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The sinking ship


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Our weekly newspaper, the Greenville Journal, is staffed with fine writers, first class designers and a sharp photographer. Here's the downside: their food editor is simply abominable. An earlier thread of mine foretold of the impending disappearance of Southern Food and implicated the food writers in my town. Hogwash, you say? Well friends, grab your barf bags and feast your eyes on this Thanksgiving recipe:

1 6 pound duck, excess fat removed

2 oranges, halved

1 lemon, halved

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (what's the diff, right?)

1/4 cup vegetable oil (that's right, oil)

3 cloves garlic

1 TBL rosemary, dried

1 TBL thyme, dried

While I won't supply all of the instructions basically this gal asks us to stuff the duck with the citrus, bake for 30 at 400, then mix remaining ingredients into a glaze, pour glaze over bird and continue baking at 350 ( with the occasional basting break) until duck reaches an internal temp of 175 F.

Who in their right mind would glaze a duck with vegetable oil?

Why remove excess duck fat if you're going to glaze with oil?

175 degrees? Hell let's cook it to 190, maybe 200 as to insure unpalatibility!

Dry herbs? We're buying a duck for pete's sake why can't we get some fresh herbs while we're at it?

You see my point? There are not enough Kathleen Purvis' to go around so the Joree Tamburro's (the criminal is named) of the food world are slowly taking over. Since no one at the Greenville Journal cooks, there are no checks and balances in place to prevent horrendous recipes like this one from being published. "Duck stuffed with orange, what a great idea Joree, how original!"

This gal refers to herself as an accomplished chef even though she has never been employed at a restaurant. She claims to have studied under Emeril even though she just attended one of his many cooking seminars. See for yourself:Greenville Journal

At my restaurant I am repeatedly frowned upon by new customers when I recommend the duck. They say duck is tough and chewy. You know why they say that? Because of imbeciles like this so called food writer publishing torturous recipes that are so heinous they would make Saddam Hussein cringe.

Believe me that duck recipe is comparatively mild when stacked against her all time greats. What am I to do? This paper may be small (40,000) but in most respects it is a class act and it is marketed to the high end of society. Seemingly forward thinking individuals look at this woman's drivel and fawn over it. You know why? Because no one cooks so they assume that she must be right. Picture Kathleen Purvis, John Martin Taylor and Edna Lewis manning the Alamo with 5,000 Joree Tamburro's storming the place and you can understand the state of food in the South. And when I critique her to some people I know at the paper...."well your some hoity-toity chef, of course you don't like her recipes" Has anyone ever seen that movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"? Remember that guy running around looking at everyone's neck for the marks of alien acceptance? That's me!

I am really thinking of joining the Dark Side. Life would be so much easier if I could just renounce my standards and succumb to the brilliance of Stouffer's and 175 degree duck.

Excuse me while I go throw away all of my mirrors, that way I won't have to look at myself...

John Malik

Chef/Owner

33 Liberty Restaurant

Greenville, SC

www.33liberty.com

Customer at the carving station: "Pardon me but is that roast beef rare?"

Apprentice Cook Malik: "No sir! There's plenty more in the kitchen!"

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It seems that the food writers from both of our local papers must have gone to the same "school" of cooking as did yours. "The Food Guy," as one of the paper's food writers is known, recently wrote a column on how to make quick dinners so you don't have to eat fast food. One of the quick dinners was to boil water for pasta and heat up a jar of Ragu. The other paper's food editor thought it would be good to publish the recipes from the Boy Scout Jamboree Spam cookoff...for several weeks in a row.

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Carolyn, I'm completely with you!!

For God's sake, *at least* send a scathing letter to the editor..........but better yet, track that responsible person down in his or her lair and hold them accountable for this drivel!

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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I would think that there's enough oldline folks in your area that they don't take this TWERP'S advice. But, if not, can you afford to take an ad out on the foodpage stating your view, Julia's view, and every duckhunter's view since the Pharoahs?

Ooops, and add a recipe for how it oughta be done. :wink:

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Our weekly newspaper, the Greenville Journal .....  Here's the downside: their food editor is simply abominable. 

