Why Cookbooks Are Here To Stay


There’s a lot of talk these days about the future of cookbooks. On Eater National, yesterday, Paula Forbes made the case that “the end of print is in clear sight” and that the only cookbooks that might survive are the “art object” cookbooks, those “huge, photo-heavy tomes.”

Maybe I’m naïve, but I find this hard to believe. The end of cookbooks in clear sight? But I love cookbooks! And as excited as I am to try out Dorie Greenspan’s new iPad app (which involves video demos for over 100 recipes) and Grant Achatz’s “Next” eBook (which is designed exclusively for the iPad), does that mean that I’d ever abandon print cookbooks in my kitchen? Not a chance!

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One Night in Bangkok (Dinner & Dessert in Hollywood’s Thai Town)


The end-of-the-day meal is a funny thing. For people who spend their days away from home, working in offices or out in the field, nothing’s more appealing, after a hard day’s work, than returning to the place where you live, lured in by the smell of a chicken roasting in the oven or the prospect of a crisp glass of white wine waiting for you on the kitchen counter.

Then there are those of us who work from home. If, like me, you spend your days at your computer, occasionally popping into the kitchen to cut yourself a slice of cake, when the end of the day comes, you’ve got a hankering to leave and to experience the world. And that’s a healthy thing except when your partner fits Category A, and there you are in Category B, that can spell trouble.

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Spelt & Olive Oil Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate


Spelt is not a pretty word. There’s a reason that, when language was created, the word “love” became “love” and not “spelt.” You can’t imagine telling your life partner that you “spelt” him, can you? Let’s all thank the language gods for that.

Unfortunately, we’re left with the word “spelt” to describe a certain kind of flour that’s been around, according to Kim Boyce and her excellent book “Good To The Grain”, since “the Neolithic or Stone Age (circa 6000 B.C.E.), when wild or cultivated emmer mixed with indigenous wild grasses in the fertile area that is modern-day Iran.”

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Mo-Chica & A Sunday Supper at Lucques


Zach Brooks, who created the blog Midtown Lunch, moved from New York to L.A. over a year ago. From my perspective, he’s been like the canary in the coal mine; the fact that he not only survived the move but is flourishing out here gave me inspiration to move here too. And, of course, once I got here we quickly made plans to hang out. I told Zach to pick a place, which was a tough task seeing as he’s done such a thorough job of canvasing the city on Midtown Lunch L.A. After a few e-mail exchanges we decided to go to Mo-Chica, which Zach described as “this unbelievable Peruvian place located in a weird food court just south of Downtown.”

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A Trip To The Santa Monica Farmer’s Market


To get to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market from where I live, you have two choices: you can take highways (the 101 to the 110 to the 10 West) or you can take streets. If you do take streets, there are probably many speedy options; streets that take you far west with minimal traffic. Of all the streets that you can take to Santa Monica, the slowest is probably Santa Monica itself–it moves at a crawl–and that’s something I learned the hard way (even though I’d be warned!) as I chose that as my primary route last Wednesday to the farmer’s market most frequented by chefs and food lovers here in L.A.

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Lisa Fain’s Seven Chile Chili


There are two chili recipes in Lisa Fain’s incredible and indispensable new “Homesick Texan Cookbook.” The first is, according to Fain, “an all-day affair,” a real-deal Texas chili (that means no beans) that requires careful shopping (seven different chiles–anhcho, pasilla, guajillo, chipotle, chiles de arbol, cayenne, and pequin–are employed) and five hours of simmering on the stove. The second chili is a one-hour chili for those who “don’t have the time or the patience to wait for a hearty bowl of red.”

As I considered these two chilis last Friday I had to ask myself some tough questions. Was I going to take the wimpy way out and do the one-hour chili? Or would I man up and face the challenge and make the intimidating, time-consuming, costly, and dirty-dish causing Seven Chile Chili? Two chilis diverged before me and readers, I’m proud to say, I chose the chili less traveled by. Here’s how it all went down.

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Two L.A. Sandwiches & A Burger at Bay Cities, Café Tropical & Umami


Stand back, mere mortals. You are about to encounter a sandwich that is not meant for the meagre constitutions of wimpy humans. This is food for giants, food for gods. “God” is even in the sandwich’s name: meet The Godmother at Bay Cities in Santa Monica. A sandwich with so much meat on it, if Noah opened a deli on his ark, he’d still have nothing on this. We’re talking Genoa salami, mortadella, coppacola, ham, and prosciutto. That’s like 40 pigs right there.

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