Tag Archives: Culinary Arts

Food Podcasts: The “Rich Delights” Of Cork, Ireland’s Second City

The Menu Monocle 24Monocle’s Charlie Jermyn talks us through the rich and varied culinary delights on offer in Ireland’s second city.

Cork is the second largest city in Ireland. Located in the south-west of Ireland, in the province of Munster, since an extension to the city’s boundary in 2019, its population is c.210,000.

The city centre is an island positioned between two channels of the River Lee which meet downstream at the eastern end of the city centre, where the quays and docks along the river lead outwards towards Lough Mahon and Cork Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world.

Originally a monastic settlement, Cork was expanded by Viking invaders around 915. Its charter was granted by Prince John in 1185. Cork city was once fully walled, and the remnants of the old medieval town centre can be found around South and North Main streets. The third largest city by population on the island of Ireland, the city’s cognomen of “the rebel city” originates in its support for the Yorkist cause in the Wars of the Roses. Corkonians sometimes refer to the city as “the real capital”, a  reference to its opposition to the Anglo-Irish Treaty in the Irish Civil War.

New Books On Wine: “Veuve Clicquot” By Sixtine Dubly (Assouline)

Veuve Clicquot by Sixtine Dubly ASsouline 2019When Madame Clicquot, who had become the veuve (widow) Clicquot Ponsardin, inherited the house in 1805, she followed the motto “Only one quality, the finest” and created the first vintage and the riddling rack, two major innovations for champagne production. Centuries later, the brand behind the characteristic yellow label continues to make history, going beyond champagne to represent a complete lifestyle. 

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin has been pushing boundaries for the past 250 years. From inventing rosé champagne in 1775 to collaborating with innovators such as Andrée Putman and the Campana Brothers, with each passing century the legendary label goes above and beyond to challenge itself with new initiatives to energize and excite its enthusiasts.

To read more and purchase

Top Food Podcasts: “Los Angeles Times 101 Best Restaurants 2019” (KCRW)

The LA Times 101 restaurant rankings are here. Yale historian Paul Freedman traces the history of American cuisine. Journalist Charlotte Druckman shares what she learned from more than 100 women in the food world. Plus: a look at the surprising connections that take you from one recipe to another.

Cooking: The New Yorker Top Cookbooks Of 2019

From a New Yorker online article:

2019-Rosner-Best-CookbookWhittling down my favorites to a mere Top Ten was an insurmountable challenge—and there were still so many I didn’t get to, all of them floating in that literary quantum state of potential perfection. (No doubt my favorite book of all is among them, and I’m cursed never to know it.) If this is indeed a time of crisis, I suppose it’s a comfort that at least our kitchens—and, for those of us in skirts, our knees—will be warm. My list is organized alphabetically by author.

 

Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables,” by Abra Berens

All vegetable cookbooks, as a rule, are wonderful, but too often they blur together into a sort of generic, Wendell Berry-and-dirt-under-the-nails quietude of awe: behold the first pale green of spring, lo the beauty of the humble parsnip, and so on. It’s the voice in “Ruffage” that makes it so marvellous—a sort of sharp, lusty fierceness that one doesn’t normally see applied to beets or celery. Berens writes intimately without being precious, a mode that reflects her recipes: approachable but stunningly lush, gently coaxing out walloping flavors from humble materials.


South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations,” by Sean Brock

This far-reaching compendium decodes the culinary pillars of the entire American South, from the moss-swagged South Carolina Lowcountry to the rolling hills of the Appalachian Piedmont. Shrimp and grits, fried bologna, five types of corn bread—it’s all here. Brock, a celebrated chef, is one of the great practical historians of Southern cuisine, and here he focusses on the whys as much as the whats: we get to know not only his favorite heirloom beans and grains but the soil that feeds them and the people who grow them; we learn not just why it’s worth tracking down certain cultivars of tomato or regional varieties of country ham but the reasons (often tragic) that they’re now so hard to find.


Amá: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen,” by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock

Tex-Mex, as a cuisine, often gets slighted when it comes to serious culinary consideration, but, at Los Angeles’s celebrated restaurants Bar Amá and Amácita, the chef and restaurateur Centeno gives this essential American cuisine the spotlight it deserves. This book is less an accounting of the restaurant’s menu than a tale of Centeno’s coming of age within Tejano culture and learning to find pride in his family history. Stories and recipes from generations past (fiery steak fajitas; a gooey, chorizo-flecked queso asadero) share space with playful remixes of Texan and Tex-Mex classics, like lobster taquitos and carne guisada Frito pie—not to mention nearly an entire chapter dedicated to “Super Nacho Hour.”


Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen,” by Yasmin Khan

Khan, a former human-rights campaigner, shifted her job description in 2016 with “The Saffron Tales,” a marvellous compendium of Persian cuisine. In her second volume, she turns her empathetic eye to the kitchens of Palestinians living in Israel and the occupied territories and also abroad. The result is a feast of spiced soups and stews, zingy greens and pulses, and rich sweets scented with rose water and honey. Khan pays particular attention to subtle regional differences, including the chili-and-garlic-filled cuisine of the Gaza Strip, which is rapidly disappearing behind a devastating blockade.

Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook,” by Carla Lalli Music

Whether in a farmers’ market, a mobile Web interface, or a fluorescent-lit suburban grocery store, Music’s philosophy of food is that it all starts with the act of acquiring it mindfully: buy ingredients often and in small quantities. Her book, full of beautiful photographs and written with a breezy, conversational voice, uses an arsenal of herbaceous, acidic, high-impact recipes to introduce key techniques and ingredient formulas that can turn any shopping trip into a gorgeous meal. Each recipe includes copious twists, spins, and alternatives: an ideal tool kit to transform a timid cook into an adventurous and confident improviser.


The Gaijin Cookbook: Japanese Recipes from a Chef, Father, Eater, and Lifelong Outsider,” by Ivan Orkin and Chris Ying

Orkin, a New York Jew who married a Japanese woman, has Japanese children, and spent years living in Japan, immersed in Japanese culture, has built a formidable career making some of the best ramen in the world. This is one of those rare cookbooks that’s both tremendously insightful and genuinely funny, exploring the various ways that identity, tradition, language, and love work together (or, sometimes, directly against one another) in the home kitchen of a blended family. From a starting point of simple, foundational recipes—rice, eggs, noodles, dashi—he guides the reader into slightly more involved Japanese, Japanese-American, and Japanese-American-Jewish dishes, including recipes ideal for drunken weekends, picky kids, or both.


Tartine: A Classic Revisited,” by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson

When the original Tartine cookbook was published, in 2006, it was a near-instant classic: at last, the extraordinary breads, cakes, tarts, and pastries produced at the San Francisco bakery could be made anywhere, so long as a home cook had the equipment (and exacting, patient temperament) to make it happen. Thirteen years later, Tartine has grown from a single storefront to a California empire with multiple locations (plus a few in Seoul), and its industrial ovens are still the gold standard. This book lightly updates fifty-five of the earlier recipes and introduces sixty-eight more, their flavors updated for more modern palates and diets—it includes two dozen gluten-free options—all truly exceptional.


Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over,” by Alison Roman

There’s something so refreshing about a cookbook that straight-up rejects the idea that cooking always needs to be a special and precious act. Roman’s food is bright and worldly, without a hint of tweezer-y fuss. Her alluringly irreverent thesis, first laid out in her blockbuster début book, “Dining In,” and elaborated upon in this volume (which, despite its dinner-party focus, is full of straightforward recipes with clever twists that work beautifully for everyday meals), stays just this side of the line between empowering and impatient: just make the damn food. Trust the recipe. Have some fun.


Joy of Cooking: 2019 Edition Fully Revised and Updated,” by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker, John Becker, and Megan Scott

For the past ninety years or so, readers have been blessed with a new edition of “Joy of Cooking” roughly every decade. This version—the result of years of work by John Becker and Megan Scott, the newest generation to be added to the cookbook’s byline—brings the grande dame of the kitchen bookshelf definitively into the now. Becker and Scott retested and updated some four thousand classic “Joy” recipes and added six hundred or so new ones that reflect more current tastes and interests. There’s a whole section on fermenting now, not to mention vegan options, a sous-vide guide, and a dramatically broadened appreciation for international cuisines and ingredients. (For gift-giving, the printed version of “Joy” is a beautiful, massive object. But, for your own use, my advice is to invest in the digital edition: with so many recipes, and so much densely packed information, this is exactly the sort of scenario when an e-book—and its internal search function—is a cook’s best friend.)


Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking,” by Toni Tipton-Martin

Ostensibly a companion to Tipton-Martin’s award-winning “The Jemima Code” (which I listed as one of my favorite food books of the past twenty years), “Jubilee” stands on its own as a wide-ranging, celebratory collection of recipes that trace the black culinary history of America. Rum-spiked fruit fritters, cinnamon-scented sweet-potato biscuits with salty country ham, a broccoli-and-cauliflower salad with a tangy curried dressing—each of the recipes in this extraordinary book has a provenance, whether it’s a classic restaurant, a modern celebrity chef, or the recorded techniques of an enslaved cook. Despite their deep roots, the recipes—even the oldest ones—feel fresh and modern, a testament to the essentiality of African-American gastronomy to all of American cuisine.

