Jump to content

Atomic Lunch

participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Atomic Lunch

  1. I've always called Sara Moulton the Cross Contamination Queen. PoetsGirl beat me to the crack about Alton. Though that guy can make warnings about microbial mayhem fun.
  2. I don't suppose he stomped on $500 worth of bananas on his way out?
  3. I have never seen so many pissed off New Yorkers at one time. (and that's saying something) As I approached from the south, I almost got run over by some guy storming away, shouting over his shoulder that it was a ripoff. The mood didn't lighten as I hit 26th. You know how when you walk through a crowd you hear snippets of a bunch of different conversations? Today it was all the same conversation: people didn't know which line led to what, people waited on line only to discover that they couldn't pay with cash, people stood for a long time in a line that wasn't moving only to discover it wasn't a line. Mostly, though, people just wanted to get into line but couldn't find the end of it. Oddly, I saw very few people actually eating barbecue. I personally did not get any food but I did get to see the Hare Krishna parade and that has to count for something, right? My thoughts for next year, spread the cue booths around the park so people know which lines they are in. I'm betting that will calm some of the really negative vibes I was getting from the place. And maybe some ropes and stanchions. When you do a big event in NYC, you have to plan for basic crowd control. Maybe tomorrow I'll go early and try to get some actual food. It smelled amazing.
  4. Oh fudge-knuckle! I missed it. I got behind on my egulleting and I read the post about it being on at exactly 10 pm. Did anyone in NYC tape it? And the ironic thing is that I walked past Rocco's today. So Rocco fired Tony? Tony seemed to be holding the place together pretty well. Anyone know where Tony's cooking now?
  5. Gotta disagree here. I didn't see her do anything out of line or inappropriate or mean. I think if there had been more of her the first season the place would have run better. She was all about business, her points were reasonable and she was more than patient with the hostess even though she refused to have a conversation. Okay, I watched again and you're right. Rocco did go up a day before mama. But again, they've done so much with editing that I have no confidence that he was or was not really at CIA when he was supposed to be at the meeting. Who the hell knows. Sometimes the audio quality doesn't match up in the course of an actual conversation. Oh, and the ending... The cell phone soliloquy, the newest literary technique. Soon to replace poor Yorick's skull...
  6. Okay, tonight's episode left me feeling kind of dirty. (and not just because I was deep frying while watching) It could have been a trick of the editing because I doubt that someone with an ego like Rocco's would be asked to give the graduation speech at CIA and not bother telling anyone! Maybe they messed around with the chronology, Uzay, if we haven't alienated you here, did the crew really not know why Rocco was gone when he was at CIA? But they really painted an ugly picture. Here is Rocco being honored by his alma mater, his mother being honored, likely one of the proudest moments of her life, and they juxtapose it with Choderow saying "Rocco was supposed to be here, but I guess he didn't bother to show up." I felt bad for mama, who was probably watching tonight and seeing herself and her son (and no matter whether he is a jackass, he will always be her son) portrayed as spotlight hogging asses. I don't buy that no one knew he was at CIA and if that meeting actually took place that night, I lost respect for Choderow for using it as an opportunity to sway the servers. Ugly episode tonight. Ugly ugly.
  7. I disagree here. These students were there testing to get a job at his restaurant. His question wasn't about ego, it was a test to see if the students had bothered to do any homework about the guy they were interviewing with. Famous story about an engineer who didn't get a job with IBM because the interviewer asked what IBM stood for and the applicant didn't know.
  8. I used to work in a coffee, tea and gourmet shop in VA. We sold these little $4 paring knives from Solingen, some German company. It sits on my magnetic knife rack next to my Wusthof and is the first thing I reach for when I need to do some paring. I also have a Calphalon stainless saute pan that I got for, like, $20 at Bloodbath and Beyond. I guess it's kind of a loss-leader, cos none of their other stuff is that cheap. I bought it because I'd never owned a pan that wasn't non-stick. Man, I use the hell out of that pan; it's heavy, sturdy, and it's a great size for a cook-for-one such as myself. This is funny: one kitchen tool I use all the time has come free in every apartment I've rented as an adult. Of course I'm talking about the broiler rack. My culinary education is spotty as I learned most of what I know assisting at L'Academie de Cuisine's recreational program and working as a cook at a cafe. So I was already cooking professionally before I learned that that rack was removable, repositionable, and very handy. (I used to store stuff down there)
  9. 8Legged.com This one is Flash, but it is super funny and sometimes even a little educational.
