If it tastes good, it is good.


January 19, 2013

Sometimes I write about marriage equality

Same-sex couples take long road to the altar

November 25, 2012

Sometimes I write things and like to remind myself to keep doing so

A few pieces of 2012 writing of which I am not thoroughly ashamed:

Not about food

A depressive's guide to Christmas
Lordy lordy, look who's 40
Lean on me: Loving and losing a dog
New York after Sandy: A tale of two cities
Going public with depression / National Depression Screening Day: Sharing experiences can help
What's with public marriage proposals?
Physically challenged and fashionable
The agony and ecstasy of the National Spelling Bee
I am nobody's mother and never will be
New York vs. Los Angeles: For all its grit, NYC 'sparkles'
'Fatshion' bloggers find beauty in all sizes'
Learning to love my big nose
The dark side of World Goth Day

About food

An ad-hoc army of volunteers feeds those still-powerless after Sandy
Notes from Zone 6b - love and loss in the lettuce patch
Don't be bullied by the sauce spoon
That's how the cookie (and a passenger's calm) crumbles
Clarified – What are gestation crates?
Risk a brisket on the grill this summer
That's me in the corner, that's me in the spotlight eating all alone
The bitter truth behind the chocolate in your Easter basket
This is the year you garden
No one warns you about the durian burps
Oh, candidates? Grit your teeth and listen.
Paula Deen – From the frying pan to the firestorm
Of romantic meals, fibbers and fish knives
Mehepyewpleez? A love letter to K&W Cafeteria
Picking the pig, flipping the hog
Stay gold, Twinkie the Kid. Stay gold.
A different kind of plane food (PDF)

November 22, 2012

Sometimes I try to break your heart

Lean on me: Loving and losing a dog

November 13, 2012

My canon of wickedly well-written slam restaurant reviews

It is my pleasure to announce a new inductee: Pete Wells' review of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square

Previous inductees include:
Seymour Britchky on Luchow's and Joe's Pier 52
Frank Bruni on Ninja and again on Kobe Club
Eddie Huang on Lavo
Sam Sifton on Lavo
AA Gill on L’Ami Louis

August 23, 2012

Sometimes I write about living with a big, grey monster

Going public with depression

June 13, 2012

Sometimes I write about flying while anxious


That's how the cookie (and a passenger's calm) crumbles

May 02, 2012

Sometimes I write about my favorite city

New York vs. Los Angeles: For all its grit, NYC 'sparkles'

April 25, 2012

Sometimes I write things about my weird-looking face

I have a big nose. Here are a whole bunch of words about that.

May 03, 2011

Pouring whiskey in the wound

A recent Eatocracy piece about eating and drinking after 9/11 and how I commemorated the news of Osama bin Laden's death.

Pouring whiskey in the wound – eating and drinking after 9/11

June 07, 2010

CNN Scribbling - Food Stories from My Team

6/4 - I got something better than a trophy at the Spelling Bee (Kat Kinsman)

6/3 - Where to eat in New York (Kat Kinsman & Sarah LeTrent)

5/27 - Attack of the snack is spreading (Sarah LeTrent)

5/26 - Starbucks plans to stir up coffee market (Sarah LeTrent)

5/25 - Gulf Coast chefs, fishermen fight tide of misinformation (Kat Kinsman & Sarah LeTrent)

5/20 - Regional flavors may be a click away (Kat Kinsman)

May 17, 2010

CNN Scribbling - Food Stories from My Team

5/14 - Foie gras causes uproar (Sara Bonisteel)

5/13 - Tots at upper-echelon restaurants? (Sarah LeTrent)

5/13 - Lettuce lovers go E. coli-free with container gardens (Kat Kinsman)

5/12 - Chef Besh: Eat U.S. seafood -- save a way of life (Kat Kinsman)

5/10 - Cooking dinner? There's an app for that (Steven Stern)

5/10 - Yes, skeptics, Olive Garden does have a Tuscan culinary institute (Sarah LeTrent)

May 10, 2010

CNN Scribbling - Food Stories from My Team

5/07 - Chefs rally to help Nashville after flood (Kat Kinsman)

5/07 - Restaurants assure customers lettuce is safe amid recall (Sarah LeTrent)

