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Artichokes

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New Book Celebrates Talismanic Trash

Food, even of the most exalted kind, is rarely long for this world. Occasionally, some baron of gastronomy will announce that the floorboards in his new restaurant were salvaged from the original automat, or some credulous soul will make the News of the Weird by seeing the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich. But food and cooking objects tend toward the ephemeral. Which is one reason we are so enjoying Taking Things Seriously, a new collection of essays about particular treasures. (Another is that we contributed one of its essays, about a damaged but durable old cast-iron skillet and what it means to us.)

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At Freemans, the Deer Heads Smile and So Do the Servers

Cass Bugge
Actor Cass Buggé found work at Freemans almost a year ago, shortly after the restaurant expanded and began serving brunch. Unbeknownst to her, Frank Bruni may have been one of her first customers. So does she agree with Bruni’s assessment of indifferent service? “Initially we got a bad rap for being rude,” she says. “I know that’s sometimes the rumor on the street, but if you go to Freemans, you’ll see the people are really nice. I’m really nice!” After asking her about her job, we couldn’t agree more.

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Jody Williams Knows What to Do (and Not) With an Artichoke

“I get a kick out of things that are so easy,” says Jody Williams, whose raw-artichoke salad at Morandi basically consists of the vegetable, some lemon juice, olive oil, and good cheese. Sometimes, especially in Italian cooking, the smartest thing a chef can do is get out of the way. Williams demonstrates the best possible method for making a perfect, simple summer dish in this Grub Street video. Related: In Season: Local Artichokes [NYM]

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