Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Food (Section) Fight!: Week 21

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

Today's feature story is about chefs becoming well-known for cooking ethnic food that isn't a match for their own ethnic heritage. Portland, Oregon's Andy Ricker of Pok Pok and the new Pok Pok NY is prominently featured, as is Alex Stupak of Empellón Cocina (and Top Chef first season winner Harold Dieterle, whose cooking I'm a big fan of). Writer Francis Lam discusses how sometimes such chefs are able to better adapt foreign cuisines to American palates because they aren't as tied to the culinary traditions they are inspired by.

Sort of a light week from my point of view. The only other story I was really into was Pete Wells' review of Back Forty West, the new Soho eatery that's moved into the former Savoy space. I wasn't really wowed by today's recipes; even Mark Bittman's Charred Peppers didn't excite me much.

Washington Post

The Washington Post led with David Hagedorn's feature on modernist cuisine with a focus on the equipment chefs are using to marry homestyle cooking with techniques from molecular gastronomy. There's a nice photo gallery with the online version. Mintwood Place, Elisir and Rogue 24 are among the restaurants featured in the story.

Jane Touzalin has a preview of 10 must-have cookbooks perfect for summer. Aliza Green's Marking Artisan Pasta sounds particularly intriguing to me, as does the recipe adapted from Annie Rigg's The Meat Free Monday Cookbook for Sicilian Cauliflower Pasta.

Greg Kitsock has a story about beer breweries doing more to lure guests for tours and tastings, although I'm a little confused about his statement that in D.C. breweries can offer tastings but the beer cannot be consumed at the brewery, since DC Brau's website says exactly the opposite: that it MUST be consumed inside the brewery. Dave McIntyre reviews chardonnays made from Oregon-grown grapes, including the Chehalem Winery Inox Chardonnay, a crisp and fruity unoaked style that I sampled last winter and thought was quite good.

Tom Sietsema's First Bite is a rather unusual choice: the buffet at the National Gallery of Art, although it makes more sense once you read that José Andrés did the Catalan-influenced menu, designed to tie in the current Joan Miró exhibit. Lastly, Tim Carman profiles food truck ChefDriven, the project of former brick-and-mortar chef Jerry Trice from Annapolis.


The Washington Post. A nicely balanced week of features, equipment, cookbooks, recipes and drinks.


The New York Times: 11
The Washington Post: 10

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