September 3, 2018
I’ve been going through old files, getting ready for the American Cuisine and Hospitality Symposium in New Orleans in a couple of weeks. I was there at the first Symposium in 1983, and I wanted to get a sense of what things were like back then. At the time, we were very focused on California Cuisine – I was the restaurant critic at New West Magazine – and I came upon this interesting letter.
May 29, 2018
I’m a packrat, a saver, a person who finds it difficult to throw anything away. I’m always convinced that the minute something goes into the trash is the exact minute when I’ll desperately need it.
This inability to toss things used to make me crazy, but lately I’ve been happy to have all this food history at my fingertips. I’ve got files going back to the early seventies. Today I pulled out a file labeled “Symposium on American Cuisine,” and found these interesting artifacts.
The first Symposium was held in New Orleans in 1983. Jim Villas gave the keynote speech, which was very curmudgeonly. The following year I think the Symposium was held in Louisville, and John Mariani was the keynote speaker. In 1985 it was held in San Francisco, and I apparently delivered the keynote. I have no memory of this, but I’m reading the speech now. Highlights from that tomorrow….
These menus are obviously from Louisville and San Francisco. I’m going to try and find the New Orleans folder…. I have delicious memories of the food served there; Paul Prudhomme was still at Commander’s Palace, and he made the most amazing meal.
January 12, 2018
A little diversion from current craziness. It’s somehow comforting to know that in January 1981, Gourmet’s suggestion for the meal of the month was this East Indian dinner. Looks good to me.
January 10, 2018
Leafing through an old Gourmet – February 1981 – I came upon this vintage recipe for one of my favorite soups, which was a signature dish at The Stanford Court Hotel.
A couple of years later – in 1983 – the Stanford Court would be the scene of the first major multi-chef dinner. At the time it was considered unthinkable that a group of chefs would actually want to work together. Or that they’d manage to make a decent meal. Almost every article about the dinner began, “Too many chefs….”
It was, of course, a fantastic evening. And the start of something entirely new. If you want to see the menu, look here.
January 1, 2018
From the same issue as that tangerine croquembouche, here are some more appealing (to me at least) suggestions. The article is called “European Entree Pies” and there are some very interesting recipes here….