A West Coast friend who at an impressionable age lived near Chez Panisse first alerted me to Ste Alice’s coal ducks to Newcastle Beijing adventure, and I’m glad I checked out her link before reading a cheerleader’s. I think the guests who stayed away had the right idea. Just imagine the outrage if a Chinese propagandist had ever been arrogant enough to come to DC to shove seasonal dumplings and organic noodles down bureaucrats’ throats in the age of pizza as a vegetable (funny how “local” was a missing link). For all the dissing and dismay over greed/shortcuts there, our organic food chain is a bit tangled up in rot these days, too. And hadn’t the Chinese mastered seasonal/organic/local many thousands of years before invaders in North America started infecting blankets with smallpox to wipe out the populace who might know what to eat and when on this continent? Let alone eons before Berkeley went all knockoff-French on America’s lardass?