Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Osterie d'Italia by Slow Food


Craig Camp
 Share

Recommended Posts

As for Italy being unclean, it's got a gritty edge to it that isn't present in other countries like France, Switzerland, Germany, Holland etc.

Some of us would call this gritty edge "lust for life."

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Better approach, Steve-YOU go back and re-read your posts and figure out what you have said over time, and then summarize it in a new post. Sadly, I am a lawyer by training, and I make my living by being precise with language and carefully examining the substance and nuance of what others write. Empty rhetoric only goes so far with me. Consistency goes much further, and as Craig rightly points out, it is appropriate to hold you to some standard of consistency. I am amused, however, by your insistence that chefs must create new flavors. It makes me want to chop up a few kiwi fruit and throw them in my coq au vin! I recall the late pop astrologer Jean Dixon, whose statements were so general and uttered so often that her readers could ALWAYS find some application of her "predictions" to their lives. Professional chefs read what gets posted here, as well as other serious foodies. We are going to take this to the next level, one way or the other...

Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am amused, however, by your insistence that chefs must create new flavors.

I didn't say that either. I said the best chefs do. They don't have to. But if they don't they have inferior skills to the ones who are able to :wink:

Your posts are also overly personal. Talking about people's reading skills etc. It's in bad taste and it doesn't help your argument any. Certainly you have a way to defend Italian cuisine without attacking my person. That tactic might work with a jury or unsophisticated adversaries but not with connoiseurs of fine food and cuisine. And certainly not with me.

Otherwise you still haven't offered any examples of interesting Italian food. Even though you keep threatening to. In fact, the staunch defenders of Italian cuisine never seem to be able to. Just remember, you can't prove Italian food is any good by talking about me. And the more you try and prove it that way, the more we all know you are just blowing a bunch of smoke.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Talking about people's reading skills etc

Steve if you think this is inappropriate you should practice it in your own posts. You have made comments about my vision and reading skills more than once - and dozens of times to others.

If you wish to set rules please follow them. That being said this is not the place for personal insults by anyone, but a forum for debate.

OK - ready, set, GO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry Craig I will stick with my comment. Bill has put up about a half dozen posts now and his focus is on me, and he has offered nothing about Italian food. And I have no problem with the conversation getting heated, even a bit personal. But it can't only be about my person. Shades of Bob Foster on the AOL board.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, Steve, a modest example of brilliant and well-established Piemontese technique, particularly good, I think, because it is at odds with an equally well-established French technique. Classical (note that I said classical, not nouvelle) French haut cuisine relys heavily upon butter-, or egg- and butter-based sauces. We all know them-beurre blanc, beurre rouge, hollandaise, bearnaise, Nantua, the list is endless. Are they good in context? Of course they are. For the Italian palate, however, those sauces are heavy and bulky, adding richness and some interest, to be sure, but useful only if the underlying ingredients have a depth of flavor to withstand them. Like the French, the northern Italians often strive to add richness and complexity to a dish. (The Piemontese use what seems like billions of quail eggs a year in that quest.) But here is an example of their technique: the dish, agnolotti dal plin. In essence, plin is a tiny raviolo which is made by hand, and by pinching the paper-thin pasta dough shut rather than by producing the traditional square ravioli in bulk in little squares. Most of the ravioli and tortellini we eat in this country may start with a raw meat, or meat and cheese, or vegetable and cheese filling, because the filling will cook quickly enough in the boiling water. Not good enough for plin. Plin usually starts with a complimentary assortment of ROASTED meats, each of which has been appropriately seasoned to maximize its potential in the final dish. Often, a little chicken liver is added, not so much to give the dish a distinct liver taste, but to add richness and contribute to the overall effect of the roasted meats. To this is added a mix of eggs, vegetables, herbs and cheese. Each recipe is unique to the chef, even though almost every Piemontese ristorante serves plin. The final pasta result is often so moist and tender that it is served without saucing, in a linen napkin, to highlight (perhaps arrogantly, for some tastes) the perfection of the finished product. But back to the issue of sauces: as noted above, the French butter sauces are generally too heavy for the Italian palate. Likewise, the Italians reject the French use of long-simmered stocks, the use of which, while they are rich and flavorful to be sure, risks masking or supplanting, rather than enhancing, the delicate flavors of the underlying food if not used judiciously. Thus, plin are usually served, not with tomato sauce to be sure, but rather with sugo d' arrosto, the seasoned broth of the roasted meats (rather than a stock or sauce), whose function is to moisten and delicately season the agnolotti. There is no pasta dish (other than its Piemontese stablemates, of course) that can compare with it. The perfect marriage of ingredients, technique and creativity. And certainly on a par with anything French haut cuisine has produced, both in complexity and labor-intensive technique.

Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why? Show me why I'm not right? Show me Italian cuisine that is more then choosing top quality ingredients and not screwing them up? Show me an Italian chef who creates a new flavor through his cuisine?

I'm waiting.

Keep waiting, or wake up to a world that thinks very differently than you. You can deny that worls its own right to exist, but that hardly changes facts.

You have used the same failed arguments in relation to other cuisines (and yes they are cuisines of equal brilliance, importance, strength, weaknesses and diversity as your much revered French) and do so only to incite meaningless banter.

You have great stuff to say and unfortunately, posts such as these make me wonder where that Steve is lost... and why.

Come on Steve, do you not understand you are but one person in a world of billions. Your obsessions hardly matter to anyone besides yourself. Maybe your significant other and your family and close friends would be kind enough to humor you and make you believe you are all important and correct (I know mine do, even as I see through their shallow support many times). But it hardly will sway what opinions the rest of the world has for the same stuff. Your not finding anything special in Italian, Indian, Chinese or any other cuisine does not make them any less special than what they are. You can try hard and say all you want, you are not convincing anyone in such crass and poorly founded pronouncements.

Every cuisine has its own technique and its own subtleties. Some of us are affected and moved by those of one and not another. That is just what are reality is. Some are affected in different ways (not any better or worse) by the very many different cuisines they encounter and discover and allow themselves to enjoy and embrace. Some will never be able to enjoy more than a very limited spectrum of things, others only live for embracing new discoveries and new passions. There is no reason for anyone to judge anyone else or the things they choose to embrace and love and enjoy. It is sad when in our love for one thing, we choose to bash those we have not yet found a love for. Maybe that day will never come between you and Italian or Indian food Steve, but still, why be so harsh? All the arguments you make are meaningless for others have come back to share their deepest love, respect and admiration for the very things you find so common and meaningless in these other cuisines. Learn from that Steve that life is not about always finding agreement about your individual beliefs.

Your not finding too many agreeing partners in your blanket dismissal of Italian food does not make you any less important and vibrant Steve. You will still live, eat your favorite foods, travel to your favorite cities and the world will not be any less fortunate. But when you start throwing loose cannons about cuisines not having technique for they are not the same as the tedious French ones you are familiar with, it negates all that you have achieved in sharing all the really brilliant stuff stored in your brain.

Let us all, those that are capable of enjoying Italian foods (pasta and all the rest of it) enjoy it and celebrate it. You have no one stopping you from posting here, but why not spend the same time and effort expounding on the brilliance of the food you really choose to indulge in. It would be better use of your time, would not show you in any negative light, and would not show you as a person that is so uncertain about themselves, that they are having to mock others as they enjoy for their own pleasure cuisines that you have not admittedly understood or discovered for the same magic.

No Italian chef or new flavors need to be shown to you Steve. You need to only see what you are doing here. If you can see that, you will see the brilliance of Italian cuisine just in the same was as you see French.

Otherwise, you will be waiting and you would have missed every opportunity sent your way... and you would be tired and disgruntled by the time you wake up.. and perhaps, it would be too late.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill Klapp - With all due respect. You must be a sweet guy and I am sure if we met we would drink some great Piemontese wine and have a good time together. But I asked you to show me an example of high Italian cuisine that isn't home style cooking and you ended up describing kreplach.

I know you want it to be more then that. I know you would like a perfectly roasted onion that they pour some vinegar on to be considered world class culinary technique. But it's not. I am looking for the description of a high cuisine. Pasta that my grandmother can make is not high cuisine. I am looking for chefs that are more skilled then ones who make the same pasta dish that every other chef in the region makes. And if you do not see the difference between the dish you described and some of the haute cuisine classics, we are not going to be able to have a substantive discussion about cuisine.

If you need me to explain why there is a difference between what you described, and what I am talking about, I would be glad to take the time to explain it to you either publicly or privately. But we are approaching this issue with two completely different sets of standards. And for any conversation to be fruitful we need to have a basic understanding of what the terms of the discussion are. Kreplach not being haute cuisine would be a good place to start that discussion.

Suvir - I didn't raise this issue. Bill Klapp did. He ranted and raved, called me names indirectly, and he huffed and he puffed. I was just defending his allegations against me. Now you are describing it like I was the one pushing this agenda. I was not and it is wrong of you to act like I was. If he stops, I will gladly drop it because this issue has been the subject of an exhaustive debate (which I obviously won or else I wouldn't be under Bill's skin so badly.) And now that he raised the kreplach, it's like I won the Gold Medal at the State Fair. He should quit while he's ahead!

