rip-and-michael

My dad and me, circa 1969. Today is my long gone father’s birthday. I want to say Hi to him, and to honor the Grace of this day. And I do so with food, which so often was the ultimate means of connection for us. He loved to grill, and he created what is still my favorite baste, for grilled chicken: a simple mustard-tarragon-butter sauce. I start it be squeezing lime into a pan and using the beurre monte technique, swirling cold butter into it. This keeps the butter homogenized and somewhat viscous so that it adheres to the chicken when you baste. It’s tart and piquant from the lime and mustard; the shallots give it sweetness and texture; and the tarragon adds its ineluctable ethereal grace notes. He shared a birthday with F. Scott Fitzgerald who Read On »

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sesame-noodles

  When I began living in a 400-square-foot studio apartment in New York City’s West Village a year ago, I lost my cooking mojo. I had about three dishes I’d cook—stir-fried beef, curried chicken, steak or chop with sautéed potatoes and spinach—and the rest of the home meals were takeout form Mrs. Green’s on Hudson Street. But during a call with my therapist, she asked if I was cooking. I said, No, not much, though I used to cook all the time. She said, I think you might feel better if you spent more time cooking. She was right. So I have determined to cook more. And I’ve turned back to books to jumpstart my imagination. I looked first to Joe Yonan‘s Serve Yourself, a cooking-for-one book. Are these inherently unhappy books? No, but the book Vegan Cooking for One Read On »

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foie

September has always felt like the actual start of the year so, after a long hiatus from this space, I return. I began blogging in 2006 after Megnut invited me to post on her site. Blogs mushroomed then, spawning numerous books and even a movie. Now, I’m not sure where they are or who reads them. Am I wrong in thinking that there are fewer now and that people are spending their time reading more established sites such as Serious Eats, The Kitchn, and Food 52? I’ve been through a tumultuous year. I and Donna, my wife of 25 years and the photographer of so much on this site and in books, have divorced. I reside, at least for now, in New York City’s West Village. I’ve completed my next book, about grocery stores and the buying and Read On »

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charcuterie1

  Today, I’d like to introduce our new subscription app called Charcuterie, a messaging app that aims not only to facilitate conversation and serve as a forum to answer questions people have about curing and preserving food, but one that will offer education, reliable reporting, and vivid storytelling. All of it led by myself and my partner in Charcuterie, chef Brian Polcyn, including many other chefs and experts as well. We want our content to inspire conversation and also to encourage people to cook and to cure. We’re using a messaging app because, in its simplicity, it enables anyone to participate and do so easily, either publicly or in private conversations. Interaction promotes learning, and conversation builds relationships. We wouldn’t be able to do this if we didn’t think it could be self-sustaining and profitable, but we’re Read On »

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FullSizeRender

I recently wrote an essay for Thomas Keller’s magazine Finesse, for an issue themed evolution. Having worked so closely with Keller over the past twenty years, I asked to write about his evolution, as I’ve always been fascinated by it and wrote about it in Soul of a Chef. He’s still the same, but not the same. He’s evolving. Some things stay the same, some things must change. The salmon tartare in a savory tuile has been on the menu since day one. It was my first bite at the most memorable meal of my life on July 14th, 1997 (I read the scene here if you want to listen to it.) Other dishes vanish to be replaced by new ones. Having written the essay and wanting to return to per se, which took a Read On »

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