Monday, April 19, 2010

Lake Garda

This past weekend we went to visit our long-time friends, Marco, Barbara and their 11 year-old daughter Giulia. They owned an Italian restaurant in Times Square for 12 years but returned to Italy the year after I moved here (2004). They have a restaurant at Lake Garda now, but spent the day with us to show some of the local sights, and it was nice to chat with friends who miss NY as much as I do. Ray got his first taste of a real Ducati -now all his model ones just won't do.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I knew him when...

he was just a "little cousin" I used to swing around by his arm and leg. Maybe he will use some of his grub to come do a foodcrawl around Bologna.

‘Fake Shack’ Creator Kenji Alt Scores Six-Figure Book Deal
4/14/10 at 2:02 PM

James Kenji Lopez-Alt, the MIT grad who is better known as Kenji Alt to readers of Serious Eats, Goodeater, and Cook’s Illustrated (Grub Street readers will recall him reverse engineering the Spotted Pig’s deviled eggs) has sold a book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, to W.W. Norton (curiously, his editor is Maria Guarnaschelli, mother of Butter chef Alex, and his agent is Vicky Bijur, wife of Serious Eats honcho Ed Levine). Kenji confirms that twelve publishers bid on the book, and he ended up selling it for six figures. So what got the publishing world so stirred up earlier this week?

Alt tells us a little about his plan for the 300-page, ten-chapter tome, which will consist of all-new material: “What I’m doing is taking classic, American foods like fried chicken, roast beef, mashed potatoes, barbecue, hamburgers, and fries and using them as a jumping-off point to explain various principles of food science.” There will, of course, be “hacks” along the lines of his method of cooking brick-oven-style pizza, but don’t expect re-creations of restaurant dishes à la Fake Shack — “it’s more ‘the ultimate hamburger’ or ‘ultimate fried chicken.’” The Food Lab will hit bookshelves in the fall of next year.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


It's been a beautiful spring so far. We went to visit Lake Como in the days following Easter, and I spent the rest of the week off just hanging out in the beautiful weather. Here are some photos to show you what we have been up to - my only regret was not making it to Venice for an afternoon (as Ray is wanting to see more boats) but we can do that in the coming weeks. Oh, and another food article (and again, you can get a similar experience at the Ricci house later this year):

Here, we had lunch at a local osteria in the Bologna hills where they serve various meats with crescentine (fried dough) - that is the entire menu. Oh, and pickled mushrooms, olives, artichokes and peppers. It is lovely to sit outside of this farmhouse while Ray zips around the tables on his scooter.

Lake Como is beautiful - and one has to take a ferry ride to really appreciate the landscapes that surround it. With Andrea's love of WWII history, we had to visit the place where Mussolini's body was recovered and a couple other related sites. Andrea also loves talking to old locals - here in front of the hotel we stayed at. It was great not to have huge crowds of tourists, though I wonder how these little towns survive the crush in the summer. We had the entire patio to ourselves for a leisurely lunch - that will not be possible from even a month from now!