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Everything posted by BeefCheeks

  1. Does anyone out there remember the name of the now-defunct "cafeteria" located somewhere on Park Avenue South---it was there from the 40s through the late 70s, a real greasy spoon and favored by cabbies. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. They played hard, and they drank harder: but what do we think the likes of Dorothy Parker, Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway ate after tying one on just a little bit too tightly....? And do we think that Carver really ate menudo? The curious want to know..... Thanks all.
  3. Please let us know when your piece runs Marlena---we look forward to it!
  4. Everyone knows that the only place pork is kosher is in an eggroll.....Bravo Arthur! My bubbe is smiling down on you!
  5. As cash-strapped newspapers are depending more and more on freelance contributors covering everything from general food-related reportage to actual restaurant critiquing, the budgets provided to these freelancers are also dwindling. No one ever seems to talk openly about the inequities involved in the freelance reviewing process: as a former freelance critic, I was expected to make repeat visits to restaurants with multiple guests on a budget of $150 per restaurant (not per visit). How to accomplish this? Maintain anonymity and pay any overages out of my own pocket (commonplace practice); or dispense with anonymity and accept free meals while reviewing (also commonplace practice, although never done by me). Working with such miniscule budgets, are freelance critics reviewing restaurants fairly? Should they be expected to front money for the sake of the by-line and out of dedication to their papers and editors? When the restaurants cry foul--that they weren't covered sufficiently because there wasn't enough money in the budgetary coffers, that not enough dishes were tasted to make a reasonable if subjective qualitative judgment--where does the blame go? How to remedy this situation? What would Giles Coren do?
  6. Droolworthy. Craveworthy. Barfworthy. Compulsively edible. Melded. Set atop. Piled high. Pan-braised. House-cured. House-filleted. Honey-glazed. Miso-glazed. Mojito-glazed. Pepper-glazed. Long-cooked. Quick-braised. Oven-fried. Tuscan-style. Pan-Asian. Tuna cubana. Coppa cubana. Copacabana. (?)
  7. First cooking attempt involved veal cutlets, which I was of a mind to stuff with something called pancetta that had been minced and rendered with shallots. Rolled them up, toothpicked them, threw them into pot with about a stick of sweet butter and a bucket of marsala. Add mushrooms at some point. Cooked until done. Somewhere in neighborhood of 4 or 5 hours. Otherwise known as Stuffed Leather Rollups in marsala butter sauce, served on buttered rice. Which is why I am now on Crestor.
  8. Agreed- do it by the handful. Conversely -- and if you can find them -- individual petite mini-butterheads (someone help me, I forget the official name) make a nice presentation. Don't dress ahead of time; toss the greens with whatever else you're adding (honey roasted walnuts, dried cherries, etc) but let diners dress their own so that leftovers will keep longer. Also, it is true: if you're serving buffet style, very little salad will ultimately be eaten, so it's safe to err on the side of less is more in this case.
  9. I tried a new restaurant in New Haven this weekend, called Ahimsa, which purports to be vegan (it is), raw (it sometimes is), and kosher (it always is). As a food professional, my blinders are off when it comes to great food, whatever it is and however it's prepared. But what is the general feeling on holding up vegan restaurants to the same standards as non-vegan restaurants? Can a vegan establishment be GREAT by non-vegan standards? Or can it just be compared to other vegan restaurants? Lost in translation. BC
  10. BeefCheeks


    I'm about to bone out a pork butt (skinless, unfortunately) and I want to make porchetta....Any fab recipes beyond the usual garlic/herbs/wine/marinate for 3 days plan? Thanks. BC
  11. I worked there in the 80s and sold tomatoes for $4.00. Each.
  12. I have a nice woman's jacket that comes from Chefwear.com; it's a little pricey and a bit fancier than I usually wear, but I tend to wear it for demos and tv when anything else makes me look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Or Girl. This is it (below) and it has a tie in the back, which nips in the waist a bit. ttp://www.chefwear.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=12&DEPARTMENT_ID=73
  13. While we're on the subject of Celeb Chefs products that don't deliver (like, maybe, books), did anyone happen to see the following letter to the editor of the Weekly Standard (I don't read it EITHER, but there's definitely something here): <<Food Fight and more. 9/1/2007, Volume 012, Issue 48 FOOD FIGHT VICTORINO MATUS's exploration of the cult of celebrity chefs ("Bam!" August 20 / August 27) deftly describes the decline in the number of cookbooks being published, which has been brought on by the availability of recipes for free on the web. It is even more disheartening that the gastro-celebs who actually get published now are receiving outrageous sums for books that they sometimes have nearly nothing to do with. On one hand (as a trained chef as well as food editor), I applaud Rachael Ray for getting her viewers back into the kitchen and interested in food again; using frozen onions is better than running out to the local fast food establishment. At the same time, I agree with chef Anthony Bourdain's quest for real food that hearkens back to the days of Child and Pépin, but the majority of the Food Network viewership just isn't going to "get" that. When Johnny Carson went off the air, he was replaced by the Food Network; Rachael and Emeril and Giada are there neither to impart culinary wisdom nor their Nonna's recipes--they are there for strict entertainment value. This is yet another nail in the coffin of the "family around the hearth" ideal; when that tradition is bolstered, however, a return to serious cookbook publishing and serious home cooking will happen as well. Until then, there's always the used bookstore. >>
  14. In the course of reviewing restaurants featuring indigenous foods of the above regions, I have found myself coming across a thick, sort of sweet, sort of roasted tomato sauce; it's very often drizzled with a yogurt sauce. Can anyone out there tell me what this is called in the above regions, and provide me with a recipe? Thanks much, BC
  15. BeefCheeks

