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swissmiss

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  1. Klary, look at the Varietal thread. There's a photo of one of Jordan Kahn's desserts, which is a white chocolate box. That could create the "gift/surprise" look you want.
  2. swissmiss

    Grad Programs in Gastronomy

    That's really interesting Jason, because I would never have thought of it that way! For me, the Cordon Bleu is a semi-professional culinary program, so I wouldn't think that an academic program affiliated with it would have the same clout as one affiliated with the University of Washington, for example. That the program in Adelaide is affiliated with its university and with Dr. Santich is of course more than enough credentials, but your comment brings a new light to this. It always depends on what you want to do with your graduate degree of course. For a future in academia, as I hope to have, a university path is essential!
  3. swissmiss

    Grad Programs in Gastronomy

    Hi Carolyn, All the classes you listed at NYU are part of the nutrition program, not the food studies one---while they are part of the same department, they are administered by different directors. Public health is the third component of the department. While a couple of the food studies classes are practical ones, most of the others are strongly rooted in humanities and social sciences. You can also take classes in other departments at NYU, which is a great advantage. For background purposes, I spent two years in the master's program and am now a doctoral student there. I have taken classes such as Contemporary Issues in Food Studies, Food History, Food Studies Theory, and Food Policy in the food studies department and, because of my research interests, others in the political science department, for example. Oxford Brookes University in England is also launching a program this fall, but it might only be undergraduate at this point---not sure. And I second Theabroma's praise of Barbara Santich; I met her earlier this year and found her to be truly inspirational. What is important, whether you decide to go for a master's or a doctorate, is to find a place that will be a true home for you, where professors and students will be supportive of you and your work. Because there are so few food studies programs, you might choose a more traditional discipline for a graduate degree; the key is to make sure that your advisor and other faculty members will be supportive of your food-focused research and take it seriously. Spend considerable time on the website of the department you're thinking of attending but also the school as a whole, to see what courses are offered, and what professors in departments like history or anthropology focus their research on topics close to yours. If you're thinking of moving for school, research the food community as a whole in that city to know about talks and events you'll be able to attend, people you'll be able to meet outside of school, and the size of the food academic circle. That will further your education and allow you to create a network that will be helpful for anything from hearing about jobs to finding out about the latest article published in your focus area.
  4. swissmiss

    Grad Programs in Gastronomy

    NYU has a terrific program (master's and doctorate) in food studies. Website here. As for Boston, this is the first I hear about the gastronomy program being canceled. Where did you hear that? The program is hosting the next conference of the Association for the Study of Food and Society, and as far as I know, that hasn't been canceled or moved. If anything, food studies programs are popping up everywhere rather than disappearing, so we are living an incredibly exciting time in the development of food as a scholarly discipline!
  5. swissmiss

    Yumcha

    From this week's Strong Buzz
  6. swissmiss

    Gavroche

    I actually just got home from dinner at Gavroche... It was the fourth or fifth time that I ate there in recent months. The comments above concerning the food and the service are right on the mark, even though service was a bit tighter tonight. But regardless of how spotty it might have been in the past, I still always had a very enjoyable time there. I find it very relaxing actually, to not be rushed about anything! I love that place too and really hope that it succeeds because it's quickly become one of my favorite low-key restaurants. The garden this summer was a very economical way to make a quick trip to France, as it really made you forget you were in NY. Tonight I had the Burgundy tasting menu, with the escargot millefeuille, pochoune (or at least I think that was the name of the fish) and lemon tart. The millefeuille, in a red wine and mushroom sauce, had a great contrast of textures and was full of flavors--a rich dish but not so much that I couldn't enjoy the entree. The fish was cooked a minute too long, but the butter & cream sauce and great side of herbed rice still made for a pleasant dish. The lemon tart had a mousse texture with distinct bites of lemon zest. Very enjoyable, and a nice light finishing touch to a delightful meal. My husband started with a salade paysanne with goat cheese, and then duck three ways, which he absolutely loved. The duck (I didn't pay close attention to what the three ways were) was served with mashed potatoes, braised cabbage and pan-fried foie gras. A wonderful dish, much less heavy than I expected. His dessert was the night's special, an apricot and almond tart with vanilla ice cream, served warm. Very soft texture, with enough of an apricot taste to make you forget they're no longer in season! Not a crumb was left on his plate.
  7. These are delicious! That reminds me of another sweet, which is a bread made of almost the same dough as the one mentioned by Ludja, filled with marzipan. Can't thik of the name, even in French, but they are wonderful. A good nut torte is also something worth asking for, as they often come packaged tightly enough to make it to the States in one piece. I have tried to reproduce the ones I eat when I go home with many different recipes, but although good they were never the same!
  8. Some of the things I like to bring back or have sent to me include wines, a bottle of good Kirsch or other fruit-based liquor, chocolate and cheese of course, local jams and honeys, along with items I grew up on that wouldn't have much appeal otherwise! If your friend has room in her luggage, a fondue set or white wine glasses would be typical things to have. I'll try and think of more stuff later today. Anne
  9. Great class Monica. Thank you so much for sharing your passion and your knowledge!
  10. swissmiss

