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  1. So, it’s the morning of the 19th, and it’s my turn on stage. Oh, no! I think I’ve forgotten my lines, even worse, it appears there isn’t a script! How do I keep up the high standards therese set in her blog? Help! Deep breath, I’m sure I’m not the only one that gets food blog stage fright… Ok, OK…Start with the basics… Well, I grew up in Montana USA, moved to Alaska USA after uni/with husband (husband is from Alaska). After 4 years in Anchorage we moved to Melbourne Australia. We had a 2 year temporary visa but ended up staying 11 years. (Don't worry, we did actually renew our visas! ) Then just a few months ago we decided to take an opportunity that has brought us to Dubai UAE. And that’s a looooong way from Montana in more than just distance! To prepare for this week I did what I usually do to plan food. I grabbed some of my food mags and some of my cookbooks and paged through to find somthing I felt like cookin'. There's often not a rhyme or reason to what I pick, it just sounds fun to make! The thing I’ve done the most this past year is make bread and I’m very proud of some of my efforts. This week I want to give Ciabatta a try and I, of course am open to hints in making it! Of course I'll just HAVE to go out for a meal or two this week. Sometimes that's hard to fit in with all the stuff I organise to cook but I'll just have to make the time, now won't I? therese asked loads of questions of us last week and I’ll be asking some too. Difference is I don’t know the answers! I’m still trying to identify things at the supermarkets! Before I forget, I need to say thanks to my friend Amanda who sent me the quote in my signature just in time for my blog and without even knowing I was gonna be doing this! (doing dance of joy now since I made it over the initial posting!)
  2. Good morning! I'm pleased and a bit surprised that nobody identified me as the next Foodblogger. The teaser photos are of Highland cattle and a plate of seafood with lupins. The cattle are in the back field here on the farm in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. The chowder and flowers are from my home outside Halifax. It's been more than four years since I put together my 1st eG Foodblog. This time I'm on the road and away from my own kitchen. We've just finished catering a wedding here so there will tons of photos in the very near future. Tonight I'm going to Cavendish, Prince Edward Island for the week. The Foodblogs of late have been quite excellent and I've got some hard acts to follow. This week I can promise you a lot of seafood, extreme cheese, fine port and good whisky. The topic description reads "More Maritimes" which refers to the three eastern provinces New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI. If you throw in Newfoundland & Labrador, you get "Atlantic Canada". Time to pack!
  3. First of all, I am very excited to be blogging – a little nervous, but excited. I have a lot of things planned, but I am sure I won't get to all of them. Most of all, I hope to have a lot of fun blogging this week and introducing you to some of the food that is not the typical things people hear about – which is all about the Creole food from New Orleans and Cajun food from southwest Louisiana. There's more... there's good old country food that most of us grew up eating. How did I come up with the name of Honeysuckles and Huckleberries? It's the name of a cookbook I put together for our family. What the name means to me is country living and home. Growing up I remember Mama loved the sweet, sensational smell of honeysuckles. It was her favorite flower. They grew wild on the fences around our property. They were always pretty and fragrant, and I would pull the stem from them until it came out of the bottom of the flower all for one drop of juice, which tasted out of this world. One of my dreams then was to have one whole glass of honeysuckle juice! We also had a pond that had turtles, fish, snakes and everything else that intrigues children. There were also wild blackberry bushes. In the summertime, we would take our buckets and pick blackberries all afternoon. We were told not to eat the berries until they were washed, and our blackberry-stained tongues would tell Mom, “No, ma'am. We didn't eat any.” After a little lecture, and after the berries were washed, we would smash the berries in a bowl and add cream and sugar and eat them with a spoon. Then, she would make us a blackberry cobbler for dessert that night! So... blackberries aren't huckleberries, but they're close enough, and they remind me of Huckleberry Finn and little boys having adventures growing up on the Mississippi River. Brett, my brother, had his own adventures growing up in the country. He hunted, fished, skipped school to go horseback riding all day, etc. Whenever he would catch a fish, he would excitedly run into the house and say, "Cook this for me, Mama!" It was a wonderful place to grow up, and while we were a family of very modest means, we always ate well – just like most of the people around here. What I hope to do in this blog is introduce you to a little bit of Louisiana country living. There will be a few field trips to some interesting places. Food will be cooked, of course, but I am going to do my best to stay away from the standard fare that everyone hears so much about (except jambalaya – there will be jambalaya) and cook old time country favorites, and by the end of this week I would hope that you would feel like a welcome guest in our home.
  4. Good morning everyone, and welcome to my foodblog! I'm really excited to be here sharing a week in my kitchen with you. Thanks to Prawncrackers for hosting such a great blog last week: you'll be a tough act to follow! Why don't I start by situating you a little bit in my life? As you saw in the Coming Attractions topic, I would say that two of my biggest interests - and two of the topics on which I've gotten the most help from the eGullet forums - are cocktails and "molecular gastronomy" (or avant-garde cuisine, or whatever you want to call it). I'll be trying to incorporate both of those topics into my blog this week. I think it's safe to say that both of those interests are symptomatic of a more general desire to "tinker" in the kitchen. When I first learned that there were chemicals you could buy to make spheres out of pea puree, I had to order them. Similarly, when I learned that the whisky I'd spent my whole life calling "rye" was different from an American whiskey that is also called rye, I had to buy a bottle to find out what it tasted like. "Trying it for myself" is my guiding principle when it comes to food. In the past year, I've also developed a fascination with Japanese cooking. You see, although my family name is Japanese, I'm only one-quarter ethnically Japanese. (The other three quarters are an Anglo-Celtic blend.) Growing up, I didn't eat much Japanese food, but as I've gotten older, I've become interested in exploring that facet of my heritage. So I'll be drawing on that cuisine this week, too. So thanks to eGullet for asking me to host this week. I hope you enjoy reading along!
