I am loving being in NYC in this glorious fall weather, but work (and the city’s nefarious distractions) keep me from posting. After three wonderful, indeed humbling, events in Chicago and Milwaukee to promote the new book, The Book of Schmaltz, and the new and updated version of Charcuterie, I’m no longer dreading the many events scheduled for fall. I’ll be back next week with a proper post on NYC (and a fab new restaurant I lucked into), but in the meantime, here’s a list of where and when I’ll be this fall, often with that charcuterie maestro, chef Brian Polcyn. Full Events List on Facebook (or scroll down to see more detailed info). Hope to see as many of you as possible. Happy cooking! In Cleveland, yay! Appearing at Le Creuset Signature Store, Legacy Read On »

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Cleveland’s amazing West Side Market turns 100 years old and celebrates tomorrow with a great big bash of chefs and food. Greenhouse Tavern’s Jonathon Sawyer had it right when he called it “a cathedral of meat.” Right on! The building itself, completed in 1912, one of the few municipally owned and continuously running markets in the country, is flanked by vegetable venders. Cheese and dairy run the inside north wall. Nuts and prepared food and pastry run the southern boundary. Kate’s Fish on the eastern side of the market sells pristine fish. Near her, I buy coriander seed, curries, and pink salt from Narrin Carlberg’s amazing spice booth. French lentils and other spices are on the west side of the cathedral, across from Sawyer’s Noodlecat, selling steamed buns and fresh ramen. Can we just take Sawyer’s Read On »

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  On Saturday night in Cambridge, on a young friend’s recommendation, we dined at The Russell House Tavern, near Harvard Square, where chef Michael Scelfo and his mischievous band of cooks put out excellent high-end tavern fare. I was delighted when my 13-year-old son perused the menu and immediately asked, “Can we get the charcuterie board?” This question has only one correct response. I especially appreciated Scelfo’s pork rillettes, which were topped with a creamy layer of duck fat. Scelfo has a menu that would seem to be designed exactly for me, with items such as “Pig’s Head Cake” and “Crispy Pork Belly Sandwich,” but also deviled eggs and superb fried oysters. But it was the fact that he, like so many other chefs, offered charcuterie. Indeed the charcuterie or salumi board is now ubiquitous in American Read On »

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I’m introducing today Sandy Bergsten, a friend since 7th grade, and a relatively new blogger who has something to say about entertaining, which is what her site AndSheCooks2.com is all about: “Entertaining with ease.” Sandy is a former professional cook who loves to entertain and she simply has always given the best dinner parties—whether from her tiny Manhattan apartment when she lived there or her house in Cleveland, and now in Dayton, Ohio. She was so good at it, made it look so easy, I encouraged her to blog about it.  She’s taken up the challenge and I’ve requested a brief Q&A on entertaining issues people have and what she advises. Sandy is also sharing with us her recipe for Risotto Carbonara.   Michael Ruhlman: Hi, Sandy, thanks for being here and answering a few of Read On »

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What follows is an example of the best of all possible processed foods. In an effort to be better connected with the food I eat, I visited the Schmidt Family Farms in Medina, Ohio. It’s managed by Susan Schmidt, whose specialty is honey. She gave me some of her good stuff and it’s the best honey I’ve ever tasted. By far. Tastes like the actual wildflowers around her home. Susan’s farm is organic. She gives Bradley Cramer, who works in a music store in Medina, a small part of it to raise chickens on during the summer. (“People don’t realize that chicken is a seasonal food,” he told me.) He keeps them in large hoop cages that he wheels around the pasture every day so they have fresh bugs and stuff to eat. He tried letting Read On »

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