When life is in disarray, travel! Which is what I’ve been doing nonstop for a month and a half, and more. The above is a salumi maker from Norcia, a town famed for its butchers and recently devastated by an earthquake. Happily he found a place in Rome to sell his goods. I have neglected my pledge to spend more time on this blog, but herewith is the reason why, a sort of photo essay of the lands and pigs and pork and salumi and chefs from the past six weeks. It began in Rhode Island, little old Rhode Island, where I made some mandatory holiday aged eggnog.   I was there to do a reading with Ruth Reichl at Matt and Kristin Jenkins lovely Chez Pascal, sponsored by Goat Hill, an organization like Boston’s Grub Street that Read On »

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Just returned from the New York Times Food For Tomorrow Conference (this post being in keeping with my goal of keeping a culinary web log), and I found it energizing and amazing, in large measure because it was held at Blue Hill Stone Barns in Westchester, New York, an amazing place, led by chef Dan Barber, about whom I will say this: He can be really fucking annoying. Which I’ll get to.     I was there because NYT food editor Sam Sifton, who knew I was working on (just finished in fact) a book about grocery stores in America. I would be on a panel with Rodney McMullen, CEO of the biggest traditional grocer in the country, Kroger, with 2,600 some stores, including those in about 30 chains that do not bear the Kroger name. McMullen Read On »

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  Just back from a fabulous trip to Hawaii on a magazine assignment. Such a great time, wanted to share some iPhone shots. Top: Opah, at the Honolulu fish auction. Terribly shabby view from my hotel in Maui, the Andaz resort. Breakfast at Lee Anne Wong’s Koko Head Cafe (garlic rice, beef patty, mushroom gravy, egg). Below: Adam Watten of the soon-to-be-opened Hanai, a market and eating venue, standing at his makeshift smoker. Lee Anne Wong with chef Mark Noguchi. A farmers’ market on Kauai. Watten’s menu for the night he cooked for a group of us. Chickens on the beach in Kauai, where the birds run wild all over the island. The Papahana Kuaola, a restoration site on Oahu. Soursop fruit at farmers’ market. The biggest Spam display I’ve ever seen. Smoke-roasted baby pig from Steelgrass Farm, Kauai.   My final mai tai, alas. The Read On »

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  I’m working with my friend Susie Heller (French Laundry/Bouchon books, among so many others) who’s commandeering the launch of a sleek new cooking app called Feast. It launches Thursday. It’s the brain child of tech health entrepreneur Jakob Jønck a co-founder of Endomondo, a running and fitness app with now more than 25 million users. He also was Head of International Operations at MyFitnessPal, a nutrition app with now more than 100 million users. He and Susie are bringing their love of food and cooking to this new app by marshalling dozens of chefs and food writers who also want to share the love—chefs as diverse and talented as David Kinch, Mourad Lahlou, Michel Richard and Jacques Pepin. The site, which is drop-dead gorgeous, combines these chefs’ recipes (more than 500, all scalable at a touch), technique Read On »

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I met MyThy at Sister Pie, where she works prepping pie filling and mixing dough for cookies, scones, crumbles, and pie crust. Plus, she has a killer Instagram account and blog. Like Lisa, who owns and operates Sister Pie, MyThy also has a creative culinary mind and bakes amazing cookies and breads. This is why I asked her to submit a recipe to Michael’s blog.  When she is not in the kitchen you can find her saving lives as an ER nurse at a local hospital in Detroit. She cares for people during the day, saving lives on- and off-hours. She nourishes people by feeding them her latest concoctions. MyThy then takes leftovers back and feeds her coworkers baked goodies to boost morale for those with grueling ER shifts. The staff call them “Mighty Treats!” MyThy is a Southern Californian native, transplanted to Michigan, aka the Mitten State (which plays Read On »

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