My Dinner with Pardus Originally posted July 31, 2008 Do you have any veal hearts?” Pardus asked. The vendor, with happiness and surprise, said, “I do!” He pulled it out of the cooler and said, “How about five bucks?” “Sold!” What happens when a chef visits for the weekend? My old instructor and now close friend Mike Pardus (pronounced PAR-dus—some people think because he’s a chef, it’s pronounced par-DOO) visited recently. The main fact about Michael is that he is a cook in every fiber of his body, meaning, in part, that when he’s away from his work as a chef instructor at the CIA, when he can do anything he wants because he’s on holiday, he chooses to cook all day. Which is what we did. An impromptu meal, Cleveland style. The occasion Read On »

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Getting ready for Iron Chef America, with Michael Symon in the doorway. Self-portrait. God, do I feel lucky. I’m flown in to NYC to judge Iron Chef America at the Food Network, which allows me to do all kinds of other amazing things, since they don’t care when I come or go and I have dear pals with whom I can stay. I’ve joined CAA, which wants me to help me do more fun stuff, and I met with really interesting smart TV producers—one of whom, amazingly, also took a writing class with my mentor, RP. Iron Chef’s judges table. Photo by Michael Ruhlman. First night there, solo, and dying to see a good show, I asked my hostess, Amazing Annie, what to see. “Go see Cock—it’s great and an easy ticket.” It is and it was. But more Read On »

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When I was a sophomore at Duke, 1982, I fell in love with a beautiful freshman on a delirious post-Dead-show spinning fall late afternoon on Duke’s main quad. We dated all that year and I moved to Manhattan to work for the summer as an intern at a magazine to be with her. Her parents took us to Shun Lee West, her favorite Chinese restaurant, a few blocks from Lincoln Center.  One of her father’s best friends was Arthur Gelb, managing editor of The New York Times, whom I met frequently throughout that summer. We talked about writing, and he electrified me with stories of reporting and the newspaper life. He was a galvanic newspaper man, lionized in Gay Talese’s The Kingdom and the Power, biographer of Eugene O’Neill with his wife Barbara, and discoverer of great Read On »

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Today I wish a happy Independence Day to all my smart, vigorously commenting, articulate, wonderful readers who make this blog so exciting to write. Many of you come here to read about food and drink, for the occasional recipe, or to enjoy my wife’s excellent photography, but I’m guessing from the comments and from which posts are most read, that people come back because I’m an independent thinker and writer about food and cooking. I, with my friend and collaborator, Brian Polcyn, wrote a love song to animal fat and salt in a fat- and salt-phobic country. Earlier this week, I moved to make July Butter Is a Vegetable month (because it is, if you think about it right) even though every doctor in America will warn you away from too much butter (no matter that Read On »

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Dan Barber explains why vegetarianism is not beneficial to our environment and our food, via WSJ.

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