Ouch! Talk about a bad call. My Top Chef semifinalist pick, Jamie Lauren from San Fran, got bounced last week right after I picked her to go to the finals with Stefan. What I didn’t count on was her taking the gas pipe in the Ripert copycat competition. That was a tough task, but she kind of gave up on the job at hand, or was that just my imagination?
Milton Parker, owner of Carnegie Deli, died last week. He was ninety and lived a great life. I stopped by on Saturday to pay my respects and eat a sandwich. Parker’s son-in-law, Sanford Levine, has been running the place for a while, and he and I caught up while I waited for my lunch companion. Sandy told me that my regular waitress, Rosie, always waited on Milton, and she brought him food in the hospital, where he begged her to plug some Coca-Cola into his feeding tube. “He was the greatest eater of all time,” Sandy told me. Remembrances for Parker can be found on savethedeli.com. I noticed that the best spot in the room is where the late Senator Paul Wellstone’s picture hangs, right next to Stiller and Meara, in the center of the main room on the south wall, right above the light fixture. It’s almost glowing. Paul loved a good nosh, and we always talked food whenever I saw him.
Triple Rock Social Club is hosting the eighth annual installment of Gastro Non Grata on Sunday, February 15, from 6 to 9 p.m. TR’s Gastro Non Grata is a free beer tasting and showcase of local music and food. February's event will feature a pot roast demo and tasting by Jim Grell of the Modern Cafe with Mike Phillips from The Craftsman, cupcakes from Miel y Leche catering, and a meat raffle by Clancy's butcher shop. The beer tasting will be done by a representative from Duvel USA. Music will feature That's What you Get, Jim and the French Vanilla, and Skirt Gospel Gossip. That sounds righteously awesome.
Here is a great idea that Mark Douglas told me about. It’s a cool thing that I think we should do more of here. It’s a four-chef ravioli cook-off hosted by Nostrana (one of Portland’s best eateries). Four chefs from different restaurants all cooked their own variations of the same dish (think Top Chef ), and all the diners through the night got to vote on their favorites. “Tough times are hitting restaurants here,” Mark told me. “And this is a creative idea on engaging multiple restaurants to connect their patrons.” That’s a slick thing to do on a slow weekday night.