5/06 - Roger Ebert finds his voice and appetite online (Kat Kinsman)

5/04 - Chef Colicchio: Don't fear fine dining (Kat Kinsman)

5/04 - 'Treme' recap: Barq's root beer and a coffee-fueled Crescent City (Sara Bonisteel)

4/30 - Kentucky Derby chef bets on fresh fare (Kat Kinsman)

4/30 - Michael Alig cooks up a post-prison career (Kat Kinsman)

4/30 - Restaurants' table turnover tricks boost business (Sarah LeTrent)

4/29 - Burger King takes a gamble on lunch (John DeVore)

4/28 - Activists call foul on KFC bucket campaign (Kat Kinsman)

4/28 - Toys banned in some California fast food restaurants (Sara Bonisteel)

4/27 - World's 50 best restaurants list released (Kat Kinsman & Sarah LeTrent)

4/27 - Does stunt fare muddy restaurant brand? (Sarah LeTrent)

4/26 - It's meatless Monday for some (Sarah LeTrent)

April 24, 2010

CNN Scribbling - Food Stories from My Team

4/24 - At celebrity-named restaurants, fame is what's cooking (Sara Bonisteel)

4/23 - Kim Severson's pick of wisdom learned in the kitchen (Kat Kinsman)

4/22 - Bottled water faces backlash (Steven Stern)

4/22 - Eat, drink for less with online dining deals (Sarah LeTrent)

4/22 - What Jamie Oliver says you should have in your kitchen (Kat Kinsman)

4/22 - Top Chef Masters recap - episode 3 (John DeVore)

4/21 - Naughty nurses, ninjas bring your food (Sara Bonisteel)

4/20 - For troops, a happy meal is relative (John DeVore)

4/19 - Treme recap - Crystal Hot Sauce gets its due (Sara Bonisteel)

4/19 - Private Chefs of Beverly Hills host medieval murder mystery (Sarah LeTrent)

4/19 - Fast food treat is shrinking (Sara Bonisteel)

4/17 - Big burger boys burgle breakfast (John DeVore)

4/15 - Top Chef Masters recap - episode 2 (John DeVore)

4/14 - Ice cream cookie cups win Pillsbury Bake-Off (Kat Kinsman)

4/14 - Chili heads seek friendly fire from powerful pepper (Sara Bonisteel)

4/13 - Treme recap - New Orleans food (Sara Bonisteel)

4/12 - Inmates grow roots as jailhouse farmers (Sarah LeTrent)

4/10 - Private Chefs of Beverly Hills premiere recap (Sarah LeTrent)

4/8 - Top Chef Masters recap - episode 1 (John DeVore)

4/7 - Is fast food fat fare going too far? (Kat Kinsman)

4/7 - $13 coffee worth the brew-ha-ha? (John DeVore)

April 13, 2010

Eatocracy. Finally.

Have I mentioned I'm heading up a new CNN food blog called Eatocracy? Well, that's 'cause I wasn't allowed to. Until now.


Grub Street


Media Bistro

Business Insider

April 07, 2010

CNN Scribbling - Outrageous Fast Food

CNN: Is fat fare at fast foods going too far?

April 04, 2010

CNN Scribbling - The Week's Food Stories from My Team

3/29 – "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" - Recap (Kat Kinsman)

4/2 – Trade movie popcorn for yogurt? (Kat Kinsman)

4/2 – Pickles at the picture show (Steven Stern)

4/3 – Chef steps up to plate to fuel favorite team (Sarah LeTrent)

March 29, 2010

CNN Scribbling - Jamie Oliver Recap #1

Jamie Oliver Doesn't Want to Cook You a Salad

The crumply Cockney teddy bear is not here to South Beach, Atkins, Master Cleanse or Michael Pollan your Cheez Doodle dimpled butt into starvation or Whole Foods-based bankruptcy. He just wants you and your kids to know what a fresh tomato looks like. And maybe eat one once in a while. Or he'll cry.

