No surer sign of spring, this lovely photo above. And when wild edibles grow together they’re often great cooked together. Last week for one of the final shots for the new book I ordered fresh morels from a fabulous company in northern Michigan called Earthy Delights (thanks, Chip and Ed!). I love the food of Michigan—the stone fruit, the eau de vie made from their skin, the tart cherries, the mushrooms. Same as the Great Lakes territories of Ohio, which booms with ramps right now. We get so many wild ramps that Jonathon Sawyer, who turned 13 today, spiritually (good luck at the Beards, JS, kick those Chicago bastards’ asses!), used them as centerpieces that diners could take home when he chefed at Bar Cento before opening his Greenhouse Tavern. What did Donna shoot for Read On »

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People call me a chef (even says so here). I’m not a chef. Ted Allen is not a chef (as if his round wood spoons didn’t say as much). Rachael Ray is not a chef. None of us ever said we were. (I have on occasion, claimed to be, but that was just to piss off Michael Symon, who is a chef, or was—now he’s a TV cook, entertainer, and successful restaurateur. I cooked at Sans Souci, a Marriot-owned restaurant, ages ago, but I wouldn’t last an hour on the line today.) Terms matter. I say this because today’s guest poster, Patricia Tracey, is and remains solely a chef. Not a celeb chef like Symon or Bobby Flay (both of whom are superlative cooks, btw, another and more meaningful term). She’s a cook’s cook, a woman Read On »

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I pay for a service called SaneBox to deal with email overload, so much of it mass PR mail. Somehow a diligent soul, Sally Alfis of M Booth, who represents the company’s spirit clients, got though the barricades. Having seen my Friday cocktail hour posts, she asked if she could send me some premium hooch. I never turn down free premium hooch. Thus, the most excellent rum in the photo (it’s very good). Surprisingly, though, she continues to read Friday posts and, following my hasty Negroni post (no link, Donna unhappy with photo), sent me a new cocktail made by Scott Fitzgerald (no, relation, though he does beat on, like all the rest of us boats) of the Mulberry Project in NYC. What got me about Fitzgerald’s lovely cocktail was its variation on a personal fave, the Negroni (thus Sally’s clever suggestion—she Read On »

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Begging everyone’s forgiveness for this promotion-oriented week—it just happened, I don’t plan anything. (For those hungering for food posts: cool tomato-water/sauce technique video, pretty Donna picture and my favorite veg to grill, or if in the mood for a food rant; and check back in for a brand new cocktail tomorrow, for The Hour.) As promised, my Schmaltz app is no longer available and won’t be till sometime next year, but that is because my new, beautiful, full-color book THE BOOK OF SCHMALTZ: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat is coming soon to a bookstore/eTailer near you. The book will hit bookstores in August. It will be available in print and eBook formats. While August might seem far away, I very much want you to pre-order it now (and dare I suggest that a printed copy of THE BOOK Read On »

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By contractual agreement with Little, Brown, venerable publisher of so many of my favorite authors, I will be UNPUBLISHING The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat tomorrow morning, so that Little, Brown can roll out the book in hardcover this coming August. So, if you want it for your iPad or iPad mini at the lowest price you’ll ever see it, get it now (it’s received nothing but critical raves, I’m proud to say, and is being offered at half the price it will go for electronically in August and for one-quarter its hardcover jacket price). If you already own it, don’t delete it from your device and you will continue to be able to use it (see note at bottom of post for more info). It will be republished after the hardcover Read On »

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