Blog of Award-winning authors
ANDREW DORNENBURG & KAREN PAGE
Named one of GourmetFood.About.com's "Top 10 Food Blogs"
Named one of The Fifty Best Links for Epicureans
Named to MUG 400 for "distinctive contribution to life in New York"
"Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page monitor the pulse of the food world like nobody's business. There's a fantastic database of restaurant reviews, too."
— Babbo pastry chef Gina DePalma
"Page and Dornenburg also write one of the most informative and engaging food/wine blogs on the planet. Check it out."
— Bestselling author Michael Gelb
"If you asked me what I came into this world to do,
I will tell you: I came to live out loud."
— Critic and novelist Emile Zola (1840-1902)
"There is nothing under the sun better for man than to eat, drink, and be merry. Go, therefore, eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with cheer.”
— Ecclesiastes 8:15
Tuesday, February 24, 2009 — Quotation of the Day, courtesy of daily Good, a free daily enewsletter that — without cost, advertising, or agendas — delivers "a little bit of inspiring goodness" to more than 100,000 readers, including us:
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
Sunday, February 15, 2009 — Here's wishing the Mayor of Central Park Alberto Arroyo (the subject of our July 8, 2007 Blog) a very Happy Birthday! There's a heartwarming article by Charles Wilson in today's New York Times entitled "Helping Hands Keep a Jogging Icon Going" chronicling nonagenarian Alberto's stroke this past August, and how the running community is helping him visit his beloved Central Park several days a week. The Times reports that Alberto is turning 93 on Sunday.
Saturday, February 14, 2009 — Andrew writes, "I wanted to write something special this Valentine's Day — and not just in Karen's Valentine's Day card.
When we came out with our first book in 1995, we agreed to list our names alphabetically, never realizing that Karen's name as the second-listed author would get dropped repeatedly.
We also never realized that people would assume I was the primary aruthor of our books because my name came first.
And we never realized that even though Karen's name finally comes first on THE FLAVOR BIBLE, that my name would still be listed first on many bookstore Web sites and blogs.
In our last two books, I went so far as to thank Karen for being the primary author of all our books in the Acknowledgments.
So on this Valentine's Day, I wish to acknowledge not only my love for my best friend, wife and co-author, but to stop short of jumping on Oprah's couch to say, "I love this woman who is the lead author and visionary of all of our work — not simply books, but newsletters, Blogs and speeches."
I have not been sitting by idly. We do work together, bringing different strengths and different points of view, and I am proud of my contributions to our work. But let's get serious; I am a dyslexic former chef with a great love of cooking and writing (and please take note of the order of the last part).
None of this should come as a surprise to those who know Karen, who studied journalism at Northwestern and has an MBA from Harvard. Despite having ideas for other topics, somehow her muse became the culinary world and the incredible people who are a part of it. In fact, the reason for her initial foray into this world was to help one particular aspiring chef: me.
So, on this Valentine's Day, I wish all of you who have benefited from and found inspiration in our books to join me in raising a glass and a toast to the person primarily responsible for all of them. For those who found BECOMING A CHEF the inspiration for joining our field, for those who've found CULINARY ARTISTRY their favorite or "most-used" cookbook, and for those who have found the perfect pairing in their glass or on their plate in WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT or THE FLAVOR BIBLE — I can't think of a better Valentine than to once again remind all of you that if our work has earned a place in your heart, you should have a place for Karen right next to it.
Happy Valentine's Day, Karen."
We joined "Living Today" host Mario Bosquez at Martha Stewart Living Radio at Sirius yesterday afternoon, and talked about some great dishes and pairings for Valentine's Day.
With the exquisite Ayala Rose Majeur Champagne (about $50), we paired Wild Edibles smoked salmon and blini.
With both 2007 Jackson-Triggs Proprietors' Reserve Vidal Icewine ($25) and the 2006 Inniskillin Vidal Gold Icewine ($75), we paired Dieter Schorner's unbeatable Tarte Tatin (from the recipe in CULINARY ARTISTRY).
Talk about matches made in heaven!
Shad filet with bacon, and shad roe, at the Oyster Bar
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 — Karen had her first delicious taste of shad roe several years ago thanks to chef Terrance Brennan of Picholine in Manhattan, and she's been a fan of this seasonal delicacy ever since. So it was with not a little excitement that we learned yesterday that it's shad and shad roe time again!
The Grand Central Oyster Bar served its first shad of the season yesterday — and when we stopped by for a taste, General Manager Jonathan Young let it slip that British actor Terence Stamp shares our fondness for it. This week's shad is flown in from Georgia, but as the shad swim upstream they will be flown in from other cities along their journey.
While the shad filet is prepared very simply, requiring a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of salt to finish it off, the Grand Central Oyster Bar kitchen accents the nutty, slightly liver-like taste of shad roe by serving it with bacon, and we heartily endorse the flavor pairing of shad roe and bacon. But the real triumverate here is the flavor of shad roe + bacon + a good pinot noir, like the glass of 2006 Highland "Seco Highlands" Pinot Noir our amiable waiter suggested that elevated the flavor synergy to a whole new level.
Grand Central Oyster Bar is on the lower level of Grand Central Terminal near 42nd Street and Park Avenue. (212) 490-6650. Web: www.oysterbarny.com Enjoy the first catch of the shad season all week long, and enjoy this delicacy for the next few weeks.
"A truly unique fish that is related to herring, the American shad is classified as 'anadromous' because it spends the majority of its life in salt water but returns to its birthplace to breed in freshwater. Because the shad loses body fat as it labors upstream, the most prized are those that have journeyed the least. The Oyster Bar monitors the movement of shad schools through its suppliers."
—Grand Central Oyster Bar in Manhattan
El Bulli chef Ferran Adria with Karen Page at MadridFusion
Monday, February 2, 2009 — We hope you are weathering cold and flu season more successfully than we've been able to: Karen's been knocked out for more than a week now. She reports that her culinary highlights of late have been Andrew's homemade oatmeal drizzled with maple syrup in the morning and his roast chicken with lots of veggies later in the day —
alternated with Sarge's chicken soup!
So we haven't yet been able to report on our recent trips to Belgium (where we co-keynoted The Flemish Primitives, the first-ever global conference on Foodpairing in Brugge) and Spain (where we attended MadridFusion). Soon!
We enjoyed Insatiable Critic Gael Greene's "Short Order" today, which reflects our own mixed feelings when a critic doesn't love the places we do — and when we're at least grateful that a gem like Cesare Casella's wonderful Salumeria Rosi won't be even harder to get into!
"...As for the Diner Journal’s measured approval of Salumeria Rosi – it is definitely cramped at a two-top squished so close to the next table and so far, I’ve not been stuck on a bench in the window as perhaps Frank was. But my guy and I slip in for dinner at least once a week, splitting a zuppe de ferro and the pasta amatriciana or whatever new dish Cesare Casella dreams up. Dinner for two, $65. And it’s my new favorite business lunch spot, too. Lukewarm notices from Bruni means it won’t be impossible to book our tables."
Saturday, January 17, 2009 — We feared it was bad news when we learned that Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks in Vancouver had run out of copies of THE FLAVOR BIBLE before the holidays. Weren't they well-stocked after our event there in September? Apparently, they were — they just weren't prepared to see THE FLAVOR BIBLE fly off the shelves to the point where the book was their #1 bestselling title the week of December 13-19, 2008.
The discerning staff at Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks has now compiled their Top 10 Favorite Cookbooks of 2008, and we're honored to see THE FLAVOR BIBLE among them. They're asking for email votes for your favorites, so we invite you to email the gang at firstname.lastname@example.org with a good word for THE FLAVOR BIBLE before the polls close at 6 pm on January 29th!
Karen Page and Susan Butler congratulate director Danny
Boyle on his "Best Picture" win for "Slumdog Millionaire"
Thursday, January 15, 2009 — It's been a big week for director Danny Boyle, whose film "Slumdog Millionaire" took home awards from Sunday night's Golden Globes out in L.A. as well as last night's National Board of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani right here in Manhattan. After having seen "Slumdog Millionaire" on Sunday afternoon, we were especially happy to be able to congratulate Danny last night on his latest win!
Picholine chef-owner Terrance
Brennan with Karen, Andrew and
Ouest chef Tom Valenti in 2003
Picholine amuses-bouches inspired by street food on sticks
Fall Vegetable Salad with Black Truffle, Walnut Brittle
Borscht Soup with Mustard Ice Cream, Goat Cheese Tuile
Jamon Iberico de Bellota with Fig Marshmallows
Nantucket Bay Scallops w/Blood Orange, Horseradish Granite
Wagyu Number Ten with Cipollini Kimchi
Huckleberry Cloud with 25-year Aceto Balsamico
Tradizionale, Chocolate Salt
Exotic Fruit Soup with Passion Foam, Coconut Tapioca
Monday, January 12, 2009 — After last week's very enjoyable visit to Belgium (to co-keynote the first global food pairing conference The Flemish Primitives in Brugge), we're happy to be back in New York and reflecting on 2008 as we kick off 2009.
Perhaps our single best dinner of last year was at Picholine, where we indulged in a dinner last month to celebrate Andrew's half-century birthday. As luck would have it, a snowstorm hit Manhattan that day, and we were informed that dozens had called to cancel their reservations that night because of it. But the other diners' loss was our gain, as Picholine rewarded those of us hardy enough to make it in that night by spoiling us rotten.
We've long been avid admirers of chef-owner Terrance Brennan's extraordinary talent. Our first dinner at Picholine in 1995 was one of the best meals of our lives, as we marveled at the way he made classic flavor combinations come alive, and exhibited unusual mastery of menu planning and pacing. We both found it to be a four-star caliber experience at that point in time, even if local newspaper critics hadn't awarded it that official status.
But then the cheese bug bit, and Terrance went on to open Artisanal Bistro and the Artisanal Cheese Center. After he sold the latter last year, he decided to refocus on his culinary artistry at Picholine. The results are unexpectedly masterful, as he takes his food and flavors and their presentation into exciting new modern directions.
Picholine is at 35 West 64th Street, between Central Park West and Broadway, in Manhattan. (212) 724-8585.
Update: There are new, more economical ways to enjoy chef Terrance Brennan's celebrated restaurants Picholine and Artisanal Bistro, according to an email we just received that seems well worth sharing:
* The Menu d'Economie at Picholine is now available in the Dining Room by reservation Monday through Thursday after 9 pm. Guests can also call the restaurant for same day reservations (Monday through Thursday) to check the availability of tables in the Dining Room prior to 9 pm. The Menu d'Economie remains available in the Cheese and Wine Bar each night throughout the evening. The Menu d’Economie features a dozen Tasting Plates — half-portion entrees — for $20 each. A four-course, prix fixe Menu d’Economie will also be available for $72. On Monday nights, guests can enjoy any bottle of wine, $150 or less, at half price in the Dining Room or in the Cheese and Wine Bar. The 60 under 60 wine list is also available at the Cheese and Wine Bar. www.picholinenyc.com. 212-724-8585.
* Meanwhile, Monday night is COMFORT FOOD NIGHT at Artisanal Bistro and Wine Bar. Chef-Proprietor Terrance Brennan has assembled a comfort food menu that includes dishes (all priced under $20) like Lamb Meatloaf and Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes. Artisanal has also introduced a new Bar Menu featuring a Grilled Cheese Bar ($12 to $15), a one-of-a-kind Pomme Frites Menu ($9) and Amuse-Bouches such as Smoked Paprika Popcorn and Paella Spring Rolls. The Bar Menu is available at the bar until 11 pm Monday through Saturday, and Sunday until 10 pm. www.artisanalbistro.com. 212-725-8585.
Thursday, January 1, 2009 — There are few better ways to start the New Year than to push the "Send" button on a presentation you'll be delivering at a gastronomy conference next week — except, perhaps, to immediately thereafter discover that BarnesandNoble.com lists your new book as #1 in its category:
"1. FLAVOR BIBLE by Andrew Dornenburg (sic). 2. Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten. 3. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives by Guy Fieri. 4. Lucia's Survival Guide and Cookbook by Lucille Campilongo. 5. Fish Without a Doubt by Rick Moonen."
—"Current Bestsellers: Cooking , Food & Wine," BarnesandNoble.com (January 1, 2009)
Happy New Year indeed!
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