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When I published Boys Themselves in 1996, I was discombobulated from all the unfamiliar stuff of interviews and the weird business of promotion, and I told my wonderful agent this, who said, “Of course you are, you’re publishing a book!” It hadn’t occurred to me that publishing a books was like … well, what is it like? You’re walking along a calm shady street, all’s right with the world, and then someone you kind of know pulls you into a carnival funhouse. And it is fun, a lot of fun, you meet new folks and interesting people ask you good questions about things that are really important to you. But it’s also disorienting and you come out the back door looking kind of like a tattered Gilligan. Or so it seems. Today, in support of Read On »

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If you don’t already know Joshua Weissman of Houston, he is the young author of The Slim Palate (also the name of his blog). It’s also a Paleo cookbook, but that’s beside the point (as far as I’m concerned). And yes, it’s a lovely book with intriguing recipes and photographs that floored Donna, especially given that Josh was 17 when he took most of them, and is only 18 now. When I got an email request to blurb the book, I thought little more than “Ugh, OK, send me a PDF, I’ll try to have a look.” And I did, and it was good, and I did a little more poking around on his site. My turn to be floored. Watch this excellent video to meet Josh and hear his uncommon story—he’s an inspiration. This is more Read On »

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  Carri Thurman, baker and chef at Two Sisters Bakery in Homer, Alaska, on a young and growing cooks’ community. Her guest post speaks for itself (great links, too). —M.R. by Carri Thurman This summer I went completely and utterly MAD, and it couldn’t have been more rewarding or delicious. Mad is the Danish word for food. It is also the name of what has become one of the most exciting food conferences happening in the world today. This year’s talks were curated by David Chang and the folks at Lucky Peach magazine with the guidance of MAD founder, the head chef of Noma, Rene Redzepi. It is not so much a technical conference but a gathering of ideas and a convergence of philosophies with presentations that began with impassioned Italian butcher Dario Cecchini gutting a pig and quoting Dante and ended with Alex Atala showing us all that Read On »

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As Key West race week winds down, and the pork is slow cooking in the oven for my favorite East Carolina barbecue as the centerpiece for the last of our nine nights here, I’m suggesting a good sipping rum in honor of the sailors I cook for, rum being the ubiquitous choice amongst the crew. And also because we, or I anyway, rarely think of drinking a good rum with ice. Jeff Haase, above, a carpenter and project manager not far from me in Ohio, who crewed on the lovely little J70, insisted I try his favorite rum, Pyrat. He’s something of a pirate spirit, always good company, and I agreed and found it to be a great pleasure. This rum has more complexity and depth than I rarely think of rum having. Rum is Read On »

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A post-dinner reenactment of the crime now known as the “Rack of Lamb with Lettuce-Butter Sauce” debacle. Photo by iPhone. For the past several years my cousin Rob has brought me and his band of merry sailors to race in the Key West Regatta. I cook dinner for about 20 every night—sailors, spouses, itinerant friends, and other marauders who haunt the waterfront by day. What I do, basically, is what one cook or another at restaurants throughout the country has to do daily: Feed the staff with what’s on hand. Happily, I don’t have to then work the line all night, and then clean my station, and then store the leftover food. As if by magic, a half hour after dinner, someone has made the kitchen spotless. But it did get me thinking about family Read On »

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