In his native England, Jamie Oliver - dyslexic, erstwhile Naked Chef, husband of Jools, father of Daisy, Poppy, Petal and another to be named upon his (fingers crossed for "Stamen") or her September arrival, and self-proclaimed "professional s**t-stirrer" - has made a cottage industry of calling foul on vile school cafeteria fare and teaching plain ol' British folks not to murder their families with processed food. In the course of this, he's set up community cooking centers and classes, exhorted Parliament to address national obesity issues, campaigned to ban junk food in schools and garnered Prime Minister Tony Blair's approval for £280m in financial support for improved school kitchens and "dinner lady" education.

Oh, and he's sold approximately seventy five squillion books, owns a couple of restaurant chains (albeit one of them, Fifteen, is non-profit), regularly ranks on annual lists of richest Britons and was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2003.

He, with the aid of BFF/show co-producer Ryan Seacrest, has decided to bring his manifesto of fresh, clean, from-scratch cooking to Huntington, West Virginia - cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Associated Press to be one of the unhealthiest, most obese cities in the US. This should go well.

Read the rest at CNN's Marquee Blog

March 26, 2010

CNN Scribbling - The Week's Food Stories from My Team

3/22 – The Oscars of the Food World (Kat Kinsman)

3/22 – A ‘dude’ explains why salad is ‘man food’ (John DeVore)

3/22 – Vegetarian activists try in-your-face tactics (Steven Stern)

3/23 – National chains turning to free food on Tuesday (Sarah LeTrent)

3/23 – Cupcake passion more than a trend (Sara Bonisteel)

3/25 - Latest high-fructose corn syrup study generates buzz, debate (Hanna Raskin)

3/26 – School lunch gets an upgrade (Hanna Raskin)

3/26 – Brand-placement marketing targets huge airline traveler audience (Sarah LeTrent)

3/26 – ‘P’ in P. Diddy gets a new meaning (Sarah LeTrent)

March 23, 2010

CNN Scribbling - James Beard Awards

CNN: Nominees for 'Oscars of the food world'

March 22, 2010

James Beard Journalism Awards Links

Newspaper Feature Writing About Restaurants and/or Chefs

Tim Carman
Washington City Paper
"How Not to Hire a Chef/The Canning Process"

Jared Jacang Maher
“A Hunger to Help”

Kevin Pang
Chicago Tribune
“Plan D”

Newspaper Feature Writing

Sarah DiGregorio
The Village Voice
“Is Foie Gras Torture?”

Cliff Doerksen
Chicago Reader
“The Real American Pie”

Mike Sula
Chicago Reader
“The Charcuterie Underground”

Newspaper Food Section

Sheryl Julian
Boston Globe

Jon Bonnι and Miriam Morgan
San Francisco Chronicle

Joe Yonan
The Washington Post (sign-in required)

Magazine Feature Writing About Restaurants and/or Chefs

Alan Richman
“American Pie”

Anya von Bremzen
“Soul of a City”

Francis Lam
“The Last Chinese BBQ”

Magazine Feature Writing With Recipes

Dana Bowen
“The Wonders of Ham”

Francine Maroukian, Jon Reiner, Staff
of Esquire
“How Men Eat”

Matt Goulding
Men’s Health
“The Beauty of the Beast”

Magazine Feature Writing Without Recipes

Alan Richman
“Hillbilly Truffle”

Barry Estabrook
“The Price of Tomatoes"

Rafi Khatchadourian
The New Yorker
“The Taste Makers” (subscription required)

Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Reviews

Jonathan Gold
LA Weekly
“Sauced”; “Hot Birria, Cold Cerveza”; “Hare Today”

Patric Kuh
Los Angeles Magazine
“Border Crossing”; “Peru Calling”;
“The Classic”

Jason Sheehan
“White on White”; “Wonderland”; “Mourning”

Reporting on Health, Environment or Nutrition

Monica Eng
Chicago Tribune
“Nacho Lunch? Yes, Every Day”

Daniel Engber
Slate Magazine
“Throwing out the Wheat"

Rowan Jacobsen
“…Or Not to Bee”

Food Blog

Aileen Gallagher, Daniel Maurer, Alexandra Vallis
Grub Street New York

Ed Levine
Serious Eats

Hank Shaw
Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Food-related Columns

Colman Andrews
“Veni, Vidi, Vetri”; “It's up to You, New York, New York”; “Smoke and Miracles”

Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl
Minnesota Monthly
“The Doughnut Gatherer”; “Capital Grills”; “Pizza Perfect”

