Friday, June 12, 2009

An old friend, and some new cookbooks

Michael, an old friend from college who I unfortunately catch up with only now and again, has a new blog, Klezmer and Kabernet, that anyone who is reading this should check out. Aside from being way funnier than I am, he knows more about wine than almost everyone I know. Since he's going to be blogging about all things oenological (and yes, I did have to go to to find out if that was a real world), and if you want to know more about wine, then I suggest you check it out.

Since I'm on the road to recovery from my separated shoulder, I promise I'm going to start doing some real cooking again, and I can exercise some creativity since I soon won't have to worry about lesson plans for a few months!

So, some of you might remember I've picked up this odd hobby of collecting signed cookbooks. I've recently added two more to the collection:

Burgers, Fries and Shakes by Bobby Flay: ...I suppose should take this time to say that I really don't particularly like Bobby Flay. It could be the fact that I don't get why he's so damn popular. It could be the the impression of arrogance and smugness I get from him. It could be the fact that I don't think the food he cooks on TV is terribly inspired or original. However, I wasn't about to turn down the opportunity to add to the collection... I get to the front of the line with Steph, and he's there and I'm trying to be all excited (Steph, meanwhile, wants to simply punch him in the face) and I hand him the book and try to engage him and....nothing. No affect, no friendliness, no nothing. Just a mumbled "hi" and some quarter-hearted (more like decimal-place) attempt at conversation. Well, now that I was annoyed, I took great pleasure in telling him that I'd never eaten at his restaurant but instead always ended up at Dock's Oyster House, a must when you go to AC. I figured that he was just like that because maybe he was freaked out by an almost-30 year-old guy waiting on line for his autograph...but he was that awkward and nonengaging with everyone! How is this guy still famous?!?

Michael Mina: The Cookbook by...well...Michael Mina: This one is thanks to my parents, who ordered the "Cookbook Tasting Menu" when they went to Michael Mina at the Bellagio on their trip to Las Vegas. No waiting on line here, just a supplemental charge to the menu got the signed book. Instead of ranting, let me tell you just what a genius Michael Mina is.

You know how on Top Chef, everyone tries to make duos or trios on a dish, only to fail because there's no forethought and poor execution? Not Michael Mina's trios...most of the cookbook is based on making a core recipe then expressing it in three distinct and harmonious ways. Granted, even he says that making just one of the trio recipes is good enough for a meal, but that taking the time to do all three is worthwhile. Scallop ceviche? Olive-oil poached rack of lamb? Butter-poached rib-eye steak? Molten cakes? Sign me up.


Rob Timko said...

you know, Bobby Flays Burger Palace is worth it if you are near it....I feel the same way about the guy, and wanted to hate the place, but....have been there like 4 times in the past couple of weeks.

I recently had lunch with Emeril (yep) and thought he was completely different than I expected...real cool guy!

Alex said...

Oh, I'm not saying anything bad about the food - we've been to Burger Palace a bunch of times and have always been left satisfied. He's just a tool, imo.

I've heard Emeril's a pretty cool guy. My dad has met him a few times when he's been on Good Morning America (he works for ABCNews) and he said Emeril's pretty with it.