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Eat + Drink

World's Best Carbonara

I was just blogging last week about how lots of people would love to cook more, but feel a little overwhelmed by it all. As my little contribution to solving this problem, I’m going to give you one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever attempt: my dad’s carbonara. It’s both lighter (no cream) and tastier (more contrast) than your usual carbonara. Best of all, it comes from an East Coast bookie who’s been cooking since he’s been in short pants. That kind of experience can’t be bought at Le Cordon Bleu.
Senior’s Carbonara
Serves 4
1 lb. spaghetti

Hand to Mouth

Full disclosure: I’m good friends with Gerald Hirigoyen, one of the most lovely, talented and hospitable chefs in town. In fact, we took a trip to Spain together about two years ago to this day. The coldest winter Spain had seen—snow on the beach in San Sebastian; the streets of Barcelona virtually empty as everyone tucked into cafes to escape the brutal winds and warm up with cigarettes and decadently soupy hot chocolate.

Cook's Digest

photography by Sam Lee

Judging from some of my friends, there are lots of people in this city who would like to learn to cook, but feel overwhelmed by the time it takes to find a good recipe, shop, prep and put the meal together—times seven days a week. Enter The Full Plate (, a “store” that’s actually more like a commercial-grade kitchen, where folks can cook up to 15 meals at a time with nearly everything taken care of.

Gimblett Gravels

I’m down here in New Zealand for this big international Pinot Noir conference, but as an added bonus for coming all the way across the earth, the good kiwi people decided to throw a one-day conference on cool-climate Syrah. The conference was set in an upcoming wine region here in NZ called the Gimblett Gravels ( A unique area of land inside the larger appellation of Hawke’s Bay on NZ’s North Island, Gimblett Gravels has some of the stoniest soil you’ll ever see anywhere.

Flower Power

I’m not sure it’s appropriate to call a cruciferous vegetable hot (if you haven’t noticed, magazine editors obsessively use this word), but since I work at a magazine I’m going to unabashedly put it out there: Cauliflower is hot.

Fat Chance

photography by Stefanie Michejda

Next year is the last year for the annual Masters of Food & Wine event in Carmel that draws top chefs, vintners and foodies from all over the world. In anticipation of that, neighboring Pebble Beach Resorts ( this year hosted its first annual Food & Wine Weekend at Casa Palmero, two days of feasting that can’t possibly be summed up, except in these Top 7 highlights. Two more upcoming weekends will focus on the food and wines of Italy (February 2–4) and France (March 9–11).

Ladies Who Lunch

photography by Stefanie Michejda

Long, long ago I was tipped off via Raj Parr (the wine director at Michael Mina) about a place called Punjab Kabab House (101 Eddy St., 415-447-7499). I hate to admit how far back this dates, but let’s just say it was many moons ago when Raj was working at the Fifth Floor.
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