  10. By the way, I am officially DONE with epicurious. In the course of looking up a single recipe, I got six pop under ads. These things are so obnoxious and the only reason they got clickthrough is by people accidently clicking on them when they try to close them. Argh!
  11. Tidings of doom, my friends. I used to read Biography magazine (I have a life outside the kitchen) and I have a sad tale to tell. When I started reading it, the magazine was about biographies. Then it started to incorporate travel stories and recipes. They made an effort to tie it to biographies, but the link was pretty weak. Eventually the magazine went away. I hope the magazine publishing world isn't under the impression that "specialty" magazines are on the way out. But I know nothing about publishing, so please chime in if you have any actual specific knowledge.
  12. Old Town Coffee Tea and Spice in old town Alexandria. I used to work there. The owner, Frank Poland, really knows his stuff. They have dozens of types of cofee and more tea than I could keep track of, both loose and in bags. Even in NYC I haven't seen many coffee and tea shops as good as Old Town Coffee. It's on Union Street between Duke and Prince.
  13. Funny, I never knew that epicurious had a forum, either. Could be just left over from the early part of this new millenium when the internet experts were realizing that online community was amazingly valuable. Alas, they never reported that what is valuable is good online community. I worked for the world's largest online community site during that time, so I have some insight. We're lucky to have a site here where we have a relatively closed gate community (I said relatively) and good monitoring that goes on. Otherwise forums go to hell. So, when we judge food sites, perhaps we should exclude their community holdings which are probably the result of poor planning and hasty launch that was never fixed. By the way, for a quick smile, check out 8Legged
  14. If anyone who works at Food Network reads these posts, here's a suggestion: Take a close look at TVLand. Remember how it started as Nick at Nite? Play some of the beloved old classic cooking shows late at night! Weekdays at midnight they just start their 8pm programming again. While I admit I used to like this, when Cook's Tour was on on friday and I never got home in time to see the first one, this problem is easily solved by a VCR or Tivo. Come on, folks, add a little creativity to your programming line up. You're up and comers, test the boundaries a little. Safety will only get you so far.
  15. I was just thinking this as well. But let's take it a little further. MTV started out with just music videos, then they got popular and started programming that they could sell better advertising to. So then they created MTV2 to be the place for music videos. I don't have cable in any serious way, I have heard that MTV2 now has a ton of "regular" programming. Plus there was the VH1 thing, which now only shows about how funny they 80s were. Can we extrapolate that to any genre channel that gains popularity? Not likely. There used to be 2 or 3 comedy channels that sort of merged into Comedy Central. And while digital cable does open the possibility to hundreds upon hundreds of very specific niche channels, it still costs a good chunk of change to make a new show. It would be no problem to make a channel that shows nothing but old 21 Jump Street reruns, or a channel that shows commercials from 1978, but to have a very specific niche programming channel showing new stuff? It would probably all be VERY cable-access-ish. Also, look at Scripps' holdings. They have 4 Networks (mostly homey stuff) United Media (your favorite cartoons), a bunch of little TV channels all over the country, a bunch of newspapers, and the shop at home network. I'm not drawing any conclusions from this as to what they might plan to do going forward. I'm kind of fishing for speculation and discussion. Tawk amongst yourselves.