Rachel Wharton
Edible Brooklyn
“Back of the House - Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter”

Writing on Spirits, Wine, or Beer

Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl
Minnesota Monthly
“Chardonnay Uncorked”

Jonathan Gold
LA Weekly
“The New Cocktailians”

Lettie Teague
Food & Wine
“Is Grόner a Great Wine or a Groaner”

Website Focusing on Food, Beverage, Restaurants, or

Jane Goldman

Tanya Steel

James Oseland

Multi-media Food Feature

Antoinette Bruno, Amanda McDougall, Jonathan J. Proville
“The Art and Economics of Charcuterie, Parts 2, 3, 4”

Kevin Pang
“The Cheeseburger Show”

Robb Walsh
“Not So Clear Cut”

M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award

John T. Edge
Oxford American
“In Through the Back Door”

Alan Richman
“Le Petit Gourmet”

Francine Prose
“Faith and Bacon”

March 19, 2010

CNN Scribbling - The Week's Food Stories from My Team

3/17 – TV chefs whose shows burned to a crisp (Kat Kinsman)

3/18 – Shrek coming soon to a produce aisle near you (Sara Bonisteel)

3/18 – iReport : Bake Sale USA – Your Recipe for Success (Kat Kinsman)

3/19 – Did Jamie Oliver really shape up town? (Hanna Raskin)

March 17, 2010

CNN Scribbling - Guy Fieri

Wherein my first CNN byline (under my real name) goes live.

TV chefs whose shows burned to a crisp

June 09, 2009

Smoked Lemonade

I'm stingy with my smoke.

Not in a "don't bogart that can, man" way. Just that if I'm going to go to all the trouble of stoking a hardwood lump charcoal fire, obsessively monitoring its low-'n-slow-ness for a goodly chunk of the day, feeding its greedy gut with beer-soaked mesquite and hickory chunks at half-hour intervals all for the sake of an albeit fabulous brisket or pork shoulder, I'm gonna want a bit more return on the investment.

Here's where foil pans of salt, cherries and lemons come in.

Read more about smoked lemonade and get the recipe at Slashfood.

April 02, 2009

Stained Cookbooks

I'm not gonna lie -- I'm rough on my books. There's a school of thought treating the physical manifestation of the written word as a sacred object, and I fully respect that. However I, for one, shove an old copy of "How to Cook a Wolf" into the bottom of my bag with the notion that at some point it'll sustain me on an overextended subway ride. I read "The Devil in the Kitchen" in the bathtub, A.J. Liebling over a lunchtime reuben, and good gosh a-mighty are my cookbooks covered in schmutz.

Read the rest of the entry at Slashfood

March 14, 2009

Interview with Marco Pierre White

I got a chance to sit down with the legendary chef Marco Pierre White. Read the entire interview here, and grab a little nibble below.

Q & A with Marco Pierre White, Host of 'The Chopping Block' and 'Hell's Kitchen (UK)'

The legendary chef and television host talks about dealing with unruly diners, his famous protιgιs and why he's stopped swearing

He's been called the greatest chef in the world, but you'll never have a chance to taste his food. Chef Marco Pierre White earned three ground-breaking Michelin stars -- and notoriety for his white-hot temper -- before walking away from it all at the height of his career. White spoke with me about his single-minded pursuit of culinary perfection, his most notorious protιgι, and the celebrity chef he calls "the gastronomic king of America."

Continue reading "Interview with Marco Pierre White" »

November 27, 2004




My rabbit is crepuscular. That's certainly not why I adopted Claudette, but I'll readily admit that the opportunity to drop "crepuscular" into everyday conversation has brought great and unanticipated pleasure. "Lagomorph" alone would have sufficed, but now I've won the lingual lottery. Say it. It tastes delicious dripping from your mouth. Crepuscular.

I suppose every new venture comes a-calling with a satchel full of jargon - some no doubt lovelier than others. I've no experience in the fields of coal mining, waste management or haberdashery, so I cannot with any certainty know whether the associated vocabulary shares an aesthetic with sympathy to the actions, but the words of rabbit stewardship slip through the air with all the silk and dash of Claudette speeding toward the sound of fresh hay rustling from bale to trough. Crepuscular. Lagomorph. Hotot. Dewclaw.

