Yukon River king salmon arrived yesterday in the Twin Cities. These fish are infinitely more pleasant to cook and eat than their more famous cousins the Copper River salmon. I think you might want to try some on the grill tonight. We’re having ours rubbed with mint and lime, along with a yogurt sauce spiked with herbs from the garden and some quick pickled cucumber salad. Fat is flavor with this fish. Heaven. Check it out at Coastal Seafoods.
The king of the articulate rant is Anthony Bourdain, and his flowing diatribe that dropped last Friday was hysterical. His knock on the Next Food Network Star is spot-on, but here’s the part that leaves me scratching my head a little bit: His mocking (appropriately, I think) of this type of show makes his contributions to Top Chef seem a little disingenuous. That being said, Top Chef actually features a fair amount of talent compared to NFNS or Hell’s Kitchen.
The Queen Kong is my old friend Joan Ida, who is living and working in Hong Kong these days. She checked in last night with this update:
“Hong Kong is hot and sticky. It's rained buckets for the past two weeks . . . and finally clear for Dragon Boat Festival today!
My restaurant, Watermark, in the harbour, has been detained until August . . . . Because it is in a government building, it's been a bit messy getting through the licensing. But we got the go-ahead finally, and it will happen later summer! Aahhhhh . . . I have been busy choosing cool place settings . . . my silverware is titanium. Yup! It looks like a blue-grey Tahitian pearl and changes colour in the light . . . sexy stuff! Menus are written, and staff has been chosen. We are just waiting for the building.
So, how have I spent the past six months? I opened a sweet little Italian place in Soho, on Elgin. Old school Italian . . . all familiar stuff with a twist . . . . The name of the restaurant is Peccato—which means sin. Ha ha ha . . . very decadent stuff. Rave reviews by all . . .
Starting this week I have been moved to help open a central kitchen for the group . . . . With my bread/pastry knowledge, I am to dream up all the baked goods for a coffee-house group with twenty-seven outlets in HK . . . HUGE!
Until Watermark opens, every month I travel to a new place. Last month was Bangkok, I leave Saturday for Beijing, and next month is Hanoi.”
Anyone heading to Hong Kong in the fall should check out Watermark and say hello to Joan.
The undisputed King of Kitchen Cruelty, Gordon Ramsay, seems to have it in for the boys on this season’s Hell’s Kitchen. I would have liked to see Ramsay and Vinnie go at it . . . or maybe Ramsay and Josh . . . . I can’t get enough of the train wreck that occurs each week watching those not equipped to work in a kitchen like Ramsay’s actually attempt it. It’s infinitely more interesting early in the season than watching the insufferable wanna-be crowd on NFNS. Top Chef is a show I like a lot more as the season progresses.
Speaking of TV chefs, where's Rocco now, you ask? Shockingly, this guy once had it all, an amazing restaurant and a great reputation, and then NBC came knocking . . . paging Dr. Faust. Next week on Hell’s Kitchen, the annual blind taste test to see how everyone’s palate rates, and the chefs get to work with tongue and tripe. That, I can’t wait for.
NY Mag’s Adam Platt's response to Mario Batali calling him a miserable f**k, written under Platt’s pseudonym of The Gobbler on Grub Street—linked here since I wrote about Mario in this month’s Mpls.St.Paul Magazine in my column about bad-boy chefs.
Triumph the Dog at the Tony Awards . . . the funniest thing I have seen in years. Almost as funny as the idea of Spam Burgers and PB&J Hot Dogs, two of the coming Minnesota State Fair’s new foods. Is it just me or has the Fair’s board gone a little daft? Enough with the fried, battered junk on a stick. Seriously.