For the October issue of Chronogram, I profiled Warren Norstein of Big W’s barbecue on Route 22 in Wingdale, NY. His is a fascinating story; he essentially spent twenty years working backwards from the best kitchen in the country to a roadside BBQ joint. This unique career path is the result of a series of decisions, each of which prioritized his family and sanity over prestige and success.
As an added bonus, here’s a clip I found that complements the article . . . → Read More: Go Heavy And Go Home
This is a few days late, but I was in Vermont, blissfully removed from all things digital. For the September Chronogram I talked to Sandor Katz about his excellent new tome The Art of Fermentation. Whether you’re a curious would-be amateur or a seasoned fermenter, the book is a trove of practical knowledge.
Photo by . . . → Read More: Back To School
Photo by Roy Gumpel
For this month’s Chronogram I profiled the Crimson Sparrow, a new restaurant in Hudson co-owned by two alumni of WD-50, among other places. It’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area.
In other news, I was going to write about the smoked chickens, but the real highlight of last night was the fact that this brilliant woman gave me a haircut after dinner:
The Jewfro is no more. It’s the first time in about two years that someone else has cut my hair, and I can’t imagine a . . . → Read More: Ambrosia, Parsley
In the July Chronogram I profile Eminence Road Farm Winery, which I have mentioned already a few times in recent posts. If you live in the region, their wines are well worth searching out. Anyone interested in natural wines could do worse than to read Alice Feiring’s Naked Wine and Jonathan Nossiter’s Liquid Memory, both of which I enjoyed and found highly informative.
More photos after the jump.
Keep reading Doing What Comes Naturally…
For the June issue of Chronogram, I dutifully slogged both hither and yon surveying many of the region’s food trucks. Many of them are newly on the scene, and many of them make excellent and affordable fare. It’s an appealing career for people who like to cook but aren’t interested in the more complex challenges of a restaurant, and the personalities involved are diverse and interesting.
Photo by . . . → Read More: No Truck With Truculence
I contributed two pieces to this month’s Chronogram: an exploration of local mixology (using just Hudson Valley ingredients) with Paul Maloney of Kingston’s Stockade Tavern, for which I also took the pictures, and a more serious look at how our farmers have coped with recovery from last summer’s flooding, including the major problems with crop insurance and waterway management that have not yet been . . . → Read More: Writing Like It’s My Job
I was so busy posting fraudulent nonsense on Sunday that I forgot to mention that the new Chronogram is out and in it I profile Café Le Perche, an excellent bakery in Hudson where they’re making some seriously pedigreed bread at a high level using local, organic flour. I also have two pieces in the new issue of Edible Hudson Valley: one about my homemade Camembert and a sidebar about uses for all the whey that results from cheese making. These pieces also represent my first photo credit, which is nice. The Edible site is not updated, so if you don’t live in the area you will have to wait to read those.
Photo by . . . → Read More: Bread And Cheese
This month in Chronogram I take a look at a diner in Hudson that happens to be the first Animal Welfare Approved restaurant in the country. It’s an excellent model for making rigorously sourced food available to just about anyone.
Photo by . . . → Read More: Are You Going To Finish That?
Last month I was lucky enough to get to meet and talk with Madhur Jaffrey, and my profile of her is in this month’s Chronogram. There wasn’t enough space in the magazine to include all the fascinating topics she covered. My favorite bit was the fact that before the New World plants like chili peppers were introduced to India, the only hot spices they had were black pepper and mustard seeds. She says that in remote villages, there are still old recipes that call for two big spoons of black pepper, showing that the taste for heat was there and explaining why capsicums were so enthusiastically embraced.
She’s a living legend, a true embodiment of positive globalization, and the giant upon whose shoulders someone like Padma Lakshmi stands. What stayed with me the most after our talk was that she has attained her success by being absolutely herself. There’s not a shred of affect about her; she is as warm, open and honest in person as she is on the page. Listening to her speak is like reading her writing. It’s a powerful lesson in sincerity.
Photo by . . . → Read More: Madhur Jaffrey
For this month’s Chronogram, I visited flood-devastated farms and spoke to farmers and politicians alike about the urgent situation and the ways in which we and the government need to help them get back on . . . → Read More: Up Shit Creek