A 94 year celebration

Sat, Dec 20, 2014 by

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Grandma's Birthday

Last Saturday grandma turned 94. In celebration of all those years we gathered in Port St. Lucie and celebrated both her birthday and a sort of Christmas “Observed”. This year we’ll be staying in New York so we had to double up on the seven fishes and Christmas day roast. I’m going to keep the words short on this one. To sum it up one of the many peeps, that were in and out over the two day celebration, likened the food madness to a family version of Top Chef with my uncles and Tony all trying to out cook, and then out eat, each other. I opened my mouth to defend BUT all that came out was “Yep, You nailed it.” Here are some highlight dishes. Of course grandma got in the mix too.

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Forked with Ashley Batz

Thu, Dec 18, 2014 by

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Ashley Batz

Food, photos and Italian-ness. That’s how my first conversation with Ashley Batz went so, needless to say, I was instantly intrigued. As it turns out we’d talk a lot more in the next few weeks as we prepared to finish this project with her incredible photos. After I picked her up from the Palo Alto train station, for our scouting trip, we started in immediately by discussing our mutual love for dinnertime and the family meal. We swapped stories about the dinner table, dinnertime and the fading ritual that shaped us both so much as people. On to food photography, we meandered through descriptions of our favorite tastes and meals. Ashley went all business once we arrived at our location. After our steadfast and professional assessment of the photo shoot that would happen in the coming weeks we headed out to lunch. Where else but to the Stanford outpost of the famous Ike’s Sandwich shop (now closed). When the shoot day finally came we finished with her treating me to my very first bubble tea. Needless to say we got along like lost siblings. Check out what she had to say on the jump about fake restaurants, freelance life and the cast of Ocean’s 11.

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King of Cookies

Fri, Dec 12, 2014 by

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Christmas 2013

It’s time this post saw the light of day. I’ve been avoiding the publish button until I lost the 15lbs that inevitably comes with Christmas. Damn you Santa. And, now yes that has taken me an entire year. The cookie table certainly doesn’t help. Instead of the recap we usually post each year. I thought I’d focus on the coming year and, specifically, it’s cookie contenders. On the jump are the four contenders.

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Wedding Bells and Bites

Mon, Dec 8, 2014 by

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Bangalore, India

Not really bells at all BUT today marks the anniversary of the reason for last year’s epic India adventure. Having never officially told the story of the only Indian wedding I have attended that was actually in India, I’m taking this anniversary to share some of the awesome. Straight off holiday with my Amsterdamian sister and brother, the bride and groom, doesn’t hurt for jarring my brain either. A good dose of family brought back lots of memories of the fantabulous, delicious, auspicious day. It was three days really, but we’re going to skip the haldi, mehndi, pre-dinner (milni), arrival party (baraat) and ALL the wedding attire shopping parts. Not that they are uninteresting, just that they could fill a post all by themselves. The food stories alone could fill a weeks worth of posts as indicated by the photo on the jump of the beautiful and full bellied couple.

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Simple India…uhh, sorta

Wed, Dec 3, 2014 by

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Udaipur, India

It’s the simple things that stick with me. The perfectly, unfussed, real, things that stick with me the most. It could be many things but meals are those that I remember most. Usually because they link to a bigger memory of an experience I had or a person I met. This is the story of Rafik, our pseudo tour guide and driver from last years India adventure. This story falls in the portion of the trip that is dripping in luxury. Make no judgements. I’ve had plenty of cold shower mornings after waking up in an $8 a night bed and then slinging my backpack over my shoulder to continue the trips nomadic and “gritty” trajectory. This was not one of those weeks. Which doesn’t mean we didn’t get off the beaten path or brush up against the real India. We just did it in a BMW 5 series and a golden tuk tuk. Both driven by Rafik. Find out about him and our adventure on the jump.

