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Jennifer Iannolo

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Posts posted by Jennifer Iannolo

  1. Inspiring only begins to capture it. While you savored it over a period of time, I greedily devoured the story in a couple of days. I will likely read it again very soon to savor a second degustation. :)

    How amazing that she and your father shared such an unlikely connection -- I can imagine what an exciting shock that must have been for you.

    What I admire most is that she always stayed true to herself; she valued independence and held her ground in a time when it was most unconventional to do so. But what I relished discovering was her sensuality and pure sass (some of her one-liners had me laughing out loud as I read).

    My greatest regret was that I didn't get to meet her and talk to her about cooking. I was one degree of separation from her for almost a decade, but did not yet feel accomplished or learned enough to take advantage of it. The folly of youth. :)

    It is a person's sense of life that either draws me in or repels me, and Julia's bright optimism and pure joy for living is, even now, magnetic. The work I'm now pursuing is a tribute to that kind of living, and that kind of spirit. May I discover many more like her in my travels.

  2. I wonder just how much farther the act of eating can be removed from the food itself.

    TV helmet, nutrition/antibiotics intravenous, chewing styrofoam packing pellets for that satisfying crunchy "taste", sitting on the toilet.

    Oh my -- sorry I asked. Those visuals will haunt me for the rest of the day. HA!!!


  3. This is, singularly, the most fantastic thread on eGullet. I simply could not pull myself away from the train wrecks, and am having trouble determining which inspired more salivating (the bad kind).

    I think the maggoty mushrooms may be the hands-down winner for sheer grotesque quality, but I cannot get over the number of posts describing the world's worst hosts.

    I come from an Italian/Scottish background, so we are all about the hospitality. My god, we would starve before taking the food off a guest's plate. Horrendous!

    Thanks to all of you for sharing these stories. Hosting a dinner party will never be the same again, and may I never turn up anywhere on here as She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.


  4. Hmmm...  What Powell said has a certain ring of truth in it, I think... if from nothing other than a marketing perspective. 

    You can tell them that organic produce is grown in a way that is better for the world, that doesn't pollute and doesn't support the giant chemical companies that make all the fertilizer and pesticide that are used on the pretty supermarket produce.  You can tell them that all that pesticide left a residue on the pretty supermarket produce... then you can ask them if they want to feed their children pesticide residue, and whether they want to support pollution and giant chemical businesses. 

    There is a ring of overbearing moral superiority in there, don't you think? While those are not the only selling points for organic produce, they undeniably are points that have been used to sell it.  I think that is what Powell is on about.

    Thank you for pointing this out, Chris. When I read this piece, it was clear to me that she was speaking of the manipulation and political correctness being used to sell organic produce. Rather than making informed choices, it is often easier for consumers to succumb to guilt and propaganda, and in this case, it's working.

    When I choose my food, I base it on taste -- not saving the earth, the whales, or the trees. If the tasty stuff happens to be organic, so be it; but I've had some abominably unpalatable organic fruits and vegetables.

  5. Thanks Bryan.

    After all the drawings of molecular structure and explanations, it was hard to keep all of the scientific data straight. :) I do hope to work with him on a more in-depth piece in the future.

  6. Nicely said, Bux.

    I am actually appalled by the lengths to which activists will go to terrorize the rest of the population into "accepting" their diatribes.

    One of my rants on the subject is here. I've just *had* it.

    The thought that I will some day need to board a plane in order to enjoy one of my favorite indulgences is more than I can stand.

    We are the highest members of the food chain. If you don't like it, or the methods involved, don't eat it.

  7. Chris, thank you so much for starting this thread.

    It's funny how easily the intimidation factor plays a part in discussing food with those who might be new to its exploration. There was a time (and it still happens) when friends were afraid to ask me over for dinner because they were scared to death to cook for me. I would gently remind them that I also eat hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. -- and that I botch a meal more often than they might think.

    I would also point out that years of practice and lots of mistakes are what improved my skills, and more than once I have felt like an utter novice while watching a chef in action.

    What I try to do in such situations is really let my enthusiasm shine through, to help explain methods if they ask, or to (gently) offer a tip while they are preparing the meal.

