photo by Donna
I have two big big projects that are both due this week and they’re unfinished and I’ve been feeling buried and basically, after this winter and summer everything sucks, and I’m depressed and bitter and sad and angry, and my thirteen year old is moaning about how UNFAIR everything is, which is exactly what I’d like to be screaming right about now but can’t because that would be childish, so I can’t pay attention this week to this blog no matter how much I love the dialogue that goes on in what is becoming a blog.salon, which is so surprising and good.  But there is news.

—Consomme follow up:  If you missed his shameless self-promotion in the comments on the previous post, Chef pardus, inspired by the post, filmed making a consommé.  What’s important for those who haven’t made consomme is seeing how the clarification works and what it looks like.  I like to simmer mine a little more than Pardus does, so that the stock bubbles over the raft and filters down through it, and the video doesn’t capture the clarity that results, alas; also Pardus doesn’t get into the controversial waters regarding tomato and acid in the consommé (which Pardus used to espouse as useful for clarifying and del Grosso is violently opposed to) but the technique is … well … it brought me right back to skills (which changed my life, so I have an affection for the video that is difficult to describe to those who didn’t have Pardus for a teacher).

—He’s also posted a duck breakdown demo, sparked by the consommé discussion and is important for its plea for total utilization of our food.

—Timothy Hollingsworth, a French Laundry sous chef, won a competition among worthy chefs, judged by their peers, to represent America in the Bocuse d’Or culinary competition, a victory that includes $15K—not bad.  His commis or assistant, Adina Guest, won best commis (importance of teamwork in a kitchen cannot be overstated). Download bocuse_dor_usa_winner_announcement.pdf

Bocuse, a master at public relations, called on two of America’s most respected chefs, Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller, to help him to elevate the quality of America’s Bocuse d’Or team.  Clearly they have.  Congratulations and good luck to Timothy and Adina.

—The food network has put out the call for next food network star contestants.  This is one show that I’ve always supported and enjoyed (fascinated by television-cooking-as-entertainment dynamics).  This following arrived from the FN's Jennifer Dubin in an email yesterday:  “To give you a breakdown, essentially, we are looking for people who are passionate about cooking, and knowledgeable about food, to meet us in person at one of our Open-Calls. Most people think, for some reason, that they do not have what it takes to be on TV – but those are sometimes the best candidates for the show.  We do not know who or what we are looking for until that person comes to us with their story. Please help us spread the word to any and every culinary enthusiast who might be interested in becoming the host of their own cooking show on the Food Network!”  List of open call cities are here, scroll down.

—And last, oh, god, the epitome of horrific pr and a perpetuation of what is wrong with the what publishers think people need in the way of cookbooks. …. No, on second thought, it’s too important to tear off on this…in my frazzled deadline state.  Will have to wait to quote the most unfortunate cookbook pr I’ve read.  And I wouldn’t be half so angered by it except that we keep getting it thrown it at us….

Oh, and that shot of the meat pounder—it's for no good reason except that I love this meat pounder.  It's one of those tools that is both useful in the kitchen and a beautiful object.