August 21, 2012

This is an obligatory post.

How could I possibly let an August in the Northeast go by without commenting on tomatoes? No, not beefsteak tomatoes. Are you crazy? I mean heirloom tomatoes. Vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes from a farm stand, or an urban greenmarket, or a friend’s garden on Long Island. Or, wait, better yet, heirloom cherry tomatoes from a friend’s rooftop garden in Brooklyn. Yes, that’s it: vine-ripened-heirloom-hipster-miniature-multicolored-multishaped tomatoes.

Oh, I feel so with it!

And I feel so wistful.

As I sit here and figure out why the mixed feelings, I’m the first to admit I love heirloom tomatoes, for their flavor, for their whimsy, for how their ascent in popularity flouts the imperative of uniformity that defines industrial agriculture. I love that their riot of color, festooned only with olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil, is all the decoration a table needs. I love the fact that seeds for these funny-looking beauts are sometimes sold out, and love that it reveals how enthusiastically we want to feed ourselves, and with what. Minus the failed harvests and primitive dentistry, I too yearn for a Jeffersonian kind of world where everyone has space and time to grow food, and saving seeds doesn’t invite a battle against a multinational in federal court.

Read more…

RECIPEHot-Marinated Tomatoes


COMMENTS3 comments.

Hello from the Dark Side of the Earth

June 30, 2012

This may be hard to swallow, but there’s a bite in the air in Bali these days, even at sea level (where I am writing now), but especially if you dine at sunset on a pavilion floating off the shore of volcanic Lake Batur, the sun plummeting behind the crater at tropical-disappearing-act pace, rescinding its ambient warmth and leaving you to huddle under your hoodie and wonder when on earth your waiter will get back with your grilled tilapia and hot rice. Read more…



COMMENTS6 comments.

Said the Ramp to the Table

April 30, 2012

Where am I?

You are here. In Union Square. At the Greenmarket. In New York City. Read more…

RECIPESea Scallops with Ramp Pesto


COMMENTS3 comments.

The Weather Report

March 21, 2012

This was supposed to be a clever post about feeding Greek salad and grilled chicken in the rain to the crew of Soma Helmi’s new short film, Malaika, and how my staff wore silly makeshift hats, and Soma, in her yellow rain jacket, reminded me of a pretty and harmless version of that creepy dwarf in that 1970s Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie horror classic, Don’t Look Now. Read more…

RECIPEGreek Salad


COMMENTS7 comments.

The Melting Pot, Asia 2012

February 28, 2012

Some days, between the internet and the support of traveling experts, I think I could just sit in Bali and learn everything there is to learn in the world. Well, maybe not String Theory or Latin, but luckily my recent pursuits are less cerebral, and richly met when a Moroccan chef with a longing for his pots and pans rolls into town, or my friend Dipika enters last Sunday’s Second Great Chili Cook-Off in Ubud with a vegetarian chili starring homemade paneer. Read more…

RECIPEVegetarian Chili with Paneer


COMMENTS6 comments.