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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by TAPrice

  1. Pristine black drum does the trick in my family. We buy it once a week directly from the fisherman at our farmers market. Salt, pepper, a quick dusting of Wondra flour, and then into the pan with butter. Nothing easier and both my 2 year old and my wife love it.
  2. Can anyone pinpoint how this philosophical term entered the culinary world? Was this a self-conscious move on the part of a chef to try to play off his understanding of Derrida's work? Or was it a practice that developed and after the fact was labeled by critics? And where did this start? My totally uninformed guess would be France, given the prominent role that philosophers play there in popular culture.
  3. Brett Anderson's 2009 dining guide hits the streets tomorrow (or today if your deliveryman drops half the Sunday section a day early). Here is the new top 10 list in alphabetical order. 2009 Top Ten List Commander's Palace Emeril's Delmonico Del Porto Galatoire's Gautreau's Herbsaint Lilette MiLa Restaurant August Stella Changes from last year: Commander's returns for first time since 2003; Lilette, which only failed to make the list in 2008, is back; enter MiLa; exit Bayona, Brigtsen's and Cochon. Any opinion on the departures? [Full disclosure: I freelance for the TP and did the "Chefs to Watch" interviews in the restaurant guide. I've never asked Brett about the selection process, however, and can offer no insider insights.]
  4. On NPR, Reichl said she would have created a very different issue had she known it would be the magazine's last. I guess that goes without saying, but she certainly left the impression that the November issue is not how she wants Gourmet to be remembered. Those Thanksgiving issues can often be a snore. There is a lot of talk tying Gourmet's demise to its failure to serve its readers (not saying I personally agree with that), but that wasn't really the problem . The problem was the steep drop in ads. So what makes companies look at a magazine and decide to stop buying ads in it? Or did Gourmet just bet on the wrong advertisers: makers of luxury goods that got hit harder than other section in the recession.
  5. I didn't say that Kevin lacks skills, but he doesn't seem to have the range of cutting edge techniques the brothers possess. I don't see that as a fault, just a stylistic difference. My sense, though, is that the brothers see it as a fault.
  6. Good point. Have we reached the phase where there is no longer immunity? In past seasons they've always made a big deal out of that. Hopefully he didn't win a crate of those potato chips. The ones I've tried are nasty and artificial tasting. I find it interesting that the brothers never see Kevin as a danger. They've talked openly about who they're worried about, and my favorite gnome never makes the list. My guess is that they think he lacks the technical skills that they possess. No doubt true, but it seems (hard to tell from a TV show) that he has amazing instincts for putting flavors together. That's no small talent.
  7. Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey told me they finally produced a lower proof version because some restaurants (assuming national chains) and stores could not carry high-proof spirits. Are the "bonded" liquors really bonded by the government anymore? Does the ATF still explicitly define what constitutes a bonded spirit? And is Laird's applejack not only watered down but also mixed with neutral spirits?
  8. I wonder if water plays a greater role in the taste of whiskey now that distillers add more of it to a bottle?
  9. Does any bourbon maker actually use local grains? My sense was that distillers were just buying grain on the commodity market.
  10. About a year ago, I started tying up chickens before I roast them. It's about the only thing I bother with, but given how much better the birds are tied up it makes me think I should be breaking out the string more often. I've been using cotton kite string. Not sure where I got it, but I probably picked it up at the drugstore last summer.
  11. What is it about frozen pizzas that make them so prone to burning the tongue? I haven't eaten a frozen pizza in many years, but I still have vivid memories of multiple tongue burns caused by them.
  12. In every season there are always a few chefs who just out of their depths. I can't remember a year, though, when the gap between the front runners and the middle pack has been so wide. Is this why I'm feeling bored by this Vegas season? Will it get more interesting at the end? (On a side note, who thinks that ugly, big house is in foreclosure?)
  13. A friend gave me a bag full of kaffir limes. Any cocktail ideas? I'm at a loss for what to do with the fruit.
  14. Is that just speculation, or do you have some inside information?
  15. Loved the way Robuchon would make some banal comment ("this is very good") and Gail would react as God himself had just whispered in her ear. Then again, maybe it was the editing. Or maybe Gail was just straining to follow his French.
  16. I like K-Paul's, but it's a complete throwback to the 80s. Expect everyone at the table to exact same sides with their mains. For the money, we just expect more effort today. Last time I went, I enjoyed myself and had a good meal. But that was three years ago and I haven't felt the urge to return since.
  17. Luxardo maraschino is a great product, but I always feel like the bottle should be sitting at a pizzeria with a candle sticking out of its mouth. Luxardo's amaretto, however, comes in a bottle that I love (see this Spirits Review page for a photo). It's more or less rectangular but tapers towards the top. The sides are slightly concave. The bottle just feels comfortable when you pick it up. The contours are designed to fit the hand (at least a hand my size--perhaps others disagree). Like an iPod, it's clean and pleasing--an example of design that doesn't call attention to itself. Which bottles do you like? Which bottles stand out for their design and not just their beauty (Canton ginger liqueur, for example, I find pretty to look at but awkwardly heavy)?
  18. I talked to Stone. They don't pay for placement, but they will provide free products to a show (kind of no brainer, really). Because of their location, they're popular with Hollywood types. When Top Chef Masters shot in L.A., Stone donated some beer. The producers asked them to do the same for the Vegas show. But what about in earlier seasons? Any signs of regional craft beers before the New York season? Edit: Apparently Stone shows up a lot in "Weeds" (personally, I don't have those fancy cable channels). Again, it was just a case where the crew behind the show really liked their beer (and I guess found a way to get some free).
  19. I think this is an interesting point and one that I briefly touched upon in two private conversation recently, one with with a friend and cocktailian and another with a bartender out in SF who has worked Tales for the past couple years. New Orleans has this historical reputation as being a cocktail center. Because of that you do have some serious talent in the city. For the same reason though you also have more bars that claim to be craft bars per capita. This simultaneously allows them to maintain their cocktail center reputation while also perhaps falling a bit short for those who expect D&Co./PDT/Violet Hour/Drink/ZigZag level drinks on any night of the week. ← In this story I did for the Picayune, Wayne Curtis addresses the topic:
  20. Yes, it does. I think that's a very apt description of Commander's Palace.
  21. Unfortunately, you were there on the wrong night. Chris Hannah is a great, baroque bartender (he's working on a series of drinks for each of the Muses). For a lot of his drinks, he has to buy his own supplies. Except for Cure, that's pretty much how cocktails roll in New Orleans. Some very talented mixologists are around, but you have to where and when to find them.
  22. Did anyone else notice the subtle product placement? In the stew room, there were cases of Stone beer on the shelves. Last season in New York, I seem to remember that they were always drinking Brooklyn beer (is this right? Do others remember this?). Any idea why they would have Stone for Vegas (other than the possibility that Stone paid them or provided free product). Does Stone has a connection to Vegas? Is there no local brewery in Vegas? And in previous seasons, were the contestants drinking local beers in the stew room? If they were, I never noticed it.
  23. Completely petty of my (and hypocritical of me because I'm constantly butchering foreign languages), but could someone tell Jennifer that "ceviche" is a Spanish word and that final vowel is not silent. Overall, this looks like a strong group with a few obvious clunkers. Guess we'll just have to wait a few weeks for the judges to thin the herd. Then the real games can began (unless, of course, someone good does something stupid).
  24. Are most places open on Thanksgiving day? I know hotel restaurants would be, but what about other restaurants?
  25. I feel like Hubig's were better before the storm, although perhaps I was just drunk more often back then. They are certainly mediocre these days. Fun report. Looking forward to reading more.
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