Chef Anita Lo, who you’ll meet on next week’s episode of “Someone’s In The Kitchen With,” made a point to say that her mentors were David and Karen Waltuck, the proprietors of the legendary restaurant Chanterelle. This fact stayed with me after Chef Lo left my apartment and when I found myself, a few hours later, in the Strand cookbook section, I saw a copy of the famous Chanterelle cookbook which doesn’t focus on the food that they served the customers, but the food that they served the staff. It’s called, appropriately enough, “Staff Meals” and I bought it right away.
It’s not every day that one of New York City’s anonymous food critics comes to your apartment and unmasks herself on your web show to all the world. But that’s precisely what happened when Village Voice food critic Lauren Shockey stopped by to talk about her brand new book, “Four Kitchens,” a book that covers her time cooking at wd-50 in New York and restaurants in Hanoi, Tel Aviv and Paris. Find out all about how this 27 year-old became a food critic at a major paper, the challenges of restaurant criticism, the food that she cooked at wd-50 (“Campari Tofu with Smoked Eel”), her ultimate conclusions about molecular gastronomy, how to properly hold a knife (and mince chives), what it’s like being a woman in the brigade system in France and Lauren’s favorite off-the-beaten-path New York City restaurants. P.S. I’m pretty sure that I have a cowlick in this episode.
At the very tippy top of the New York restaurant pyramid sits Jean-Georges. It’s up there with Daniel, Per Se, Del Posto, Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernardin; the only restaurants that currently have four stars from The New York Times.
What separates Jean-Georges from the bunch, though, is that you can eat lunch there for $28. Let me say that again. You can eat lunch at one of New York’s only four-star restaurants for $28.
I’m not one to complain about the weather. To my mind, there’s nothing less interesting than talking about the weather; and yet, these past few days in New York, that’s all I could talk about. I mean REALLY, New York, have you ever offered up a summer that was steamier, stickier, or more suffocating? Is this your revenge because I’m moving to California? Or is this your way of helping me along; whispering in my ear, “Get out while you can!”?
A few weeks ago, I ate a burger at a place called the Roebling Tea Room which my friend Rachel Wharton had written about in Edible Brooklyn. She wrote that Roebling was a chef hang-out with the kind of food that chefs like to eat. And sure enough, when the burger arrived, it was a no holds barred decadent assault; a fatty cut of meat ground up, grilled and topped with a mountain of mayonnaise-based sauce. It may as well have been labeled on the menu: fat and fat with more fat on top.
Yesterday saw the premiere of the new Sundance show “Ludo Bites America.” It stars French chef Ludo Lefebvre and his wife Krissy Lefebvre who, together, have taken the Los Angeles restaurant scene by storm; creating pop-up events that sell out so quickly you have a better shot of getting J.K. Rowling to write you another Harry Potter book than you do scoring a table there. The show tracks the Lefebvres as they create pop-up events all around the country. The first episode (which you can watch here on Hulu) is an entertaining mix of culinary tourism and high-stakes cooking drama. Ludo and Krissy stopped by my kitchen yesterday to chat about the show, the reality of reality TV, the virtues of a pop-up vs. a food truck vs. a restaurant and whether or not I could bribe my way into winning a table at the next LudoBites when I move to L.A.
I’ll never forget the first time that I took Craig to The Burger Joint. “What is this place?” he asked, annoyed, as I led him into the Parker Meridien Hotel. “This is fancy, I don’t want anything fancy. I just want something fast.” He was reacting to the marble interior of the Parker Meridien lobby which is, indeed, fancy. It almost feels like you’re walking into a lavish bank. But just past the front desk, astride a large curtain, is a narrow passageway at the end of which is a sign.
I was flipping out on Saturday because I’d extended a dinner invitation to an awesome friend named Isaac (he directs stunning music videos, check them out here) and Isaac is a vegan. But not just a vegan: a vegan with a nut allergy. I was already cooking a “thank you” meal for Lizzie Leitzell, my cookbook photographer, and her boyfriend Kyle. They’re mostly vegetarian, so we were already dealing with a meatless meal, but now I had to cook one without eggs, without milk, and without that most wonderful of ingredients: BUTTER. What would I do?