Showing posts from February, 2011

Where to Eat for South Beach Wine & Food Festival

It's time! Time for the culinary clusterfuck that is the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, as chefs, pseudo-celebrity-chefs, and their stalkers invade Miami for four days of food festivities. I'm not completely knocking the thing: there are in fact some great chefs coming to town, some of the events provide an opportunity for the local talent to show off, and, well, I can't speak from personal experience because I haven't actually been to a SoBe Fest event in several years. So I'll just have to leave the celebrity chef gossip over the next week to others, and hope everyone that's going enjoys it.

In the meantime, if while you're here you want more of a taste of what Miami has to offer, and haven't had your fill at the Burger Bash or the Bubble Q, a few ideas:

The Alt.SobeFest

(WARNING: horn self-tooting alert!) If you're looking for an alternative to the glam and glitz of the SoBe Fest, welcome to the underground. On Saturday February 26, Alex Talb…

Michael's Genuine Food - The Book

I thought I'd written everything I could possibly have to say about Michael's Genuine Food & Drink when I devoted nearly 5,000 words to describing my many experiences dining there. But now I've got some new material: Michael's written a book. It's called Michael's Genuine Food, and the subtitle - "Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat" - nails the underlying theme of both Michael's Genuine the restaurant, and Michael's Genuine the cookbook.

A word that appears multiple times in the book is "unfussy," and it's the perfect adjective for Chef Schwartz's food. When Michael's Genuine opened nearly four years ago (wow, time flies), it was on the front end, locally, of the now nearly ubiquitous farm-to-table trend. From the beginning, MGF&D was about sourcing great ingredients, as close to home as you could, and treating them simply and with respect. In the introduction, Chef Schwartz gives a great description…

CobayIdeas in Food

You will periodically see reports here from our Cobaya Gourmet Guinea Pigs dinners. The "mission statement" of the Cobaya group is a simple one: "to get talented chefs to cook great, interesting, creative meals for an audience of adventurous, open-minded diners." I usually don't draw much attention to Cobaya over here at FFT, but I think we've got a particularly exciting one in store at the end of this month. Normally the chef, the menu, and the location of the Cobaya events are kept under wraps, but in a break from the usual routine, we're lifting the cloak a bit and letting you know who will be our chef for the evening.

If you're an avid follower of contemporary cooking discussions, you will probably already be familiar with Aki Kamozawa and Alex Talbot, the couple behind Ideas in Food. Ideas in Food is a culinary consulting business, it's a blog, and it's now a book as well: Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work. Alex and Aki are…

In Defense of "Foodies"

I know, I know. Not exactly a title I ever expected to write. I hate the infantilistic word "foodie," am often less than enamored by those who self-identify as such, and don't particularly relish having it applied to me either. And yet, a recent, bilious polemic in the Atlantic monthly, "The Moral Crusade Against Foodies," has done the unthinkable: it has inspired me to come to the foodies' defense.

Though subtitled "Gluttony Dressed Up as Foodie-ism is Still Gluttony," and using as its platform several recent food-related publications (Anthony Bourdain's "Medium Raw," Gabrielle Hamilton's upcoming "Blood, Bones & Butter," Kim Severson's "Spoon Fed," the "Best Food Writing" compilations[1]), as well as older works like Michael Pollan's "Omnivore's Dilemma" and Jeffrey Steingarten's "The Man Who Ate Everything," the piece seems less about gluttony, and more an o…

Where Should I Eat Now?

Just for the sake of something different, I've added a new little "gadget" to the blog. Up in the top right corner, there's a section called "Where Should I Eat Now?" What is it? Well, it hopefully is at least somewhat self-explanatory: it's some suggestions in answer to that perennial question. But it's also sort of a hodge-podge of at least a couple different ideas.

On one hand, the inspiration comes from a suggestion I read somewhere in the Twitterverse, that local/regional food bloggers ought to maintain a list of the best restaurants in their area, for easy access to traveling gastronauts. Of course, this isn't actually such a list. I always struggle when it comes to the superlatives, naming the "best" this or the "top" that. Often it's just a matter of what kind of mood you're in. Bourbon Steak may be the best steakhouse in town, but that's of little significance if you're craving sushi. So this is not s…