If you don’t already follow Food Beast TV yet, you should It’s a series of great “How To” videos that will change the way you think about eating many foods, including apples, bananas, pomegranates and even cookies, among other things. Some of these are funny and some are really practical, like the one I tried, just now. I ate an apple, just like this:
And this is what was left when I was done:
Such a small change in habit, such a huge realization!
Wow. I just looked at my blog and realized that it’s been more than six weeks since I posted an entry! I have sort of an excuse seeing that I was homeless for a few week, looking for a place to live and then a major move to East Hampton, but still, six weeks? LAME! So here I go. Rabbi Report 3.0 starts….NOW.
I seriously don’t know what the next 11+ months is going to bring for me, but suffice to say, this isn’t just the rebirth of the blog. Over the past 4-5 years I’ve lost both parents (insert Importance of Being Earnest ref. here) lived in LA, New York and now East Hampton, worked in a variety of positions, including film festivals, freelance writing, blogging for an award-winning ad campaign and I’ve been a character in an ARG. And now….country squire? We’ll see. For now, I am busy planting a vegetable garden, buying bird feeders and keeping the neighbor’s cat away from my birds and bunnies. That and whipping the house into shape with, I am relieved to say, a little help from my friends! God knows what it would look like if I was left to my own devices.
At any rate, I’m back. There’s likely to be a lot more about food and cooking, here from now on. I won’t be skimping on other things, but my nine week trip through the south this Spring inspired me as a cook, as a writer and as someone who is concerned with what we’re eating and drinking as a nation. I was introduced to the work of some outstanding chefs and food luminaries in my travels, including “eater/writer/educator” John T. Edge and chef John Currence in Oxford, MS; chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski in New Orleans; chef Frank Stitt in Birmingham, AL and chefs Sean Brock & Mike Lata in South Carolina. All of whom you’ll be reading about, along with many more in the coming days and weeks, complete with mouth-watering pics from their establishments and maybe even some examples of my own experiments with Southern-infused Long Island cooking. Stay tuned!
Until next time, here are a few pix of my new (rented) house (after the jump) in East Hampton and a couple of yummy goodness!
Yours from Northwest Woods,
NB: My apologies for the lack of posts, recently. My computer died and was in the shop for a while. Now, on with the Great Southern Road Trip!
If you haven’t already figured it out, a big part of this trip and my life is food. I love to cook for people, introduce them to new things and I love to try new things myself. In fact, I was very close to trying baby eel at Chez Phillippe in the Peabody Hotel in Memphis until I read that they were overfished, often counterfeited and $30 in addition to the already steep prix fixe menu… Anyway, way back near the beginning of the trip were the SXSW Film, Interactive and Music Festivals and Conferences, from which I have a lot of pix and video to come soon. But first, meat!
That’s right. On this, my 3rd visit to SXSW, I finally made it out to Lockhart, Texas and Smitty’s Market. SXSW Film Conference & Production Manager Jarod Neece was kind enough to put together a little outing of filmmakers, press and SXSW staffers on the last Friday of the fest and chuck us into a van for the 40 minute drive to the cradle of Texas Bar-B-Q. You see, Lockhart has not one, not two, not three but 4 “world-class” BBQ joints, or so they claim. I’ve only been to Smitty’s, and about Smitty’s I can swear that if there were a god, she’d eat there. There ain’t, so I guess that makes my analogy useless, but whatever. It’s some fan-fucking-tastic BBQ. Now, Texas is known for beef BBQ. if pork’s your thing, I would suggest you head to Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, etc. I’ll be writing plenty about the pork in those places, but for now, concentrate on the beef. Don’t get me wrong, they have the pork, but in Texas it seems like the swine is a secondary food source much of the time. I beg to differ, but when in Rome….
After visiting Gill and August’s Green Building, I hopped in the car and made the 385 mile drive to Memphis and my three day stay at the Peabody Hotel. Billed as the “South’s Grand Hotel,” the Peabody is all it’s cracked up to be. The staff in unerringly friendly and remembered my name instantly and they were very helpful about the local area, even if one of the valets had never heard of Payne’s. He must have been new…. While the Peabody is indeed a fancy joint (it boasts Memphis’ most fancy fine dining restaurant in Chez Philippe) there are deals to be found online. My stay was only $140/night through Orbitz but unlike some other hotels, I received no “bargain shopper scorn” when checking in. The Peabody is all class and that might have something to do with hotel Duckmaster Jason Sensat who also oversees the customer relations employees in the hotel, including front desk personnel and concierges.
More on him and the ducks in a later post, complete with video!
But now….Food! My first day in Memphis was a disappointment, since I drove out to Payne’s and it was closed. A main goal of this trip is experiencing the finest BBQ known to man or beast and consistently listed on “Best of” lists and written up in any BBQ book worth its salt, Payne’s (located at 1762 Lamar, Av.) was my #1 stop in Memphis. Alas, it was closed and my iPhone’s map feature led me astray when I went looking for my other important stop on this trip, Cozy Corner BBQ. I ended up no where near where I was supposed to be, but instead wound up near another highly-rated joint, Central BBQ. There I made the mistake of choosing sauce on the side. Never choose sauce on the side. Let them sauce up your sandwich. I guess I’ll have to go back, because it’s supposed to be fantastic.
At any rate, that evening, through a suggestion from the hotel, I ate at McEwen’s on Monroe and it was fantastic. I decided to try three small plates and was blown away by the Warm Hazelnut Crusted Goat Cheese Salad, the Shrimp & Grits (always a favorite) and the wholly original Red Tasmanian Sweet Crab Fritters. It was Americana with a southern bent, all prepared with care and excellent service. For dessert (I don’t usually indulge, but….) the trio of sorbets was fantastic, see: