My favorite restaurateur, Danny Meyer, had a new book coming out called Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business. I imagine his insights apply to more than just the restaurant industry. Hospitality in business is seriously lacking in other industries as well. I can't wait to read it.

This BBC guide to making risotto has a few recipes and tips. Not as comprehensive as it could be, but it's a nice start. And also a reminder that I want to start making more risotto now that the weather's cooling off a bit. features primarily San Francisco restaurant reviews and some bar reviews too, along with industry gossip, weekend getaway ideas, and other places and things. Looks like a good resource, especially for those living in the Bay Area.

On vacation

I'm off later today to Linz, Austria for the 2006 Ars Electronica Festival. My husband will be speaking at the conference, and I (for once) will not be. Yay! This means more time for me to explore the home of the Linzertorte and perhaps locate the very best one in town. Afterwards, we'll be doing some traveling in the region, where I hope to eat all sorts of delicious local delights that I can report about when I return.

Until I do, there will be no updates on the site. I'm not even bringing my computer. So enjoy your last days of summer, and I'll see you back here on September 10th, full of sausage stories and Linzertorte tales.

I had some kettle corn for the first time a few weeks ago in Wisconsin. Mmm, mmm, it was good. Ever since, I've been looking for a recipe to make some at home. I found this Kettle Corn Recipe but haven't tried it yet. Seems like it's missing salt, as the stuff I tried was both sweet and salty. And that seemed to be the magic of it.

Far from being the perfect food, modern soy products contain antinutrients and toxins and they interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals. An article examines the claims of 1999's Third International Soy Symposium.

Did the previous link get you wondering why you'd even want dry aged beef? Dry-Aged Beef: Try a Little Tenderness explains the fuss behind dry aged beef. [via delicious merlin]

Looking for that delicious dry aged beef, but can't find it in your local supermarket? Have a look at the following links: How to dry age beef at home and Is it possible to dry age beef at home? [via delicious merlin]

Iron Chef Morimoto's recommendations for Tokyo. Now you know where to get the best omakase, fugu, and knives on your next trip.

The R-months are coming, and that means it's time to eat oysters! Up and down the east coast of the US, bivalve lovers come together to celebrate with oyster festivals. I'd like to attend the Wellfleet OysterFest. Wellfleets are one of my favorite oysters, and the town (and the Cape) is beautiful in autumn.

As a tribute to the last days of summer, photos of ice cream trucks of Los Angeles. Ice cream trucks remind me of visiting my grandmother when I was little. We didn't have any trucks where I lived, but one frequented her street in the summer. The sound of its sing-song bell would send me and my brother into a frenzy, pleading with the nearest adult for some change. I was always so worried we'd miss it and it would drive right by. And then the choices! Oh, what to pick on that special day? An old stand-by like Fudgsicle? Something with ice cream? Or Italian ice, which I recall was the trendy and popular thing to get on the block. Ice cream trucks are always parked at corners in Manhattan in the summer, but I've yet to buy something from one. Now if they turned on that siren and drove slowly down my street, I'm sure I'd be the first one out my door.

Identifying the additives in processed foods. If these items are listed in the ingredients, "they are strong indicators that the food we are eating is far from fresh."

Alinea chef Grant Achatz has developed a recipe for home cooks of an experimental bent. Now you too can finally use agar agar in the kitchen!

Grape juice not so wine-like afterall

Jack from Fork & Bottle writes in about the grape juice that tastes like wine that I linked yesterday.

Sorry, but I'm not liking your most recent post because these grape juices don't at all taste like wine. Not even Navarro wine. I've had both a bunch of times (six times at least of each over the years). In fact, it's just the opposite - I'm always disappointed on how they taste so much like grape juice and so nothing like wine. Grape juice from grapes commonly used for making wine still taste like grape juice, not wine.

I quizzed my wife about these juices (as she likes them more than I do). She describes them as the best grape juices most people will have every tasted. But not at all wine-like. She doubts that anyone could pick out the Pinot Noir juice as being made from the Pinot Noir grape. The Gewürztraminer, being a very aromatic grape, does have hints that it might be made from the Gewürztraminer grape - but again, this drink is not at all wine-like, and totally grape-juice-like.

If these juices could somewhat pass for wine they'd be very popular and many wineries would be making them with their lesser juice. Instead, they're a hard sell and hardly anyone makes them. Navarro's two are the most popular in good restaurants.

Oh well, it was a nice dream while it lasted.

Eating a varied diet of fresh, unprocessed food is always better than thinking that food with supplements will make up for basic deficiencies. The BBC looks at the health claims of omega-3.

Back in April, I wrote about Jeffrey Steingarten's foie gras article in Men's Vogue. At the time it wasn't online, so I quoted some passages from it. Now it's up on their site. I recommend reading it if you have any interest in the issue.

Robust grape juices that taste like wine, without the alcohol. Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir juices are produced by Navarro Vineyards and available to order online.

In France, an éclade de moules is a kind of ritualized mussel-roast. "The mussels are arranged on a plank of pine that has been soaked in seawater, then covered with pine branches or grape vines that are set alight." Sounds delicious and makes me want to hop a plane right now to the Île de Ré.

An ice cream sandwich taste test yields NYC's eight best. Oddly, most are filled with gelato, which I guess is just a fancier ice cream with less air. Seems like they should have said "gelato sandwich" instead. Of course, this doesn't mean I won't be trying them out very very soon.

Wonderful photographs of Los Angelese fast food joints over the years. Includes taco stands and burger spots, hoagies and BBQ. These are some of my favorite kind of places to eat. [via jason]

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