A little fun for the end of the day courtesy of Mr. Show and this Splitsider post on the Best 24 Mr. Show Sketches In Order.
Tonight I thought I had an original idea: a web show called “60 Second Meals” where I’d make a meal in 60 seconds. Then I thought, “I better go on YouTube and make sure such a show doesn’t already exist.” Turns out it does and I’m kind of obsessed with it. It has a David Lynch meets John Waters vibe that may or may not be intentional. I hope you get as much of a weird kick out of it as I did.
Elizabeth David has a famous book called An Omelette and a Glass of Wine that, I’m embarassed to say, I’ve never read. Still: I’m aware of it.
So aware, in fact, that last week when I came home from the gym, exhausted, I decided to put that title into action. I had eggs from the farmer’s market in the refrigerator. I had half a bottle of red wine leftover from the previous night’s dinner. I also had some celery and walnuts. Ok, Elzabeth David, let’s do this thing.
The green room was filled with male models who do construction, the actor Alden Ehrenreich (star of “Beautiful Creatures”), a mob of make-up people, hair people, managers and agents all hovering around a plate of half-doughnuts, half-bagels and half-muffins. I hovered on the sidelines with my book publicist, Molly, and didn’t allow myself to feel nervous. That, I knew, was the trick.
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.
Back in October, I visited Google Headquarters in Mountainview, California to deliver a Google Talk. You may recall the lunch that I ate while I was there? Now the video of the talk is online and I have to say, it’s hard for me to watch–sort of like listening to your own voice on a tape recorder. But I’m thinking you loyal readers may get a kick out of hearing me tell the story of my blog, talking about writing the cookbook, sharing the 10 over-arching lessons I learned cooking with America’s best chefs, and seeing me model my very first (and maybe my last) bow-tie. Thanks again to Google for having me!
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!