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99 Thankful For’s

Fri, Nov 28, 2014 by

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Noble Pies

Hey, I’m Thankful for:

99. You readin’ this
98. Honest comments
97. Citibike
96. The Ronco 4000 in my kitchen
95. My brothers understanding
94. The Thong Song
93. Bacon (thick cut)
92. Bacon playing cards
91. Homemade cherry pies made in industrial kitchens (pictures above)
90. A mom who understand my crazy non-stop
89. Curiosity
88. Knowing what a ground fault interruptor is
87. Having a friend I knew since I was 2
86. Button down shirts vs. Button front
85. Fermentation
84. Whole animal butchers
83. Bein’ Italian (the show)
82. My dad teaching me organization (tough love)
81. Preparedness
80. Levain Cookies
79. Air cured tubular pork
78. Brooklyn the brand
77. Not running for subways
76. A lil company called Manifold
75. My masters in business (school of life)
74. Things not going according to plan
73. Revised plans
72. Air travel
71. The chemistry behind brining
70. Old neighborhoods with new life but old neighbors
69. The MTA
68. The muscle car comeback
67. “Scenerio”
66. Synonyms, metaphors and adjectives
65. A pizza party like none other
64. The sound of intermittent windshield wipers at a red light
63. The local route
62. Eating with people
61. A clean check up
60. The Joe Schram Special
59. Esquire Channel
58. iPads for ordering food at airports
57. Human’s desire to find the new
56. Anything that is formerly know as
55. Feeling at home in the chaos of India
54. Walking in Verona with my wife
53. Choice
52. Simplifying complex ideas
51. Troy McClure
50. The art of life
49. My mother-in-laws curry
48. The NYC BBQ renaissance
47. Things that make ya go hmmm
46. Growing up in the 80’s
45. King of Queens
44. The existence and versatility of lemons
43. Mission burritos
42. NYC slices
41. Not putting me on Food Network (yet)
40. That feeling you have when sipping a macchiato after an amazing meal
39. Amazonian snails
38. Friends of friends who want to take me around their city
37. Taking friends of friends around my city
36. Family who believe blood is thicker than water
35. Friends who know they are family
34. Legos
33. The A-Team theme song
32. The perfectness of a banana
31. Spatchcocking
30. Getting to know Cincinnati
29. Smoked grapes
28. Cavatelli with marscarpone
27. Boozie brunches
26. The sharing economy
25. My compass’ true north equalling fun
24. Being blessed with means but not forgetting the ends
23. Solid work ethics
22. Knowing thy self
21. A kid named Rojeh
20. Funky bass in any decade
19. Following my gut
18. Bodega sunflowers
17. Very comical uncles
16. Art class
15. Environmental studies in 9th grade
14. Bottom of the Grand Canyon perspective
13. Understanding that perception is relative
12. Color in nature
11. Color on a retina display
10. Great storytelling
9. Silence
8. West Indian goat curry
7. Modern farmers
6. Rise of the western hawker market
5. Film cameras
4. My wife’s terrariums
3. Marrying into an amazing family and culture
2. Acorn fed pigs
1. @missustasty

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Aji’s House

Fri, Nov 21, 2014 by

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Bangalore, India

Next week marks a year from our last India trip. I still have so many stories to tell you all about that adventure and 2014 has proven full of obstacles that have kept me from typing out these moments. As a another scratch in the surface of the trip, like I tried to do back in February, I want to share my favorite meal from the entire trip.  The anniversary of this trip along with my plans for this year makes this especially relevant. Aji’s house, Missus Tasty’s grandmother, is a typical Bangalore apartment filled with the hustle, bustle, decor and food you find in most families. For me it’s the finest restaurant I could be privileged to attend. It is in peoples homes that meals transcend taste and smell and become something etherial and even spiritual. Three of the five things on the above plate were made specifically because Aji, my Aunties and my Mother-in-Law knew I love those recipes. The other two were what they love to make and they wanted to share that with me. Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe the taste but beyond that the experience of sitting in the apartment, talking, nibbling, laughing and exploring were priceless.

