The Incredible Beauty of Beauty

I spent the afternoon in Los Angeles with my friend Kathy Delgado yesterday and was reminded of just how exciting (not to mention happy making) it is to be with a friend who spends her life in pursuit of beauty. In the hour that we sat at the ever-inspiring Joan's on Third, we plotted my next book, Kathy's first book, and, naturally, the absolute beauty of a cheese board, which got me thinking about these roasted grapes. (Beautiful, right!?) The recipe, in a nutshell, is this: Put however many bunches of whatever kind of grapes (red, green, muscat, champagne) you want to roast on a baking sheet and stick them in a 350°F oven for anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes, until they are a third to halfway along their journey to becoming raisins. (The recipe is revised from Mozza at Home, which I wrote for the great Nancy Silverton, queen master maker of food that is equal parts delicious and beautiful.) Remove the raisin-ized grapes from the oven and lay them lovingly on a board with some of y ...

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http://articles.latimes.com/2012/feb/16/food/la-fo-bill-chait-20120216

All this talk about some guy named Jiro eating sushi got me thinking it's time to post this story I wrote in the LA Times. My editor at the time, Leslie Brenner, came up with the idea, which was way before it's time. (Her specialty, and why I thought the LA Times food section at the time, was better than the NYTimes food section.) Every similar story I have seen since pales--not for the writing. (Not my best lede!) But because Leslie had a great idea about what people really needed and wanted to know about eating sushi, even if they didn't know they wanted to know, which is: how am I supposed to do it?

The story came about at a lunch--baby vegetables hidden under salad greens at Patina, if memory serves me—as I told her ov ...

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I just got back from visiting a friend in the hospital. (In summary: Not good, but he's gonna live.) Looking on the bright side, the good thing about what ails him is that he can still eat. Being that pretty much everyone this guy knows is in the food business, he is going to be the best-fed guy at Kaiser. Last night two friends came in bearing two large bags full of tuna melts, bean salads, fried pickles, and root beer from Short Order. I brought Littlejohn's toffee, which I know is a favorite of his. Today when I got there, there was a sweet little box of cookies from Susina Bakery, scones from Short Cake Bakery, and last I heard, Armenian food from Carousel was on the way for lunch, and a double order of tagliata with oxtail ragú from Osteria Mozza for dinner. Anyway, today we sat around the way you do when someone you love is in the hospital, trying to crack jokes, not sure which is worse: talking about the reason you're there or not talking about the reason you're there, basicall ...

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"Drugstore Style Hamburger" by Jeff Jackson Today's New York Times article about burgers struck me as odd. Not because there was an article about burgers. Burger stories is what food publications do for the Fourth of July, which might as well be called: National Burger and Hot Dog Day because four out of five Americans probably couldn't tell you: Independence from what? But I digress... There's only so much you can say about burgers and the author pretty much covered the bases. She even tried to go national on the story. But here in Los Angeles, she chose to cover, of all places, the French bistro, Comme Ca. Huh? Okay, so evidently they serve one, but... does anyone in this town talk about the Comme Ca burger or wonder about the secrets behind it? In L.A., when it comes to burgers, people talk about the Pug Burger at the Hungry Cat, Nancy Silverton's burgers, based on her signature fatty burger grind sold at Huntington Meats, and the have-it-their-way burger at Father's Offi ...

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