|The amazing free bread basket at Le Diplomate in Washington, D.C.|
New York Times: “City Kitchen: How to Make a Perfect Piece of Toast,” by David Tanis.
This week’s Dining section is all about bread, with a portfolio of articles that tackle artisanal bread making, Chad Robertson’s famous Tartine bakery bread in San Francisco and the infuriating practice of restaurants no longer offering free bread. My favorite piece though is Tanis’ column on making the perfect piece of toast. It’s such a simple thing, but you know there are ways you like it and ways you don’t. It’s the first thing many of us learn to cook (and for a few, the only thing). Glad to see it getting some ink.
Bread Furst: “Dipa Did It,” by Mark Furstenberg.
Speaking of bread, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the opening of the new Bread Furst bakery in my neighborhood, which hit an unfortunately snag recently when it couldn’t get power or gas connections. In swooped a lawyer who’d taken interest in the business to help it clear these final hurdles. Bread Furst owner Furstenberg has been blogging about the process of getting the business going, which has proven a fascinating insight into the tremendous work that goes into getting a food-oriented small business up and running.
Washington Post: “From Rose’s Luxury Chef, Burnt Romaine Becomes a Party on a Plate,” by Joe Yonan.
A Caesar salad with grilled lettuce is a delicious thing. I first tried it years ago at Casey Jones in La Plata, Md. For this week’s Washington Post Magazine Plate Lab, Yonan uncovers the secrets behind a similar salad at Rose’s Luxury, which has Mexican twist I think I’d really like. Yonan shares another great salad for this week’s Weeknight Vegetarian: Radish and Arugula Salad with Honey, Almonds and Mint.
Washington Post: “Beer Madness: Devils Backbone Vienna Lager Takes the Title,” by Greg Kitsock.
Congratulations to Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager, winner of this year’s Beer Madness contest. I’ve had this beer before, and I agree it’s really good. I’m usually not a lager guy, but I like the darker profile of Vienna lagers, which I first came across while enjoying some amazing pizza at Toronto’s Beer Bistro.
Association of Food Bloggers: “Shooting in Manual: The Ins and Outs of Food Photography.”
If you’re a food blogger or just interested in food photography, this is a great article with encouragement to turn off that “auto” setting and learn to use your camera’s manual features. I have a nice DSLR camera, but I’m guilty of rarely exploring past the “auto” setting (it does take such good pictures on auto). I'd love to experiment with these techniques.
Quartz: “Chipotle Continues to Refine The Science of Burrito Velocity,” by Roberto A. Ferdman.
Even when the line is really long, Chipotle will get you your lunch pretty quickly. Ferdman examines how the restaurant has engineered efficiency into its experience.
Fast Company: “The Aeropress Inventor's Secret to a Perfect Cup of Coffee,” by Chris Gayomali.
I recently discovered the Aeropress as a really great way to make espresso without an expensive espresso machine. Gayomali interviews its creator, Alan Adler. As far as coffee gadgets go, this is one of the most accessible both because of its low price and ease of use.
Eater NY: “High Restaurant Vacancy Rate Plagues the West Village,” by Robert Sietsema.
New York’s West Village is home to some great restaurants (like Commerce), many of them tucked away in small spaces and odd corners. Although you’d think such a hot area would be hard to get space in, there’s apparently a glut of vacant restaurant spaces at the moment.
Eater DC: “Making Homemade Pasta with Matt Adler,” by Missy Frederick.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m really glad Frederick posted this as a picture essay, otherwise it would be really long! This is the latest in Eater DC’s “Chef in the Kitchen” series, where they present photos of a working chef. In this installment, Osteria Morini chef Matt Adler makes a spring gnocchi with speck, sugar snap peas and sage. It looks delicious. And his gnocchi look so perfect! (Guess that’s why he’s a chef.)
It’s Mom Sense: “How Dirty Is the Dirty Dozen?” by Sara.
You’ve probably heard about the dirty dozen, the list of conventionally raised fruits and vegetables to be avoided because they contain the greatest amount of residue pesticides. Sara of It’s Mom Sense looks at the issue from the point of view of parents, who may feel additional pressure to avoid conventional produce for the sake of their children’s health which, given the price of organic produce, may lead some parents to forgo produce altogether. She argues that pesticide levels in conventional food products are at or below levels deemed safe by government regulators and thus health concerns may be exaggerated, a point the Washington Post also made in a recent article comparing conventional and organic food products. So parents shouldn’t feel bad about giving their kids conventional produce, is what she's saying. While this may be true, Sara ignores the issue of what pesticides do the environment, which ultimately affects our health as well. Something else to consider in making this calculation.