During the summer, it’s easy to drift into your own world enjoying long days and longer weekends, but there was an intensity to this July that didn’t allow for easy disconnect. There was tragic and terrifying news , too soon goodbyes, and on a personal note – friends facing unthinkable and unexpected challenges. On the other extreme, I got to spend last Sunday at City Hall with two other friends who’d just won the literal lottery, allowing them to make it official after 27 years on the first day that it was legal to do so in New York City. Swinging between high anxiety, deep sympathy, and pure excitement, I couldn’t say the news has been all good or all bad but the past few weeks, I’ve been constantly reminded just how fragile it all is, or maybe it was the heat making everything tremble. Read more
The last few weeks, I’ve had some unexpected travel. The trips themselves were planned but it was unexpected how quickly the intervening weeks flew. Feeling like I’d hardly been home when it was time to pack up and leave again, it didn’t help that the entire city is coming out of hibernation so every weekend offers competing to dos, openings and events. Back from Puerto Rico after Easter, I missed the beach but was comforted to find Cobble Hill in full bloom. I had the chance to do a little virtual traveling as well and put up a few more posts on Devour the Blog including camarones al chipotle and torrejas with lavendar and honey syrup with more to come. Read more
I may be biased because it was my birthday month but it has been a fantastic February. I got started on a couple of new projects that I’ll have more details about soon, spent a lot of time with friends, and saw some great performances and shows including Balanciaga: Spanish Master at the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute and El Bulli: Cooking in Progress which just had it’s New York premiere at MoMA. When my head wasn’t in Spain past and future, I was flipping through the latest Saveur and thrilled that they featured Leticia Moreinos Schwartz’s Brazilian Kitchen in Dorothy Irwin’s Taking Root. I was also taking vicarious tours of Chile, starting with the New York Times 36 Hours in Santiago, Chile and ending with the Atlantic’s In Chile, Molecular Gastronomy and Locavores Collide. While the latter was a fun read, I was disappointed that it didn’t describe an actual chef rumble where no one gets hurt but everyone eats. Read more
I almost skipped my catching up post because I could not believe (accept) just how fast November went by. With the holidays only starting, I don’t expect it to slow down any time soon (plus the Rockefeller Christmas tree is lit so there’s no going back). My list of things to do and see keeps growing. I finally went to Eataly a couple of weeks ago and though it was hard to navigate the sea of people I can’t wait to go back. Click here for Serious Eats’ coverage of the opening. I’m also looking forward to visiting the new Plaza Food Hall by Todd English. It’s may be over the top but I can’t resist Fifth Avenue in December. Read more
I saw the announcement that El Bulli was closing for two years beginning in 2012, but it didn’t seem real until I read this interview with Ferran Adria in the Wall Street Journal. Not only is it true, but there are reasons. Outside of vague if-only-but-maybe future, I had no immediate plans to attempt a reservation. While I look forward to whatever innovations this hiatus will bring, I can’t help but regret that even if I’m lucky enough to visit future incarnations, I’d have missed an opportunity. Not ready to give up, I visited their website and saw that while 2010 is no longer available, there’s always the final 2011 season which hasn’t even begun. Already a remote possibility, there’s no reason to give up on the daydream months in between just yet.
A few weeks, I listened to the Times Talks podcast from November 2008 where Eric Asimov from of the New York Times moderated a fascinating discussion between Anthony Bourdain and El Bulli’s Ferran Adrià. While Adrià’s passion and intellect were in full display, the slide show that accompanied his evocative words was not. While we’re used to watching people talk about and enjoy food we’re not eating, listening on my iPhone to an audience ooh and ahh over the photographs being projected that I also wasn’t seeing, was just sad. Normally, I could let my imagination run wild, but I don’t think my imagination would be a match in this case. That’s one reason I loved this post by the Amateur Gourmet, Adam Roberts, about his visit to El Bulli this month. It’s exactly how I may have imagined my own meal there but in comic book format with video clips. By far, my favorite vicarious meal this summer.