  5. Hello eGulleteers, and welcome to my first ever food blog. First, a little bit about me and where my eating & cooking are inspired from: I grew up in the Southwest (AZ), and after marriage spent a few years in Vegas, then off to Bangalore, India for a couple years, and now live in the far southeast part of New Mexico, right on the Texas border. Here's a picture from about five minutes down the road: Now, growing up the way I did (with a Jewish/Italian father) in the land of great Mexican food (imagine those meal combos!), and living in Vegas and India, my family and I have developed a taste (addiction?) for flavors that reach out and grab you. I have a naturally small appetite, so I really don't want to put anything in my mouth that doesn't taste amazing. When we lived in India, I really began to enjoy cooking. Partly it was the amazingly cheap and incredibly fresh ingredients available, and partly it was the desire to be able to replicate the amazing food of Bangalore when we finally moved back home. That's also when I discovered eGullet. So - all that to say this: I'm depressed. Seriously. I live in a town that has more than a hundred 'Mexican' restaurants, but in which black pepper is considered spicy. I live in New Mexico, yet in a mysterious vortex that doesn't have a strong green chilly culture. Oi Vey! I live in the south (land of sweet tea) but in a city with not one single barbecue joint. Am I being punished? This is the part of the country in which if you order a 'latte' people look at you funny and assume you're a 'foreigner' or of dubious morality. Don't get me wrong, there's some good food here, but very little of it is at a restaurant. We've got some friends that are amazing cooks, and I've been learning some new techniques & tools, but other than that, it's a food desert here. See the picture of the farm above? We're surrounded by them, but there's not a single farmers market here. So - this week you're going to follow me around as I try (desperately) to tickle my palate with the limited supplies available, and as I search high and low for something new and interesting. Full Disclosure: Some of these meals (and shopping) are a week old, because we were traveling and my schedule is a bit hectic, so if you see me post two dinners in one day, it's not because I'm time-zone hopping, but compressing two weeks of eating into one. Hope you enjoy the ride!
  6. My name is Gerhard and I live in Wilderness in Eden. Two years ago I decided to retire and do nothing for a while. The problem with doing nothing is that it is difficult to know when you are done. That is probably the main reason why I decided to buy a guest house. The Artist's prodding did play a role. Her version was that I interfered with the creative process and was a nuisance around the house. Mine was that I was merely offering support by way of constructive criticism. Be that as it may, I woke up one morning with the thought that we should up stakes in Johannesburg and move to the coast. If we could find a large house, we could convert it into a guest house. I could keep myself busy looking after guests and cooking. The artist always had a yen to live at the seaside and I got enthusiastic support for the idea. She would paint and I would be the innkeeper. Two weeks later we bought Mes Amis in Wilderness, an existing, somewhat dilapidated guest house. 9 guest bedrooms and a large 2 bedroom apartment for us. The location is terrific: right on the beach with a splendid view of the Indian Ocean. Wilderness is an area of rivers, lakes, wetlands, mountains, forests and the Indian Ocean. Perhaps slightly overdeveloped, but still a quiet, bucolic village where the main economic activity is tourism and life proceeds at a gentle pace. We have a temperate climate, with an average min/max of 17/25 in summer (Oct-April) and 8/18 in winter. In May 2004, we relocated. The artist, sissy tutu and I. I made the mistake of visiting our local animal shelter shortly after arriving, and the result was two new additions to the menagerie, Bibi and Becky. This will be mainly a breakfast blog. That is where most of my culinary creative energy is spent these days and it may just be mildly interesting for you to follow me through a few days of cooking for the guests. (And, of course, for the artist and myself). Breakfast is served a la carte in our breakfast room: It is now just after 11am and breakfast service is done. We had 13 in, a table for 8, two for two and one single. As always seem to happen when we have a large table, the whole lot sat down at the same time. Here is today's menu: The front and back and the inside Between helping Miki with table service, giving Veronica a hand with cooking and smooching the guests, I did not have time to take pics, other than the fresh fruit: I'll do better tomorrow morning. The 8 Italian guests checked out and service should be easier. Voluble bunch, the table for 8. The shy young Swiss couple in the corner were somewhat bemused. Every time I headed for their table to discuss their plans for the day, and advise where I can, I was waylaid by the Italians. Time to take it easy. I intended watching the cricket test, but we are (again) getting soundly beaten by the Aussies. I have a large pot of duck legs on the stove and may as well start preparing the jars for the confit. The rest of the day will proceed placidly. Patricia will draw up the list of stuff that we need to order – groceries, fruit, veggies, meat, toiletries, cleaning materials and so on and place the orders for delivery tomorrow after I've checked the list and added my two bits. Time then to take the dogs for a walk on the beach, have a short siesta and then get ready to receive guests. That involves checking the reservations book and memorizing new guest names. It is often very easy to guess names correctly when the guests arrive. Tonight we have a German couple, two ladies from the UK, a businessman from Johannesburg and a repeat couple from Cape Town checking in, so I should be able to greet them all by name. I will, if you will allow me, tell more about my innkeeping day tomorrow.
