Video: Lisa Ludwinski shares her summer internship at Zingermans and Avalon Breads, via YouTube.

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This 12-minute reading is from The Soul of a Chef, on my first experience with a tasting menu. Though I had special consideration at the meal—I was not a paying customer—it is an honest and emotional description of what remains the most important restaurant meal of my life. I thought it apropos, following my previous post addressing recent criticisms in the media of today’s tasting menus. It’s not a polished video—I simply set up a tripod in my kitchen before dinner and read—so please forgive my lack of video production skills! [For more information on what led up to my unlikely passage from unknown Cleveland-based writer to dinner at The French Laundry and what was to follow, read The Main Dish, a 35-page memoir of becoming an accidental food writer. It was published as a Read On »

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Video: watch the biggest fish and chips sandwich being made as Jamie Oliver is kidnapped, via EpicMealTime.com

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I first read about a new self-published iBook, 25 Classic Cocktails, published to iTunes, when Tampa journalist Jeff Houck wrote about entrepreneurial food people turning to digital devices. Donna and I recently published The Book of Schmaltz to the iTunes app store, a short cookbook on making and cooking with rendered chicken fat, an underappreciated cooking technique. Meanwhile, ingenious folks in Tampa came together to publish a book whose title requires no explanation. But the book does warrant explanation. Each recipe, some common, some I hadn’t heard of (one per screen), includes the recipe, a very brief history, one instructional video of the drink made and one quick montage video. At the bottom of the screen is a fat bar that, when tapped, displays all ingredients and, with a tap, their definition and description and helpful Read On »

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  Dull knives. It’s the single biggest problem in home kitchens. The. Single. Biggest. Problem. It’s the main reason cooking seems more difficult than it should be. And I’ll say this again, too. Guys and girls, the best Valentine’s Day gift you can give your lover/cook, get his/her knives professionally sharpened or buy a good sharpener. Again: Nothing says “I love you” like a really sharp knife. I get mine—I use Wusthof, btw—professionally sharpened at a wet-grind sharpening place, and OpenSky found this astonishingly effective and easy-to-use sharpening “stone,” called the DMT Sharpening Stone. (It’s not really a stone, but rather a patented diamond-dust coated perforated steel sheet on rubber; see video below.) If you have to saw on a lemon rind to get the cut started, your knife is dull. Dull knives force you to Read On »

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