Nine hours door to door from Cleveland to my hotel room and I was hungry.  The fine folks in Portland organizing the International Association of Culinary professionals, had filled the room with Portland products, wine beer coffee candy and, lo, some serious local beef jerky.  Dense sweet salty savory concentrated protein, like candy.  I knew I’d arrived in a good place.  Ruth Reichl opened the conference the following morning with remarks on the subject that continues to dog her, Gourmet’s end, and her desire to put it in a broader context.  “What happened at Gourmet says a lot about where we are on the food landscape” she said, adding, “I should have seen it coming but I didn’t.”  Why didn’t she see the death of this eminent, arguably best, food magazine in America?  Because Read On »

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A visit to the Cheesecake Factory In Suburban Cleveland, or, How To Use a Fancy Pants Word Like “Insipid” Twice In a Two-Minute Video (insipid: 1. without flavor, tasteless 2. not exciting or interesting, dull; lifeless). A week or so ago I made fun of author and journalist Kelly Alexander after she wrote an article in praise of the Cheesecake Factory. She quickly issued a challenge by email: “OK, Ruhlman: A wager is in order, clearly. If you go to the Cheesecake Factory, taste that miso salmon, and after that can honestly tell me it doesn’t rock, I will not only pay for your salmon but will personally buy 15 copies of Ratio. If you go and eat it and then concede that it tastes good, you have to blog KELLY ALEXANDER IS RIGHT ABOUT Read On »

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