Seemingly forward thinking individuals look at this woman's drivel and fawn over it.  You know why?  Because no one cooks so they assume that she must be right. 

I fully acknowledge and understand both your dismay and frustration, Cynical Chef ...

Is it at least helpful to your overall outlook that you are able to offer Greenville something much more sophisticated and knowledgeably prepared?

I doubt that you can appropriately compare what is happening in this city with your personal overall culinary objectives ...

Be strong, do what you do so well, and take pride in the achievements you bring to this city ...

Ever consider Atlanta? :laugh: like really soon?? :rolleyes:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Perhaps the original recipe didn't call for the duck to be cooked for so long? Maybe the paper didn't want potential liability issues from rare poultry and ordered it changed?

Maybe if you leave out that overcooking bit the recipe is really good. (have you tried it?) I wouldn't throw myself into a tizzy until I had all of the facts and had given it a chance. I mean, I am sure there are better ways to prepare duck, but that doesn't look like it would be bad.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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So goes the Greenville Journal, though I would not place too much weight on them as an indicator of the Greenville dining scene/culinary culture. As long as there are John Malik-types around Greenville I am sure things are in good hands. Besides does the Greenville Journal have any readership outside of the 29601 area code?

I wish I could say that the Greenville News improves on the situation over at the Journal with its dining/food info, but unless there have been drastic changes since I left, I don't think that is the case. I remember their restaurant reviews would usually come from random locals and be at strip mall pizza places, etc.

I digress...The State in Columbia does give some good treatment to food, I think they cover Louis Osteen's awards, etc. Considering it is a Knight Ridder paper -- like the Charlotte Observer -- maybe it speaks to Knight Ridder having a stronger devotion to food stories....or maybe not.

William McKinney aka "wcmckinney"
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I wish I could say that the Greenville News improves on the situation over at the Journal with its dining/food info, but unless there have been drastic changes since I left, I don't think that is the case.  I remember their restaurant reviews would usually come from random locals and be at strip mall pizza places, etc.

The Greenville News could certainly use something more creative and adventurous than what they are currently displaying. As I write my weekly Southeast Forum Digests, I look at Greenville Online but seldom find anything....

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I agree w/ Mabelline. Refine the receipt and send it to the food editor as, "how the duck in last week's paper SHOULD be prepared". It might lead to a column of your own correcting abhorrent receipts fr/ the previous food section.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--the best cat ever

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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It might lead to a column of your own correcting abhorrent receipts fr/ the previous food section.

I have to second this sentiment! Why not look into writing a well-conceived, perceptive column for this paper? Heaven knows, they just might be receptive given your degree of community knowledge and "culinary acceptance" in Greenville ... please, since your website contains some terrific writing, give it some thought ... :rolleyes:

You might well be the "life jacket" which renders the "sinking ship" of your thread title irrelevant, ne c'est pas, CC? :rolleyes::laugh: new television sit com: Saved by the Chef??

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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just for fun, I googled "her" cookbook.

The only hit I got was "45,000 Baby names" page 118... forms of Jordan. Jorai, Jorea, Joree, Jorée, Jorey, Jorian, Jorin, Jorina, ..."

I'm wondering if "she" really exists??

Just to add, that really is one pathetic duck recipe. :wacko:

woodburner

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I'm wondering if "she" really exists??

Oh, yes, woodburner, she most definitely does exist! just found this item .. Googling again....

Joree' Tamburro:  Joree's cooking background goes back to childhood, assisting her grandmother from Italy in the kitchen.  Over the years she has studied with many well known chefs like Julia Childs, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, Jacque Pepin and others  while attending numerous cooking seminars.  Joree' is working on her 2nd cooking book, a book of Hollywood celebrity recipes, and her current publication "Cooking with Joree'", simple solutions for gourmet meals, is available from us as well a Barnes and Noble.  You'll truly enjoy her classes.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Duck - for Thanksgiving? Reminds me of that scene in A Christmas Story where the family is forced to eat Christmas dinner at the Chinese restaurant after the dogs eat the turkey.