I'd claim crepuscularity as well, but that would imply some actual rhythm to my sleep schedule. The sad fact is that I am awake in the pre-dawn and twilight as I am also awake at the midday and witching as I am just perpetually awake. Sleep has never come easily for me save for when I've got under-cover companionship in the effort, and not even always then. Certainly there are remedies - teas and chants and Henry James novels*, but despite a lifetime of trying, I've yet to hit on a surefire curative, and I'm deeply disinclined to weather the tsunami of pharmaceuticals it requires to register any palpable effect in my circadian patterns. I try to stay still, and when it fails, I wander.

In the greener seasons, the path frequently leads to my mid-air Babylon - the intricate network of baskets and buckets and window box planters fixed on, above and around my fire escape and roof. Salsify, sorrel, okra, heirloom tomatoes, Bloody Butcher corn, purira peppers, six separate basils and dozens of other cultivars reap the benefits of my meticulous pruning, feeding, songs (that'll be our little secret), and watering, but in the crueler months, all I seek for them is stasis. They're not inclined to blossom, and I wouldn't think to demand it of them. All living beings need sleep.

Claudette is no exception. She spends the bulk of the day tucked in upon herself, a small and restive loaf - though you wouldn't necessarily know it to look at her. Most single rabbits share a clever trick - they sleep with their eyes open. Rabbits are universally a prey species, and attacks are much more likely if the animal in question is thought to be unguarded. Wide eyes lend the illusion of wariness. Paired or bonded rabbits can afford the luxury of closed lids, as they know they've got an ally should danger arise. Even when brought into domestic settings, and the greatest threat to their well-being is seemingly the roar of the vacuum cleaner or perhaps the thud of an accidentally dropped shoe, they retain the habits of the wild lagomorph to the point where self-protection defines the majority of their behavior.

Crepuscular creatures schedule the majority of their foraging and other extra-warren activities in the pre-dawn and twilight hours so as to escape the notice of their nocturnal and day-based foes. Thus, it stands to reason that during a recent rest-deprived wander a while before sunrise, I stumbled into the hallway, and Claudette came bounding to the edge of her pen - balanced on her hind legs with front paws on the bars in scant seconds. I stepped over the gate, stroked her up-stretched back, and checked the levels of her food bowl, hay trough and water dish to see if that was the source of her agitation. No - all acceptably full. Litter box was sanitary, and there was certainly no shortage of chewing material now that a grocery order and the new Brooklyn yellow pages had been delivered. I reached over to touch her again, and she skittered away.

The woman at the rescue center had taken pains to explain to me that cold rabbit shoulders were not to be taken personally, especially in Claudette's case. She was, they advised me, an emotionally damaged animal, and would not be an ideal companion for a person seeking validation from their pet. I assured them that my ego was solid enough to withstand the rebuffs of a troubled bunny (I've certainly dated worse), and so am not mortally or morally wounded when she flicks her feet and hops away.

But I was tired this time. Strangely enough, at 32, I'm actually able to weather stretches of sleeplessness with greater aplomb than I had a decade ago, but when the hours stretch to days - and strings of those at that - I start to fray around the edges. Somewhat shamed, I admitted to a small psychic pang from the rejection, and standing seemed far too taxing. Claudette's quarters annex a solid portion of hallway, and I sank face-down and stretched flat on the layers of ravaged cotton throw rugs that shield her paws from the cold shock of linoleum.

Several minutes (it seemed like minutes) of curious flurry raged around me - a fluff-cushioned thud against my sock, the light prick of claws surmounting the obstacle of my thigh, some fuss and tug at my pillow-mussed hair. Then suddenly - a brief and gentle warmth against my cheek. My vision must have blurred without my noticing, and I focused to Claudette's quiet and close assessment of my face. Apparently sensing no imminent threat from the disheveled beast on the adjacent rug, she retreated a few steps and nestled her small body to coziness.

When I eventually stirred, the midday November sun was winking through the kitchen window, and the rabbit in the corner had her eyes closed. Even half-conscious, I know a sign when I see one. I fell back to sleep.

- - - - - - - - - - -

*Forgive me, but The Wings of the Dove was about 3x as long as it ought to have been.