The concept of COOKFIGHT is incredibly fresh. New York Times journalists Kim Severson and Julia Moskin, who also happen to be best friends, choose a theme (dinner on a budget, for example) and then compete to see who can make the best meal. The results of their efforts fill the pages of this book; a book so chock-full of winning recipes, I’m not sure which one I want to make first. Ok, that’s a lie, I know which one I want to make first but it means I’m choosing sides in the Cookfight. (Don’t tell Kim, but it’s Julia’s pasta with roast chicken, currants and pine nuts.)
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be invited to the New York Times building (my first time!) to interview Kim and Julia about their book. Instead of a lengthy 20 minute interview that meanders in all directions, I decided to pose various Cookfights to them to watch them duke it out. Coke vs. Pepsi, Mounds vs. Almond Joy, etc. The results are in the video below; but if you have a job where you can’t watch videos at work, I’ve broken it all down for you underneath it with comic book speech balloons that recreate the conversation.
My friend Amanda Cohen, chef at Dirt Candy in New York’s East Village, has a pretty incredible cookbook out right now called, appropriately enough, Dirt Candy. The remarkable thing about the book is that it’s in a graphic novel format, so there are drawings and speech balloons and little boxes and exclamations and all of that good stuff you expect to see in a graphic novel. What’s great is how this format enhances the experience of reading a cookbook…the combination of text and imagery carries the points home further so the various techniques described (sweating, reducing, etc.) are made incredibly clear. Today I popped into Dirt Candy to sit down with Amanda to chat about the book, how it came about, how she wrote it in this format, and to get the dirt on some of the stories she tells (about Iron Chef, for example). Thanks Amanda for taking the time to talk to me and congrats on your awesome new book!
[Here's my attempt at Reichl's almond tart. Looking back, I think I'd do a better job with it now--the biggest problem was my inability to roll out the pastry. But I also remember the filling being unpleasantly grainy from all those ground up almonds.]
Buyer beware: this video podcast is mostly useless, not very informative, and–at the end–quite offensive (and R-rated). But it’s pretty entertaining and it features my friend Alex who just moved to New York. Hope you enjoy!
[Note: feel free to answer the question I ask Alex in the comments. What three food smells would you bottle before going to prison?]
Remember when Pim did Menu for Hope III and I auctioned off New York in a Box, promising to send the winner a package filled with New York goodies? And also promising to make a video of the goodies I was going to send? Well, it’s been a few months but I finally came through for the winner: Amanda P. in Seattle. Here’s the video I made her and here’s her Flickr page with New York in a Box pictures. Thanks for being so patient, Amanda!
Wrigley’s sent me a giant black box, last week, with the words “Five is the New Black.” The box was filled with gum, their new “Five” gum, and the flavors had crazy names like Cobalt, Rain and Flare. I said to Diana, “Do you think you could guess which was which if you tasted them?” And thus a video podcast was born.