April 2009

Be A Weiner Winner

Serious Eats has generously offered to give away two tickets to Amateur Gourmet readers for its Hot Dog Hootenanny this Sunday at 3 PM at Astor Center. Tickets are $25 but if you want yours free, write a hot dog limerick in the comments (please keep it clean!) and the funniest one will be published here tomorrow, May 1st, at 5 PM and its author and a guest will nosh for free.

The Big Reveal: Amateur Gourmet on Food2

Remember a long time ago, after I finished The FN Dish, I told you I had a top secret project I was working on, something I couldn’t tell you about yet? Well, at last, the project is here and I’m incredibly excited to share it with you: it’s my brand new web show The Amateur Gourmet on Scripps’s brand new site, Food2.

This show–which I co-created with my friend, co-writer and director, Joshua Hume–takes you, the viewer, along with me as I learn how to make classic staples from incredibly talented chefs. In our first episode, for example, we tackle the omelet; Josh Grinker from The Stone Park Cafe demonstrates the right way to do it and then you watch me fumble and flail until I, too, get it right. (Now, almost every weekend, I make an omelet based on the techniques I learned in this episode.)

In our pasta episode, Marc Forgione of Marc Forgione restaurant (formerly Forge) gives us his grandmother’s recipe for homemade pasta dough (a ratio even Michael Ruhlman might like) so I can appease the evil pasta puppets who attack me vis-a-vis A&E’s “Intervention.”

Yes, it’s pretty silly, but that’s part of the fun. And in upcoming episodes we learn how to make steak from Chris Lim of BLT Steak, fish from Rebecca Charles of Pearl Oyster Bar and chocolate souffle from Michael Laiskonis of Le Bernardin. So please, by all means, click over, watch the shows, send them to your friends, rate them, leave comments, embed them on your websites and hopefully we’ll be able to make more!

Julie/Julia Trailer

The “Julie and Julia” trailer is now online and I have to say I just watched it with relief: sure, it looks really slick and Hollywood, but how nice that there’s going to be a movie that’ll turn a whole new audience on to Julia Child, “Mastering The Art of French Cooking,” and finer food in general.

Penne with Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli rabe is usually the first thing I buy at the farmer’s market when the weather gets warmer. It’s a transitional vegetable: something that bridges us from the dark and murky vegetables of winter to the bright and sprightly vegetables of summer. Raw, it tastes rather fresh and green, but cooked, it takes on all these wonderful qualities–it becomes bitter and complex and, as Lydia Bastianich says when she cooks with it on this old episode of Julia Child: “almondy.”

A Springy Lunch at Al Di La

Al Di La is one of my favorite restaurants: not just in Park Slope, but anywhere. As anyone who’s been there for dinner knows, they don’t take reservations and often the wait can be more than an hour long. So going to Al Di La is often a special occasion, a complicated affair that requires putting your name in, going somewhere else for a drink, waiting for your phone to ring (they call you) and journeying back. But now all that’s changed: Al Di La lovers can rejoice — one of New York’s best Italian restaurants is now open for lunch.

The Barefoot Contessa’s Wheat Berry Salad

There are many words one might use to describe me–“enthusiastic,” “smiley,” “mildly irritating”–but “hippie” probably isn’t one of them. Sure, I may walk around in sandals in the summer, but who doesn’t? And true, Janice is my favorite Muppet and my aunt Cindy (my dad’s sister) was photographed blowing a bubble at Woodstock (see here) but I’m too neurotic to be a hippie. My motto isn’t “Free Love,” it’s “Wash Your Hands After Touching Your Shoelaces Because They’re Really Dirty.” Which leads to a very important question: if I’m not a hippie, how can it be possible that I have not one but TWO recipes for Wheat Berry salad?

It’s Time We Finally Met


A wonderful thing has happened. The Six Apart Team has benevolently upgraded me from dusty old Movable Type 3 to sparkling new Movable Type 4. What does this mean for you?

It means that, at long last, you can have user profiles! That’s right. Right now, in the comments of this post, you can register an account–post a picture, link up your Twitter, your Facebook, and your very own blog. I’ve always been curious about my readers: who are they, what do they do, and–most importantly–how sexually attractive do I find them? Now my wish has come true!

So please, by all means, let’s test this baby out. In the comments, sign up for an account and fill out your profiles. Pretty soon we’ll have an Amateur Gourmet community to rival all other food communities in cyberspace. This is going to be really rad.

So thanks Six Apart Team! You guys are the best.

P.S. This new comment system will work for this post and all future posts but not, alas, on old posts. That may be fixed in the future, so stay tuned for that.

P.P.S. In case you register and then you’re like, “What should I write in the comments?” why don’t you tell us other changes you’d like to see on the site. It’s our job to serve YOU.

Food Tech #4

Doesn’t he look a little familiar? And why does he smell so much like wood?

[Ok, I’ll explain: when I hosted The FN Dish, I interviewed Ted Allen on the set of his show “Food Detectives.” They asked if I wanted to be a “food tech” and there I am! Not sure if this clip is online legitimately, so watch it before it’s taken down.]

Scroll to Top