To read more: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/2019-in-review/the-best-cookbooks-of-2019

Food Trends: “Kitchen United” Delivery-Only Restaurants Wins “2019 Innovator Of The Year”

From a Restaurant Dive online article:

Restaurant Dive Awards 2019“What virtual kitchens, or the Kitchen United concept does, is create a new economic model, where no longer do [restaurants] have to invest in expensive real estate and fancy front-of-house overhead and dining rooms, [they] can share kitchen space, optimize capital that is there and hopefully create a more profitable model for delivery,” NPD Group Vice President David Portalatin told Restaurant Dive. 

When Kitchen United received $40 million in funding from RXR Realty during the summer, it became clear the two-year-old shared kitchen startup is paving a path for rapid expansion. The company will partner with the real estate company to open kitchens in New York City and the tri-state area.

This partnership fits within Kitchen United’s overall goal of opening 400 kitchen centers and 5,000 kitchens within the next few years. But it certainly isn’t alone in opening virtual kitchens, or restaurants without a traditional retail storefront. Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats have all been trying their hand in delivery-only restaurants over the last two years.

To read more; https://www.restaurantdive.com/news/innovator-kitchen-united-restaurant-dive-awards/566463/

Travel: “Courmayeur”, An Italian Ski Town That Foodies Love (WSJ)

From a Wall Street Journal online article:

Super G hotel, home to two restaurants overseen by Milan chef Andrea Berton. PHOTO FRANCESCO LASTRUCCI FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Super G hotel, home to two restaurants overseen by Milan chef Andrea Berton. PHOTO: FRANCESCO LASTRUCCI FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Courmayeur, both a town and a ski resort, boasts nearly as many ambitious, full-service restaurants as it does lifts on the slopes. Even on bright sunny days with powdery trails, the big question tends to be, “What’s for lunch?” The village, nestled in a snug valley on the south slope (the Italian side) of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak, is a typically sleepy mountain town for much of the year with around 3,000 full-time residents. But when the ski season kicks into high gear, its restaurants, bars and cafes all come roaring to life. It’s a favorite winter escape for residents of Italy’s fashion capital, Milan, a straight two-hour shot up the highway. 

For the urbane crowds in from the city on winter weekends, Courmayeur is as much an epicurean as snow-sports destination, known for its mountain cheeses, wild game and cured meats, and for its increasingly serious restaurants. Top tables on and off the slopes can book up weeks in advance. The region’s minerally white and earthy red wines come from some of the highest altitude vineyards in Europe. The sparkling Cuvée des Guides is made 7,000 feet above sea level on the slopes of Mont Blanc, with a tasting room atop one of the state-of-the-art Skyway Monte Bianco cable car stations.

To read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-italian-ski-town-where-the-food-rivals-the-views-11574791692

Art Of The Cocktail: How To Make Musso & Frank’s “Legendary Martini”

From a Los Angeles Magazine online article:

Musso and Franks Legendary Martini“The most important thing that we do is we never shake the martini. James Bond had it all wrong,” says Scuto. Shaking it incorporates too much ice, making for a watery drink, and, if it’s a gin martini, it potentially bruises the delicate aromatics. Instead, the drink is stirred roughly 12 times—bartenders use careful discretion—with ice, which is made with filtered water and a top-of-the-line Japanese Hoshizaki ice machine. The liquor is then carefully strained into a glass. It’s “all in the hand of the masters,” says Scuto.

Perhaps more than any other cocktail, a perfect martini demands a perfect venue. It’s not for drinking on beaches or cafè patios; it’s too easy to spill if you’re not sitting down; and it should be consumed somewhere with history and grit and texture. In short, it’s best at Musso & Frank Grill. This fall the storied Hollywood steakhouse celebrates its 100th anniversary and, with it, hundreds of thousands of servings of the classic cocktail. “The whole room, the whole setup, really, makes our martini special,” says Andrea Scuto, the restaurant’s general manager and beverage director. Here, Scuto shares just what goes into Musso & Frank’s signature cocktail.

To read more: https://www.lamag.com/article/musso-frank-martini/?utm_campaign=Food%20News&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=77888263&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–SiksvfxDxU5VRkqIAkrguE4gnlSqHs5BhJz-5Z7u26rd_POHEVtseT-UhTlR4H3d8FFNS_tXSsGSiD8-s3w0XVlUTNg&_hsmi=77888263