadway and here's why. Simplicity. But primarily the slicer. Go to the hyped joints and check out their slicer. It's electric I bet. This place uses a Berkel hand slicer and the stuff isn't paper-thin. It's tissue-thin, which makes for a more delicate sandwich. Go.

Ruth Reichl's Tweets

If you're on twitter, check them out. They're entertaining and even more funny in the way that someone who doesn't know they're being ridiculous is funny.

There Goes That Season

Ever wake up and realize you missed a food season? I missed apple season this year except for the one time I bought a few excellent ones at the greenmarket in oh about Oct.

Yesterday the smell of hot cider wafted up to 17th st, luring me down to Union Sq. where I munched a donut and cider. Grabbed a few apples which of course suck by now-they're selling the dregs.

Anyway, missed apple season.

What Foods Have Been Ruined?

totally inspired by @tkturney's slim jim comment: it seems SE and misc. gourmet stuff has diminished or affected slim jim love.

Got me thinking. My theory is (and this applies to a lot of things), the more you know the more you shed your past.

What foods from your past has your increased knowledge of cooking/eating ruined or diminished? For me, slim jim's is a great example.

Drink Straight Booze?

I ordered a vodka on the rocks and got a weird look. With the whole culture of mixology and fancy $20 cocktails it seems no one ever drinks, say, a "scotch on the rocks". Instead, it's "scotch with bitters and paprika with a splash of fruit from an exotic tree".

Anyone here drink straight anymore. What the hell happened to that? Is it just that everything's getting fancy? Too much advertising?

How do You Take Criticism?

Inspired by the Burger a Day post on Miru 8691 burger in LA. The guy showed class in responding to the mostly negative review, welcoming the criticism. Whether or not it's an accurate assessment is beside the point-it's more how you react.

When you open a restaurant or write a book etc. you invite the possibility of verbal reaming. The other side of the coin is public appreciation, which makes it all worthwhile. You could either return fire or regroup and improve.

Even at home, it's no fun to hear people ream your food. Does this happen, and how do you react?

Can Your Parents Cook?

Part 2 of parents cooking day.

Partly inspired by @lilmynx13. My mom (dad burns toast) can't cook, but the tragedy is she thinks she can, ergo hundreds of recipe cards annotated with her "tweaking" and "creative input". Which is how the cumin and sesame oil spiked lasagna comes into the picture.

In addition, she's a technical nightmare. Heat is king. Vegetables are roasted to a burnt sad death. Is this typical or cliche? Stories? And is it better to realize you suck or suck and think you're good?

My Parents' Kitchen

It's nearing the holidays and my parents still have a crappy kitchen. Let me rephrase: it's actually pretty nice - big gas stove etc. It's the nature of aging I guess.

But it's just totally outdated. Their knives are duller than my 3-year-old's; the spices are decades old; the pots are that really thin metal. In general, crummy.

A) do your parents have good kitchens? if not what would get to improve?
B) what should I get them


Here's one for the modern age.

I was in a gourmet-ish store a few weeks back and a guy was nailed for attempting to shoplift saffron.

I mean they ran him down on the street.

I wonder if this is common-caviar thieves.

3 Recommendations

Usually I'm pretty cynical about hyped places, but I went yesterday to Dominque Anselm's bakery on Spring and Sullivan and got, yes, the koiuan annan (sp?) which was promoted in the NYT. It's damn good, as is the rest of the stuff. The hot chocolate, however, was not as great as payard's on Houston:

1. Kouian Annan at Dominique Anselm's
2. Payard hot chocolate
3. The lasagna recipe from Rubirosa in the latest Saveur kicks ass.

Diet Coke

(sorry, did this repeat?)
anyway, my sister-in-law drinks 2 six packs of diet coke per day (I've witnessed it-starts as a 6:30 AM brkfst drink)

doing the math, that's

On a scale of 1-10, (10 being crazy) taking into acct the US/world population, is that more than, say, an 8? How much aspartame u think she's got running around in there?

Kutsher's (how long?)

Because we live nearby and there aren't a ton of good restaurants I welcome Kutsher's. On the other hand, Chodorow has a crummy rep and is a businessman-not a food guy-who landed in the restaurant biz (see obsession with niche joints).

The menu looks pretty good, but tough nabe for places. And how many times are you gonna crave upscale deli food.

Outlook? I give it between 12 and 18 months.