    Dinner! 2007

    Suvir's Lahori Chicken Curry with potatoes and whole spices; Duguid and Alford's spiced cabbage salad; Dal; and a cold glass of white wine.
  16. Thank goodness....thank you for passing this along. Unless I brine the hell out of it (or confit it), I wind up with something that is just this side of dental floss when sliced.
  17. BeefCheeks

    Home Canning

    A lot of people swear by The Ball Blue Book as the basic text of home canning. Since you're drowning in produce right now and may not have time to wait for a book to arrive, check out Ball's website FreshPreserving.com. They have some step-by-step tutorials and recipes that should get you started. Have fun! ← Thanks so much!
  18. BeefCheeks

    Home Canning

    Okay folks---HELP. I'm a professionally-trained chef and I've never put anything by.....Can someone give me a quick hot water bath method for safe canning? My garden is EXPLODING with heirloom tomatoes, Thai peppers, cukes.....but the whole idea of canning terrifies me. ANY HELP WILL BE APPRECIATED. Signed, Dumb as a Stump, in New England
  19. Osteria del Circo and anything owned by the Maccionnis. Ick. Feh. Blech. Nasty service, bad food. What more could you want?
  20. Leftover french lentils braised in red wine topped with leftover sliced steak (rare) topped by a perfectly poached egg. And I wasn't even hung over.
  21. I, for one, am getting a raging headache and I doubt I'm alone. We're talking here about Chodorow and Bruni; the former, by the way, has a very clear indication on his so-called blog that unless feedback is positive, posts and comments won't show up. Only one person had the guts to pretty much say "you acted like a spoiled brat." I'm sorry: like Bruni or loathe him, Chodorow's utterly ridiculous, self-righteous, pitiful response reminds me of the time that I was threatened by a restaurateur whose establishment I covered in the metro area. It wasn't that I said anything she disagreed with nor did I say that her food was dreck; I just mentioned her ex-husband's restaurant in the piece, and she nearly had a stroke because the review included something that she didn't like. And for that, my newspaper had to hire protection for me. At a certain point, critiquing ceases to be about the food itself -- especially if it's served in quasi-theatrical "flights" whilst diners pray silently that they're not skewered lengthwise by swords ("you'd better like my food, or ELSE") -- and more about the overall experience, which, in this case, Bruni clearly found utterly ridiculous and, unless I read the review wrong, actually pugnacious. That Chodorow would be so deeply concerned about his staff is utterly hilarious, given his reputation. He spent close to $100,000 and made a mockery of himself, poor man, and he doesn't even have the good sense to realize it.
  22. CNBC did a report on this: "Food Fight" - with reporting from the restaurant floor itself, about a half hour ago (Power Lunch... where else?). They didn't fail to mention that a page (unique) buy in the Times is $75k ←
  23. The NY Press is off by a wide, wide margin: how many reviewers have "formal culinary training?" And what exactly qualifies as "formal culinary training?" I went to cooking school and cooked professionally, therefore I am qualified (even though this is in fact what I do for a living?)? Respectfully, I don't buy it. It is my job -- first and foremost -- to present to the public as clear a qualitative and experiential look at a restaurant as is possible; it goes beyond food, certainly, to include environment, surroundings, and service. It also needs to be informative, entertaining, sensitive, and evocative. This is not to say that many if not most reviewers have axes to grind at least once in their professional lives, and we'd be lying if we said we didn't: perhaps we've been "snubbed" and it has left a sour taste in our mouths (see famous tale of Reichl being recognized by Sirio Maccionni, after he stuck her at a table near the bathroom and yanked a menu out of her hand to give to someone else "who really needed it"); perhaps we were food-poisoned by the seafood salad. Who knows. Professional culinary training, in whatever form it manifests itself, certainly helps and generally doesn't hurt reviewers; that said, it's always an ironic thing when a chef complains loudly that they've been dissed by a reviewer who "isn't a real food person" and therefore has no idea what they're talking about. So a professionally-trained cook-turned-reviewer/journalist comes along and the chef complains again because the reviewer knows too much. A no-win situation. I meant to add this link to a 1996 Salon article on the subject of battling Dining Divas: http://www.salon.com/nov96/interview961118.html
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