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Miscellaneous

The Fairest Fast Food of All

Last week, a little-reported bit of food news crossed my desk: Chipotle, that chain of Mexican fast-food restaurants founded here in the Bay Area by Steve Ells (former cook at the now defunct Stars) has gone on record as saying that it will serve some 52 million pounds of naturally raised meat in 2008, marking a 40% increase over last year. I’ve read enough Michael Pollan to be skeptical of the phrase, “naturally raised meat,” but figured it warranted a second look.

Wake Up Call


Me and my pit bull, Olie, both like Coffee Bar.

Fighting Palate Fatigue


It’s that time of year, when a high level of fatigue seems par for the course. With the holidays behind us and very few big events to look forward to, mid January usually marks the beginning of a personal hibernation of sorts, one that usually lasts until the start of March, when green things return to the market in earnest and the sun shines at least a few days of the week.

 

Greetings from Paris (Not Yet a Smoke-Free Zone)

Happy New Year!

I’m sending this e-missive from the City of Lights. That’s right, Paris, a city rich with history, romance and nicotine! The French certainly love to smoke, and I have the smelly, leftover stench of nicotine on my clothes to prove it!

On New Years Day, a no smoking ban was imposed here, which is good news for non-smokers like me. “Par Fumer” signs were posted on bars, cafes and restaurants across this charming smoke-filled city. However, in typically defiant French fashion, everyone is still smoking, and as smoked-filled bars and cafes are part of the culture here this ban will not take full effect overnight.

Without Constraint


Sonoma sparkling wine, meet ma po tofu.

I think I spend the majority of my life stepping backwards into good things. Kind of like an eyes wide shut sort of thing, I guess. If I were the resolution making type, maybe I’d resolve to spend 2008 devoted to mindfulness. But sometimes the surprises are nice.

A Photo Postcard from London

Greetings from London, England, my hometown:

I’m enjoying a week on my home turf, and it is good to be here: gray skies, London cabs, red buses. It’s a city packed with tourists as they prepare to ring in the New Year.

Happily, I leave London today for Paris but I wanted to share a few photos from my London with you.

Happy New Year and may 2008 bring us new hope, a new White House and peace.

Liam
xxx




photography by Rick Camargo

British-American Christmas Bash



Greetings,

Boy, do Brits know how to throw a Christmas party or what? They’re especially good here on American soil, and this past week British-Americans proved they know how to do it best.

The Westin St. Francis Hotel in downtown San Francisco was the setting on Tuesday for the 44th Annual BABC Christmas Luncheon, and it was Festive with a capital “F.”

7 Memorable Meals of ’07

After a year of what felt like non-stop eating, I thought I’d reduce my many (many) meals into a concise list of the seven most memorable. As you’ll see, some are old standbys while others couldn’t be duplicated—at least not without considerable effort.

Here goes, my year in review:

Live Uni – Just-out-of-the-water uni at Sushi Groove

The uni was so fresh, it was still moving.

Spice Is Nice – 5 Spices, 50 Dishes cooking class

Really Good Things

I like dining out more than the average person, so I’m probably well suited to my current job. I check out restaurants the way some people check out performances and, I like to think, there is something performative about a dining room in the swing of things—the house lights dimmed, everyone in costume, reciting a script, of sorts, to a packed house. Doing a round-up of some of my favorite comestibles of the year is hard. We live in a good food town. So, in the spirit of ending the year on a high note, I offer the following.

Here, 7 things I could eat (and drink) again and again:

Freeze Factor



I’m not sure what’s going on with our weather here, but I’d venture to say that I’m cold about 75% of the day (which comes to about 18 hours, six of which are in bed under lots of covers). I’ve come to accept bundling up when I go outside, but I draw the line at wearing full wintertime gear—a hat, scarf and jacket—when sitting at a table at any given SF restaurant. That’s why I’m echoing Sara D.’s plea in Open-Door Policy:

Restaurateurs: TURN UP YOUR THERMOSTATS!
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