I will however note that this is a very trendy recommendation (and I am somewhat traditional).

By the way - as far as the recipe goes - I have assembled a collection of recipes from newspapers and magazines over the years. I cut out the recipes that look interesting - and then try them. Can't tell you how many I used to discard after one use in earlier years - when I didn't know much about cooking. Recipes that just didn't make sense on their face (although I didn't know enough to know that).

Even today - there are plenty of recipes published by some very famous people in some very famous publications (including some very famous expensive cookbooks) that simply do not work (although their failures may not be obvious until you try to make the recipe). So my #1 rule of thumb is never try a new recipe when company is coming - unless it is - for example - one of 4 veggie dishes at Thanksgiving - and I can toss it if it stinks.

IOW - I wouldn't be too hard on this particular food writer. There is plenty of blame to go around in the industry (and I'm sure a lot of people who write bad recipes are much better paid than she is).

Finally - I would add that it is hard - even for a professional - to cook a whole duck properly. I had duck at Per Se - a whole duck - and all they served was a small portion of the breast. I was told the legs were "inedible" (although I suspect that they perhaps found life as an ingredient in another dish). The first time I cooked a whole duck at home - it was so bad it took my husband 10 years before he let me make duck at home again. It's much much easier to cook a duck breast - and that's what I make at home these days. Robyn

P.S. 180 is the government recommended "safe" temperature for duck.

Edited by robyn (log)
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[ Over the years she has studied with many well known chefs like Julia Childs, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, Jacque Pepin and others  while attending numerous cooking seminars. 

Julia ChildS???

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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.  Robyn

P.S.  180 is the government recommended "safe" temperature for duck.

I would suggest that you, or the FDA, would tell me in what part of the duck that temperature is measured.

Breast, thigh, leg??

this is very misleading.

woodburner

Won't be me because I like my duck rare (and my burgers too). And I only cook duck breasts. I was just quoting what the government web sites say. Robyn

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Our weekly newspaper, the Greenville Journal, is staffed with fine writers, first class designers and a sharp photographer.  Here's the downside: their food editor is simply abominable.  There are not enough Kathleen Purvis' to go around so the Joree Tamburro's (the criminal is named) of the food world are slowly taking over. 

Cynical Chef -

Unseating any kind of editor at a paper (large or small) is a difficult task at best and pulling out the kitchen knives is not going to help. It is actually VERY southern and somewhat of a tradition to have a few really poorly done columns in the local papers. Examples beyond food? Bridal announcements that double as the invitation for friends and family to attend and society columns when there really isn't much society to speak of. Bad recipies in some southern papers are just a tradition if the jello salad recipies on the back of the wedding announcement page featuring my parents from the early 60's are any indication.

If you want to change that, you're going to have to suck it up, make friends with this food editor and become a mentor. Invite her to lunch at your restaurant- cook the duck your way and her way and then discuss the differences politely by asking her questions about her version and how disappointed you were that it just didn't seem to turn out right and could she offer any suggestions. (fully understood that your stomach will churn in saying this) Then serve her what you consider your best tried and true and talk about it modestly.

The other alternative is to invite the publisher to lunch. The publisher only cares about two things: money and readership. Serve her version of duck, serve your version, and explain that Greenville is ready for and sophisticated enough to have a better food section. Have examples of papers to show from other areas that are demographically similar. Explain how this will raise revenues (fall food or restaurant guide/advertising, etc) Explain how this will increase readership. Explain how cities known for a more cultivated dining experience - in the home and out - attract young people, new businesses, etc. Get the local chamber involved.

Or - you can just remain cynical - it might be more fun that way. :wink:

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It might lead to a column of your own correcting abhorrent receipts fr/ the previous food section.

I have to second this sentiment! Why not look into writing a well-conceived, perceptive column for this paper? Heaven knows, they just might be receptive given your degree of community knowledge and "culinary acceptance" in Greenville ... please, since your website contains some terrific writing, give it some thought ... :rolleyes:

Please post a link to that website.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I'm a Greenville native, living in Westport, Connecticut. Unfortunately, this situation probably reflects both the state of culinary Greenville and journalistic Greenville.

