Oh, for god's sake! This week has kicked my arse! Apologies for the tardiness!
I'll get to the Dining section first and then I'll post later about yesterday's Spring 2008 preview at Random House and my lovely lunch with Melissa Marr this past Monday.
I was all flushed and happy when I saw Alice Waters on the front of my Dining section - Alice Waters! - and excited to read more. I've had Alice Waters and Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee on my bookshelf for awhile, but I haven't read it yet. So I felt like the Alice Waters article in the Times gave me a sneak preview without the time commitment. If you're a fan of hers, check out the article yourself. Otherwise, I don't know if it'll appeal to you. But I do have to share that Alice Waters is a woman who travels with her own olive oil, capers, and homemade vinegar. Seriously. Now that is hard-core. On one hand, I feel like dismissing it as pretension, rigidity, and hard-headedness. And yet...you have admire that sort of dedication to the experience of food, you know?
In less happy news (because it makes me wicked jealous), there was a tidbit about the new coffee bar in Chelsea Market, Ninth Street Espresso. Why am I jealous? Because right now Adam works across the street from the Market and can run across anytime he wants. Why am I super duper jealous? Because by the end of the year he'll be working in the Chelsea Market building, rather than across the street, in a space that looks like Jennifer Beals' apartment in Flashdance. Not. Fair.
There's a recipe for poached plums. But I don't know how I feel about that. I'm a purist when it comes to my plums - I just want to take a yummy bite of them, unadorned, swoon-worthy in all its simplicity. Everything else just seems pretentious.
There's also a little review of a book, Knife Skills Illustrated: A User's Manual by Peter Hertzmann (W.W. Norton, 2007). The review is, overall , positive...but I have to wonder how much you can really learn from a book about using your knife. I'll absolutely have to check this out from the library and see what I can get out of it. (Note: apparently the book gives all directions in right-hand and left-hand. Pretty cool, n'est-ce pas? I'm not left-handed, but still...)
Tucked away in a corner is a recipe for Skirt Steak with Rainbow Peppers, under the headline "A Colorful Salute to Summer's End." But, you know, I just can't get into that. Summer? Whatever. That was so yesterday. I'm moving on to gourds, sage, and fennel. And duck breasts and buffalo steaks. It was 82 degrees and sunny today but there was still this wispy breeze that had a bit of a chill to it. God, I love the promise of fall.
Hey, Laura. Speaking of plums, you have that old plum torte recipe that the Times used to run, don't you? So easy and so good. I am happy to send it to you if you don't.
Um, and there was a nice urban chicken article in the food section, too.
I enjoyed the roundup! Once, many years ago, I forced my husband to go to Chez Panisse during a horrible El Nino storm. He has almost forgiven me.
oh. my. god. we have so much to discuss. do you know how long i have been saying alice waters alice waters, to everyone who visits, and not a single one gets excited.
the parisian place down the street? cafe fanny, alice's place, named after her daughter. the nickname for berkeley's food district? the gourmet ghetto, which houses chez panisse and a batch of creative, accessible restaurants that have a culty following. a hop skip and jump from home. small batch bread bakers, coffee that's still warm from roasting when they bag it up, chocolates from every great place in the world, point reyes bleu cheese and heirloom tomatoes from the central valley, drizzled in olive oil from the coast, deep fried oysters from marin, drizzled with local meyer lemon juice. honey cured on a rooftop in north beach.
i keep trying to explain to visitors that they're walking the line of america's food (r)evolution and all i get are blank stares. thank god for you and your validation. now get your ass out here for a visit. we have SO much eating to do!!!
Susan, I know - I thought of you when I read the chicken article. Chickens in urban areas are all the rage lately, it seems! The important question, though, is: HOW WAS CHEZ PANISSE?!
Amy, that's just mean to do that to me on a Monday morning. I've been aching to try Point Reyes bleu cheese! It makes sense you have all that great food - it all grows in California. I went to the market yesterday and almost all the fruit and veggies were from CA...or South America. Amy, I desperately want to come visit. Truly, there are no words.
And indeed, I think you can call it a food revolution. It's always a revolution when so much passion is involved.
Chez Panisse was really good. I had chicken. (Ironic. Yes.) Our rental car, though, nearly washed away while we ate.
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