Vive le France!

“I need to eat more French food,” my wife, who has lived in both the Alps and Paris, announced the other day.

As it so happened, the day after she made this proclamation was Bastille Day. And always good for an occasion to build a theme meal around, I pulled out what is and will always be the best French cookbook of all — Thomas Keller’s “The French Laundry.”

The master at work

The master at work

I don’t use cookbooks so much for recipes as for inspiration. I had picked up three plump soft shell crabs a few days before, and wanted to see if any of Keller’s preparations caught my eye. Sure enough, there was a Chesapeake Bay Soft Shell Crab “Sandwich” — the quotation marks being Keller’s and indicating that the recipe was a playful riff on something you might be familiar with. More

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Food Trends for 2014

Looking back on the fickle food winds of the past year, while such red hot trends from years past as organ meats, food trucks, bacon confections, pop-up restaurants, red velvet cake/cupcake/ice cream, gold leaf on food, foam and so forth begin their long and inevitable slide into cliché, I wonder what will become trendy in the coming year.

Hungry foraging guy, probably in Portland

Hungry foraging guy, probably in Portland

Here are some of my predictions:

• 70s/80s Food
The music is back, so why not the food? We’ve seen the comfort foods of the 50s and 60s — fried chicken, mac and cheese, meatloaf — get their glowing due in the contemporary foodie renaissance. So isn’t it time for the return of the sun-dried tomato and the re-introduction of radicchio? Quiche and blackened catfish, anyone? More

Skinny Girls Roadshow LIVE from Sonoma — Tearing Down Thanksgiving

As my mother, who is sitting in the next room, can attest, I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. If you knew my mom, you would realize I come by it honestly.

Turkey confit on the stove

Turkey confit on the stove

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’ve certainly got her to thank for my rebelliousness. After years of bucking the standard Thanksgiving traditions — particularly turkey, stuffing, gravy, et. al. — we were dragged back into the fold by partners and family members who favored a classic approach to the holiday. I did manage to produce an interesting German Thanksgiving dinner one year for my wife’s family, who at that early stage in our relationship were already confused and confounded by me. More

Skinny Girls at Rachel’s Table

I am the king.

I am the king.

Awhile back, my friend Rachel of the fun blog Rachel’s Table dubbed me the King of the Food Snobs. More

Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown

I know New Yorkers like to think they’ve got the world’s best Chinatown. Of course, New Yorkers think they’ve got the world’s best everything. They even like to think Nobu Matsuhisa and Thomas Keller are New York chefs.

Chinatown, San Francisco

I’ve never been to New York’s Chinatown. I’m a true native Californian. Which means I was born hating the Yankees, and ironically subscribe to a decidedly New Yorker-esque kind of regionalism in which I believe California has the best everything. You southerners ever tried Santa Maria barbecue?? More

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