This was my lunch yesterday. I normally don't take pictures of what I eat, and I have been pretty clear about this not being a what-I-ate-for-dinner-last-night blog. But this was a particularly delicious melange of things I had lying around, each with its own story. First, there are the lentils. I love stewed beans spooned on tomatoes, something I was introduced to when I did an internship at Chez Panisse, which coincided with the year I lived in a hotel, or rather, a gorgeous country inn called The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, where I had a stove but not an oven, and where I was a stones throw from Chino Farms, which grows both the best tomatoes known to man, and some of the most unusual shell beans on the planet. Yesterday's substitution of lentils had to do with the fact that they were there: I'd just tested them for the Mozza cookbook. These are Umbrian lentils, a tiny brown variety from a tiny town called Castelluccio, in Umbria, where just about all towns are tiny. At Mozza they are c ...

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I've had a few queries about my dog, since I did put his life on the line yesterday, so I thought I'd introduce him here and say that he is alive, well, and ready to eat whatever scraps fall to the ground today. This is Rufus (on the right) These pictures were taken at the Mozza staff Fourth of July party. I just LOVE parties! (Especially at Nancy's.) Nancy rented 2 taco trucks to feed the 300 guests: the Koji Korean BBQ taco truck, and the taco truck from Border Grill. The warring trucks. Rufus is under one of trucks. Eating no doubt. Rufus had to scrounge for scraps around the Koji truck like his cousins in his ancestral town, Tijuana. But here he is waiting patiently for an authentic Mexican taco of cochinita pibil. "I'll have the cochinita pibil, por favor." They say beggars can't be choosers but Rufus was clearly partial to the real Mexican deal. Like mother, like dog. "the pickled onions are what really make it!" ...

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Last night I was sitting at the bar at Canele eating a Not Nancy Silverton Burger with some friends and chatting with the very cool Lesley Balla about Twitter and why she Twitters and whether she thinks anyone really cares where she is or what she is eating, when Lesley logged on to Twitter to alert her followers of what she was eating and where, and we learned that Ted Kennedy had died. I like so many people had a soft spot for Ted Kennedy. My step-dad, Hugo, who raised me, had been a campaign manager for JFK in California, and I grew up believing that the world would be a more hopeful place if John and/or Bobby had had a chance to run it. My parents repeated the story of Chapaquitic the way others must recite fables from the Bible. A lesson on what not to do and of how bad things can go for how long as the result of one bad decision. I'm not sure if it was my parents' intention or the opposite, but I liked Ted Kennedy all the more for his mistakes. Hugo was a judge and I remember hi ...

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Brasato. I stole this picture from a blogger who took a picture of his dinner at Osteria Mozza, but trust me when I tell you that mine looked (and tasted) EXACTLY like this! One of the positive side affects of a bar set high is that when you meet it, you feel heart-swellingly good about your self and about life. The weekend before last, I made a lamb ragú, the first of my recipes that Matt declared "Mozza-esque," and I almost cried. Last weekend I made short ribs, or what is called on the menu Beef Brasato, which means "braised" in Italian (but really I'm just guessing here). When I brought it into the restaurant for Matt to look and and taste, he said it was perfect and told me to take it to Nancy. I brought it to her behind the mozzarella bar where she was just starting Saturday night's service. "What did Matt say?" she said as she slid her fork into my plate of fork tender beef, glistening with braising juices and topped with a refreshing tangle of celery and parsley leaf salad. ...

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