General

General

The Desperate and the Insane: 3 Reasons Why Chefs are a Dying Breed – 1

We live in the age of the Celebrity Chef. Portraits of the crisp white jacket and dental-advertisement smile assail us at every turn. Bookstore shelves heave under the voguish glut of cookbooks, the covers gleaming with photo-shopped images of a foodies wet dream. Sexed-up dishes artfully manipulated by food stylists defy the imperfect genius of …

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The Desperate and the Insane: 3 Reasons Why Chefs are a Dying Breed – 2

2. Clash of the Generations Marco Pierre White, the first British chef (and youngest chef anywhere) to win three Michelin stars, is considered by many to be the first modern-day culinary idol. Labelled by the press in the late-1980s as the “enfant terrible of haute cuisine” and the “anarchic Byron of the backburner,” he trained in …

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Real or fake wasabi?

All but the most committed of sushi chefs have given up on using true wasabi (Wasabia japonica), a semiaquatic herb native to the mountain streams of central Japan’s Nagano Prefecture. Most sushi fans are actually eating a mixture of ground horseradish, Chinese mustard, and green food coloring. Fresh wasabi rhizomes—which are different from roots—prove extremely …

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Medieval Egyptian Recipes

A newly translated cookbook provides a tantalizing glimpse of Cairo’s past. THE MARKETS FOUND IN MEDIEVAL Egypt were spectacles to behold—or rather, to taste. From street vendors selling fried-pigeon snacks to streets lined with jars of foamy beer, descriptions of streets like Bayn al-Qaṣrayn can make one salivate centuries later. Now, a newly translated cookbook offers …

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America’s ‘Tamale Wars’

FOOD TRENDS DON’T USUALLY INCITE extreme violence. But in early 20th-century America, the popularity of one recently arrived street food caused turf wars, which the media breathlessly sensationalized. That food, as it happened, was the humble tamale. At the time, the tamale quickly became as popular in America as the hot dog. As Gustavo Arellano writes …

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Japanese Navy Curry

Served alongside omelets or pork cutlets, or just on its own, thick, sweet curry is one of Japan’s most popular dishes. Introduced by British sailors in the 19th century, it quickly became a favorite aboard the ships of the Japanese Navy, creating the dish known as Japanese Navy curry. Curry had a number of benefits, …

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Prague’s Communist Cookbook That Defined Cuisine

IN THE NEWLY INDEPENDENT CZECH Republic of the 1990s, cheap comfort food—such as goulash, pork knuckle, and dumplings—dominated every eatery. Meanwhile vegetarians were encouraged to feast on fried cheese and stewed cabbage. (The late Anthony Bourdain famously called it “the land vegetables forgot” in an episode of his travel show No Reservations.) For the most part, tourists …

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The RMS Olympic Dining Room

This restaurant was removed from the famed sister ship of the Titanic and placed within a hotel. The RMS Olympic was one of two sister ships—along with the HMHS Britannic—to the ill-fated RMS Titanic. She was the first of the three to launch in 1910 and soon went into service in the First World War, remaining in service until …

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Joël Robuchon’s Legacy

On August 3, 2005, at 9:57 a.m., with the summer sun high in the sky, I walked through the front door of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Paris’s 7th arrondissement, my knife kit slung over my right shoulder. I approached the first person I saw — a lanky young man in a chefs’ coat, peering …

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The Science of Gelatin

Easy to use, easy to find, and able to assume the flavor and color of whatever liquid it’s dissolved in, gelatin is a versatile thickener for both sweet and savory cooking-it’s the secret to the shimmering glaze of a perfectly reduced pan sauce and the silky mouth-feel of an ethereal panna cotta. Mix gelatin with …

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Meyer lemons

Even if you know about his most famous discovery, chances are you don’t know anything about Frank N. Meyer. Most Americans don’t recognize the name Frank N. Meyer, but many are familiar with the fruit that bears his name. The Meyer lemon is a specialty-citrus sensation. Just ask Martha Stewart, who has more than 100 …

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