A couple weeks ago Tuesday, I was lucky enough to score an early rez at the restaurant Animal, the much-hyped LA restaurant run by chefs Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook (Vinny’s the bushy one, photo courtesy of Animal). A few weeks earlier, in town for a gig at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (bet you didn’t know I played the cello!), a friend took me to their second restaurant Son of a Gun. I told this friend I loved it and that it reminded me of The Greenhouse Tavern, because it did the same kind of food. (Only of course it didn’t really–Greenhouse doesn’t sell alligator schnitzel!–so what did I mean? Fabulous dish, that schnitzel.) It wasn’t till I ate at Animal with my friend the writer Dan Voll and our kids that I realized Read On »

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I’m very proud the Cleveland Public Library is bringing two extraordinary individuals in the food world to Cleveland, photographer Penny De Los Santos and Dan Barber, chef of Blue Hill in Manhattan and Blue Hill Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills (former Rockefeller estate), to talk about what matters most to them. The event is FREE! and OPEN TO ALL! I’ll be speaking and moderating, but basically you will see images from one of the most thoughtful photographers working in food and travel journalism today and hear one of the best chef story-tellers I’ve ever encountered (I hear he’s a good cook, too). If you don’t believe me have a look at Penny’s site, or listen to one of Barber’s amazing stories. (Penny’s not so shabby in the TedTalk Dept. either!) Penny shot the above image Read On »

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I hadn’t planned this post but when my wife, Donna, started emailing these iPhone shots of the dishes she was served at per se yesterday at lunch I just had to put them up. First of all, Thomas Keller and his ace staff two years ago began offering dishes a la carte in their salon area, outside the dining room. It’s a fabulous way to taste what the per se chefs, led now by CDC Eli Kaimeh, are up to. (It’s no wonder that Sam Sifton, in his final column as restaurant critic for The New York Times, called it the best restaurant in New York City.) Chef Kaimeh did not work lunch yesterday; in his stead was Chef David Breeden.  I once complimented Deborah Jones on her amazing photography in Under Pressure (she’s photographed all of Read On »

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The first of a three part post on the El Bulli menu at Next, via Time Out Chicago.

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Video: a preview of the El Bulli menu at Next, via YouTube.

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