  16. I'm looking into my magic ball. Crystal ball, you might call it. I'm seeing the future of Drew the intern... Three weeks from now, he's sitting around his apartment wondering why "the bad boy intern" from NBC isn't getting invites to the A-List parties. Six months from now, he's in a bar desperately trying to remind a girl "I was the intern on that Restaurant show. You know, Rocco. That reality show with Rocco? Remember?" Six years from now, he's finished with college and done a tour of duty managing a HoJos in Knoxville, Tennessee. He's decided he's got enough juevos to come back to NYC. He's in a job interview... "Yes, that was me on that Restaurant show, but I was just a kid. That was a long time ago. Okay, thanks for your time." But seriously folks, it occurred to me just now, why would someone shrewd like Choderow put such an unknown and potentially troublesome element into an already volatile situation? Think he'll check his references more closely in the future?
  17. I know I tend to gush effusive about Bourdain (not as bad as some of the people on his Food Network MB, though) but I was thinking the same thing. Say what you will about KC, it is an important read if you want to get in the biz. First time I burned the hell out of my hand, I remembered the book and didn't bitch about it. Intern boy might have adopted a much different attitude if he'd read up. You know, I was thinking the same thing myself. I'm sure Rocco was crying into his pillow that "I'm working so hard to promote my book and RoccoWear, I can't be everywhere at once..." But Oliver really did pull it all off. And, I might mention, with a MUCH better attitude. For most of Jamie's Kitchen, I was thinking "tough shit, you're fired," but he never gave up on those kids. While his wife was having a DAMN BABY! He made a heroic effort look like just another day on the job. Rocco seems to think that going to his job should be considered a heroic act.
  18. Thanks for the link, Blondie. Interesting reading. It confirmed what I already believed about that kid. Although he was likely a dream come true for the producers, I doubted that they selected him for his assholism. He's just a 20 year old. I don't really remember what I was like when I was 20, but the last few 20 year- olds I've dated have been pretty insufferable. They have that "I've got the whole world figured out, why isn't anyone as worldly or as smart as me? I've got all the answers, and I'm enlightened. By the way, mom, could you send me another check?" attitude. So you take some cocky kid who thinks he's king of the world, put him on TV, let him sit at the grown-up table with the decision makers, there's a good chance he'll be an instant prick. Quoth the schmuck: Clearly the attitude of someone who doesn't understand the long-term ramifications of reputation. Re: his 15 years comment, according to the interview, his parents have a restaurant in suburban PA. After 15 years of hanging around his parents restaurant in an idyllic little PA town, being put into an NYC restaurant was like marinating himself in chum, then going to swim in the shark tank. Poor little bastard had no idea what he was getting himself into. Hey, if he learns a lesson from all this, good for him, he'll be better off. I have little sympathy for him, but maybe the experience will help him. Maybe some day he'll be a real person doing real good in the world. Or maybe he'll be in porn movies with the other child stars.
  19. All right, if nothing else sums up the story that NBC is telling, it is their "previously on The Restaurant" text. It took me three times listening to the tape to transcribe this, so you'd better all appreciate it! Last summer chef Rocco Dispirito fulfilled his life's dream… despite an impossible deadline set by owner Jeffrey Choderow… Rocco met the challenge head on… he built the restaurant in five short weeks… but they did make it… Rocco was willing to do whatever it took to make his restaurant successful… despite some initial setbacks… Rocco's became one of New York City's busiest restaurants… but six months later his priorities have changed… Rocco's spending more time doing publicity than running his own restaurant… the result: he's becoming a familiar face… and his new cookbook is flying off the shelves… but the restaurant that was once so close to his heart is in jeopardy… forcing owner Jeffrey Choderow to step in and take control… now Choderow sent an army of consultants into Rocco's to take charge… instead of cutting costs with Jeffrey’s team, Rocco dug in his heals and fought back in his own way I know that some of the FOH staff said in their websites last season that Rocco was a dick and Laurent was really cool, and the editing gave the opposite impression. So, how close to the truth do we think the story is this year?