Next week I get another version of this meal. This time at my in-laws in Canada. The food rivals Aji’s house and is even more catered to my tastes. I am definitely a little spoiled when it comes to my in-laws. So much that my coined term “Puri Party” is a given for at least one of the afternoon meals. This year the Amsterdam contingency will be in the house as well and I can’t wait. A full house with the whole family is going to produce lots of smiles and some very full bellies. Aside from the four days of home cooked goodness that await me, this year the stakes are upped. I am learning to make those delicious puri’s from scratch. (the two golden, round things on the plate above) So watch out for that post. I might even do a step-by-step. If you need me after Wednesday I’ll be deep in a bowl of ಮೊಸರು-ಅನ್ನ…ohh uhh, I mean, mosaranna…umm, you know, curd rice?…yogurt rice!…You get it. It’s amazing!

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Old Saw Mill Delicious Dust

Fri, Nov 14, 2014 by

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Italy-June 2014

Carlo e Camilla in Segheria • Milan

As those who follow religiously know, Missus Tasty and I spent a week (two weeks for her) in Northern Italy a few months back. Amongst the small lake towns, tourist trap cities and true Italian ONLY villages we hit, Milano was the in and out point. We saved 2 days for a walk through the fashion capital. There were few highlights to note except this one. Having opted out of Carlo Cracco’s two Michelin star, 174€, tasting menu, in the left ventricle of tourista Milan, I let my well seasoned traveling gastronomer take charge. NOTE: Gastronomer might be a word I just coined* 

Michelin doesn’t just give out stars so, a chef that has two has to be superb. If that chef is business minded, or has a great business partner, they understand the need for a less expensive outpost that can turn many more covers a night and cater to those with shallower pockets. The insight here is that no two starred chef is going to make Applebee’s food at their “bistro”. On this premise we decided to book a spot at Carlo e Camilla. Tucked in the hip Navigali neighborhood housed in a repurposed saw mil, you gain access through a small wood door built into the side of a wall. Once through, the space opens up into a gravel floored courtyard with several sitting areas made from mismatched, but very modern, design furniture. Walking into the main building you are greeted by a leather and dark wood clad bar tucked into the corner. Past the bar the room opens up to a cavernous room with an enormously long cross shaped table. We’re talking hundreds of feet in all directions. Click the jump for a pic and the rest of the story.

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Forked with David DiMicco

Mon, Nov 10, 2014 by

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David DiMicco

David was shooting digital photography in 1998. I was a young junior Art Director and he was this pioneering photographer that taught me how to use digital photography in creative and in business. He also would cook me lunch whenever there was a client in the studio. It was sort of the ritual down at ICON Digital. We recently reconnected over dinner and picked up right where we left off. He’s still shooting, now in a studio down in Chelsea instead of the Flatiron where we met. He grew up in restaurants so we’ve always talked food. Here’s what he had to say..

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SF Giants Bowl of Tasty

Fri, Oct 31, 2014 by

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Cioppino-Anchor Oyster Bar

Anchor Oyster Bar • San Francisco

In honor of this weeks San Francisco Giants victory and all my SF peeps in full celebration, I think this hit is worthy of a mention. First off, this should have been a Forked with Ben Long but I “snubbed him” according to him. I eat with him so much that I think he deserves a better photo than what this joint allowed me to produce. He looks at it as a dis. We’ll remedy that shortly. Back to the bizness of taste, this “off menu” item is a secret gem (local Knowledge courtesy of the aforementioned, pissed off Ben). The spot holds a line outside for its precious 15 seats. Once settled in your chair, order like a local. Cioppino is nowhere on the menu so muster up your best confidence face and ask the waitress “What’s in the cioppino tonight?”. Then, make sure to ask for the full crab, two kinds of mussels and shrimp++++.  She’ll guide you into what’s fresh and what’s not worth of being in the stew. From there, sit back and wait. Don’t fill up on oyster crackers. When it finally came I audibly gasped at the size and smell. You all know I’m a BIG BREAD AND BROTH GUY. This hit new heights. Just look at that garlic cheese bread. The broth has such deep flavor with just the right heat and spice, I could brush my teeth with this daily.

Go there:
Anchor Oyster Bar
579 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 431-3990

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