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'Food' Archive

I like to cook, I also like to eat. Especially at nice restaurants. All that I have to say on the latter two goes here. The stuff about cooking is probably at my food blog sacrebleu.net

Boys may blog but real mean cook

justinthebaker.jpg

I’m having a moment. The kind of moment that’s highlighted by a clarity so crystal clear it’s enough for one to believe that the rest of his or her life is visible on the horizon. The kind of clarity that only a half bottle of good Spanish red wine can bring.

I’m sure most people never knew I have a food blog. Sacre Bleu! allowed me to chronicle my food adventures and drop knowledge of a culinary sort. I put it on hiatus a few weeks ago to focus on work, more work, another blog (which I’ll announce here eventually), and my social life. Tonight, while reading some of the really awesome food blogs and following the amazing world that is the restaurant scene in NYC, I had a realization. I’m not a food blogger.

For the uninitiated, let me elaborate. Food blogs come in a few varieties. Some are written by people who cook a lot and share their experiences with their readers. I just don’t  have the time to do this regularly. Then there are the blogs like Deglazed which follow a man’s journey in a professional kitchen. Things are finally lining up for me in the Interactive world so that’d be a stupid move. That leaves the mean, judgmental blogsā€”and I just don’t have the snark to keep that up full time.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love food. I’ll still go on and on about how every meal from every culture is essentially the same. I’ll still force my co-workers to try my successful (and failed) experiments. I’ll still (poorly) photograph my progress. I’ll still throw dinner parties (look at the pretty ladies!). I just won’t blog about it. That’s a lie. I’ll blog about it here, I just won’t run a separate blog dedicated to food.

Eventually, when the other initials in J-A-K and I open our restaurant, maybe I’ll take all my food posts and repurpose them to help promote the place but until then I’m a proud cook, and a prouder non-food blogger.

PS. I’ll be blogging about my first truly original recipe sometime this week. It’s called “Deconstructed Chicken Soup” and it’s going to be legendary.

PPS. I write alarmingly better after a bottle of wine. Hmm… If Langston Hughes was blazed when he told stories, maybe I should be wine-tipsy when I write my blogs. Too egotistic a comparison?

PPPS. Check out the rest of the Justin Bakes Biscuits on a Sunday photo essay.

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WD50 - I must eat at this restaurant

The restaurant is WD50, the chef is Wylie Dufresne. If you haven’t heard of it, the chef and the restaurant are famous for their whimsy, molecular gastronomy, and cutting edge food preparation and plating. They use lots of things like Xantham Gum and other ingredients straight out of chemistry class. While this method of cooking has become very chic with d-bags like Marcel from Top Chef, Wylie is a true pioneer.

Look at this food.

Rosemary Read the rest of this entry »

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Christopher Walken Cooks a Chicken on Camera

From the site I’m Cooked, an online community where users can upload videos of themselves cooking various recipes. A video of Christopher Walken roasting a chicken with pears popped up the other day.

I love this guy. The title in the beginning just says “man makes chicken with pears”. He never identifies himself, the video isn’t professionally produced or lit, and he isn’t showboating. If you didn’t know who he was, you’d never know he was famous from this video. There’s something really refreshing about seeing an amateur video of a celebrity doing something normal and every day, not flashing their junk or having sex on camera.

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How the makers of Ratatouille made sure they got it right

Ratatouille Kitchen Concept Art
Image via Disney.go.com

I saw Ratatouille over the weekend and I loved it. I was especially impressed with the attention to detail Brad Bird and company paid to the kitchen details as well as Remy’s character, mainly his love for food and fastidious attention to detail.

In order to inhabit Remy the rat with the soul of a true chef, Pixar hired Thomas Keller (French Laundry, Per Se) as a consultant on the film. A former French Laundry employee has recently spoken out about how much of Keller is in Remy (spoiler alert: a lot).

One of my other favorite parts of the movie were the cool little taste animations used to display how food “feels” as well as tastes. Each ingredient on its own had a unique style, like a visual chord, that would change and become a greater melody when the food was paired and tasted as a whole. I find this to not only be wonderfully artistic but also a great-and simple- way for kids to familiarize themselves with tasting and the concept of food as transcendental experience. The creator of these animations, Michel Gagne, has a wonderfully detailed blog about how these animations came into being. There’s even video!

via NY Magazine

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Zen and the Art of the BEC

Most of my weekdays begin the same way. I get up, get dressed, and drive to work. If I leave my house after 8 I invariably have to maneuver around the asinine traffic that builds up around a certain Dunkin Donuts. People decide that since the drive-through line is full, they’ll just stop in the middle of the one lane road and wait for their turn. I hate these people.

Personally, I don’t go to Dunkin Donuts that much. Only when I’m jonesing for an iced coffee although their decision to use Rachael Ray as spokesperson has forced me to entertain the idea of a boycott. Nothing against her, (I actually respect her self-promoting skills) it’s just that she’s on the TV whenever I turn it on, in every isle of the grocery store, and plastered all over my beloved Triscuits. I have to draw the line somewhere. But I digress. When I do visit Dunkin, I usually go inside. There’s something enjoyable, patriotic, nostalgic about ordering breakfast over a counter. I think it reminds me of the bagel shops and delis that do short order breakfasts in bigger cities. Well, I had one in my home town (a few actually) and that’s about as small as towns get. Maybe it’s just Rochester.

No More Fastfood BECThat’s when the epiphany came: Rochester is in short supply of a good, family owned deli that does egg sandwiches, hot pastrami, various macaroni salads, all those wonderful American food staples. The kind of place that always has a super cute girl working behind the counter but you’re afraid to even smile at her because the owner is her father and he, along with his three large sons will do unthinkable things to you or your food if you infer anything but innocence of their beloved daughter/sister. Every new food place around here gets branded to death or is a chain to begin with. I don’t want that fake gourmet crap Bruegger’s serves, I don’t want the soggy P.O.S. sandwiches from a fast food place.

I want a real BEC that’s wrapped in foil devoid of a logo or mission statement. I want the egg and bacon of that sandwich cooked on a griddle that I can see. I want who’s ever cooking it to have cooked thousands of these and be more concerned with how fast he gets the out the door than what after-prom party he’s attending. I want the sandwich on a regular bagel or hamburger bun. Maybe with some poppy seeds, but that’s it. I want that bread grilled so it doesn’t become a soggy mess. I want the egg over hard, misshapen and a little crispy on the outside. I want it to come with home fries that are cut out of the huge mound on the back of said griddle, even if I won’t eat them. I want the cheese on the sandwich to be cold when added, but melted when I unwrap the package at my desk. I want it be called a “bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich” not a “morning sunriser” or some other bullshit. I want it to cost less than $3. I want to wash it all down with a cup of coffee that doesn’t taste like donkey piss. Start your morning with a sandwich like that and I defy you to have a bad day. That’s something I’d gladly wait in line for. Just not a drive-through because that’s obnoxious.

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