Counter Intelligence

Five on Food: Articles from the Wednesday Dining Pages

Posted in General Interest by melissamccart on October 4, 2006

flash_off_bak.jpg1)  WGBH Series is for the ‘Serious’ Foodie.  Boston Globe.  An interesting review of the new Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie:

This season the show will cover food stories in Japan, Australia, Brazil, England, Ireland, France, Italy, Peru, Spain , and all over the United States. After China comes an episode with Spanish-born chef Jose Andres concocting mixtures with sugar and olive oil in his test kitchens and serving up the results at Cafe Atlantico, his Washington restaurant. That episode also visits food-science guru Harold McGee as he grills peaches in his Palo Alto backyard, and swoops into Barcelona for an olive oil tasting. Later on, there will be an anatomy of a meal episode focusing on Lydia Shire of Locke-Ober in Boston. In her home kitchen, Shire deep-fries lobster skewers in spicy homemade lard, and grills prime rib of beef before roasting with lots of butter.

Apparently, the goal is to link history, culture, and food in a less dopey way than the watered down Food Network attempts.  Is this showing in the D.C. market too?  I hope so.

2)  Underground Dining is Poised to Claim the Spotlight.  Seattle Post Intelligencier.  Vagabond, an outed version of the Gypsy-style dinners in Seattle, will start serving October 23rd:

At underground dinners with communal tables, he said, food lovers have been “blown away by how cool it is” to talk with strangers they otherwise never would have met. “In our daily lives, we don’t talk to each other anymore. It’s almost to the point of becoming dangerous to society, this level of isolation we’re doing to ourselves. It’s time to fight back.” Despite those goals, even Vagabond isn’t open to everyone. No walk-ins are allowed. Advance reservations and e-mail contacts are required, meant “to keep it kind of pure, to keep it to the people who get it,” Claycamp said.

I’d love something like this in D.C., but Washington strikes me as too egalitarian for multiple underground scenarioes.  I hope I’m wrong and just unaware that they’re going on all the time!

3)  Festival Cooks Keep Tradition Alive.  Washington Post. I love this piece because it captures more color than I see in D.C. aside from soul food places.  While she’s stuffing grape leaves for a festival, one woman says,

It brings back memories of my mother at the kitchen table back in Brooklyn 50 years ago,” says Younes, who says he was expecting to see more men on the assembly line.

It also makes me miss Mom and Pop ethnic places, too.  Time to take some Suburban Tasteland suggestions and head to the burbs for a fix?

4) The Counter as AltarNew York Times. Despite that L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon slaps Bruni around when he first arrives, he sings praises to its cuisine:

It improved quickly and greatly, and your focus can now fall on its mostly exhilarating food: a layered cake of smoked foie gras and caramelized eel that’s the stuff of dreams; a mélange of sea urchin roe, lobster and cauliflower cream that’s pure rapture; a pair of precocious sliders — made with Kobe beef, foie gras, caramelized peppers and the most perfect little brioche buns imaginable — that get my vote for haute burger of the new millennium.

5) Bits and pieces from the pages. . . .Give your 2 cents on your experience with and wisdom on table manners for an upcoming Boston Globe article. . . . Look around your local grocery for haute Hershey, the new premium Cacao Reserve chocolate.  A 3.5 oz. bar costs between $1.99 and $3.29.

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