—I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing–the gastrosexual?! (Hat tip to tbsamsel.)

Congratualtions Curtis Duffy!  Four stars from the chicago trib(photo of curtis lifted from this interview of Duffy in hotelsmag last May.) I first met Curtis when he was a cook at Charlie Trotters, but got to know him at Trio when he worked with Grant Achatz .  He was impressive there as Trio pastry chef.  He stayed with Grant as a sous chef when Grant opened Alinea.  Deft at pastry and savory—a rare combination in the cooking world.

Some serious food pix at his site.  (Scroll down or click here to see what makes Wagyu is Waygu).

—If you have 19 minutes, this is a great video on making a headcheese from Michael Gebert, especially as we see the pig's head from the point of purchase at the market, through to the finished dish.  A great reminder of using the whole animal.  Sadly, the pig's head was skinned at the processing plant.  Pig skin is loaded with collagen, which breaks down into gelatin during the long slow cooking, giving the cooking liquid great body (and also helps the final head cheese to set up). If you order pig's head, try to get it with the skin on.  Save the ears to confit and deep fry!

We bow before the noble hog.


21 Wonderful responses to “Food Notes 10/9”

  • Brian

    …I’m going to go ahead and proclaim this be best post I’ll read, at minimum, all day.

    Seriously this has to be my next excercise in Charcuterie..thanks for linking to this video!


  • Kate in the NW

    You should be more clear. When I clicked through to the Duffy site (as per your porn reference) I wasn’t sure whether you were talking about the beefcake or the beef (sorry – but you can’t expect to mention “gastrosexuals” and then show us a guy who looks like that, and not expect a reaction from red-blooded female foodies…).

    That being said, I wouldn’t (of course) trade my own dear kitchen-challenged spouse for a dozen Duffies – but for the Wagyu? Maybe. The side shot looks like a bunch of peppermint taffy…mmmmm. MARBLE is not that marbled!

  • Ted

    I’m not in the main gastrosexual slice of the demographic pie.. but I’d think the food should overshadow the hardware..

    Anyway, I began to impress women in my misspent youth by cooking sweet corn, fish and steaks with minimal hardware over open fires. Nothing like getting the cooking merit badge to get those skills started..

    And my wife certainly appreciates my cooking skills.


  • Natalie Sztern

    I think the sexiest thing a man can do for a woman is to cook her a meal from beginning to end. It is now going to be 31 years that I am pleading with my man to do just that and still he does not.

    He makes me want for nothing except that – he just doesn’t get it.

  • Walt

    Thanks Michael,

    I use to be just a simple guy that enjoyed preparing a great meal and perhaps eating the occasional sausage. Now, thanks to you,I’m a gastrosexual with a charcuterie problem.

    It’s bad enough that you have me spending a good deal of money and free time with various (and tasty)cuts of curing meat, but then you somehow felt compelled to deepen my predilection by turning me on to “A Hunger Artist.” Today, you decide to feed the beast even more by linking to Michael Gebert’s “Sky full of Bacon”. I was just fine yesterday, oblivious to the fact that the site even existed…But now…How am I not supposed to read a blog called “Sky Full of Bacon”? Just when do you expect me to get any work done?

    I think I speak for everyone (at least everyone I’m married to) when I say… This linking to other sites is feeding my addiction Mr. Ruhlman and it has to end, it has to end now!!!

    Unless of course, you know a place where I can pick up a reasonably priced immersion circulator.

  • bb

    Oh, to be in Chicago at Avenues for dinner tonight. You were right on with your great food porn tip. Those are some beautiful photos…especially the crazy shots of the wagyu…awesome! Thanks for sharing as always….

  • Elisa

    Oh, the gastrosexual is definitely a good thing. . . . There’s something pretty hot about a guy who can cook and is passionate about food.

  • luis

    FP from avenues restaurant eeeeeeewwwwuuuuuuuuuuuHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!…..
    It’s downright girly man looking food if That can be said without anyone here taking offense. Oh Pleeeeeeeeeease!!!!!!!!!!!! Rhulman you really like to push tha eenvelope.
    Do real cooks that throw knives at each other in the kitchen sit around thinking of this????
    I don’t think soooooo!!!!!!!!! Can’t imagine these guys here in a tootooo making this type dishes……

  • june-baby

    Michael, what do you think you are doing leading us (foodie ladies) to a so called food porn web-site, Where a lady like me drools not only over the so called food porn, but also drools over Chef Curtis Duffy.
    I agree with Kate in the NW alot of (beefcake/beef) over on that web-site.

    The headcheese looked awesome nice video. I got to go out and get me some pig’s head (yum).

  • SwillMonkey

    Food porn is one term I will be happy to see go away. Nothing like equating something as elevating as the best of food with something as degrading as porn. All in good fun I suppose…like the economy, eventually we will find a bottom when it comes to our standards too. (No comments on the use of the word bottom please)

  • Bob delGrosso


    This neologism made from the prefix “gastro” or stomach and the word sexual, can mean many things depending on how one defines the suffix.

    Here are three commonly accepted definitions of the word “sexual”

    1. Of, relating to, involving, or characteristic of sex, sexuality, the sexes, or the sex organs and their functions.
    2. Implying or symbolizing erotic desires or activity.
    3. Relating to, produced by, or involving reproduction characterized by the union of male and female gametes: sexual reproduction.

    In the first instance, the word “gastrosexual” might refer to something that happens in the stomach during sex; expressions of sexuality involving the stomach; characteristics of the stomach that are specific to each sex; sex organs located within or perhaps upon the stomach. (Yum!)
    The second definition of sexual might be modified by gastro to mean something like the erotic desires of the stomach or some sort of erotic activity carried out by the stomach -interesting.

    The last, and most tantalizing, explanation of the term would have it refer to the union of male and female gametes somewhere in the vicinity of the stomach and resulting in sexual reproduction.

    Well after all of that I’m still not sure what the word gastrosexual means.


  • swillmonkey

    Not sure about gastrosexual means either, but I think extra napkins would be required.

  • Kate in the NW

    EEEw. Please put a stop to this before foamy hydrocolloids are involved. 😉

    MR, I do appreciate your nod to simple human decency in deleting the word “porn” – and while I consider myself a feminist (the radical notion that women are PEOPLE), I also sort of think that it’s FUNNY to use it in connection with food. Maybe because I don’t actually, literally get turned on by food.

    We Americans (culturally still rooted in Puritanical beliefs) are, I think, pretty messed up with our ridiculously abundant sensual pleasures. Okay, sensual AND sexual, and yes/no, they are/are NOT the same thing. We miss subtleties and complex understandings. We lack self-awareness, moderation, reasonable boundaries, and HUMOR. Maybe that’s why pornography is so rampant and such a big deal here, and also why we have such bizarre, disfunctional relationships with cooking and food (present company excepted, of course…!). Maybe that’s why juxtaposing words like “food” and “porn” is so uncomfortable. They both hit tender spots. So to speak.

    Food IS being marketed as pornography – in the worst possible way; as a justified and readily-available outlet for prurient, selfish, destructive, and violent impulses and behavior. That’s a damn shame, because there’s SO MUCH REAL, MUTUAL, LOVELY PLEASURE TO BE HAD in meal preparation and sharing. No, not in a sexual way – but most definitely in an intensely sensual way. I think that we’re just really neurotic about it in our culture.

    What a shame. Not least of all because there are so many nasty puns to be made…

  • Jim

    When can the home chef find such lovely Miyakonojo Wagyu strip steaks? Lobel’s in NYC only carries American Wagyu. I have an urge to plan a Damn The Economy steak & wine dinner for some special friends …