Monday, February 23

Almond Bloom 2015

Almond Bloom 2015

Close your eyes. Imagine a tall sky and wide, flat plain before you. The floor of the valley, in this case the San Joaquin in California, is covered in what appears to be a fine dusting of snow. This is the Almond Bloom 2015. You’re driving along a highway, CA-99; tractor trailers haul bales of hay and a 50-car train matches your speed. You pull off onto a secondary road for a closer look. There may

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Friday, January 30

Colorful New Year

Not since the 1970’s have there been so many choices in colorful home appliances and accessories, Lea Eiseman told the audience at last years’ International Housewares Show. (She directs the Pantone Color Institute and helps select the Color of the Year.) But would a Lavender Cream stand mixer make me more likely to bake this weekend? I am not sure but I do know that manufacturers and retailers are banking on color to attract elusive

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Thursday, January 01

I’m an American chef and food consultant living in Connecticut. I work the savory side as a cookbook author and recipe developer but am known for my expertise in bread baking and desserts. As a food writer, I travel the world visiting almond growers, bakers, flavor scientists, pastry chefs and all manner of farm and fishery. Almonds are my passion. And the lens through which I view the complex world of small farms, agribusiness and the

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Tuesday, December 30

Food Writing: Have a Good Appetite?

“The first requisite for writing well about food is a good appetite,” wrote AJ Liebling. By his standards, most people I know are supremely well qualified. If you count yourself among them and are curious about the mechanics of food writing, I will be teaching a class on the subject in New Haven, CT in 2015. Food Writing (HSP249) will be offered at Gateway Community College in downtown New Haven, CT on Wednesday evenings. Aspiring restaurant

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Monday, September 15

Bitter Flavors

I love the bitterness in raw baby artichokes, radicchio, unsweetened chocolate, dark espresso and other bitter drinks. And spices like allspice and cubeb pepper to name a few. I’ve already ordered Jennifer McLagan’s new book Bitter: A Taste of the World’s Most Dangerous Flavor, With Recipes published by Ten Speed Press. She’s explored neglected foods before in Bones: Recipes, History and Lore. Maybe she’ll have uses for the last wiry arugula in my garden. Of

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Thursday, July 10

Authentic Salad Caprese

Authentic Salad Caprese

This Insalata Caprese was served on Capri at Il Riccio where I was fortunate to spend a few night as a guests of the Naples region tourist board.  The recipe for Authentic Salad Caprese requires few ingredients. It consists of ripe tomatoes shingled on a platter, thick slices of creamy mozzarella, shredded basil, extra virgin olive oil and freshness. Not a drop of balsamic vinegar in sight. This is my kind of seasonal eating. Even

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Saturday, July 05

Antica Pizzeria da Michele

The hubcap on my plate is a Pizza Margherita served at Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Naples, Italy. You find the pizzeria on the eastern fringe of the old city, which dates back to Greco-Roman occupation. After waiting with a crowd for a table bunched outside, you have few choices. The pizza comes with sauce or with cheese and sauce, each variety around 4.5 euros each. You place your order. And when it comes, you

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Saturday, May 17

Arrive Early – Hartford Regional Market

Need plants for your garden or some early local veggies? Visit the Hartford Regional Market as I did last week with a group from Connecticut Farm to Chefs. (We support a program to promote the use of Connecticut-grown products in our local restaurants and schools.) This coved lot looks kind of empty this coolish spring day. But come starting at 4 AM and it is jammed. Arrive really early, bring a wagon and flashlight and

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Monday, March 03

Food as Literature

Two on my favorite writers, A. J.  Liebling and Ludwig Bemelmans, were twentieth century contemporaries who wrote about all manner of appetites with a wit and charm.  Like a fine aperitif, I turn to their writings with nostalgia for classic cuisine and an exuberant style of living. Both ended up writing for the New Yorker and brought a complimentary perspective to eating and dining. “The first requisite about writing about food is a good appetite,” wrote Liebling.

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"Let no man fancy he knows how to dine
Till he has learnt how taste and taste combine."

-Horace, Satires, 2.4

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