Harold McGee

June 22, 2010

Sitting here reading the galleys of his new book, Keys to Good Cooking. It's kind of like having him standing in the kitchen next to you, answering your questions. I can't imagine that there's anybody who cooks who won't keep this book right by the stove.

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Jeffrey Wright

June 22, 2010

Dinner last night on The Highline. Lovely local food very much in the Michael Pollan mode (mostly vegetables, and not too much). But for me the big thrill was seeing Jeffrey again; I loved cooking with him last summer on Adventures with Ruth. And it's so exciting to know that his project – building a road in Sierra Leone so farmers can get their goods to market- has been supported by The Tiffany Foundation. He's built his road!

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June 21, 2010

Dinner last night at Marea. Started with geoduck – so crisp, so clean, so briny – and went on to cold lettuce soup with fried oysters and trout roe. The trout roe is what made the dish, a delicate pop in each bite. And then that perfect pasta – just a bit of snap – richly laced with sea urchins and crab. It is about as satisfying as a dish can be. Love that restaurant.

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Father’s Day

June 20, 2010

My father disdained what he called “Hallmark Holidays,” but today, thirty years after his death, I’ve been thinking that he was wrong. On this damp, gray day there is a melancholy happiness in eating his favorite foods and thinking about how much I still miss him.

Dad loathed American breakfasts. “How can you eat that?” he’d ask, looking miserable as Mom and I ate bowls of fruit and cereal, “it’s not real food.” Mom’s concession to Dad’s breakfast obsession was to get up early every morning and trudge to the bakery around the corner for fresh rolls. These she set out with plates of cheese (always the pungent Leiderkranz, sometimes the less objectionable Emmenthaler), sliced ham, salamis, fresh butter and good jam.

“But where’s the herring?” Dad asked every morning. Mom never deigned to answer.
During their courtship she had discovered how much he loved herring and always had some on hand when he came to visit. “Only after we were married did she inform me that she could not stand the stuff,” he said. Then he would shake his head sadly and say, “That’s the price of marriage. You have to give up the things you love best. Now I only get herring on my birthday.”

It’s not Dad’s birthday. But wherever he is, I hope he’s eating herring.

In his honor, I’m doing that right now.