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Jennifer Iannolo

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Posts posted by Jennifer Iannolo

  1. Wow, you have all shamed me. I haven't even begun thinking about the menu yet (last time I looked it was August). November always sneaks up like that.

    Making the gravy in advance is actually a brilliant idea, and it never occurred to me. I suppose it's the imagery of the gravy simmering on the stove while everyone is waiting, and I'm stealing the crispy turkey skin. :rolleyes:

    I find that using turkey parts is indeed essential, though we usually use the giblets vs. wings and meaty parts. However, you've given me new inspiration, Kim. Thanks!

  2. I also can't help but feel shock that the article mentions -- in passing -- that restaurants are being vandalized. Should this not be a significant news item in and of itself? Why is THAT not being condemned? We can harm property, and humans, but lay off the ducks!!

    Jennifer, surely you understand that for some folks, how humans treat animals is far more important than how they treat other humans.


    Yes, Ronnie, and therein lies their...irrational philosophy. I was going to use the word "insanity," but they know exactly what they are doing, whether they choose to acknowledge those motivations or not.

  3. Well, no surprises there. It is quite a typical, yet hidden, agenda.

    I will say one thing: all this ridiculousness (thank you Martha for that wonderful phrase) has only compelled me to celebrate and promote the consumption of foie gras as much as humanly possible. Perhaps I'll make t-shirts.

    I also can't help but feel shock that the article mentions -- in passing -- that restaurants are being vandalized. Should this not be a significant news item in and of itself? Why is THAT not being condemned? We can harm property, and humans, but lay off the ducks!!


  4. Hmm. If I were to equate TVFN with porn in any way, I would liken it to really badly done porn, i.e. the "wotchika-wotchika" variety. Lots of plastic/silicone, no substance or storyline, too much makeup, etc.

    I've downloaded this for a listen. Should be interesting. :wink:

  5. "There is a place in newspaper food sections, and food magazines for cheery, revisionist, nostalgic waxings, for songs of dew-kissed baby lettuces, for Proustian glances back, and for personal opinion. It is impossible, after all, to write about food without writing about the self. But there is a line between soothing readers' anxieties and becoming the Victoria's Secret of the Fourth Estate."

    I don't think she's against the "personal" as you call it, or the subjective. Well, let me qualify that. I believe she approves of the *universal* -- which of course isn't necessarily the same thing as the personal, which can become so private that it's nothing but self-indulgent babbling.  I don't think she's saying that every single article one writes needs a news peg. The individual POV is fine -- but it ought to be rooted in the universal and at least somewhat relevant to some of the larger issues. She seems to have come full circle to what Craig Claiborne advised her as she was taking over from him at the Times:

    "He told me that although I might want to write like Proust, my audience just wanted to eat dinner. He advised me never to run a column that lacked either a news element or an anecdote that touched a universal chord. 'When you remove the news you lose the vitality of a story, its ability to touch real lives, its slow and incremental way of reflecting the world,' he said. 'Before you know it, you have the god-awful pretension and solipsism that trivializes the entire subject and can only, in the end, compromise the reporter.'"

    Thank you, Steven. I knew there was a spot in there where she mentioned the value of first-person POV (and now you've saved me a few precious minutes!). She is indeed correct that universal themes and anecdotes are necessary for such kinds of writing -- otherwise, who on earth would care about said babbling?

    I think the Victoria's Secret line is fabulous. :biggrin:

  6. Hi Megan. :smile:

    Thanks for that compliment -- it seems I've been doing a lot of ranting lately, so I'm relieved that "interesting" could be applied to said perspective vs. a host of other descriptors. In the future, however, I've decided to take out my anger on my chai spices instead (I beat them into a gorgeous powder after I posted last night).

    If I recall correctly, Molly was concerned that the more prevalent food articles now available are personal reflections on food, or journalistic articles infused with too much personal perspective to be considered objective. It seemed she was eager to see more hard-core journalism about important food topics.

    I do agree that such articles are necessary and relevant, particularly concerning the food supply (production issues, organic farming, world trends, etc.), but I got the sense that she saw less value in those who waxed lovingly about food as an aesthetic subject.

    Now, it may be that I interpreted her incorrectly, or was more focused on that part of her article because my writing is much more on the personal side of the spectrum. I do believe there is a valuable place for such writing: Brillat-Savarin's (and MFK Fisher's) writings were intensely personal, and very engaging.