  7. Hi, keefkun, ça va? Or, for the more hip: Bonjour habibi, how's it going? Yes, with such phrasing, it can only be Lebanon! First off, let me give you some background to the trip and myself. I go by Chris and Hassaan - whence Hassouni, the Arabic diminutive of Hassaan (note, not Hasan/Hassan, this is a different name. For those that can read Arabic, it's: حسّان). Arabs/Persians/Turks generally call me Hassaan, others generally call me Chris. Hassouni is fine by me too I am, despite the bilingual name, NOT Lebanese. My father is American of mostly German extraction, and my mother is 100% Iraqi. Her family is Iraqi through and though (except for her one Turkish great-grandmother, as well as other genetic traces of the myriad peoples who have crossed Iraq since history began 5000 years ago there). They had done quite well under the Mandate period and later the Monarchy, but as soon as the republican revolutions happened (and there were several in the late 50s and 60s), my mom and her immediate family fled to Beirut, which was THE cosmopolitan city of the region in those years. They stayed there until 1975 when the civil war broke out, and really Beirut is and was much more of a home, to my mother and her brothers at least, than Baghdad was. To this day, she can switch between Iraqi and Lebanese Arabic mid sentence, which I always find hilarious (they're about as different in vocabulary and accent as, say, Cajun English and Australian English) In the mid 1990s, after the war, her parents, living in the DC area and London, moved back to Beirut, and since then it's become their permanent home, with my mother spending more and more time there as well. This is my 9th trip there, and the 6th since Summer 2009, so Beirut is quickly tying London as my own second home. In any case, I love it to bits, despite all the aggravation of being there (like the most horrific traffic and insane drivers anywhere), and my own skills in the Lebanese dialect are growing. I guess they're getting pretty good, as a few of my Lebanese friends have dubbed me "honorary Lebanese." I arrived here yesterday and will return to DC March 7. Secondly, let me explain the teaser pics The first, of course, is an Iraqi/Turkish style tea setup, as I mentioned on my very first post here. Mimicking the the effects of a samovar without the expense. My favorite style of tea, though somewhat of a hassle to prepare. This was basically just to identify me, and sadly there probably won't be much of that, as Beirut is not a good city for tea drinkers A Beirut taxi and a symbol of the city as much as Black Cabs are of London. 10 years or so ago they were all ancient Mercedes that had survived the 15-year civil war. Now there are a lot of other cars, some new Mercedes, most small, crummy, micro-compacts, which makes very little sense for a taxi. The old, stick shift, diesel powered Mercs are where it's at for me, and I'll wait longer to snag one. Next is the beautiful Turkish coffee presentation at Café Hamra, in the Hamra neighborhood of Beirut. I think Nikkib made a passing reference to it once - I really like the place. Decent if not fantastic food, really good deserts, great coffee, and good argile (hookah/shisha). Hopefully will spend some time there this trip When Kerry Beal said lahmacun, she was basically right. This is the Arabic version, lahme b'ajin, from which the name lahmacun derives. This is a late night shot from the legendary Barbar in Hamra, a 24/7 bastion of Lebanese street food that spans a whole block - shawarma, kababs, falafel, mana'ish, lahme b'ajin, fresh juices plus western snack bar type food, and pretty good gelato. After a night out in Beirut, this is unequivocally the place to go. Finally, Raouché, the Pigeon Rocks, or as my Mom swears they were called in the "Lebanese Good Old Days," Suicide Rocks. One of two sea stacks just off the cliffs along the Beirut Corniche. If there is one symbol of Beirut, this is it. As for this blog, I have no agenda. Although I'll be spending plenty of time there, I'm not staying in my family's place, because its jam-packed with people, so I'll be sleeping in a hotel nearby. This means I won't be cooking anything, but even if I was staying at home that would be the case, what with my aunt and the housekeeper running the kitchen on lockdown. However, I will definitely be showing plenty of home-cooked Lebano-Iraqi dishes. Furthermore, Beirut is Cafe City and one of the best places to eat out, so expect plenty of delicious coffees, teas, and meals out, as well as shots of street food like Barbar and my favorite, manaa'ish 'al saaj. I have a hunch that I'll be going north up the coast as well as into the mountains at some point, so I'll be sure to document any tasty treats from there. If you have any requests, I'll do my best to fulfill them!