Edited by Steve Plotnicki (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If he stops, I will gladly drop it  because this issue has been the subject of an exhaustive debate (which I obviously won or else I wouldn't be under Bill's skin so badly.) And now that he raised the kreplach, it's like I won the Gold Medal at the State Fair. He should quite while he's ahead!

:cool::laugh:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve, you're right-I'm absolutely vanquished. You keep the gold medal and give me your grandmother's recipe for kreplach, and all will be forgiven. If she's that good, I can probably find a Michelin-starred kitchen for her in the Piemonte. Thank God I didn't describe the technique involved in some intricate Italian pastry, only to have it called your grandmother's rugelach!

Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let' see if we can switch the subject and play nice. I noticed before that you said you used to keep a database with all the reviews and scores on Italian food and wines. Did I get that right? I keep something similar for Burgundy and Rhone wines. And recently I started maintaining it for Barolo and Barbaresco but it's in the infant stage. The whole spreadsheet is over 4100 entries. I've been starting to prune out producers who I will never drink though. People like Dominique Laurent and Chapoutier. But is a pain in the ass to keep the data up to date.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let' see if we can switch the subject and play nice. I noticed before that you said you used to keep a database with all the reviews and scores on Italian food and wines. Did I get that right? I keep something similar for Burgundy and Rhone wines. And recently I started maintaining it for Barolo and Barbaresco but it's in the infant stage. The whole spreadsheet is over 4100 entries. I've been starting to prune out producers who I will never drink though. People like Dominique Laurent and Chapoutier. But is a pain in the ass to keep the data up to date.

Why don't you guys collaborate on something you can share with the rest of us?

Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let' see if we can switch the subject and play nice. I noticed before that you said you used to keep a database with all the reviews and scores on Italian food and wines. Did I get that right? I keep something similar for Burgundy and Rhone wines. And recently I started maintaining it for Barolo and Barbaresco but it's in the infant stage. The whole spreadsheet is over 4100 entries. I've been starting to prune out producers who I will never drink though. People like Dominique Laurent and Chapoutier. But is a pain in the ass to keep the data up to date.

Are you guys talking about a real database - like Access, or just a spreadsheet - like Excel?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No just an Excel spreadsheet. Why would you need a real database program to do it?

If you want extensive cross referencing between various databases and if you wish to include a lot of notes. It depends how searchable you want it to be. I use Access for my wine and restaurant notes and then keep a copy of the notes themselves in InfoSelect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let' see if we can switch the subject and play nice. I noticed before that you said you used to keep a database with all the reviews and scores on Italian food and wines. Did I get that right? I keep something similar for Burgundy and Rhone wines. And recently I started maintaining it for Barolo and Barbaresco but it's in the infant stage. The whole spreadsheet is over 4100 entries. I've been starting to prune out producers who I will never drink though. People like Dominique Laurent and Chapoutier. But is a pain in the ass to keep the data up to date.

Why don't you guys collaborate on something you can share with the rest of us?

But before we become boring techno geeks. Perhaps there is some information in these databases to support your arguments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let' see if we can switch the subject and play nice. I noticed before that you said you used to keep a database with all the reviews and scores on Italian food and wines. Did I get that right? I keep something similar for Burgundy and Rhone wines. And recently I started maintaining it for Barolo and Barbaresco but it's in the infant stage. The whole spreadsheet is over 4100 entries. I've been starting to prune out producers who I will never drink though. People like Dominique Laurent and Chapoutier. But is a pain in the ass to keep the data up to date.

Why don't you guys collaborate on something you can share with the rest of us?

But before we become boring techno geeks. Perhaps there is some information in these databases to support your arguments.

Craig, the hell with the argument. If you haven't gotten it by now, Steve will argue with you until the moon turns blue, all to no positive end. Instead, those of you with useful, hard information should collate it and put it up. Then we'd have something really worthwhile, both to talk about and to use.

Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Instead, those of you with useful, hard information should collate it and put it up. Then we'd have something really worthwhile, both to talk about and to use.

Robert's proposal is sound thinking. I would love to see the results of all this acquired information and experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Craig, the hell with the argument. If you haven't gotten it by now, Steve will argue with you until the moon turns blue, all to no positive end. Instead, those of you with useful, hard information should collate it and put it up. Then we'd have something really worthwhile, both to talk about and to use.

Damn! You went and ruined everything. You weren't supposed to tell him this for six or seven more pages.

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...