When Mike Goes to Mexico

My pal Mike likes to taunt me with photos and videos of his business trips to Mexico, which are frequent. See, if you haven’t been paying attention to previous posts, his business is Mexico — mezcal, that is: Del Maguey, the best in the world.

Mike in Mexico

Mike in Mexico

His provocations are most often in the form of eyewitness video accounts of parades in Oaxaca, where there seems to always be a parade in progress, or photos of voluptuous window mannequins with whom he is certain I am a perfect romantic match. More

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A Tamalada of One

We were sitting around on New Year’s Day drinking bloody marys, when my pal Don showed up with caviar, creme fraiche and blinis.

New Years Day in the Colgin kitchen

New Years Day in the Colgin kitchen

His timing was impeccable — it was late morning, we’d eaten nothing yet, the drinks were beginning to take away the edge of nausea, and we had nothing planned. The only thing on my agenda for the day was culinary — I was going to make tamales. More

Tlayuda

It was a Saturday afternoon, I had a bit of a cold. So I settled into my bed to watch cooking shows on PBS. One of my favorites is “Mexico One Plate at a Time,” with Rick Bayless spotlighting a different region of Mexican cooking each season. This season, he’s in Oaxaca, which is a part of Mexico I’ve never had the privilege to visit.

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I often get inspired to cook by things I see Rick talking about on his show — last season he was in Baja, and I found myself trying out air-dried machaca beef, shrimp tacos folded in fried cheese and even an avante garde foamy sea urchin ceviche. And now, lying in bed, I watched as  Rick, visiting a sustainable farm in the Oaxacan mountains, dug into something called a tlayuda. More

Cookbook Recommendations for a Bachelor

A dear friend of mine emailed me recently and asked me what were my top 5 cookbook recommendations for his nephew, who had just moved out into his first apartment and was hungry.

My "bachelor" 7-year-old son Flynn's favorite cookbook.

Guys who move away from mom for the first time often don’t realize that food doesn’t just appear on the table. I had the fortune of already having worked in restaurants and being a good cook the first time I moved out. More

Dawg Days

My father — born on the upper peninsula of Michigan — grew up, among other places, in the Chicago suburb of Evanston. I’ve always felt an affinity and paternal loyalty for the Windy City. Plus, they’ve got Wrigley Field, Charlie Trotter and Rick Bayless, and produced my favorite band, Wilco, and the coolest president ever! And then, of course, there’s the Chicago dog.

I grew up with a Chicago-style hot dog joint named Flooky’s down the street. I had a friend who lived right behind it. I sort of took a good hot dog for granted. More