    Some balance in the genre would be welcomed, however. It seems we've gone too far toward the personal across the board in major media, and the academic journals (i.e. Gastronomica) are the ones covering the very "serious" food topics much of the time. That could be a result of our ADD media culture where "serious" has fallen out of fashion.

    In the end, it may be that I do not disagree with her as much as I originally thought. Whatever my ultimate conclusion in all of this, I find her piece extremely thought provoking and well written.

  7. "Sensuous. Try the new Food Network."

    WHAAAAT? I am...dumbfounded -- and would like to curse in many tongues right now. Sensuous my braised butt.


    I actually was referring to Molly O'Neill's Food Porn piece when expressing the food philosophy of my magazine, as her words really got me thinking. While I do disagree with some of what she says (regarding personal viewpoints and food writing vs. objective journalism), I do think there is too much schtick in the marketplace about orgasmic dishes and hottie chefs. It makes me yawn.

    "Schtick" is exactly what comes to mind with this new TVFN tagline (no surprises there).

    Edited because I'm still livid, but wanted to express it more clearly.

  8. Steven, I actually find that after reading your points, as well as tighe's, I've changed my position on the issue: Whether one is a professional *or* an amateur, I don't think snark is ever appropriate. To be clear, I define snark as catty commentary, and it's becoming far too prevalent in the media, IMO.

    Full disclosure: I have used the snark myself in the past, as a last resort and out of frustration, so I'm not approaching this from a holier-than-thou point of view. But as a rule, I now prefer to gnaw my fingers off in place of typing said commentary (you should have seen my *first* foie gras editorial).

    I don't mean to say the review above was vicious, so I want to make that clear as well. I did find it somewhat catty in places, but that could be my own interpretation. (What was truly snarky to me was the Turning the Tables review talking about how a "real" journalist should approach restaurant criticism.)

    Sheesh, no wonder everyone hates a critic. :rolleyes:

    I have used the word "snark" entirely too many times in this post, so I'll climb down from my soapbox now. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

  9. What makes you believe that GAF is a professional reviewer?  He "teaches sociology at Northwestern", so I imagine that's his full-time job.  Having spent some time in academia myself, I know that self-published reviews of non-academic books don't count towards one's publication record, so I'm really not getting how you feel he's subject to the standards of a "professional reviewer."

    Apologies -- I made an incorrect assumption there, and stand corrected.

  10. This is quite amusing.  Thousands of reviews of restaurants are posted on this site that are full of bias and 'snarkiness' and often it's applauded.  Why is the standard for a book review posted here so vastly different?  Get over yourselves already.


    Since your comment refers to my own, whether directly or not, my response is that if, as a professional reviewer, one wants to be taken seriously, snark diminishes one's influence. Most of the reviews on eGullet, unless I am vastly mistaken, are written by people who are not professionally employed to perform said activity. There is a difference.

  11. The language of the review is something I have issue with. Mr. Fine might have some interesting points to discuss, but the overall tone of his "review" reads more to me as someone with an axe to grind rather than as a book review.

    That's the issue I have, too. Even if biases are present (my review of the book is a roaring cheer, but I post books on my site that I *like*), there is never, ever room for snark.

    This was a book for the average restaurant patron, and it delivered what was intended, as far as I see. Why Steven is being criticized for what is not in the book, rather than what is, is a bit puzzling. The review reads as a very back-handed compliment, IMO.

  12. Jennifer, each PBS market 'buys' the programs they want to show. As an example, when I lived in Los Angeles, cooking shows made up exactly two hours of broadcast time which equals four half-hour shows. I recall getting an announcement that Jaques Torres was doing a chocolate program however the Angelos, in their infinite wisdom, did not see it worthwhile.

    Then I moved to Northern California and living halfway between San Francisco and San Francisco, I actually have access to three different PBS stations that all play different shows (albeit similar schedules). Here in NoCal, there is a whole Saturday afternoon of cooking shows, methinks at least four or five hours' worth. I was blown away at the additional shows that were available!

    In Los Angeles, I never new Joanne Weir(d) had a show! Or Lidia Bastianich! And I finally got to see some of the amazing Jacques Torres chocolate work... and the Johnson & Wales school shows...  the list goes on!

    Ah, ok. Thank you, Carolyn! Since my PBS station is in NYC, I expect a plethora of programming. I'll have to look at WNET's schedule.

    Jennifer <---- Happy to be out from under the rock


  13. Good for her!!

    I luvs me some PBS. :biggrin:

    That is where I watched my first cooking shows as a little girl, and by garlic I shall now return to it -- I didn't realize they had developed such a repertoire. Though I don't see Kitchen Sessions (Charlie Trotter) listed -- isn't that nationally distributed?

