You all know Rob Meyer as my friend who helped paint my kitchen orange in New York, but did you know that he’s also a movie director? And that the movie that he directed and co-wrote with our Oscar-winning friend Luke Matheny is coming out THIS FRIDAY? It’s called A Birder’s Guide To Everything and I was lucky enough to see it when it premiered at the TriBeCa film festival last year. The movie tracks a group of young birders as they hunt down the very rare, very extinct Labrador Duck. It’s also a heartfelt story about a boy who’s dealing with the loss of his mother and his dad’s impending marriage to another woman. It’s funny, it’s smart, and it’s opening THIS FRIDAY in select theaters and On Demand. That’s right, you can watch it at home! Or come watch it with us: we’ll be at the screening at the Sundance Cinemas this Friday at 7:45 where Luke will be conducting a Q&A afterwards. If you’re nice, you can have some of my popcorn.
A few months ago, I had an idea. “What if I devoted a whole week on my blog to sauces? Just posts about all different kinds of sauces and I enlisted my friends to make some sauces and I also made some sauces and, you know, it was just a whole week of sauces.” So I e-mailed my friends and some of them were like “you’re weird” but others were like, “Oooh, sign me up!” I also e-mailed a few chefs too, to ask for their favorite sauce recipes. And that’s how Sauce Week came together, a week that’s all about that most fundamental, classical part of cooking: sauce. So get your sauce-scraping spoons ready, it’s going to get saucy! Welcome to Sauce Week.
Several years ago (in 2008, to be exact), I covered Vegas Uncork’d, Bon Appetit’s Las Vegas food festival, for the Food Network. That was a whirlwind of a trip; I interviewed so many chefs and attended so many meals, it felt like I ran a marathon. The nice people there invited me back many times but I was never able to justify the flight from New York. This time, though, I realized I could go just by driving. So I said “yes” and brought along my friend Diana.
If my ears are made of ashes today, that’s because they’ve never burned harder than they did on Tuesday night when Lidia Bastianich–one of my food world heroes–introduced me at the first of two Eataly dinners we’re doing to launch my new cookbook. (The 2nd dinner, on November 9th, still has seats available here.) The whole night was surreal. Before the guests arrived, Ann Bramson, Artisan’s legendary publisher, came by to toast the book with me, Judy (my indefatigable editor) and Molly (my impressive publicist who arranged for this whole dinner, as well as all the dinners coming up). Then came the guests, friends and family, including my beaming parents.
An Imaginative Feast By Food Prodigy Andy Windak (Mac ‘n’ Cheese Stuffed Ravioli! Coq au Vin Chilaquiles!) & A Roasted Feast By Cookbook Hero Molly Stevens
I don’t follow sports, but I know that there are these people called scouts who go around to minor league events and look for future stars to recruit to the majors. Well, I never considered myself much of a chef scout, but that all changed on Sunday when food blogger Andy Windak–of the food blog The Wind Attack–invited us over for dinner. I was wary of this 25 year-old who talked a big game the first few times that I met him (he said something about marinated yucca blossoms) but what I didn’t realize was that he was the real deal: a self-taught, self-motivated prodigy who works wonders in the kitchen.
Someone’s In The Kitchen With…Ed Levine (PLUS: Win Free Tix To The Serious Eats All-Star Sandwich Festival)
The man, the myth, the legend, Ed Levine–creator of Serious Eats–stopped by my kitchen on Monday to chat with me all about his career; from his book “New York Eats,” to the TV show he hosted with Jeffery Steingarten (and a surprising moderator) to the creation of Serious Eats itself. We also talked about the big Serious Eats sandwich festival coming up on Governor’s Island on July 23rd. There’ll be sandwiches from Torrisi, Locanda Verde, Gramercy Tavern, Salumeria Biellese, Taim Mobile; plus our friends from the Big Gay Ice Cream truck will be there too. Oh and lots of booze. Tickets are $65 each (buy them here) but Ed generously agreed to give away TWO pairs of tickets to Amateur Gourmet readers. So: to win, write a recipe for your favorite sandwich in the comments (make sure to use a valid e-mail address). I’ll pick the two best sandwiches and those folks will each win a pair of tickets to the event. And I’ll be there too, so see you there!
At last, the winners of The Great New York Foodie Photo Scavenger Hunt–Rachel Wilke, our first place winner (seen on the right w/her photographer co-scavenger hunter, Mike Piaker) and Stephanie Krasinski, our second place winner (seen on the left with her photographer co-scavenger hunter Andrew Teichman)–were able to cash in on their prize, joining me at the Mandarin Oriental hotel for Tom Colicchio’s “Toast To The Children” charity event.
After attending last night’s Taste of New York event, I can say, with great certainty, that this year is the year of the octopus. I lost my little pamphlet that tells you who was serving what, but off the top off my head I can tell you that Craft, Dell’anima, and Insieme were all serving the eight-legged beast and each version had something to recommend it.