  8. Dave Hatfield

    eGfoodblog: Dave Hatfield

    I was delighted to be asked to do this blog. It’s exciting, sort of like getting a new job or something. At my age I like some new excitement. Obviously, it’s my first blog so bear with me as I stumble through it. So you have some background; I am an American, retired, and living in rural France with my wife Linda, who is British, and our dog, Rupert, who is a 2 1/2 year old standard poodle. We’ve been here full time for nearly 5 years now and absolutely love it in France. I’ll answer the question that I expect will get asked right up front; namely: “How did a native Californian end up living in rural South West France?” As you might expect the answer ain’t that simple. Firstly, I lived and worked in Europe for over 20 years; Spain, Belgium, France, Germany & mostly England. During all of that time my work responsibilities covered all of Europe so I traveled widely. Thus, Europe is very much a second home. When Linda finally persuaded me to retire we were living in Rhode Island and planning upon retiring to our home in Carmel Valley, California. But then as the reality hit we realized that all of the family (kids from previous marriages for both of us & Linda’s extended family.) lived in the UK. Why were we going to locate 6,000 miles away? Stupid! So we sold the house & thought this retirement out. Closer to family & kids, Yes. Good weather, Yes! Good food & wine, Yes! South West France which we had visited many times qualified. Weather, good communications, food! Cheap (at the time) property was an added bonus. So, here we are. The kids & grandkids & family & friends from all over visit frequently. Between our French & expat friends we have an active social life; so life is very very good. And, of course, we’re in one of the great food & wine regions of the world. So, now that I have the time I can indulge my passion for cooking; thus my interest in eGullet and thus this blog. My focus will be upon food & cooking. The meals will be things we eat fairly regularly. In a couple of instances I am going to try to give you recipes that I’m going to do the next day. Using the time zone difference to our advantage you can, if you are so inclined, cook the same dish (s). As a result I’ve tried to pick things to cook that have ingredients that are readily available in the states. I’ve not always succeeded, but I’ve used nothing so French that you just can’t get it any where else. Because the 4th of July holiday falls in the middle of my blog I’m going to cover that in a special way by describing a local yearly event. Think you’ll enjoy it. Also, we will be going to one of my favorite restaurants. Michelin starred & one of the top 5 female chef’s in France. Since I was asked, I’m going to do a little rant about drinking & buying wine in France. I’ve been asked to comment upon wine, cheese and cooked meats (sausages) so I’ll do that in essay form to get a topic started and to impart some general information. After that its open to anybody to contribute, ask questions or whatever. We’ll also do a bit of touring around our local countryside & I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about France. I understand that on blogs there is a certain amount of ‘off topic’ latitude so here’s your chance. I only hope that you, my audience, enjoy this blog as much as I’m going to enjoy doing it. Bon appète! (No cringing, friends on the French forum!)
  9. When I go on book tour, my appearances are attended by a handful of people most of whom were just wandering around the bookstore when the announcement came over the public address system. They ask questions like, "What's your book about?" When Ferran Adria (aka the world's greatest chef, the leader of the culinary avant garde) goes on book tour, everyone shows up. The most significant food-world players for 500 miles around come to pay homage. They have prepared their questions for the master. Ferran Adria's biography, written by Colman Andrews, has just hit the bookstores and Adria and Andrews are making the rounds. This evening they appeared at the International Culinary Center (the umbrella institution that includes the French Culinary Institute and the Italian Culinary Academy) in New York City. I got invited, perhaps because I teach a class there, perhaps by mistake, perhaps out of pity. I was certainly the least important person in the room -- a marginal inclusion on the guest list that included Mario Batali, Tim Zagat, Jose Andres, Andre Soltner, Jacques Torres, Drew Nieporent, Alain Sailhac, Jonathan Waxman and a whole bunch of others. I'll give a brief description of the event, with some photo support, in a moment. But first, welcome to my eG Foodblog, the first of this new season of eG Foodblogs. For the next week, I'll be posting ad nauseam about my food life. The centerpiece of the week is a trip I'm taking down to Mobile, Alabama, to look in on the seafood industry post-BP-spill. Before and after that trip, I'll share the various things I'll be doing in the course of this week. Returning to the matter of Ferran Adria and Colman Andrews, the book is called Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food. (Should you choose to buy a copy, that's an eG-friendly link, which means the Society will get a small commission from Amazon if you use that link for purchase.) There's DC-based Spanish (and then some) chef Jose Andres talking to Dorothy Hamilton, president of the ICC. Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro I'm only going to apologize once this week for my terrible photography. Sorry. Now deal with it. That's Colman Andrews, who wrote the book. Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro The snacks were not at all avant-garde. They were mostly Spanish-style and pretty good. Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro The restaurateur Drew Nieporent (Nobu, Tribeca Grill, Corton, etc. -- he keeps opening new places so it's hard to keep track of him). Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro My signed copy of the book. Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro Ellen also made a short video of Ferran Adria speaking to the question "What's the biggest misconception about you?" That will not be postable until morning, though, because of the time it takes to compress and upload the video. I found Adria to be engaging despite speaking through a translator. This was the first time I'd ever seen him up close, and I had wondered whether I'd find him as brilliant as everybody says he is. I did. It was also good to hear him speak directly on the issue of El Bulli's closing. There has been a lot of press on this -- world's most difficult-to-reserve restaurant suddenly closing -- and Adria assured us that it's a temporary closing. El Bulli is expected to reopen in 2014, at which point the company will be reorganized as a nonprofit foundation. Although I was intrigued by the Q&A session, my actual mission was to try to get Colman Andrews and Ferran Adria to join us here for online Q&A. When I spoke to them and their publicist, however, it turned out that they had already agreed to do it -- Dave Scantland ("Dave the Cook") already had a whole dialog running. So we are looking forward to welcoming them soon. There is an excerpt from the book on the New York Times website, if you're interested. I'm off to catch a little shuteye before an early rise for a visit to Sarabeth's bakery. More on that tomorrow morning.
