When I find myself in the Southwest, one of my favorite things to do is visit the tiny old towns up in the hills. Last weekend, it was Tortilla Flat, population 6, a century-old former stagecoach stop in the Superstition Wilderness on a highway called the Apache Trail. I mean, could it get any more Unforgiven?
As a magazine editor, I always feel the pressure to be ahead of the curve. But sometimes, I’m about three years too late, as is the case with the Ghetto Gourmet. Attending one of their dinners has been on my to-do list forever, but I just got around to it last Saturday night. I just wish I’d done it sooner (like maybe before Time magazine covered it).
Over the years I’ve collected a mini library of books about all things food—over 100 cookbooks, plus literary musings and oddballs like the one called Strange Foods: Bush Meat, Bats and Butterflies —a favorite that’s not for the faint of heart. Most just sit there looking good, but some, like The Zuni Cafe Cookbook are spattered and stained with use.
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.
1 lb. spaghetti
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 (thefullplate.com), 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.
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.
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 (pebblebeach.com) 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).