rumination 22: time to look beyond…

With the opening of Empellón and Empellón Cocina in New York City by Alex Stupak, there has been a lot of chatter lately about Mexican cuisine’s “proper place” in the hierarchy of world cuisines. Wait.  What hierarchy?

Continue

rumination 22: time to look beyond…

With the opening of Empellón and Empellón Cocina in New York City by Alex Stupak, there has been a lot of chatter lately about Mexican cuisine’s “proper place” in the hierarchy of world cuisines. Wait.  What hierarchy?

Continue

rumination 21: à la carte…

– I had been behind on organizing my menu collection.  A pile of them had formed from my last few trips, unfiled. So this week, I pulled out all of my binders, bulging with restaurant cards, menus, and other momentos that I had collected over the years. I also pulled out a tub of oversized […]

Continue

rumination 21: à la carte…

– I had been behind on organizing my menu collection.  A pile of them had formed from my last few trips, unfiled. So this week, I pulled out all of my binders, bulging with restaurant cards, menus, and other momentos that I had collected over the years. I also pulled out a tub of oversized […]

Continue

rumination 20: spoof…

RANDY: There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to successfully survive a horror movie. For instance: One: You can never have sex. The minute you get a little nookie-you’re as good as gone. Sex always equals death. Two: Never drink or do drugs. The sin factor. It’s an extension of number […]

Continue

rumination 20: spoof…

RANDY: There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to successfully survive a horror movie. For instance: One: You can never have sex. The minute you get a little nookie-you’re as good as gone. Sex always equals death. Two: Never drink or do drugs. The sin factor. It’s an extension of number […]

Continue

rumination 19: xian…

Now that the whole world knows what umami is (that’s a Japanese word), I’d like to talk about xian (that’s a Chinese word, not to be confused with xian of a different tone, which means salty, or Xi’an, the ancient capital of China). I’m surprised no one has mentioned it yet. What is it? Well, it’s basically the […]

Continue

rumination 19: xian…

Now that the whole world knows what umami is (that’s a Japanese word), I’d like to talk about xian (that’s a Chinese word, not to be confused with xian of a different tone, which means salty, or Xi’an, the ancient capital of China). I’m surprised no one has mentioned it yet. What is it? Well, it’s basically the […]

Continue

rumination 18: bibendum in america…

I’m going to say this upfront: I’m no expert on the Michelin guides. But I have used them for years, referring to them for dining advice in dozens of countries across three continents.  And, in my limited experience, I’ve found them generally reliable in Europe (though it varies with each country), less so in the […]

Continue

rumination 18: bibendum in america…

I’m going to say this upfront: I’m no expert on the Michelin guides. But I have used them for years, referring to them for dining advice in dozens of countries across three continents.  And, in my limited experience, I’ve found them generally reliable in Europe (though it varies with each country), less so in the […]

Continue

rumination 16: proscenium…

What sounds like a fluff class, “Indian National Cinema,” was, in fact, one of the most challenging and rewarding courses I took as a film student in college. The attrition rate was high, the grading curve was steep, but I stuck it out and was rewarded with one, important kernel that I’ve carried with me […]

Continue

rumination 16: proscenium…

What sounds like a fluff class, “Indian National Cinema,” was, in fact, one of the most challenging and rewarding courses I took as a film student in college. The attrition rate was high, the grading curve was steep, but I stuck it out and was rewarded with one, important kernel that I’ve carried with me […]

Continue

rumination 15: update, please…

I haven’t ruminated out loud in a while.  But a recent post on a food forum, chiefly, a complaint therein about the failure of restaurants to update their menus online, spurred me to write. Time was (and I remember those days) when restaurants weren’t on the internets. You showed up, you ordered from what was […]

Continue

rumination 15: update, please…

I haven’t ruminated out loud in a while.  But a recent post on a food forum, chiefly, a complaint therein about the failure of restaurants to update their menus online, spurred me to write. Time was (and I remember those days) when restaurants weren’t on the internets. You showed up, you ordered from what was […]

Continue

rumination 15: why restaurants matter…

There are eight million ways I could start this post. I could begin by scrutinizing the moral imperative surrounding high-end dining, while trying to dodge all of its guilt-laden side effects and seemingly unjustifiable excesses.  Let them eat brioche, as it were. Or, I could initiate a circuitous dialogue about the artistic value of cooking […]

Continue

rumination 15: why restaurants matter…

There are eight million ways I could start this post. I could begin by scrutinizing the moral imperative surrounding high-end dining, while trying to dodge all of its guilt-laden side effects and seemingly unjustifiable excesses.  Let them eat brioche, as it were. Or, I could initiate a circuitous dialogue about the artistic value of cooking […]

Continue

rumination 14: ping…

I’m not Shakespeare. My writing is far from Pulitzer Prize-winning material.  And, though I’ve tried to pare down my blog posts over the last year, they’re not the exactly concise. But I get so many comments and compliments on my photos, and comparatively few on the substance of my blog posts that I often wonder […]

Continue

rumination 14: ping…

I’m not Shakespeare. My writing is far from Pulitzer Prize-winning material.  And, though I’ve tried to pare down my blog posts over the last year, they’re not the exactly concise. But I get so many comments and compliments on my photos, and comparatively few on the substance of my blog posts that I often wonder […]

Continue

rumination 13: if you build it…

One of the first things that people ask me is: Why Kansas City? No offense to the hard-working and wonderful chefs here – a few of whom I’ve befriended – it ain’t for the restaurant scene.  That’s for sure. I was born and raised here. My family is here. I enjoy the easy living. But […]

Continue

rumination 13: if you build it…

One of the first things that people ask me is: Why Kansas City? No offense to the hard-working and wonderful chefs here – a few of whom I’ve befriended – it ain’t for the restaurant scene.  That’s for sure. I was born and raised here. My family is here. I enjoy the easy living. But […]

Continue