What Food Writers, Critics, Editors, Bloggers & Chefs Want This Holiday Season (A Twitter-Curated Round-Up)

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This morning I was going to write my 2010 Gift Guide–I did one last year–but then I thought: “Ya know, my colleagues David and Pim have already done such a good job with theirs, do I really have that much more to add?” Defeated, I turned to Twitter and, scrolling around, I had an idea. What if I polled all the food writers, critics, editors, bloggers and chefs that I follow on there as to what THEY want this holiday season? Wouldn’t that be interesting and more useful than anything I could come up with? So I asked a bunch of food folks, “What food-related gift did you put on your wish list this year?” Check out the responses below.

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My First Trip To Kalustyan’s

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My Twitter followers were shocked–no, outraged!–when I announced last week that I’d never been to Kalustyan’s, the international foods store on Lexington Ave. in Murray Hill. Food52’s MerrillStubb’s Tweeted: “NO! (Can’t believe it.)” Savour Tweeted: “You haven’t been to Kalustyan’s? May be the #1 thing I miss most about NYC. That and Bemelman’s Bar.” JosePiano Tweeted: “WHAT?!?!?!? And it was even included on your Scavenger Hunt!”

Clearly, I’d ruffled a few feathers with my pronouncement. It was fortunate, then, that a few days later I found myself in that neighborhood and had a chance to remedy the situation.

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Ordering in from Otto

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As a New York based food blogger, I often make an effort to vary my posts so that those of you not in New York–which, I imagine, is actually the large majority of you–can feel like I’m speaking to you too.

But this post, despite its New York specificity, has what I imagine is universal appeal–mostly because of a chef that I’ve loved and admired for as long as I’ve been interested in cooking. That chef is Mario Batali.

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Pot Roast

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When I think pot roast, I think Americana, I think 50s sitcoms and a beleaguered housewife who intones: “Oh, darn it, I burnt the pot roast!”

It’s not a dish that I ate much growing up, eating–as we did–most of our meals out. My first real pot roast memory, actually, comes from Atlanta. I ordered pot roast at one of my favorite, kitschy restaurants there–Agnes & Muriel’s–and got very sick afterwards. I don’t blame Agnes & Muriel’s, but I did blame pot roast. I avoided it for years.

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Porchetta

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My Twitter followers are a fervent bunch. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was in the East Village, getting a haircut at Sei Tomoko (the best haircut deal in town), and thinking of going to Porchetta for lunch. “Ooooh!” they cheered, “you’ve gotta go!” “I’m jealous!” “Porchetta is AMAZING.” Then, later, when I confessed that I skipped Porchetta for Hummus Place–where I had a lighter, healthier lunch–the Twitter crowd was not happy. “Boooo!” they booed. “Grrrr!” they growled. “Hiss!” they hissed. (Wow, this post sounds like a children’s book.) I thought they’d unfollow me and spurn my name forever, but now they should be appeased: I went with Diana to Porchetta for lunch last week and now I get what got them so worked up.

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Tweeting vs. Blogging

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On February 5th, 2004, I wrote my first Tweet. This was before Twitter, so it wasn’t an actual Tweet, but it may as well have been: I’d just gotten the news that CNN was coming over to my apartment to do a segment about my Janet Jackson Breast Cupcakes. I wrote a post called BREAKING NEWS!!! that said: “CNN IS COMING OVER TOMORROW TO DO A STORY ON MY JANET JACKSON BREAST CUPCAKES! THIS IS NOT A JOKE! I REPEAT, CNN IS COMING OVER TOMORROW! THE STORY WILL AIR MONDAY NIGHT!”

Granted, this was 32 characters too long to be an actual Tweet, but the spirit of it was certainly Twitteresque. In fact, the spirit of my blog, in general, before Twitter was so Twitter-like that now that Twitter’s here, it’s hard to know what’s blogworthy and what best belongs on Twitter.

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