  10. Hello from Dallas! – and congratulations to Kerry on her impressive detective work. I figured I was too infrequent a poster to have any shot on getting guessed. I’ll start with a little background on myself and some overview on the general plan for the blog. There are three of us here in Dallas – myself, my wife Nicole, and our 8 month old (tomorrow) son Charles (who’s just getting started on solid foods – happy to include if anyone is interested). We’ve also got two pups, Delilah (the pug who snuck into the teaser pic) and Isabelle (an insane American Staffordshire Terrier). For 10 years I’ve been in various stages of coming to grips with the fact that for whatever cursed combination of genetics and willpower I’ve been dealt, it’s basically impossible for me to manage my weight whatsoever if I’m eating carbs. Moderation and carbs just do not go together for me. For someone as food focused as myself this is an especially difficult fact; it’s hard to read eGullet everyday while thinking in the back of your mind that you can never eat 80% of the great food that everyone is posting. After going through different phases on this (trying to be absolutely strict and ending up failing, trying to do it halfway and ending up failing, giving up altogether and really failing), over the past 2-3 years I’ve settled into a routine that works for me. Basically, I divide the year up into 2-3 month cycles; each cycle starts with 3-7 days of me eating whatever I want (usually tied into a special occasion or a vacation), then 2-3 weeks of strict low-carb induction (no booze, no dairy!) , then a month or two of manageable low carb (and then the process starts again). It’s definitely not the fastest way to weight loss, but it has been a much more manageable and long-term sustainable approach for me (now I can read eG and look forward to eating all those delicious things in a few weeks), and I’ve lost over 100 pounds so far essentially on this approach. All of that is kind of a long-winded way of saying that this blog will not be a typical week in the Daniel household – nope, this is a cheat week, starting by going for all the things I crave in Dallas and then going to Chicago for some serious eating starting on Thursday. A typical meal for us while I’m eating low-carb is something like this (apologies for the ugly picture – I’m working on it!): SV wagyu ribeye with mushroom cognac cream sauce, steamed broccoli with sriracha hollandaise, and a blue cheese salad – not bad for diet food! For the blog, however, I’m going to be branching out into carby cooking (a bit out of my comfort zone) while we are in Dallas (with hopefully interesting lunches and a couple of dinners out thrown in). I will definitely need help here! Chicago will be a good example of the type of trip I try to take advantage of for my “cheat weeks”, with mostly destination-type dining. Hopefully it will be interesting! One last thing I forgot to mention – one of the toughest casualties of the low carb lifestyle is my affection for well made classic cocktails (pretty much wine and spirits only during low-carb time), and so I will be taking advantage of this week in that respect as well; for sure there will be a punch, some tiki cocktails, and hopefully an interesting Dallas bar visit - we’ll see what else I can cram in. Apologies for the long-winded first post – I’ll get to the action now!
  11. Good morning! So, since Irishgirl is such a good food detective (and in possession of a ridiculous memory!), I suppose this post won't come as much of a surprise to all of you. I'm very excited to start my second eG foodblog, and I think we have some fun things in store for the week! For those of you who don't know too much about me, a quick intro. I've lived in Manhattan since graduating from college almost six years ago, and have become more and more obsessed with food over that time. I'm a fairly competent cook (nothing to some of the folks here on eG, let alone the pros), and an avid eater and drinker. I'm also a huge caffeine addict, so you'll be privy to my coffee and Diet Coke consumption (I swear, I could be their spokesperson). Last time I blogged, I was, blessedly, off of work for most of the week. This time around, the situation is reversed - I'm working for most of the blog, but will be off of work next Friday. So you'll get to see a lot of my more mundane culinary world...the coffee machine in the 8th Floor kitchen, the lunch places near my office, the grocery store... However! I also have lots of far more interesting things planned (requests and suggestions are VERY welcome)...here's a tentative agenda: Friday: Dinner at Cafe d'Alsace Saturday: Union Square Greenmarket, Schaller and Weber, dinner at home! Sunday: Laundry, a movie...Dylan's Candy Bar! Monday: Rockefeller Center, not sure about dinner yet... Tuesday: Lunch at The Modern Wednesday: Valentine's Day Thursday: Way up in the air! Friday: Breakfast at Cafe Sabarsky, Dinner at Degustation...lunch in Chinatown? Saturday: Totally open! It's pretty cold here in the city, so I've traded in my typical culinary adventure footwear (Pumas!) for some warmer trappings (Uggs!), the better to maintain my stamina and actually get to all the places promised...so, bundle up and come along for the ride! Off to get some coffee...of course.
  12. It’s not even 6am yet and I was so excited about starting my food blog today, I couldn’t fall back asleep. I had quite the late night last night, yet my body seems to be telling me that 4 hours of sleep is enough when there is food to write about! First, a bit about myself. My name is Henry H Lo. I am in no way connected to the “industry” but have found that I have a passion for good food and cooking my whole life. I am 33 years old and an architect in Seattle. The relationship between cooking and architecture is generally discussed among the architecture world. Both are art forms which are not always recognized as art by the general public. Just as food must provide nourishment for life, architecture must provide shelter. Once these basic requirements are established, only the educated few can see the artistic qualities which some architects/chefs elevate their work to. A few exceptions exist which are too obvious as to not be recognized as art. The buildings of Rem Koolhaus, and Ferran Adria’s work come to mind. I find that my architecture is greatly influenced by lessons I've learned from the cooking world. After all, in both endevours, we are creating "functional art." Another nice thing about being an architect was the fact that I was able to design and build my own kitchen. More on my kitchen to come. When I found out I would be food blogging, I set up a number of events in Seattle for myself and my friends to take part in. Here’s a short list of the things I have planned for this week: Friday March 17th Trail the chef at Veil Veil I did this last night and had a great time. More on this to come. Here's a teaser photo though: Friday March 17th Dinner at Crush Crush Had a great time! Stay tuned for more information. Saturday March 18th Dinner at Veil Sunday March 19th Brunch at Monsoon Monsoon (That's me on the webpage behind the potted cypress. The owner is sitting to my left) Sunday March 20th “Sopranos” Pot Luck Monday March 21st Dinner at The Barking Frog Barking Frog Tuesday March 22nd Dinner Party at home Wednesday March 23rd Special lunch at Salumi Salumi Thursday March 24th Dinner at Mistral for 20 Mistral Friday March 25th Trail the chef at Mistral Saturday March 26th Dinner at Marjorie Marjorie I also plan on taking you all on a sandwich tour of Seattle. After all, the sandwich is the perfect food! I am really looking forward to sharing my great food town with the rest of you. Please feel free to let me know if there are any specific places or things in Seattle you would like me to explore. Talk to you all soon!
