Secrets of the Amateur Gourmet

[Here’s a bonus guest post, written my friend and cat-sitter, Travis Sentell, who stayed in my apartment for the two weeks I was in Barcelona. Here’s what he uncovered.]

In the interest of time, honesty and full-disclosure, I’d like to publicly identify here at the outset as “food ignorant.” Not in the way that many of you may identify, and certainly not in the way that Adam himself might identify (after a hefty glass of Riunite D’oro), but rather, in a deep-seated “I only make eggs” way. And not even good eggs. Just, you know, eggs. Sometimes with toast.

But I AM qualified to post here for one extremely specific reason—I have spent the last 15 days living alone in the apartment of the Amateur Gourmet. Ladies (and gentlemen), wipe your chins, calm your jealousy, settle. During these exciting two weeks, I learned a great deal about cat hair, food, and myself, but I’d like to forgo all of that and cut right to the heart of the matter, the question we’ve all been asking ourselves—what exactly does the Amateur Gourmet have in his apartment? What twisted food products lurk ‘neath his salad crispers, what strange pots grace his range? I thought we could all learn from how a real chef stocks his fridge, cabinets and spice rack. So read on, Peeping Toms!

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Who Moved David’s Cheese?

[Hey, this is Adam The Amateur Gourmet and it’s official: I am back from Barcelona, Spain and this is our very last guest post. Last, but certainly not least. My friend John Kazlauskas, who you may remember from our trip to Paris or his trips to Iceland and Peru or his nephew Nico, now lives in L.A. and works as a writer’s assistant on ABC’s Brothers and Sisters. Are you a fan of that show? Well you’re really going to love this post–you’ll get to see what the writers eat behind the scenes. Ok, John, this is the last one so make it good…take it away!]

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Welcome to the Writer’s Kitchen at ABC’s Brothers & Sisters! In the fast-paced, cut-throat world of primetime television our writer’s kitchen offers security, it offers hope and it offers – at any given moment – more than five pounds of sliced turkey.

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Not Your Mom’s PB&J (Not that there’s anything wrong with hers)

[Hey, this is Adam The Amateur Gourmet. I’m on vacation in Barcelona, Spain…. actually, I’m back! I came back yesterday, as a matter of fact. But let me have the rest of the week off, ok? Today, our final day of guest posts, is TV Day. And our first guest posters of the day have their own TV show. It’s my friends Jeffery Self and Cole Escola of Jeffery & Cole Casserole, which you should be watching on Logo every Friday night. Remember I made them a casserole? Well now they make us a PB&J. Take it away, Jeffery and Cole!]

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JEFFERY:

Hello bloggers I am Jeffery Self.

COLE:

And I am Cole Escola.

JEFFERY:

We have a TV show called JEFFERY AND COLE CASSEROLE.

COLE:

It was my idea.

JEFFERY:

Yea. That’s right….. (shifting my eyes) it was his idea.

COLE:

But I am glad Jeffery is on it too.

JEFFERY:

Thanks for having me, old friend.

COLE:

You’re very welcome.

JEFFERY:

Should we get started?

COLE:

Yes.

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CSA Saves the Day

[Hey, this is Adam The Amateur Gourmet. I’m on vacation in Barcelona, Spain and while I’m gone I’ve asked some awesome people to fill in for me. Today we continue New York City Business Owner Day with Rachel Zoe Insler, owner of the amazing Bespoke Chocolates in the East Village (remember my visit?). Rachel’s got lots to say about CSAs, so let’s let her get to it. Take it away, Rachel!]

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I haven’t yet bought a single vegetable at the Greenmarket this summer, but I’ve been eating the freshest local produce around, supporting New York-area farmers and spending less at the grocery store each week. Daily meals at Blue Hill at Stone Barns? That would be nice, but actually, I’m just a lucky member of the Stanton Street CSA.

Thanks to my CSA (which stands for Community Supported Agriculture), I am saving time, saving money, discovering new foods, feeling better than ever about what I am eating, and gaining a deepening connection to my food and my community. Does any of that sound good to you? I’ll admit that participating in a CSA is not for the right choice for everyone, but, if like many of Adam’s readers, you like to cook and you are marginally culinarily adventurous, I believe that you (yes, you) could benefit greatly from considering membership in your neighborhood CSA next season.

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Creating Destination

[Hey, this is Adam The Amateur Gourmet. I’m on vacation in Barcelona, Spain and while I’m gone I’ve asked some awesome people to fill in for me. Today is New York Business Owner Day! Our first post comes from my friend Dan Maccarone, a guy I met at an eater.com party, who soon started a blog with me about Food Songs called foodsongs.net (don’t type it in, it’s dead!) and invited me to compete against him in his comedy troupe’s Iron Chef cocktail making competition. He clobbered me, which is a good thing because I’d never made a cocktail in my life and now he owns a bar. Here’s the story of that bar. Take it away, Dan!]

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I think I’ve wanted to own a bar my entire life. Growing up I loved visiting taverns in southern Massachusetts and always loved comparing the differences in clam chowders. In college, I loved sampling the difference in pies at various pubs in London and since moving to New York in 1998, I’ve always loved seeing unique dishes and cocktails on everything from dive bars to martini bars. There’s nothing more exciting than walking into a new place and seeing what unique perspective on the cocktail or on bar food it presents.

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Death by a Thousand Thai Chilies

[Hey, this is Adam The Amateur Gourmet. I’m on vacation in Barcelona, Spain and while I’m gone I’ve asked some awesome people to fill in for me. Today’s post is from one of my favorite people in the world, my friend Patty Jang. I just love Patty–she’s an incredibly talented playwright (see her website), but also just a great human being. And this post will have you whimpering in pain for poor, dear Patty. Oh Patty, poor Patty, take it away!]

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Don’t these peppers look so innocent? Dare I say, mild? Dried, empty husks, a pale imitation of their past glory? Let not their frail and papery appearance fool you as they fooled me, dear readers, for these chilies resulted in the most insanely painful cooking experience of my life.

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How to Host a BBQ in the Park Without a Grill

[Hey, this is Adam The Amateur Gourmet. I’m on vacation in Barcelona, Spain and while I’m gone I’ve asked some awesome people to fill in for me. Today we have my dear friend Lauren Gutterman, who, along with her girlfriend Patty (whose post is up next!) generously hosted Craig and I this past July 4th for a picnic in Prospect Park. It was such a fun day and the food Lauren made was so good, I begged her to do a post about how she pulled it all off. Here it is! Take it away, Lauren.]

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To celebrate July 4th this year, Patty decided to organize a traditional, American BBQ picnic in Prospect Park complete with a badminton tournament (a sport just about anyone can play, although not necessarily well). Doesn’t Adam look like he’s having a ball?

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Strange Crust (Or How I Learned To Love British Pies)

[Hey, this is Adam The Amateur Gourmet. I’m on vacation in Barcelona, Spain and while I’m gone I’ve asked some awesome people to fill in for me. Today we continue British Guest Poster Day with someone who isn’t really British, but who recently moved to England. My friend Tray Butler, as you’ll see below, is an incredibly talented illustrator as well as the author of “Moon Atlanta,” a travel handbook that’ll be published by Avalon Travel this fall. You can see more of his work at trayb.com. Take it away, Tray!]

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