2014-02-22T09:00:00Z 2014-02-25T13:16:06Z EDITOR’S LETTER nwitimes.com
February 22, 2014 9:00 am  • 

I am tempted to be glib and just say I’m sick of food, but of course I’m not. I’m sure you know what I mean. The never-ending rearrangements of book titles with the words, “Salt,” “Sugar,” “Fat,” “Heat,” “Bread,” and/or the dreaded “Cake,” make me dizzy ...and I almost never cook.

OK, I make scrambled eggs. Chef Jean Joho once told me that his greatest food memory was the perfect scrambled eggs with cream and chives that his grandmother made when he was a boy in Alsace, which has only encouraged me to strive for perfection in this single realm.

I used to watch Iron Chef back in the day and there was a time when I thoroughly enjoyed Gordon Ramsay psychoanalyzing and disciplining these crazy, unqualified, clueless people who started, or took over restaurants and ended up in Hell's Kitchen. Food television doesn’t know when to quit though and what might have been a funny, smart and novel idea for a while just gets stretched and stretched until it’s a boring nightmare that falls apart.

Television is always the worst, but food liturgy of every category often fails too. In a righteous search for sustenance ideas that are authentic and original, even the best storytellers, the most qualified doctors, the noblest editors and the greatest chefs trip into the extreme and completely absurd now and again.

We’ve all banked a few of these memories: The service of the lavender-pillow-tasting-course at Alinea was unforgettable, except for the morsel of food perched on top of it. Did we have a better absinthe experience because it took 15 minutes to prepare two sips table side at Fleur de Lys in San Francisco?

The overkill—and my willing participation—can never diminish the fact that I love to read and look at food books over and over again and never tire of beautiful photography.

I used to visit Grant Achatz’s web site just to look at the pictures. I constantly consult the collection from Gourmet magazine, Endless Feasts, chosen from 60 years of the archive by editor and writer Ruth Reichl. The best essays in the book were written by the poet Robert P. Coffin. Proving my theory that the best food writing is evocative poetry.

Here we have stories on the odd trajectory of the career of Ryan Thornburg, backwards to his very own locally-sourced roots, juxtaposed with a modern, innovative take on cookie madness—will we ever get tired of the annual Spring Girl Scout drive?—also the brilliant Chef Tim Sizer, the education of winemakers like White Pine’s (Professor) David Miller, and cooks, bakers and beverage makers of all kinds. Your mouth will water.

For something completely different we have called upon artist-photographers Joshua Nowicki and Ryan Bolger for a glimpse of their stunning work on the splendid landscape around us. (VisitShoreMagazine.com to see more incredible photos.) Weather aggravation will flee faced with the serenity and joy conveyed and captured in these photographs.

The next issue marks the real beginning of the Shore season. We know you are getting ready to rehab, re-plant, re-focus and revitalize for Spring 2014.

We will be back soon with the Architecture issue.


(Should be like pages 8-9 in Dec13Jan14 issue)

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