  13. Recently, there was a thread about stir frying over charcoal, which immediately brought to mind memories of eating in Bangkok in July 2013. At that time, I hadn't gotten into the habit of writing food blogs, and considering that I had some spare time this weekend (a rarity) I figured I would put some of those memories down on paper, so to speak. Back then, neither my wife nor I were in the habit of taking tons of photos like we do nowadays, but I think I can cobble something together that would be interesting to folks reading it. In the spirit of memories, I'll first go back to 2006 when my wife and I took our honeymoon to Thailand (Krabi, Bangkok and Chiang Mai), Singapore and Hanoi. That was our first time to Asia, and to be honest, I was a little nervous about it. I was worried the language barrier would be too difficult to transcend, or that we'd have no idea where we were going. So, to help mitigate my slight anxiety, I decided to book some guides for a few of the locations. Our guides were great, but we realized that they really aren't necessary, and nowadays with internet access so much more prevalent, even less necessary. Prior to the trip, when emailing with our guide in Bangkok to finalize plans, I mentioned that we wanted to be continuously eating (local food, I thought was implied!) When we got there, I realized the misunderstanding when she opened her trunk to show us many bags of chips and other snack foods.. whoops... Anyway, once the misconception was cleared up, she took us to a noodle soup vendor: On the right is our guide, Tong, who is now a very famous and highly sought after guide in BKK.... at the time, we were among here first customers. I had a chicken broth based noodle soup with fish ball, fish cake and pork meatball, and my wife had yen ta fo, which is odd because it is bright pink with seafood. I have a lime juice, and my wife had a longan juice. This is what a lot of local food places look like:
  14. Welcome to the new season of the ever popular eGullet Foodblogs. I will be coordinating them this season, so if you want to participate as a blogger please let me know. We will be starting off slowly and hope to jump up the pace as the calendar fills. Starting Saturday August 27th through Friday September 2nd we offer a blogger with these teaser shots:
  15. Early morning greetings everyone! I guess my hint photos for this blog were somewhat of a giveaway, especially to Megan. Oh well. For those that don't know, the bridge picture is a shot from my walk from the subway to work -- it is the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan bridge and if you look closely, you can see the Empire State building framed within the arch of the bridge. It was an overcast day when I took the photo; I will try to get a better picture this week. For those that don't know much about me, I will give a quick background. My name is John Deragon, a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. My father’s heritage is Quebecois and my mother’s heritage is Norwegian. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a lobster fisherman in Coney Island, so I spent quite a bit of time on a boat as a child, and still love being around the water to this day. Growing up as a child in Brooklyn was a pretty awesome experience. Not only was I exposed to the great foods Brooklyn had to offer (Knishes, Bagels, Nathan's franks, etc.) we had tons of ways to entertain ourselves with various games we learned (stickball, stoopball, ball & crack, skulls…). I will get into more detail on the food and games as the week progresses. I currently live in Park Slope, which is a neighborhood in Southern Brooklyn that is framed by Prospect Park along with my wife Jeannie and our dog Dune. (Which is whom you see in my avatar photo) Prospect Park is the sister park of Central park and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux who also designed Central Park. The rumor is by designing Prospect Park after Central Park, they fixed all the mistakes they made in CP. More info about our great park can be found at the Prospect Park website. We purchased a small wood frame house about 2 years ago with the purpose of doing a lot of the renovations ourselves. The house was priced right mainly due to the dysfunctional layout of the first floor, mainly the pathetic kitchen and bathroom layout. From what we could tell, the house was built sometime between 1915 and 1920, and for the most part is pretty sound. The kitchen was built in the back of the house and was roughly 5’ by 6’ with a small window going out to our relatively (by NY comparison) backyard. To the right of the kitchen was a small bathroom with another very small window. Those two photos are as the kitchen right before we moved in, as the previous owners were packing up. We made a decision to start the construction (or more precisely the demolition) on the kitchen immediately as you can see from these photos: Needless to say we found a lot of surprises along the way. (more details on that later this week, including that chimney you see, along with some nasty termite damage) All the work was done while I was working a full time job at an interactive advertising agency, so all the work was done at nights and weekends, which lead to us living with a fridge, laundry sink and microwave for almost 10 months. Fast forward to today and our kitchen is done and is awesome, if I say so myself. During the day I am now the Chief Technology Officer for Waterfront Media which is a company that provides online versions of many popular diets, as well as a health related reference site EverydayHealth. The offices are located in Dumbo, which stands for Down Under [the] Manhattan Bridge Overpass, hence the teaser photo! Ok -- given it is getting late and I have a early meeting tomorrow morning I am going to wrap it up for now. As far as what to expect this week here is the schedule as it stands now: Monday: Dinner at home, or possibly out at a friends Birthday dinner. Still up in the air. Tuesday: Dinner at Applewood Restaurant one of our favorite local restaurants here in Park Slope. Wednesday: Dinner at Annisa, Anita Lo’s restaurant. Thursday: Pegu Club Friday: Still up in the air. Saturday: Dinner party for 8 at home. All during the week I will be preparing for the dinner party on Saturday, so there will be bits and pieces of Saturdays dinner spread throughout the week, from tracking down ingredients, to prep work, to figuring out the wine pairings. With that, I will see everyone back here in a few hours!
