Yvan Lemoine came into my life as a gift from Michael and Ariane Batterberry of Food Arts magazine. Michael had brought Yvan to the Food Arts Magazine and Culinary Institute of America joint conference on Pastry Arts. It has been several years since, and Yvan had been an indelible mark on my life. Now, through his book, Food Fest 365! Yvan has left an amazing mark on all our lives. We only need be hungry, able to cook and share, and if that is so, Yvan will enrich our world with foods that are sweet, savory, spicy and everything in-between.
Kim Sunee, is a sister to Charlie and I. She is a wizard in ways few people can be. Kim can bring poetry to situations where others would only add vinegar or worse. Kim brought so many wonderful things into our lives. She has left an indelible imprint in how we do things. Kim has brought Alaska into our lives in a new way. Through her we are seeing Alaska as a place where the civilized are just as normal as anywhere else. We are not afraid to be killed by gun-toting xenophobes, rather, we see it as a welcoming land that is eager to show its magic to others.
As Kim has embraced Alaska and begun to spend time there, we also have found Laurie Constantino becoming a part of our lives. Even if only through the web and messages shared through Kim. Soon we hope to have Laurie at the farm, and to be visiting her in Alaska. That Laurie is a champion of beautiful food, and a great chef in her own right, is only icing on the cake.
The Brussels Sprouts at Butcher, the casual spot by Donald Link in the Warehouse District in New Orleans, were so delicious that I ordered a second serving after I arrived at our table, having answered a call from John Currence. John my dear man is the other Southern Food God completing the Trifecta with Donald Link & Susan Spicer as far as DEEEEEEP South chefs go. Butcher is a sibling to Cochon. It is also easy to be at. Has a wonderful energy. Of course Charlie saw the operation and wondered how things would change if the chefs had Korin knives to use. I ate the Mac 'n' Cheese so quickly that I had none left by the time I felt inspired to use the iPhone to photograph. Charlie of course missed Gael Greene's favorite Mac & Cheese from American Masala that I make and gave me not-so-discreet hints about making it soon after our return to NYC. LOVE the energy, love the concept, and love the simple and honest feel. Also loved the very mixed customer base it was serving. Heaven to my ecumenical and secular mindset. Donald Link was in the kitchen, at least chatting and leading, and I got to say hello to him. Though neither one of us knew the other. Our lunchmate identified him for me. I had to say hello. He seems rather modest, kind and decent. It was stamped on his face. That alone makes him a man I would respect for long years.