Does the Greenville News still use a half-dozen different locals each week to review the new movie releases, instead of paying someone with half-a-brain to review on a weekly basis? (Or even running a decent syndicated critic?)

I love my home town, but there is an anti-intellectualism that coats all manner of culture, including cuisine.

I remember working in a bookstore there (pardon the digression) long ago - a customer came in to pick up a copy of Death of a Salesman that we were holding. She had actually asked over the phone for To Kill a Mockingbird. We straightened out the difficulty, but the customer insisted on saying "well I knew it was about death or killing or something." That level of prideful ignorance is something I could never deal with (thankfully I didn't murder the customer) - though it was oddly common in G'ville.

So the approach to food writing does not surprise me one iota. It is, I suppose, a surprise that BWM, Michelin, etc. have not demanded more from the community - both in terms of quality of news coverage and quality of cuisine (both certainly lag behind the improvements in the art scene). But that is not the culture of the community. Don't get me wrong - few meals satisfy me as much as a dinner at Brushy Creek BBQ, in Powdersville. But a willingness to support a restaurant like 33 Liberty and a decent food writer would be a positive sign for the city. I think it is getting there, but change seems to be at a glacial pace.

So with that in mind, I would contact the editor (though maybe of the News - does anyone really read the Journal?) - though maybe the Journal is a better place to start. How about Metro Beat? The local alternative weekly may be open to smart food coverage. And what's this Link rag? Was just down over Thanksgiving, so picked things up to prep for the Christmas follow-up.

cg

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...I remember working in a bookstore there (pardon the digression) long ago - a customer came in to pick up a copy of Death of a Salesman that we were holding.  She had actually asked over the phone for To Kill a Mockingbird.  We straightened out the difficulty, but the customer insisted on saying "well I knew it was about death or killing or something."  That level of prideful ignorance is something I could never deal with (thankfully I didn't murder the customer) - though it was oddly common in G'ville...

I wouldn't put someone down for reading good books (or trying to learn anything else) just because she doesn't know how to ask for them properly. Every journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step. Imagine if people here adopted that attitude if someone was trying to learn about cooking or eating :sad: . Robyn

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I Googled "Joree Tamburro."

I found this "recipe" (one of the ingredients is a fudge brownie cake mix):

Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2003 18:53:55 -0700 (PDT)

Subject: [RecipeUSA] cookin class recipes

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

1 (10.25 oz) package of fudge brownie cake mix (8 x 8)

1 egg

� cup oil

2 tbl water

Preheat oven to 350d. Prepare Fudge brownie mix as directed on package. Place in a 10� well greased spring form pan and set in oven for 15 min.

3 (8 oz) package soft cream cheese

1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

3 eggs

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 (11.5 oz) Package of Toll House Chocolate Chip Morsels

While cake mix is baking, mix the first four ingredients in mixer until fluffy. Fold in morsels. Set aside.

When brownie mix is finished, lower oven to 300d and take pan out of the oven and place the above mixture in pan. Put pan back in oven for approximately 50-60 minutes or until set. Take out of the oven and let cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate for a least 4 hours or overnight. Serves 12-16. Freezes well after baking.

Joree Tamburro, Chef

Someone needs to stop that woman.

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...I remember working in a bookstore there (pardon the digression) long ago - a customer came in to pick up a copy of Death of a Salesman that we were holding.  She had actually asked over the phone for To Kill a Mockingbird.  We straightened out the difficulty, but the customer insisted on saying "well I knew it was about death or killing or something."   That level of prideful ignorance is something I could never deal with (thankfully I didn't murder the customer) - though it was oddly common in G'ville...

I wouldn't put someone down for reading good books (or trying to learn anything else) just because she doesn't know how to ask for them properly. Every journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step. Imagine if people here adopted that attitude if someone was trying to learn about cooking or eating :sad: . Robyn

I get where you are coming from - but believe me, it truly was prideful ignorance!

Bet she liked that chocolate chip cheesecake recipe, too! :wacko:

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