  16. Hello everybody! I hope you guys like bananas! 99.9% of my diet consists of bananas. For protein, I pick ticks from my fellow wild men. But seriously... I work as a computer programmer in Poughkeepsie, NY. So what's this crap about being a wild man of Borneo, I hear you ask. I am really from Borneo. I was born and raised in Sarawak, Malaysia, but my grandparents originally came from Fuzhou, China. From the age of 13 until 26, I lived in Melbourne, Australia. For the last four years, I've been going wild in the jungles of Poughkeepsie. "Wild man gone wild" is now available in VHS and DVD from your local quality video store. Why is the wild man rambling? I think it gives some background to the type of food you can expect to see in this food blog. That's right, it's gonna be a confusing and incoherent mish mash. Ok, there will be Chinese, there will be Malaysian, there will be Australian, and there will be Sarawakian. There will be steak because I love steak. I like cooking only when it's not a "chore", so sometimes we eat out. I bet all the New Yorkers are dying to read about the wonders of Poughkeepsie's restaurant scene. Here's an attempt at providing some structure to the ideas swirling in my head, in no particular order: Pork congee - what I'm going to have for lunch today. Pictures to come. Asian BBQ pork - inspired by the recent eG BBQ pork thread. Kari Ayam (Malaysian Chicken Curry) Umai - Sarawakian raw fish salad Sarawak Laksa (of course... and nothing like the one from Penang) Tuna casserole (Australian recipe) Aussie burger with the lot (that means fried egg and beetroot, I'm afraid) Steak I'm terrible at making desserts, but I'll have a go at making kueh salat, because I miss it so. I hope that list meets with your approval, fellow eGulleteers. There's only going to be two of us eating the food, and our main meal is dinner, so the list may be overly ambitious. Forgive me if I don't get around to every item or if I change things around mid-stream. I can't make any promises, but there is a plan to eat some stinky durian and to incorporate as much stinky shrimp paste in the recipes as possible. Be prepared to hold your noses! If any term or ingredient is unfamiliar to you, please feel free to ask. My googling skills are at your disposal!
  17. Hi All, It's hard to believe that it's been nearly a year since I last blogged. My! How time flies! Some very brief background about myself. I am 41 and I live in the northern suburbs of Chicago with my wife and my 7-year-old son. I work in the food industry selling bulk ingredients; primarily 100% natural, processed fruit products. I have a love/hate relationship with cooking. I love to do it and I love to learn how to cook new things but I also reserve the right to "not cook" any time it (or the thought of it) ceases to be fun. My wife is culinarily-challenged and, as such, I am the primary meal provider in our house. There are some nights when after getting home from work, spending time in the kitchen is the last thing I want to do. So I don't. There are other times when after getting home from work, nothing sounds better to me than relaxing by spending time in the kitchen (or out by the grill or smoker) making a meal for my family. I'm not exactly sure what specific factors influence these moods but they will no doubt manifest here, over the course of this blog. It'll be a mixed bag this week for sure...probably about 1/3 cooking, 1/3 going out and 1/3 scrounging for leftovers. I started out this morning (and pretty much every morning) with an Iced Venti Americano (no water, please) from Starbuck's. To this I add 1 packet of sweet and low and a splash of half and half. I really need the caffeine in the a.m. but I'm not a particularly passionate coffee person. When I occasionally come across the good stuff, I'm very happy to have it but I don't go out of my way for it either. A friend of mine roasts his own beans and he will hook me up from time to time. Yes, I can tell the difference and yes I can appreciate it. But honestly, I'd rather sleep an extra few minutes in the morning than spend the time making coffee for myself. When I get to my office, my IVA is waiting for me because one of the guys at the office hits Starbucks every morning. Good deal I spent most of this past Sunday cooking (was really in the mood ) and I brought some split pea soup to the office today to share with my cohorts. I'm sure it'll end up being part of our lunch in some manner but we'll no doubt augment it by ordering carryout from one of our local spots. There are 5 of us in the office and we recently went to a system where each one of is assigned a day to choose the lunch venue. Today, our resident vegetarian will be making the choice so the soup, which turned out quite well, is a solid insurance policy that lunch--or at least some portion of it--will be edible =R=
  18. Wow, this is my third foodblog for the eGullet…. Welcome! I'll be with you from Palm Sunday through Holy Sunday to give you all a taste of the veritable food festival that is Easter in Ecuador. As usual, I intend to eat on the streets, visit a plethora of small shops and vendors, and talk about (and eat copious amounts of ) the specialty dishes of the holiday. A bit of background on me and where I am. I'm Elizabeth; I'm 33 years old and since the last foodblog I've ceased to be a Canadian expat in Ecuador, and become a full-fledged Ecuadorian citizen. I run a catering bakery out of Ambato, and I deliver to clients on the entire mainland. I've got a large customer base in nearby Baños de Agua Santa, a hot-springs town about an hour downslope of me to the east; I'll be visiting it on Wednesday with close to 100 kg of baked goods for delivery. Ambato, the capital of Tungurahua province, is located almost exactly in the geographic centre of Ecuador. It's at an average elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level (slightly higher than Quito, the capital) - but this is measured in the downtown