On The Street, The FN Library & An Offal Dinner

This week’s FN Dish is my favorite so far. It has three segments and feels like an actual episode of something–I think we’re getting better and better as we go. Let me know if you agree:

As for the offal dinner in the third part, Michael Ruhlman (who appears in the above video) has a nice write-up about it on his site. As Ruhlman says, he did shame me into eating three whole pieces of raw venison liver and now that I reflect on it I’m not really quite sure why that liver had to be served raw. I’m not grossed out by liver, I’m not grossed out by steak tartare, but, call me crazy, the texture of raw liver is not very appetizing. It feels exactly like you’d expect it to feel like chomping through a raw liver: wet, slimy, tough. Blech. I’m getting sick just writing about it….

But focusing on the liver doesn’t do the dinner justice. Chef Cosentino did make a compelling case for offal, both in his food and his speech-making at the end. He told a moving story about goats that he raised and killed himself and how, when the killing was over, he saw all the “guts” that were going to be wasted and didn’t want the goats to have died in vain. Eating offal is a way to honor the life of the animal as well as a way to stretch that animal economically. The best dishes of the night–braised lamb neck, candied cockscombs–were creative, inventive ways to take the bits many butchers might discard (because no one will buy them) and make them lip-smackingly delicious. Hats off to you, Chef Cosentino, for feeding us as well as edifying us.

As for the rest of the video, what do you think, readers, about the questions I asked people on the street? What’s your take on the Robert Irvine scandal? Who’s your favorite Food Network star? And what are your desert island cookbooks?

Let us know and get ready for next week’s episode, featuring Anthony Bourdain. Yes, after fighting long and hard we’re really going to let him rant. Stay tuned…

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