    Outsider?

    If you do follow-up answers, would you care to elaborate about that a little bit? What are the reasons behind such refusal? Are they revealing secrets that no other local cook should know? Is it embarrassment at seeing their words in print? This is extremely interesting, thank you.
  11. swissmiss

    Outsider?

    Thank you for participating Paula. Even though you usually live in the country about which you write, do you consider yourself an outsider there? How is that helpful/harmful for your research? Do cooks tend to show you more techniques because they want them known around the world, or do they hold back? Have you changed the way you approach them throughout the years? A more general question on this topic is how do you define your role as an American writing about local foods?
  12. David asked me earlier this week to write something about book publishing, so Steven's question is a perfect lead to that. I hope that what follows is helpful. I am the cookbook editor of an independent, NY-based publishing company, for credentials! In general, most of what David said about writing articles applies to books. Ultimately, you are trying to conclude a business deal so act professionally, including proper grammar, research, etc. You also have to network as much as possible, and attend every food-related event you can. Make sure that our idea is well defined; you want your book to be unique, but not so out-there that it will never sell. Also be realistic with yourself: You may make fantastic crepes for your family, but does that give you enough substance for a crepe cookbook? Starting by writing articles on the subject will help you figure that out, and will also give you more weight when sending your proposal to publishers. Most large publishing companies only work with agents, so if your book has a broad appeal you should definitely get an agent. To find one, look at the acknowledgments of cookbooks you like–you will see the same names coming back. If you belong to the International Association of Culinary Professionals, look at the membership directory for agents. You should also visit publishersmarketplace.com, and subscribe to publisherslunch.com. Usually you will start by sending them a query letter, not the whole proposal. An agent then acts as liaison between you and the editor. David should be able to elaborate on that. Even if you get an agent, you should research the publishers who do the type of books you are looking to publish. Most houses have an established program, or a style of book, so familiarize yourself with all the main companies, but also with smaller houses, which may be more likely to sign an unknown or first-time author. You can do a little of that research on the Internet, but nothing beats going to cookbook sections in bookstores. David has talked about building a platform for yourself, which is especially important for books. A publisher wants to be sure that you are “promotable,” meaning that the media will be interested in writing about you and your book, and that you will be able and willing to promote the book. If you sell crepe mixes by mail-order and on the web, you already have a customer base who may buy your crepe cookbook, for example. I’m jumping forward, but once you do have a contract, make sure that you respect the deadline it sets. If you can’t work with a deadline two years from now, set shorter ones for yourself. You’ll write x amount of recipes per month, do so much research per week, etc. And during that time, see if you can publish something you’re writing for the book as an article. I hope that this covers enough of the basics. If you have questions email me, as I don’t want to steal David’s show. By the way, eGullet is incredibly lucky to have him offer so much. He is unbelievably talented, and has an incredible voice that few can match.
  13. swissmiss

    Oaxaca Dining

    Great post Stella, thank you. I went to Oaxaca a few years ago and can't wait to go back, preferably for a stay at ICO. Your experience is inspiring!
  14. My husband worked for a caterer when we were in school: 18-hour shifts, never a free weekend or holiday, and when he was home he was too tired to go anywhere. Not so different from life as a chef!
  15. swissmiss

    A large bag of pistachio

    Monica, if you don't have it yet it is time to invest in How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. She has tons of recipes that include pistachios, very often in combination with chocolate. I've also made a variation of Marina Chang's Pinones (link to recipe) with a pistachio filling and a chocolate outer dough. Delicious!
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