Archive for the ‘books’ Category

That’s me in the picture . . .

November 2014

. . . not losing my religion.

If location, location, location is so vital, what could be better than in the heart of the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia?

Upstairs/downstairs at Kitchen Arts & Letters

January 2014

File this 30th-anniversary take under: Dither and miss a scoop. Learned only after it was published that the big story was not the basement but the changeover. . .


April 2013

A little thing I typed (too fast) about the amazing Peter Workman. “Workmanlike” should be highest praise after him.

Speed-dating 2007 cookbooks

February 2008

Los Angeles Times/Christmas 2007

WALK into the cookbook section of a good bookstore these days and it’s what you don’t see that’s the biggest gift of the season. Instead of the miles of aisles of Food Network-packaged slickness, the interchangeable Paula/Rachael/Giadas that have been so inescapable all year, there are small piles of serious recipe collections from serious cooks. And some big piles, too.

There are so many tantalizing cookbooks out there that I resorted to speed dating — dipping in and out of the most immediately appealing — to see which would work as presents. I soon learned that counterintuitive bits — a promise of foolproof focaccia, say, or a demand to boil oranges for an hour and a half before starting a cake — are likely to lead straight to heartbreak. But I also learned new tricks with a favorite vegetable (squash), found some wild combinations (Brussels sprouts, chestnuts and smoked salmon rock together) and came away with a really nice pile of books to settle down with. (more…)

Voting with their forks

June 2006

Los Angeles Times

Summer is supposed to be the mindless season, with nothing deeper to contemplate than the instant gratification of barbecues and ice cream. But something is different this year. America is getting serious about eating. (more…)

The hungry mind

September 2005

Los Angeles Times

Maybe it was one Rachael Ray cookbook too many, but when a memoir called “Last Chance to Eat” by an author I had never heard of landed on my desk, I picked it up and didn’t stop reading until I had finished two more food books with more writing than recipes. (more…)

A gastronomic world within reach

September 2005

Los Angeles Times

Cookbooks I buy on the road have always been my idea of trips that keep on giving. (more…)

I cook, therefore I am

September 2005

Los Angeles Times

Don’t ask Pierre Gagnaire how many ounces of bittersweet chocolate go into one of his desserts, let alone how long to bake it. The notoriously imaginative Paris chef has more important insights to impart. (more…)