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11 posts from October 2006

31 October 2006

Michael Ruhlman podcast

Michael Ruhlman

I've just had a great chat with Michael Ruhlman.  He laid into celebrity chefs, including a warning that Gordon Ramsay cannot afford to be dull at The London in New York.  He reassured me that Thomas Keller has found his balance, but his clogs are still AWOL and made clear his scepticism of Michelin breaking the US.  He also gave me a bit of an insight into his next project, a hubristic glossary of cooking.

Also, if anyone can help him out on recipes for balls (as in testicles, gonads etc) he would really appreciate it.

You can use any of the options below to listen to Michael and me.

25 October 2006

Forthcoming podcast: Michael Ruhlman

This podcasting malarkey seems to be getting out of hand.  Now Michael Ruhlman has agreed to do a podcast with me.

I've written about him on a few occasions previously.  His CV is blooming impressive: He has written a number of books about chefs and more recently about charcuterie.  He co-wrote Thomas Keller's French Laundry and Bouchon cookbooks.  Recently, he started his own blog although you can find some of his earlier on-line musings at Megnut.

To me, Michael seems to have an almost perfect setup:  he writes for a living about the things he loves.  His engaging style and willingness to say what he thinks (go read his blog) has ensured his success.  Among other things, I hope to get a bit more skinny on his relationship with Anthony Bourdain, to find out whether you would want to have a drink with Thomas Keller and get his views on the latest foie gras farce in the US.

I'll be speaking to him on Tuesday 31st October.  If you have got any questions, let me know by then.

17 October 2006

Charles Campion blogs

Charles Campion, Evening Standard restaurant critic and author of The London Restaurant Guide has started blogging.  It seems this is a proper blog, compared to his colleague's Fay Maschler's quasi-blog I mentioned a while ago.

I have always enjoyed his writing and his restaurant recommendations.  He tends to write about restaurants that serve good food rather than simply the newest opening under the sexiest chef. I hope the blog is more than simply transcripts of his copy for the paper.  His first two posts, his biography and dog shit (check the URL, not the title), make me hopeful.

UPDATE The spoil sports at The Evening Standard have changed the url for the dog shit article.  It was http://campion.thisislondon.co.uk/2006/10/dog_shit_and_a_.html, but it is now http://campion.thisislondon.co.uk/2006/10/undisciplined_d.html.  It seems that Charles might not be as free on his blog as I had hoped.

My apologies

I am really sorry if you read the blog with an RSS reader and you have been inundated with versions of my Ideas in Food podcast.  I have been having a few tech problems that are now hopefully sorted.  I will do my best to ensure it does not happen again, or at least not too frequently.

16 October 2006

Ideas in Food podcast

Tonight I went international and interviewed Aki Kamozawa and Alexander Talbot of the blog Ideas in Food, as previously touted.

I have followed their blog for some time and cannot fathom why they haven't got wider recognition.  I cannot claim to be a great predictor of any trends, let alone food trends, but I would wager these two are going to be big names very soon.  They deserve all the recognition they get, from the ideas on their blog alone.

Listen to the podcast to hear how the husband and wife team get their Ideas in Food, the benefits (and problems) they face being in the boondocks and the latest on their plans to venture forth on their own.  Also, get heads up on which of their notebooks they would like to publish as a cookbook.

Please excuse the slight technical hitch and colourful language at the beginning of the podcast. Alex was getting used to the technology and I was trying to figure out the time delay caused by the long-distance call.  My lack of technological know-how and equipment meant I was unable to edit the podcast in quite the way I would have liked.  As for the dodgy heavy breathing, that was all mine.  I have no idea why I sound like a member of the dirty mac brigade.

If you want to download the podcast you can with iTunes. Alternatively, you can access the soundfile by clicking on the podcast button.

13 October 2006

Forthcoming podcast: Aki & Alex, Ideas in Food

I have really admired the blog Ideas in Food for some time.  It is written by chefs - and husband and wife - Aki Kamozawa and Alexander Talbot.  They are the chefs at Keyah Grande, a hunting lodge, which according to its website is near Pagosa Springs, Colorado. When I looked it up on Google Maps, I realised that everything is relative and in truth, they are near nowhere, properly the middle of nowhere.

Despite this (or is it in spite of this?) they appear to create some of the most imaginative dishes around.  The thing I particularly enjoy about Ideas in Food is that often it is a stream of their consciousness about food.  They riff about what does and doesn't work in the kitchen.  To the ordinary home cook, many of the dishes might seem bonkers, such as Warmed King Salmon, pistachio cotton candy, watercress, jalapeno-apple dressing.  But then again, think about those flavours and you can see they might work.  Or what about their Potato Gnocchi in Foie Gras Consomme, which sounds like such a perfect dish you wonder why no-one devised it before.

Their cooking conjures up lots of questions.  I now have the opportunity to ask some of those questions because Aki and Alex have agreed to do a podcast with me.  We have not confirmed a date yet because work and a seven hour time difference is conspiring against us, but with any luck it will be sometime in the next week or so.  When the date is confirmed I will let you know.

As with the Dan Lepard podcast, I'll happily take questions from readers that I will ask Aki and Alex.  Either email me or leave a comment below.

UPDATE The podcast has been confirmed for Monday 16th October.  It will be early evening UK time, lunchtime US time.

Margarine, bleh

I was surprised to read that the French are to blame for margarine - the devil's own fat product - but Kate at Accidental Hedonist is usually right about such things.

In one of the comments to the post, Rachael of Fresh Catering suggests that marg is good for those who keep kosher. No, it's not. It is a nightmare for those who keep kosher because it results in laziness and a lowering of standards.

Against my better judgement I made a cake last night using marg, because it is to be eaten after a meat meal tonight. Normally I chew my right (chopping) arm off before I make anything with marg. But it's my Mum's birthday and it would be far too curmudgeonly of me not to have a cake for her. So, I 'substituted' margarine for butter. Except it's no substitution. Margarine is greasy crap, with none of the subtleness, taste or properties of butter. There are thousands of other recipes out there that do not require butter. Those of us that keep kosher should focus on those, rather than shovelling hydrogenated fat down our gobs. Sorry Mum.