central park, which is significantly lower than most of the rest of the city, which extends up the sides of the river valley and onto the high plain above. We've got what amounts to eternal late springtime weather, with two well-marked rainy seasons. Ambato has about 300,000 people in its metro area; it's the fourth largest city in the country. But maybe the most important thing about Ambato, especially to foodies, is that it's a transport hub for the country. Anything travelling just about anywhere has to pass through Ambato on the way; it gives us the largest, best-stocked food market in South America. I have simply staggering variety at my fingertips. This view, which was a teaser for the blog, was taken from my rooftop terrazzo. It is a fraction of the panorama of the river valley that I see every morning, and since Easter is traditionally somewhat miserable weather-wise, the clouds stick to the hilltops. The barrio you can see in the middle distance is Ficoa, one of the most luxury districts in the city. Ambato is notable amongst Ecuadorian cities for having small fruit farms (300-500 m2) still operating within city limits and even within its most established barrios - it's from this that the Ambato gets one of its two sobriquets: The City of Fruits and Flowers. The tendency for even the poorest barrios to take tremendous pride in their greenspaces gives the other: The Garden City. My barrio, Miraflores Alto, is a working-class mixture of professors and labourers, and my neighbours keep a mixture of chickens, turkeys, and ducks in their yards; someone down the hill has a cow that I frequently hear but have never seen. Consequently, if the season is right I can buy duck eggs from my neighbours (and if the season is wrong, entire Muscovy ducks for roasting.) Today, I'll be doing my largest fresh-food shopping at the Mercado Mayorista, the largest market of its kind in South America - this place covers nearly 30 square blocks, and it exists to both buy and sell produce from across the country. Sundays and Mondays it also opens up to a huge, raucous farmer's market where smaller quantities are available for purchase. Sunday is the day of the freshest food and the largest number of vendors. And I'm going to cross more than half the city to get there - I've moved since the last blog, and my new house, on the slopes of the river valley is further away than the old one on the high plain. I promise to take many pictures of this - particularly close to the High Holy days, the Mayorista is alive with vendors and there will be special sections cordoned off for sales of bacalao, truly enormous squashes, and if it follows the previous years' trends, a festival of Hornado (about which more later). Apart from mangoes, which are just finishing up their season, it is harvest time across the country, and the Mayorista will be well stocked with all manner of fruits and vegetables. To start us off, I'll demystify one of my teasers a bit. The Minion head that peeks out of my cupboard every day belongs to my jar of ChocoListo, the Ecuadorian equivalent of chocolate Ovaltine. Since I gave up coffee for Lent, it's my go-to morning beverage. ChocoListo normally comes in the plain white jar with orange lid that you see in front of the Minion; that's now my hot chocolate jar because I just couldn't resist when the company came out with the specialty jars. I firmly believe that one is never too old to have whimsical things!
  19. Hello, fair eG folk! Sorry for the late start. (Well, late for Europe; it's lunchtime.) Tracey was right. (However did you guess?!) Welcome to Prague. My name is Erin, and I live and work here, with my husband (who is Czech), in the city of a thousand spires (which also happen to look a lot like forks, when you're hungry...or so I think). The first teaser photo is on the far south side of Prague. It's of Cukrak mountain; "cukrak," roughly translated, means "little pastry chef." (Cukrak is about an hour from this Prague vista.) The second teaser photo, below, really is in Prague; it's of a fruit and vegetable market in the Ujezd neighborhood. They have the best fruit and veg in town (at least, in my opinion). I'm at work, today and tomorrow, and I'll tell you more about that later, because I spend the business day surrounded by cookbooks... After that, I have a few days off so I'm planning to roam around Prague and show you some hidden good stuff beyond roast pork, dumplings, and cabbage. Here's my plan for the week... Ask any questions you like about what you see. Unorganized bits of the plan... I'll post a bunch of photos later, but I have to warn you that my food photography skills are nowhere near the previous bloggers'.... Kim's blog and Chris's were truly mouthwatering. The good news is that I just discovered Picasa, this morning, so I may be able to spare you my blurry breakfast photos. Breakfast: turkey sandwich and coffee. It's about all I can do to assemble this. In fact, this is advanced, for me. I'm not a morning person at all. More anon.
  20. Now you are probably wondering about the title.... My past two blogs covered big events here in Japan New Year's blog Undokai (sports day festivities) blog Currently there is no major event going on in Japan so I have decided to focus this blog on modern and traditional Japan and how they are combined in daily life. There are a couple things going on this week. Today (April 5) is the first day of school, the Japanese school year runs April- March) so in about 15 minutes I will go outside with my daughters to send them off to school. (yeah ) Mia is going into the 4th grade and Julia the 2nd. My son Hide will go back to preschool on Thursday. This time of year is one of the most beautiful in Japan, it is cherry blossom (sakura) season and the trees will all be in bloom by the time my blog is over. I will take tons of pictures of these trees as the area I live in has them lining all of the streets. it is just gorgeous. oh yeah and we will talk about food too!