Okay, so I’m a lousy blogger. It’s not for lack of wanting to comment on things I see and taste, or because I don’t want to keep people up to date on the goings on in the food world and in other worlds and in my underslept, overfed mind. It’s just that life has gotten away from me. A summer of travel (to Japan, to Vermont, to Toronto, well, Orangeville really, to Maine, to Copenhagen, to San Francisco) has made me fall behind on work and emails and all sorts of planning and projects. If I owe you an answer to something, please don’t take it personally. I’m working my way through the back log.
I had built a week into my flight schedules in August to catch up, and then I got called to be a judge on a new series on Food Network that took up a good 20 hours of each day for about a week, and then I was off to Maine from the show’s set. I would tell you all about my fascinating and exciting entry into the world of reality food television, but according to a nondisclosure agreement I signed, that would set me back a fine of $100,000. And believe me, it isn’t that interesting. You’ll have to wait to see for yourself when it airs next May. Divulging the details of a guest spot I taped on a special that will air around Thanksgiving could cost me $1,000,000, so you won’t be hearing about that either (but you won’t have to wait as long to see it). These TV people take their secrecy very seriously.
Anyway, one project I was working on that I can share is a review of The Foie Gras Wars by Mark Caro that I wrote for Gastronomica. Although the book came out last year and I think I wrote the review at least a year ago, it’s in the current issue. Its timing couldn’t be better because I am busy making travel plans with friends for a week at a stunningly beautiful, historic house in France we are renting over the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s in the Dordogne, sometimes called Périgord Nord, but known more widely as “foie gras country.” By November it will also be “truffle country,” and when those two countries come together, you know there is going to be one delicious feast. Okay, so we’ll be the sort of Pilgrims who will be eating duck instead of turkey, but we will certainly all be thankful.
I can also tell you about a few things I am doing that you can actually come to see and/or participate in. On September 23, I’ll be on a panel entitled “Tasting the Past: Heirloom Vegetables and the Flavor of Modernity” with Art of Eating‘s Ed Behr and Susan “The Modern Cook” Spungen, which is part of the gallery talks program scheduled in conjunction with Sotheby’s upcoming heirloom vegetable auction. “Dimensions of Taste” is the topic of an erudite panel I’m moderating at Williams College on October 2, which is part of the Gastronomica Symposium to celebrate that ground-breaking journal’s 10th anniversary. And October 14 I’ll be interviewing Jane Siegelman, author of 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five New York Families in One New York Tenement, for a special Beard on Books that will include a private culinary tour of the Tenement Museum.
Anyway, I hope to be able to write more about the wonderful food experiences I have had in my travels and that I will have in upcoming travels. I’m sure there are some deep thoughts about things gastronomic that I could share, too. And as soon as I have a second to put them all together (with pictures), I promise I will. Some highlights of the summer’s eating were fried things on skewers at a kushiage place under the train tracks and a Michelin three-star meal at Les Créations de Narisawa in Tokyo, dinner by chef Shin Takagi at his restaurant Zeniya in Kanazawa, smørrebrød of fried plaice, eggs and shrimp, and other mayonnaise-laden rye-bread toppings at Schønnemann, a world’s-best-restaurant-worthy culinary odyssey at Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen, peach and blackberry pie at Connie’s Kitchen in Hardwick, Vermont (may she rest in peace), a taste-of-Maine-summer lunch at Sam Hayward’s Fore Street in Portland, Maine, perhaps the best wedding meal I’ve ever eaten (besides the ones I cooked myself) at Pizzaiolo in Oakland, California, and the fluffy matzo balls and tasty gefilte fish (note that using all whitefish makes the fish a little bland; adding a little pike, in a 1:3 ratio, makes for a fuller flavor) I made for Rosh Hashana dinner this Thursday night.
Here’s a hint: To really stay on top of where I’m at and what I’m eating follow me on Twitter @kitchensense. I’m a much better tweeter than I am a blogger. It’s easier to come up with 140 characters, I guess. Cheers for now.