America's Test Kitchen (jeez)

This thought inspired by @JoeBatch and my watching the AT Kitchen turkey show the other day. Maybe just a form of self-torture.

They talked about their gazillion turkey cooking tests including spreading ice on the breast, which (not surprisingly) didn't work.

Their shtick is getting (got a long time ago) old: a million absurd tests to assert conquering perfection. What an irritating gimmick Plus it's a form of culinary "constipation" as Albert Roux says: obsessive recipe adherence.


The Year's Culinary Highlight

In announcing the new Dining In editor, the Times noted thxgiving being the "Super Bowl" of issues.

Is thxgiving really the food Super Bowl of the year? I agree in the sense that it's entirely food-centric i.e. no one really "celebrates" anything and is distracted by another purpose. (though we should be)

On the other hand, it's a pretty uninteresting food day. Year after year we make the same stuff, and since to cook is partially to create, it fails on that score.

Thxgiving: definitely food. Less so culinary.


Best Cookbook

I know I know. I'm sure this has been taken up a million times on SE. But I've been cooking from this one book for a month now and it only just dawned on me, it's that varied and interesting and generally great.

You know how when you see a great movie or read a great book you have to shout from on high?

Get it: Thompson's Thai Food.

That's my good duty for the night.

Odd Fresh (not frozen) stuff

Been into coking Thai recently and got most of the stuff-live near a Thai grocery (like fresh turmeric).

Keller's French L. book, though, has a recipe with fresh hearts of palm. No way in hell am I gonna order that.

Think of other ridiculously rare called-for ingredients? Is it just obnoxious for these guys to stick them in? I make an exception for ethnic recipes for some reason. I figure it's obvious they cook with unusual foods. But otherwise, give me a break.

These Beans are Killin Me!

I know I know. Anyone who's seen Blazing Saddles knows the true explosive consequences.

I love lentils and beans and all that, but I've cut them out. My stomach wreaks vengeance on me for days, and it's not worth it.

what the hell?

Mock Bread, Mock Cheese, Mock Food?

At the risk of offending-though I think it's pretty tame-by accident I bought a gluten free loaf the other day, and it was really odd tasting.

It had a kind of gluey texture studded with bits of what resembled tiny, just undercooked rice.

As vegetables are probably my favorite things on earth, I'd imagine creative gluten free can be great. However, as I would had I needed to skirt cheese or other foods, I'd probably steer clear of faux products.

Inappropriate? Can you make decent stuff w/ mock ingredients.


It's one of the great at-home dishes-cheap and foolproof. However, some recipes are better than others. Tyler Florence's, while okay, is typically oversimplified and unfaithful to the real deal.

DedeMed, whose site is great, has a much better version.

You ever make it? By the way, inspired by SE's (great but non-veg) sandwich list, it's an obvious bedrock recipe for the veg, or meat-oversaturated crowd.

Your (Unlikeliest) Great Dish

Went to Hasaki sushi in East Village last week and had literally the bet dish I've had probably all year.

It was a cold app called, on the menu, "boiled spinach with dash".
Not thrilling sounding, right?

Go there and get it. They lay out the leaves and roll them in nori along with a neat stack of crunchy perfectly blanched spinach (cress?) stems in a pool of dash laced with bonito flakes. WOW.

Who woulda thunk? What's the best (unexpected) dish you can remember?

I Know Your Secret

Here's a peeve: If you post a recipe, acknowledge the source. Recipe copying w/out citation isn't considered plagiarism, but it is, in my book, lame.

To wit (and not at all to self-promote) we posted Thomas Keller's salmon tartare cones.

If you post on those and pretend you didn't get em from the French Laundry book...well, you know who you are. And it's not even my recipe!

is this justified irritation?

The Lazy Egg

Maybe it's the weather. Everything's driving me nuts.

This time it's poached eggs. I love a poached egg as much as the next guy, but for some reason every chef and recipe writer in town feels the need to plop it on top of food from salads to pasta etc.

It can add a lot of delicious richness but often it just makes the thing taste like, well, an egg. It's also cheating. Think up a vinaigrette or something less heavy and more interesting that might do the trick.


You Grow Your Own?

Totally not a green thumb, especially living in NYC with a minimal sill, but just ordered seeds for holy basil and Thai Chilies. Will see how it goes.

You guys (esp those indoors) ever grow your own spices and so forth?

Last time we did it we were put off by the aphids swarming our basil plants