This is how I ended my blog a year ago, when I wrote about how Suvir Saran’s
recipes and encouragement had changed my life and awakened and educated my
palate. And I was right—2012 was a
year of great culinary adventure and excitement.
Betty Osborne is a proud New Yorker (Brooklyn born and raised in LI and VT, now living in Upstate NY). NY is lucky to have her as its daughter. She is the kind of citizen that would make any nation or people proud. Happy to serve her own and those unknown. Service like this is not found today. People serve to serve their own type. Her's is a type that is So-American and yet today, So Un-American.
The flavors Iliana De La Vega shares at her "humble" food truck in Austin, TX, are far from HUMBLE. There is NOTHING Humble or modest about what Iliana does. I say that in a good way. Her food has a personality that SHINES. A taste that SINGS Clearly, with HIGH Notes, deep LOW gut-pleasing tastes and pleasurable middle, side and any and all notes, flavors and sensations that come together bringing forth a culinary discovery, that speaks of a kitchen alchemy that needs to be savored, shared, celebrated and perpetuated. The only thing Humble about the experience Iliana shared with me last night, was perhaps the concept of savoring Haute cuisine around a food truck.
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.
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.
Charlie holding a baby that looks all about chocolate. Also resembles his mommy almost entirely. The markings are all brown. Darker or light, they are chocolate as chocolate can be. The babies were found Saturday night, and were born all naturally. Marc Durrin, the caretaker found them and alerted us to their birth. Tis' the season for kids, and so this was welcome news. Now we have kids that might make Floyd Cardoz smile with glee. Depressed over the earthquake and its aftermath, we needed some good news. This was as sweet as it could get.