On The Street, The FN Library & An Offal Dinner

March 17, 2008 | By | COMMENTS

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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Categories: The F.N. Dish, Videos

  • http://www.teaandfood.blogspot.com Aaron Kagan

    Glad it wasn’t an “awful” dinner.

    To respond to your request, here are my thoughts on Irvinegate.

    1. I’m surprised that the crack team of fact checkers at FN didn’t catch it earlier.

    2. I’m surprised that anyone is surprised at the use of smoke and mirrors in the entertainment – and food – world. In other words, I’m not surprised.

    3. I think he’s got chutzpah.

    4. This news in no way changes the work that he has done, the food that he has cooked. If you liked his work before, keep doing so.

    5. Resumes are often not what they claim to be. Their supposed purpose is to show what you’ve done in the past, though the real purpose is to show what you can do in the future.

    You need to prove that you’ve done great things, but if everything you did in the past was so great, why aren’t you still doing it? People believed Irvine capable of his extraordinary, “cooked up” experiences. So he didn’t fulfill the supposed purpose of a resume, but he did fulfill the real one.

    What cookbook would I take to a desert island? One about cooking on a desert island.

  • Wayne

    I love your website… But, you could be the worst TV host who ever stepped in front of a camera.. Relax!

  • http://rainydaysandsundays-c.blogspot.com/ Clare

    Another great episode, congrats! I tried the beef heart tartar at Cosentino’s restaurant, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the flavor and even the texture, the serving portion was way too much. I think the portion you had, in the little soup spoon, would be perfect. It’s one of those things that tastes great at first, but after 5-7 bites you start feeling a little queasy. Anyway, can’t wait for the Bourdain interview and keep up the amazing work!

  • http://theguerrillagourmet.blogspot.com Eric

    My desert island cookbooks:

    1) The Raw and the Cooked, by Jim Harrison. Their are no recipes, but Harrison tells lively, rugged stories about hunting, fishing, and eating

    2) The Larousse Gastronomique. With so much time on my hands I could teach myself the entirety of classical French cuisine!

    I recently tried cooking offal for the first time (a roasted pork heart) and I liked it. Do you think you might try cooking something like that yourself?

  • Jason

    I think you’re great in front of the camera. People will love you man! I think Irvine’s show was great and its sad that he isn’t there anymore; he lied, yes, but he had a good show.

  • sonja

    hey adam – been watching your FN dishes and i must say your hosting skills are ripening by the minute! good job. :)

  • Sam

    My desert island cookbooks – Well, the one I know I’d need is Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything. From preparing meat to sauces to drinks, all great stuff, and made simply, or he shows you how to make things (like ketchup) from absolute scratch.

    Irvinegate gets the same reaction as Sptizergate did: What a moron. How easy would it be to *not* screw that up? Why lie? Why sleep with a prostitute? Do you think you’re not going to get caught? Think again.

    Looking forward to seeing Bourdain. :)

  • http://hotandbuttered.typepad.com cecilia

    i’m a library school grad student, so that bit about the food network librarian pretty much made my heart explode. i’m also working on an elaborate plan to steal that guy’s job.

  • Annika

    Re: Chef Robert Irvine…

    While Chef Robert’s embellishments/exaggerations should not be dismissed outright, his culinary skills and talent are obviously genuine, and at least for me, “Dinner: Imposible” could only be a shadow of its former self if it were hosted by anyone other than Chef Irvine; he is the heart and soul of the program. Bottom line: He is an excellent chef, he is entertaining to watch, and he is what keeps viewers like myself tuning in to “Dinner: Impossible.”

    I am of the opinion that Chef Irvine deserves another chance, and hope that FN will choose to keep him as the host of “Dinner: Impossible” when the time comes for them to make that decision.

  • http://foodinthelibrary.com Jason

    The food network library! Color this librarian green with envy.

    For anyone interested in great culinary libraries, look at A Selective Guide to Culinary Library Collections in the United States. (link to .pdf)

    For a look at great culinary collections on the web, check out my list of Culinary Exhibits Online at FoodintheLibrary.com (end shameless self-promotion here).

    Adam, great episode, glad you’re doing the F’N dish.