Beaten, Seared, and Sauced

These days, it’s rare that I get to read a book that will keep me up at night because I just can’t put it down, not because I need to finish it to construct an argument around it for a presentation or my dissertation. Jonathan Dixon’s Beaten, Seared, and Sauced: On Becoming a Chef at the Culinary Institute of America initially caught my attention because … Continue reading Beaten, Seared, and Sauced

What to Say About Modernist Cuisine

I wrote an article about Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, an interview with Nathan Myhrvold, and a profile of co-author Maxime Bilet for the ICE newsletter. I’ll post some of that when it comes out, but this is more of a stream-of-consciousness post to try and understand why it was so hard to write about a book I’ve been hearing about since … Continue reading What to Say About Modernist Cuisine

For Grant Achatz, Focus is on Emotions, Interactions

“Being creative as a chef is not mimicking what you see in Tokyo or Bangkok,” said Grant Achatz, the chef-owner of Alinea in Chicago, at the Institute of Culinary Education last night. “It’s being inspired by that. It’s reactions to influences, whether those are reading a book, walking down the street, or looking up something online. Creativity is really unpredictable, and can come from anywhere.” … Continue reading For Grant Achatz, Focus is on Emotions, Interactions

When Bourbon Gets in a New York State of Mind

Prohibition, which was in place between 1920 and 1933 and forbade the production, sale, and importation of alcohol, all but killed the vigorous spirit industry that had taken root in the United States until then. Most distilleries were forced to close. The ones that remained open, as did Buffalo Trace in Kentucky, were allowed to do so under special licenses to distill bourbon for medicinal … Continue reading When Bourbon Gets in a New York State of Mind

Culinary Careers

Culinary Careers: How to Get Your Dream Job in Food, with Advice from Top Culinary Professionals (Clarkson Potter)  is now out! This book is the culmination of nearly two years of work, from proposal to publication. Institute of Culinary Education President Rick Smilow and I conceived Culinary Careers as a comprehensive guide to help students, career changers, prep cooks looking to move up, weary chefs … Continue reading Culinary Careers

Eating St. Louis

This post has sat in my draft folder for a couple of weeks and I have experienced many great meals since, but St. Louis provided enough culinary pleasure that I want to share it. I was fortunate to present at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association conference in early April. With even more good fortune, my presentation, Cooking by the Book: New American Cuisine and … Continue reading Eating St. Louis

Working with Natural Discoveries in the Kitchen: Ángel León

This afternoon, Blue Hill and the French Culinary Institute hosted a demonstration by chef Ángel León of Aponiente in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Andalucía, Spain, featuring his work with products from the ocean. León is the son of a fisherman and serves creative seafood preparation in his 25-seat fine dining restaurant, inspired by the great knowledge of the sea and its products that he … Continue reading Working with Natural Discoveries in the Kitchen: Ángel León