Confession: this post is just an excuse to share a ton of pictures that I snapped yesterday with my new camera (and new lens) as Craig and I journeyed up to Central Park on one of the most beautiful days I’ve ever experienced in New York. It was just warm enough that I didn’t need to wear my jacket (though I did have it handy for later) and just cool enough that we could walk and walk and walk without getting sweaty. To keep this post food-related, we’ll eat a hot dog from a hot dog cart near the east side of the park and then we’ll see the food-themed windows at Barney’s. But let’s start at the entrance to the park near 81st street as we wander in and behold the autumnal splendor.
It’s Apple Season, So Here Are Three Desserts You Can Make with Apples (Baked Apples, Apple Cake & Apple Cobbler)
Peter Meehan recently ranted about hectoring food snobs, the ones who make you feel bad for putting milk in your coffee (something he witnessed at an elite coffee shop) or who mock you for not knowing your various kinds of meat (hogget, anyone?) It’s with a sense of subtle restraint, then, that I gently prod you (I’m not hectoring, I swear) to make your way to a farmer’s market this autumn to buy some apples.
Not because it’ll make you a better person (it won’t) or because it’ll elevate your foodie status (whatever that might be), but because farmer’s market apples just taste better than supermarket apples. All you have to do to experience the difference is taste.
Waiter! There’s a Nipple in My Soup! (A Review of Robert’s Restaurant at Scores Gentleman’s Club by Cole Escola)
[When the P.R. e-mail came offering me a free dinner at Robert’s Restaurant at Scores Gentleman’s Club, my first thought was: “Ew, boobies!” And my second thought was, “I can’t take a free meal and write a solicited review, I’m an ethical food blogger.” I was about to click “delete” when I realized that it might be pretty hilarious to send my gay comedian friend Cole Escola to do the dirty deed for me. And Cole, as you’ll see below, happily obliged. This is the story of his dinner at a steakhouse in a strip club.]
When it comes to my tastes, I’m an American through and through. I like deep-fried twinkies, chocolate with peanut butter, and bacon on everything. This patriotic love of decadent combinations is exactly what made me say “yes” when Adam asked if I’d like to review Robert’s Restaurant inside of Scores Gentlemen’s Club. Even though I’m gay (and I mean gay) I couldn’t resist the temptation of gourmet steak paired with topless women. Like I said, I’m an American.
Here’s a recorded version of my interview with Eric Wolitzky from “Top Chef Just Desserts.” We dish about Team Godiva, the harrowing 32-day shooting period, and how Eric became a baker (which involved escaping the first tower on 9/11).
UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who attended my live interview today with Eric Wolitzky from “Top Chef Just Desserts.” Above you’ll find a recording of our interview; a conversation that I found really illuminating, especially the story of how Eric decided to become a baker (which involved escaping the first tower on 9/11). Thanks to Eric for taking the time to talk to me today! And if you’re in New York, take a trip to Baked to try some of his delicious desserts.
Tomorrow (as you’ll see in the next post) I’m hoofing it to Baked in Red Hook so I can do a live-streaming interview with Eric Wolitzky, everyone’s favorite contestant from the debut season of “Top Chef: Just Desserts.” You probably didn’t know this, but I met Eric years ago at my friend Jimmy’s apartment. It was a holiday party and I remember Eric brought these divine chocolate truffles and I thought, “This guy’s got talent!” Even though he was just eliminated, Eric’s performance on “Just Desserts” was truly remarkable; he had fancy pants three-starred Michelin pastry chefs wowed with his “humble” (humble? hardly!) bakery treats. One such treat was this chocolate chip cookie.
In college (at Emory Univeristy in Atlanta), I took a class called “The Modernization of Judaism.” The class was taught by a lesbian rabbi and, over the course of the semester, we studied the various divergent branches of the Jewish community (I attended an Orthodox Shabbat service, the women separate from the men) and learned how Reformed Jews (the Jews I was raised amongst) were a dying breed since they reproduced the least (Hasidic Jews have us significantly beat).
We also studied the two large waves of Jews that emigrated to America in both the 19th and 20th centuries. The first wave came mostly from Western Europe (predominantly from Germany); the second wave, a much larger wave, came from Eastern Europe as Russian Jews fled the pogroms. And if you were to study that second wave you’d see, splashing somewhere in the water, the ancestors whose crossing set cosmic forces in motion that led to the creation of this food blog. One of those ancestors was my mother’s father’s mother, Netty Rosenblum.
This is a highly unnecessary post, especially if you’ve seen my post “Easy French Toast.” That’s my go-to French Toast recipe and the only difference between that recipe and this recipe is the bread. So why write this post at all? Because the difference between making French Toast with white sandwich bread (as I did in that old post) and making it with challah bread (as I do in this post) is like the difference between building a fort with pillows and blankets vs. building a fort with bricks, mortar and cannons. This French Toast blasts the other French Toast apart.