Monthly Archives: March 2009

Songs of Innocence and Experience

Michelle Bernstein, James Beard Award-winning chef and foodie darling, moves in the kitchen like the ballet dancer she once was. This cannot be said of my guys Rudy, Robert, Stefan and Yvan, or indeed any of the kids participating in Common Threads. A national nonprofit program begun in 2003 by Oprah chef Art Smith, […]

Calla Lillies, Almond Cookies and the Cycle of Life

All right everyone, your best Katherine Hepburn impersonations, please, as we say together, “The calla lillies are in bloom again. Such a strange flower, suitable to any occasion. I carried them on my wedding day and now I place them here in memory of something that has died.”* The cycle of life and death has […]

Starving Artists

This is not ANOTHER recently discovered Shakespeare portrait, this is fab Frenchman Francois de la Rochefoucauld (1613-1680), who said, “To eat is a necessity but to eat intelligently is an art.” Art is not always easy to pull off, especially when you’re hungry. That’s because your stomach has its own brain. The technical term is […]

It’s Great American Meatout — Kiss a Cow

French-kissing cows are the logo for Les Halles, the Franco-American steakhouse in New York, Washington DC and Miami. If you go tomorrow night, I can recommend the petatou, a warm goat cheese and potato salad, the lovely salade d’Auvergene, with arugula, apples, walnuts and blue cheese, a very decadent macaroni and cheese or the healthier […]

Chaos, Conspiracy, Carrots

I comfort myself by believing in chaos theory, that seemingly unrelated events are linked. A garden in Milwaukee can have consequences for a girl in Miami. There is a great shiny matrix of connection, something that binds us all. You just have to be open to the signs. There’s the rub. But I’ve been seeing […]

The Eating of the Green

To celebrate today, I wanted to create a new recipe that’s beyond green. Sure, you’re wearing green because it’s St. Patrick’s Day and that’s what one does. That’s lovely, but even better is the green you wear inside. I’m talking about the eating of the green — green as in environmentally aware and green as […]

Banana Bread and the Theory of Relativity

Fabulous art courtesy of the fabulous Philip Brooker. I got thinking about banana bread this morning when I saw the bananas on the kitchen counter had gone all black and gnarly. This is a good thing — tired, past-their-prime bananas are what distinguish a superior banana bread from its pale, dry imitations. My grandmother’s […]

And When Life Offers You Turnips. . . .

What you’ll probably never see on a Gourmet cover — “Our top ten turnip recipes!” Face it, turnips are no one’s favorite vegetable (are they yours? Talk to me.). And yet they’re as much a part of the vegetable kingdom as the more popular potato, they’re almost indestructable, they last for ages, the staple of […]

When Life Offers You Lemons

With the stock market in freefall and joblessness at a 25-year high, it helps to remember attitude is everything. If you’re going to eat humble pie, make it tasty. Some of our most exciting culinary times have grown from poor soil. During the worst of food shortages and ration cards, M.F.K. Fisher taught us How […]

Vegetable Love

In his poem, “To His Coy Mistress,” metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) wrote, “Had we but world enough and time/My vegetable love would grow/Vast as empires and more slow.” By this, he meant in a perfect world, we’d have the luxury of time and a love that would grow exponentially, organically, unfolding and revealing itself […]