    One of the greatest compliments I ever received was from a dear friend of mine, who said, "You know, Jen, I never really thought about food before, but your passion has really sparked this curiosity in me, and now I look at the colors, the textures -- I am really starting to love this." I think I cracked the biggest smile of my lifetime.

    If our excitement is what encourages people, and our desire to show them helps foster that pursuit of knowledge, we are doing a great thing. I applaud all of you who take such an approach, and hope that our collective impact makes a difference.

  8. Ok, some feedback on coconut milk from my chef, who created the recipe:


    I made this sorbet with Soy Milk in my e-cookbook Seriously Good (Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free) Food ® for a dairy-allergic nephew, and it works fine, so I can see no reason why coconut milk wouldn't work with a few cautionary yellow flags thrown up for you to consider: Because coconut milk is rather thick and unctuous once the water is reincorporated into the coconut, you may need to adjust the amount or thin it with additional water.

    Additionally, keep in mind that lemongrass is deliciously subtle and aromatic. The coconut milk may overwhelm the perfumed effect of the lemongrass in the mouth.


    Let us know how the variation works -- and tastes! :smile:

  9. Erik, that actually sounds quite decadent. I love coconut milk, too (crikey, what don't I love??). I'm going to check with my chef and see what she thinks. (Waiting for her to get her butt in here!!!)

    Stay tuned. Anyone else here have ideas? Now my palate is curious.

  10. Genny, thank you for such a wonderful welcome. I must say that after a couple of days here, I feel like I'm gathered around my kitchen table with all of you. eGullet is fantastic!

    I'm so grateful for your reaction to Gastronomic Meditations, too. I've spent more than a decade in the industry trying to figure out where I wanted to plant my feet, and with this project, I really feel like I've found that place at last.

    I am proud to be a good cook, but I leave that endeavor to the chefs, as I prefer to step into professional kitchens on an at-will basis (more for learning and the adrenaline rush). I've now had the incredible fortune to work with the best of the best (last gig was running the Ecole des Chefs program for Relais & Chateaux), and they have inspired me to pursue the piece that makes me happiest -- studying and talking about the food, and the sensual experiences such a course of study offers. I was tired of seeing food and chefs "dumbed down" (I see many souls here feel the same way), so this is a chance for me to let my inner nerd do the talking. :smile: I'm amazed and encouraged by the way people are responding to our message.

    Incidentally, my Executive Chef at GM was one of my first clients at L'Ecole des Chefs. She used to be a lawyer, and now we spent our time gushing about flavor platforms and aromatics.

    Does life get any better? :biggrin:

    Warmest regards,


    (Edited to properly insert emoticons :unsure: )

  11. We featured a Lemongrass Cilantro Sorbet last month on Gastronomic Meditations, and the aromas coming from the pan as the milk was heating had me in a frenzy. (I get really excited about cilantro. And lemongrass.)

    I prefer tastes that are less on the sweet side, so I actually made this with 1/2 cup sugar instead of the full cup the recipe calls for.

    It also makes a great summer cocktail when mixed with a bit of vodka. :wink:

  12. Janet,

    What a wonderful piece! I, too, was chuckling as I read, because I cannot seem to resist the urge to tweak. My palate calls, and I answer. Or my mental mouth disagrees with what's on the page. Or, even more frequently, it's "Dammit, I thought I had enough of that in the pantry -- let me see what will have a similar effect..."

    My test kitchen chef is a stickler for the recipe formula, and I can actually sense her temperature rising when I talk to her about "winging it." I remind her that to me, a recipe is a guide. 'Course, I also use this approach to many of the recipes we test for our site, so I'm forever making scribbles of notes. She's going to hurt me one day... :wink:

    But then again, I see two such personality types as a perfectly symbiotic relationship: Without one, we'd have no rules, and without the other, we'd have no innovations.


    Kind regards,


  13. This may be a bit more obscure, but the book Six Thousand Years of Bread: Its Holy and Unholy History by H.E. Jacob is a fascinating look at the development of mankind via the simultaneous discovery of harvesting wheat, inventing the plow, building an oven, etc. Until I read this tome of food history, I had not realized the true evolutionary impact of our daily bread.

    I reviewed the book here if you are curious.

    Thanks to all of you for these wonderful recommendations; it looks like I have some shopping to do. Given the name of my website, you can guess which book is on my top library shelf. :wink:

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