  20. This may be straying from the topic a smidge, and I apologize if it does. One thing that irks me about the Food Network is the incredibly squandered opportunity that is their website. Just now I looked it up to see who one of the judges was on an Iron Chef America episode. There was one little paragraph and a few perfunctory links. Clearly this is a template website that is mostly automated with not near enough thought. This bums me out because this is the business I used to be in. A stronger website can maintain your viewers' excitement level during the between times when the show is on. It can virally market your programming. And here's the exciting part, it can add value to your ad deals with your off-line advertisers. Oh, and as this is an online message board, it is worth noting that their message boards are some of the worst I've seen connected to a "real" company. The UI is a joke, the threading is terrible and it's about as intuitive as the wiring diagram to an English motorcycle. That said (finally getting to the point after some griping) there is no interaction with the Food Network and the community. There's not a suggestion box and if the food network employees check the boards at all, there is no indication of it. I know keeping abreast of the message boards is a daunting task. I used to work for the largest online message board site in the whole wide world. The payoffs are worth it, though. When not even the people on the Dweezil and Lisa board like the show, it tells you something. Let us hope that Ms Johnson upgrades the value of the FN website from "none" to "some". (And hats off to Tony Bourdain for visiting and occasionally posting on his show's board.)
  21. Wow, this was all extremely educational to a new New Yorker. Most of what I knew about the greenmarkets before I moved here is what I had read in Giving Good Weight by John McPhee. I believe Nina's article is extremely important as well. Once those heavenly summer tomatos were gone, I found myself still addicted to the farmers market and tried to sate myself with baked goods. After a few lamentable attempts, I had given up, assuming that farmers just didn't know how to bake. I am heartened to know that this is probably not the case. Big thanks to the Fat Guy for the info on the Yorkville CSA, which I will definitely look into as I live in Yorkville. (note to Bourdain, Upper East Side does NOT suck!) Thanks again, Nina, for making me a little bit wiser consumer.
  22. Okay, everyone gets their two cents, so here's mine: Choderow does come across as a prick, but so do many businessmen. Business is not about being soft and cuddly, hard decisions have to be made, things can get ugly. The successful guy is going to be the one who can do what has to be done. I respect him because, unlike a lot of business men I've known over the years, he seems competent. As far as the being out of touch with the restaurant for months, I don't doubt it. The cameras don't just happen to be there. By the time they wrapped the first season, they probably had plans for a second one. Perhaps part of the plan was to let the place run into the ground a little bit, the deal with the drama. Would make for a more interesting story, wouldn't it? First season, cocky Rocco lets the restaurant get away from him. Things look ugly, everybody is WHINING, trouble brews. But then out comes Super Rocco (in PA the previews actually called him that as he was doing his flashy mise) who gets into the kitchen and makes it all better. Season two, perhaps they hang him out to dry, make him the bad guy. Or maybe he'll see the error of his book signing rather than cooking ways. Maybe we'll see a return to the Super Rocco motif that we had in the first. Don't know, but it works, I'll be watching. Regardless of what really happens in real life, a good editor can make the story they want. One of the late night things I did last fall was to dig through the personal web sites of the actors. Gives some real insight as to the sculpting the editors were doing. So, I've heard, from another prick businessman I was friends with that if someone has a bunch of successful businesses, there's a good tax reason to have one that loses money. My guess is that Choderow knew there was going to be another season of his very successful and relatively low-impact show. He lets it fail a little bit, keeps out of it, takes the tax break. Then, when the cameras are ready to roll ,he gets back involved. Alas, the courts don't work on his schedule or the TV producers, so we don't get the neat denoument that would wrap the series so well. As a new New Yorker, though, I haven't been there even though my old cook friends from VA keep asking me about it. If I'm gonna pay New York restaurant prices, I want good food. But then I live here now, I'm not a tourist. Oh, and that intern, what are the chances that he WASN'T thrown in there to cause some trouble, some drama, to give us viewers someone to righteously hate. Come on, a wet behind the ears kid who's going to go in there and tell everyone how to fix themselves based on what? Stuff he learned in school? He's a plot device and not a well-disguised one. But again, I'll tune in to see him get his ass handed to him. Ah, I feel better to have that off my chest.
  • Create New...