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Jeanne McManus

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  1. Jeanne McManus

    whats going on

    Bad restaurants close, good restaurants close, bad restaurants thrive, good restaurants thrive. I'm not sure what the survivor rate is here in D.C., but it seems that a lot of restaurants with a lot of promise are opening in downtown D.C., which is very exciting.
  2. Jeanne McManus

    Follow-Up on Paris Events

    Oh, let me correct a verrrrry wrong impression. I'm not going to Paris. 1) Our budget can't afford it. 2)It would be one of those stories that says "I'm eating in a fabulous place and YOU'RE NOT," and you know how I hate those stories. But we are going to do a piece soon, before the events, that will set the stage and give readers recipes from the Paris dinner. And thanks for the nice comments about this chat. I'll try to keep dropping in. It would just be a lot easier and I'd have a lot more time.... if I didn't have to put out the Food section every week!
  3. Jeanne McManus

    Live Online

    We did for a while, when the online chats first started, but we were asked to speak on specific topics each week, i.e., baking cakes, softshell crabs, and after about 10 minutes it seemed like all we were saying was huminnna hummmina, you know? But this brings up a good point, and one I liked to hear more about from you. How many of you use online sources for recipes? During our chats we would often have people sending in recipes. I'm a stickler for never running a recipe that hasn't been tested and it just made me extremely wary to look as if, in any way, I was endorsing or approving a recipe that had been sent to our chat, when I wasn't sure it would work. The only place I really head online is epicurious.com. What about the rest of you?
  4. Jeanne McManus

    Eyes on the Prize?

    Good point. But I think he's really the exception and in his prime he really cornered the market on humor writing. Maybe someone has to do that for "food writing."
  5. Jeanne McManus

    The Test Kitchen

    And the National Desk doesn't make you warm up their leftovers??? Sorry Russ! Didn't mean to impugn your work. Maybe I really just have test kitchen envy!
  6. Jeanne McManus

    Follow-Up on Paris Events

    The Relais Gourmands 30th anniversary gala is June 20 for more than 200 guests at Pavillon Gabriel, Champs Elysees. Sorry! Invitation only. On June 21 and 22 there are collaborative dinners, in which 15 American-based chefs will cook at 15 Relais Gourmands restaurants in France and SPain.
  7. Jeanne McManus

    Eyes on the Prize?

    This is a tough question. Yes, yes, yes, I could say, of course the work of a writer who writes about food could be considered for a Pulitzer. But let's be honest. The Pulitzer Prize winners I know are enormous talents, writing and thinking. Say, for example, Michael Dirda, who won the Pulitzer for book criticism, and Henry Allen, who won it for photography criticism. Does food generate the kind of complex criticism that wins prizes? Does food cause a writer to think big thoughts, does it act as a springboard for a mind like Dirda's, does it have a history, a sort of intellectual archive that a writer like Henry Allen can draw on? I just don't think so. You can write about food, as Tony Horowitz did about the chicken processing plants (I think I'm remembering this correctly) and win about the Pulitzer, but that was investigative reporting, not food criticism
  8. I really like to write, but I really like to edit too, and come up with ideas and get them in the paper. To get the section out, my first job is the editing part. And I try to fill in the little holes in the section, by writing short stuff. When I have time, I write. But I never resent having to edit first.
  9. Jeanne McManus

    Follow-Up on Paris Events

    Sorry, I don't have details in front of me at the moment. Let me see if I can find them. It begins on June 20 or 21, I think.
  10. It's so hard to give a quick list, but here's just some random thoughts and these are by NO MEANS my definitive favorites. I turn to Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything and Joy of Cooking for basics and for research. I really like the Rose Pistola Cookbook, for some reason (chicken under a brick, chopped salad--argula, endive, radicchio and blue cheese), I like Blue Ginger by Ming Tsai. I really had fun exploring Elizabeth Schneiders' Vegetables: From Amaranth to Zucchini. I've got Deborah Madison's Local Favorites on my desk and I'm eager to try it. I guess, thanks to the nature of my work, I don't and can't dwell on one cookbook too long. Maybe in time some real solid favorites will emerge, when I'm back to cooking for myself, not for the section. I will say I've grown very tired of the Silver Palate girls, even Basics. For kicks, I get out my old copies of Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas, from the 1970s. I know this list sounds like I don't each much meat, but I actually do.
  11. Jeanne McManus

    The Test Kitchen

    You know, it sounds like a great job, recipe testing. But when you're standing at your stove at 11:30 at night waiting for your 10th attempt at brining a Thanksgiving turkey to come out of the oven... well, it's not so great. But I'm really not complaining. I've learned a lot. And I've learned a lot about what to do with leftovers. P.s. At 8:50 a.m. on Sept. 11, I was taking a Thanksgiving turkey recipe out of the oven. I'll never forget it.
  12. Jeanne McManus

    Follow-Up on Eggs, Humor

    No, but I'll try that. And at the Inn at Little Washington I just had deviled eggs... quail eggs, part of the menu for the Relais Chateaux events in Paris in a few weeks.
  13. I really am not sure that embassy, government, etc. influence the ethnic restaurant scene. I feel that it's much more grass roots than that, though I have no scientific evidence to support that notion. The first notion I got that the D.C. restaurant scene was changing was in the late 1970s, with the arrival of Vietnamese in Arlington, Clarendon, etc. I had eaten Vietnamese food in Paris in 1970 and loved it. And, all of a sudden, locally we had Queen Bee and other Vietnamese restaurants. I think Salvadoran and Central American restaurants also started to spring up at that time. As someone whose notion of "ethnic" was the Yenching Palace at Porter and Conn. I found it very exciting.
  14. Jeanne McManus

    Gourmandness in Writers

    Sorry if I sounded snarly. Every once in a while we get an angry message from a reader who didn't like all the "foreign" recipes we've been running. ....
  15. Jeanne McManus

    The Test Kitchen

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk about what I refer to as our "gleaming, space age test kitchen": That would be a toaster oven, a 15-year-old microwave and a couple of mini-fridges. No, we have no test kitchen at The Post. And, frankly, that's fine with me. Apparently, there's a fabulous one at the LATimes. We test all of our recipes in.... our home kitchens. And, as you may have read in another of my responses, I have a lousy electric oven that I inherited from the previous owner of our house. The Food staff or friends in the newsroom help us test recipes. We reimburse them for expenses, but not their time, and it sometimes really is a labor of love. Why no test kitchen? First, because we're journalists, not cooks. Second, because we want to test recipes under the same conditions as our readers, whether it's an efficiency apartment or a kitchen with a HORRIBLE white LINOLEUM floor and a LOUSY ELECTRIC OVEN (have you guessed that's me?) Oh, another reason? If we had a test kitchen the Style writers would probably ask us to warm up their lunch for them.... :)
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