  14. I *love* encountering closet gastronomes. It's interesting you bring up that point, as I'm writing an article about it for next week. They are everywhere! It's fantastic!

    In fact, when I'm feeling despondent about the dumbing-down of food I see around me, an experience like that gives me fuel for another day. Thanks for the reminder.


  15. I hope there's room for the internet to help celebrate chefs who take risks and pursue creativity and difference. I hope we'll do our part.

    Steven, I have to give you a standing ovation for that comment. In fact, I think it is one of the most important things happening here at eGullet, where there is serious discourse as well as light-hearted exploration.

    This forum is a celebration of the culinary mind -- long may it prosper, because it just may be the ideal foundation from which to effect change over the long-term.

  16. I'd be interested in seeing less of the starstruck reaction to celebrity chefs as phenomenon, and more interest in the food itself -- particularly one stemming from an interest in the chef's philosophy. (A big request, I know. A girl can dream.)

    It is my fervent hope that the pull of the former will lead to the latter, but I'm not sure how we will get from one to the other. (Understand that I am speaking of the mass audience, and not learned gastronomes.)

    I am also in the more light, less noise faction, btw. If I need to put the menu near the candle to see, well, that's a fire hazard.

  17. Although, especially in the English-speaking world, there is a countervailing current of neo-Puritanism that may sabotage the future of dining. The view that hedonistic enjoyment of food is sinful has strong traction in some quarters, and these quarters are growing as a matter of demographic fact.

    Steven, I think you've made an interesting point here, and it is a concern I share. I'm hoping you will expand on this thought, and in the interim (with a green light from Bux, of course), I'd like to offer my comments on the subject.

    What I find most troubling is that anti-hedonistic ideal combined with the notion of food itself as enemy. Our culture has become so trained by various media sources to believe that certain foods are a dangerous substance (yet they may be the best thing for us day after tomorrow) that to many, Twinkies become a balm for a confused soul when no one is looking.

    If I were to paint my ideal future for dining in this country (and even worldwide), it would include the premise that nothing should be forbidden, but rather enjoyed as part of life, in reasonable quantities. Somehow, that ideal has never been embraced by our all-or-nothing culture, yet the book "French Women Don't Get Fat" is a bestseller, as if it is revealing a secret of the ages.

    As gourmands I'm sure we are seen as the most guilty of hedonists, as we seek more than sustenance in this lifetime; we tend to be incredibly passionate, and sometimes bombastic in our epicurean pursuits. Perhaps that makes us frightening to a lost culture?

    We embrace pleasure as something that ought to be experienced at the table, no matter how fast the world outside is moving. That the focus of our detractors is placed upon the extreme of gluttony instead of simple pleasure paints a telling picture of skewed priorities.

    To change those priorities, however, would take the unraveling of decades of mores. What a task.

    I, for one, am ready and willing to take it on, however. :smile:


    A Satiated Sinner

  18. The immediacy, the honesty, the camaraderie the physicality, the sensuality of it - all of those things keep pulling me back to the kitchen.

    I just have to say "Amen, brother" to that. It's kinda like the Mafia. :biggrin:

    But did you have to announce The Reach of a Chef a year ahead of time? That's *mildly* torturous.

    Thanks to both of you for this great interview.

  19. From the US Copyright Office:

    A mere listing of ingredients is not protected under copyright law. However, where a recipe or formula is accompanied by substantial literary expression in the form of an explanation or directions, or when there is a collection of recipes as in a cookbook, there may be a basis for copyright protection. Note that if you have secret ingredients to a recipe that you do not wish to be revealed, you should not submit your recipe for registration, because applications and deposit copies are public records. See FL 122, Recipes.

    I guess that means that technically, with the changes to her recipes, Martha was correct.

  20. I often think that no electronic medium, no matter how flashy or easy to access, will ever take the place of a book you can curl up with. To some degree, I like the idea that you can peruse a few pages of a book before you purchase. A very few.

    Unfortunately, the internet has made it incredibly easy to pilfer information. Since copyright laws differ around the world (please correct me if I'm wrong, Steven), there is barely any way to track it, and little that can be done when it does happen. When I see our recipes and photos pilfered, my blood boils (is a link so difficult?).

    Gray area or no, I agree that the law is the law. Just because it's easily accessible does not mean someone should feel free to take it.

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