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Eat + Drink

Fried On For Size

I’ve always got some food idea up my sleeve: a restaurant I’m never going to open, a bakery I’m never going to launch, the greatest pizza delivery on earth that will never be. The cookbook I’m never going to write is called Fried on the Inside. My working subtitle is something to the effect of: Heaven is a Place Where Soft and Crunchy Meet. (Although soft must proceed crunchy by just a second, you understand. It's all about order.)

The Eat + Drink List: This Week's Top 7




photo by Platon

1. We are how we eat

The Milk of the Matter

San Francisco is a good incubator. Ideas take root here, trends grab hold, and before you know it, citizens of our fair city are fairly obsessed. First it was the farmers market, then artisanal foods (charcuterie chief among them) and then coffee—which has reached such a fevered pitch it’s almost ridiculous. In our own pages we’ve written about baristas and roasters, about hi-tech siphons and fair-trade shade grown beans. I would have thought, really, that we have covered this particular topic from every possible angle.


The milk of the matter
Photograph courtesy of Strauscreamery.com

Welcome to Michael Chiarello-land


Michael Chiarello in the raw space of his upcoming
Yountville restaurant.


I’ve met some TV stars of the culinary sort: Mario Batali (ok, I didn’t really meet him; like a stalker, I snapped a picture of him as he was riding a bike during the Aspen Food & Wine Classic), Jacques Pepin, Martha Stewart, Cat Cora and Tyler Florence. Interestingly, some seem to keep up their persona off camera (Tyler, Martha, Cat), while Jacques Pepin was a whole different person. Much more serious and political and just pretty damn cool—not at all the sweet French grandpa you never had.

Friday: Big Night

It’s Friday. Got plans? Lately I’ve been so utterly consumed with the business of getting through the work week that Friday arrives and I haven’t made a single plan. No dinner reservations. No dates with friends. Nothing on the books. A few weeks back, this lack of planning resulted in an epic wait at Beretta. Be advised. So normally I either spend the entire evening at home or venture out for an early drink at my local watering hole (the Latin American Club, for the curious) before calling it a night.

Chateau Montelena: Next, A For-Sale Sign on Mount Rushmore




Not really, but it's quite amazing that two huge, historical and prominent brands have recently been sold to European firms. First, Budweiser, the King of Beers, goes to InBev of Belgium. Now Chateau Montelena goes to the Bordeaux house Cos d'Estournel.

Both were good buys, given the state of the dollar. Still, it's weird that there's not more outrage that our national beer and wine icons are being wheeled and dealed like a used Chevy. Where are the anti-Gall cries of today? What are the new Freedom Fries?

Thomas Keller and Hiro Sone: Umami is Good for the Soul


Thomas Keller and Hiro Sone

On Monday, I attended a symposium on umami called “New Frontiers of Taste”; it was organized in honor of the 100th year anniversary of Japanese Dr. Kikunae Ikeda’s discovery of umami—which is popularly known as the fifth taste. (The others being salty, sweet, bitter and sour.)

The Eat + Drink List: This week's top 7



photo by Stefanie Michejda

1. Master mixology

New Orleans Report: The Mixers Behind the Madness

Several local bartenders attended and worked behind the scenes to help all the events go. For instance, almost every seminar included multiple samples of various cocktails. They had to be made by someone, and at this seminar you can see that the drinks were mixed by Ryan Fitzgerald of Beretta and Thomas Waugh of Alembic.


New Orleans Report: Drinking to Learn

Yes, Tales of the Cocktails was about much more than drinking and eating. It was also about learning about drinking. Just to prove that we indeed did occasionally act studiously, I present you a picture of two SF bartenders, Neyah White of Nopa and Stephen Liles of Boulevard, in class and ready to learn about ancient liqueurs. Unlike most seminars, you will notice, in front of each seat was not a pad of paper and perhaps a glass of water but a mini bottle of Chartreuse and another of St. Germain.


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