Food (Section) Fight! is my weekly look at The Washington Post's Food section and The New York Times' Dining section with my verdict on which section had the better content for the week.
New York Times
Dining did something very special today: pay homage to Craig Claiborne, a longtime New York Times' food editor and arguably the father of contemporary restaurant criticism. In 1962, he started the practice of reviewing restaurants in the Times and developed the venerated star system that accompanies those reviews (and is widely used in publications around the world). Pete Wells' centerpiece story is a thoroughly enjoyable read, as is Jacques Pepin's short essay, in which he describes Claiborne as part of the "trinity of cooking" along with Julia Child and James Beard. The impetus for this article is the newly published biography of Claiborne, The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat, by Thomas McNamee.
Two beautiful recipes appear on page D2. The more interesting of the two is David Tanis' Farro Pasta with Nettles and Sausage, but Melissa Clark's Splayed Roast Chicken with Caramelized Ramps, Garlic and Capers looks delicious too. I can see myself making both of these, particularly since they include farmers market ingredients currently available.
Cathy Barrow has an insightful cover story about the art of butchery, which was a surprisingly engaging read. Apparently culinary schools aren't teaching it much, making it an endangered and highly sought skill.
Bonnie Benwick's Dinner in Minutes recipe was exactly something I was interested in making very soon. In fact, I woke up this morning thinking that I wanted a good spring risotto recipe to make for dinner tomorrow and as if by magic, there it was: Brown Butter Asparagus Risotto.
Lastly, Spirits columnist Jason Wilson takes an entertaining look at the (generally poor) state of the hotel minibar, including a few hotels that are trying to elevate its profile to something worth their exorbitant prices.
New York Times. It's not a bad week for the Post, not at all, but the Times was really good today.
The New York Times: 10
The Washington Post: 8