ink-stained wretches

Names Dropped by Adam Gopnik in a Single Interview

We don’t like to let ourselves get annoyed by Adam Gopnik. It’s like getting annoyed by traffic or long lines or Glenn Beck — if you allow it to bother you, you could spend the rest of your life pissed off and muttering to yourself. But every once in a while we do find ourselves just kind of marveling at the New Yorker writer’s Gopnikness. Like in his recent Edible Manhattan interview, wherein he not only reveals that he keeps two clocks, one set to Paris time and one set to New York time, but name-drops in that fascinating, compulsive way some New Yorkers do, like they have Tourette’s but with boldfaced names.

We counted seven, not including his wife and kids. Needless to say, all of these people are kind of a big deal, but in case you don’t know who they are, we’ve provided a guide, below.

• How the Gopniks discovered the City Bakery’s pretzel croissant: “Peter Hoffman1 had sweetly had a dinner at Savoy on the occasion” of the family’s move back to New York from Paris “where I’d met Dan Barber,”2 who introduced him to it.

• On his upcoming collection of food writing, The Table Comes First, “which comes from something Fergus Henderson3 once said to me.”

• “When I wrote about Alice Waters,4 she sent us back a fax — those were the days of faxes — that was so dear and so passionately phrased that she was thrilled about the piece in a way that she hadn’t been since the Dalai Lama came to Chez Panisse.”

• “We had a very dear friend who’s gone now, Richard Avedon.”5

• “That’s a painting by our friend Bruce McCall,6 who’s illustrating this new children’s book I’ve written.”

• “This is the world’s best barbecue sauce. Lucca’s other godfather, Kirk Varnedoe,7 whom we much miss, introduced us to this.”

1. Chef and owner, the Savoy
2. Chef and owner, Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns
3. Chef and owner, St. John, London
4. Chef and owner, Chez Panisse
5. Photographer
6. Illustrator, author, New Yorker contributor
7. MoMA curator

IN THE KITCHEN WITH [Edible Manhattan]

Names Dropped by Adam Gopnik in a Single Interview