Every once in a while I have to clear the notepad of all the things I have been meaning to tell you about but for some weird reason haven’t found the time/space. Here we go
Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs have a killer website that I have been really into lately and I realized I haven't mentioned Food52.com at all! From the cookbook tournament to the recipe collection featuring amazing recipes that have been submitted from stone-cold rockstar home cook food freaks makes this site one of my faves. Many of the "amateur" contributors are committed food pros, writers, food website mavens, and the like trolling the cooks pages and executing recipes never was this much fun before Food52. And BTW, thanks to cooks like Big Girl Phoebz and ChowMamaStacie for all the fun recipes and reads.
One of the best new restaurants in San Fran is Flour + Water, a killer pizza/pasta café that reminds me of local restaurants like 112 and Bar la Grassa. I devoured bigoli with anchovies, onions, and bread crumbs and inhaled the roasted goat with artichokes. The chef is Thomas McNaughton and he used to be at Quince. His new Mission District restaurant is insane. Put it on the list.
Weird omission in the stunningly well-written and inspiring Dana Goodyear piece on Jonathan Gold in the 11-9-09 issue of The New Yorker. Gold is one of the greatest food writers of all time, winner of a Pulitzer Prize for his work, and is the food scribe for the L.A. Weekly, the acclaimed alternative paper. You can check out tons of his stuff at laweekly.com, but the odd thing about the Goodyear piece was that nowhere in the profile did it mention how to read more Gold if you wanted to, and while it mentioned plenty of restaurants that Goodyear and Gold clearly admire, Goodyear failed to mention the name of the sublime Korean restaurant where they eat the san nak ji (live octopus), sashimi, sea squirts, mackerel eggs, broiled eel, fresh crab, et cetera. From the description I can assure you it is Hwal A Kwang Jang at 730 South Western Avenue. It seemed so weird to me that it was the only place that got eight-inches of column space but was never mentioned by name the way the other joints were. Strange. Am I the only one who thinks Goodyear might be the most underrated food writer in America? She writes about tons of topics, and is the author of a great book of poetry (Honey and Junk), but when she writes about food I just devour her straight-talking style.
Speaking of women I love, check out Elissa’s latest on HuffPo. The Cookbook Revolution is upon us! She nails it, and I can tell you that the publishing industry is hurting so bad it might be dead and not know it yet, but will book/magazine hybrids like The Canal House make it? go see for yourself how beautiful their stuff is and let me know what you think. Can it compete with Food52’s economic model? In a world of free file sharing and social networking sites pushing Zygna happenings like Mafia Don out to 25 million fans at a clip, is the idea of spending money on a great book of recipes dead and gone? Anyone but me buy the Alinea book, or Blumenthal’s, or Adria’s for that matter?