Jay Vogler of Charlotte's Pizza on Earth retrieves a "China Blue" from the depths of his wood-fired oven, its top roiling from the 700-degree heat, edges erupting into dark-brown blisters. An article about the popularity of pizza in Vermont includes a look at my uncle Jay and his pizza operation! If you're ever in the Burlington area, you should definitely stop by the farm on a pizza night and check it out. The pies are delicious. I even worked one night with him, when his regular partner was sick. He made the pies, I managed the oven. It didn't take long to get a hang of using the long wooden peel to move the pies around the wood-burning oven. And it was lots of fun.
Chef’s Story is a new 26-part television series of interviews and cooking segments with today’s most renowned chefs. The show is hosted by Dorothy Hamilton, founder and CEO of The French Culinary Institute. I caught the episode with Daniel Boulud the other day and it was great. First he talked about his experiences growing up, working in various famous French kitchens, etc. and then he cooked for a bit. I don't know what was more enjoyable, listening to him talk about working with chefs like Roger Vergé and Georges Blanc or watching him dice leeks. Knife skills like his are a joy to behold.
Over the weekend there was a sneak preview of Ratatouille in New York City and my husband and I were lucky enough to snag tickets. Oh how I wish it were out already in the theater, because then I could go see it again! I think it's my favorite Pixar film yet, and if you have any interest in food, or France, or animation, I think you'll agree. Jason's written an excellent review on his site to which there's very little I can add. As usual, Pixar's loaded its film with commentary on contemporary culture. There's some great stuff on chefs as brands and the nature of criticism. And for those of us in NYC, rats in the restaurant kitchen couldn't be a more current topic. Ratatouille opens June 29.
Put your fresh salad greens in a big plastic bag, gather up the neck, blow a little air (a.k.a carbon dioxide) inside, then seal it up quick. Apparently this trick will keep your greens "bright, firm, and flavorful for at least a week."
Food history presents a complicated buffet of popular lore and contradictory facts. The Food Timeline sorts it out with its listing of when foods first appeared and where. Maple syrup arrived on the Western culinary scene in the seventeenth century when Pilgrims made contact with Native Americans, who'd been sugaring for some time. Though the chicken-fried steak the concept dates to 1824, "the 'chicken-fried'" moniker seems to be a mid-20th century invention." Fascinating list of food, I could click these links all day. [via Rebecca]
I love making reservations online via OpenTable but the other end, however, is where the service has real benefit. "The reservations that pop up on the restaurants’ computer screens, especially those made by regulars, are accompanied by an important tidbit or two." Like a note regarding the regular who brings a woman who's not his wife: "make sure the man’s wife has not booked a separate table for the same day." I've loved OpenTable since it first launched, I'm happy to hear it's really succeeding now.
It's hot outside, which means it's time to start drinking Vietnamese Iced Coffee, or ca phe sua da. If you've never had it before, you're in for a treat. It tastes like drinking melted coffee ice cream! I've got the little coffee brewing cup that I purchased in Saigon, so I need to get to the store today for coffee beans and condensed milk. How had I forgotten about this treat until now?!
Replate: To place unwanted leftovers, typically in a doggie bag, on top of the nearest trash can so they don't go to waste. A website to raise awareness of the concept and the term.
How did ethics become a staple of contemporary food writing? An examination of the many recent food books, such as The Omnivore’s Dilemma, from the Columbia Journalism Review. "Are, then, these debates about the ethics and politics of food largely a pastime of a tiny elite–grist for editors’ dinner parties but of tiny relevance to most consumers, who rush to the nearest market and grab what they need?" Or do they indicate a profound change underway in America around what we grow and consume? [thanks Kathleen!]
Ratatouille isn't the first movie Thomas Keller's been involved with. He advised on Adam Sandler's Spanglish and created this special BLT Fried Egg-and-Cheese Sandwich for the film. It sounds delicious, and apparently is one of Keller's favorite snacks.