Summer 2013, Volume 13, Number 2

Summer 2013, Volume 13, Number 2

from the editor
Editor’s Letter | Melissa L. Caldwell

Does the Foodie have a Soul? | India Aurora Mandelkern

invitation to a feast
Come and Eat | Erica Cavanagh

Emily Dickinson Bakes Her Famous Coconut Cake | Emily K. Bright

celebrating family, friends, and traditions
Angel Food Cake: Just Heavenly! | Greg Patent

Dad’s Garden | Mary Lyn Koval

History in the Pot | Leigh Donaldson

Labouyi Bannann | Gina Athena Ulysse

Lemon Meringue | Kate Lebo

picnics by the sea
Clam Digging | Helen Labun Jordan

Tasting a Landscape: On the New Nordic Cuisine | Jared Demick

Rolling on the Beach | Sharon Hunt

Highway 1 | Jake Young

Can ideas about food inspire real social change? The case of Peruvian gastronomy | Judith E. Fan

Food Fight: Accusations of Press Agentry, a Case for Ethics and the Development of the Association of Food Journalists | Kimberly Voss and Lance Speere

love letters
Dearest Basil | Nicole McFadden

Of Pepperoni Rolls and Soup Beans: On What it Might Mean to Eat Like a West Virginian | Courtney Balestier

Exposition on Baking Baklava | Hillary Fogerty

BLT | Barbara Crooker

I Can’t Write a Poem About MCDonald’s | Barbara Crooker

love, anxiety, and loss
Take us off Solid Food for the Foreseeable Future: The Landscape of Food-Allergic America | Lawrence-Minh Bu` i Davis

Ina & Friends | Michael Lawrence

Foodies | Jean Ende

Papayas and Lemons | Juliet Wilson

Review Essay: What’s Growing on? | Jason Mark

The Discourses of Food in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction

The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food

Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil

Breaking Through Concrete: Building An Urban Farm Revival

just desserts
How to Love Yourself After Work | Shelly Errington

Cover: ©Alexander Maksimenko,

Flavors of Ireland | Darra Goldstein

from Gastronomica 12:3

When our daughter was little, she loved hearing legends of the selkie girls, mermaid-like creatures who inhabit the waters off the Irish coast. Sleek as seals in the sea, they shed their skin once captured and turn into humans on land, yet they always long to return to the deep. Leila is grown now, and I haven’t thought about selkies for years, but they came vividly to mind a couple of months ago when I visited the southwest coast of Ireland, where I spent a magical day on the water foraging for seaweed by kayak. Gannets and gulls swooped through the air, on the lookout for fish. As we paddled through a natural arch I caught sight of a grey seal poised on a rock. A selkie! In that misty environment all transformations seemed possible.

I had flown to Ireland to speak at the first Dublin Gastronomy Symposium, brilliantly organized by Máirtín Mac ConIomaire at the Dublin Institute of Technology. Afterwards I headed to West Cork to meet John and Sally McKenna, creators of the annual Bridgestone Irish Food Guide. For a couple of years Sally has teamed up with Jim Kennedy at Atlantic Sea Kayaking to offer special foraging trips. Jim, an international champion kayaker who traded racing for gentler paddling, guided us along the rocky coast to a trove of seaweed in vivid colors: yellow and orange and purple and pink. We found carrageen and dilisk and sea lettuce and kelp—all common along the Irish coast—and were thrilled to spot a far rarer bloom of nori. I took a bite: mineral and salt, tasting of rock and sea. I nibbled on a couple of different kinds of wrack and sloke that were mainly chewy, but I swooned over pepper dulse with its piquant bite. As we hovered by the rocks, the clouds shifted, turning the water and sky various shades of grey and blue. Changeability defines this landscape—no wonder selkie legends arose. And no wonder that the dull brown strands of sea spaghetti drifting in the water should turn emerald green on boiling. Surely the tresses of mermaids!

Photograph by Jim Kennedy © 2012

Read more

Summer 2012, Volume 12, Number 2

Summer 2012, Volume 12, Number 2

from the editor
How the Other Half Eats | Darra Goldstein

Rumblings from the World of Food

orts and scantlings
The Girl with the Cupcake Tattoo | Mark Morton

Partial Recipe for Brunswick Stew | Andrea Cohen

feast for the eye
Suzanne Lacy: Chewing More Than the Fat | Cameron Shaw

Double Boiler | Lilah Hegnauer

slow food
Farming the Monsoon: A Return to Traditional Tohono O’odham Foods | Marcello Di Cintio

At Home in Kyrgyzstan | Lynn Alleva Lilley

eating out
Table for One | Matt Goulding

A Man Walks into a Pub | Ian Klaus

Women, Sabotaj, and Underground Food Economies in Haiti | Myron M. Beasley
Charles Darwin, the Gourmet Traveler | Diana Noyce

family history
Kimchi Blues | Grace M. Cho

Of Raspberries and Religion | Susan H. Swetnam

Men Who Eat Muskrat: It’s Nothing Like Chicken | William Woys Weaver

The Big Apple Exchange | Alexandra Leaf; photographs by Joel Seaman

American Processed Kosher | Jeffrey Yoskowitz

The One-Second Sandwich | Toni Mirosevich

Vendimia Celebrations | Paula de la Cruz

Sahadi’s: A Family Affair | Jason Leahey

Hogonomics | Barry Estabrook

chef’s page
An Interview with Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park | Anne E. McBride

review essays
Red in Spine and Claw | Patricia Gadsby
Gastronomy or Gluttony? | Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson

the bookshelf
Books in Review

The Mutato Project | Uli Westphal

Cover: Antonio López García, La cena (The Dinner), 1971–1980 (detail). © 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VEGAP, Madrid.

An Interview with Yoshinori Ishii: Umu, London | Corky White

from Gastronomica 11:1

Yoshinori ishii is a prominent kaiseki chef. Kaiseki is a meal that epitomizes Japanese taste and aesthetics. It is never the same twice, changing with the seasons, the locality, and the chef’s creativity. Ishii has cooked at two fabulous Japanese restaurants: Kitcho, the ultimate kaiseki restaurant in Kyoto, Japan, and Iron Chef Morimoto’s Morimoto in New York City. He is now the chef at Umu in Mayfair, London.

Corky WhiteHow did you get involved with food? Were you interested in it when you were a child?

Yoshinori Ishii: As a child I loved making things with my hands, and I loved fishing. When I caught a fish, I ate it. That was the first sashimi I made. I love to fish; the eating came second.

CWYou became a cook, though, not a professional fisherman. How did that happen?

YI: I went to high school in Saitama Prefecture [near Tokyo] and liked working in kitchens, so I entered Tsuji [Osaka Abeno Tsuji Cooking School] directly from high school, in 1989. Over a one-year course I learned kaiseki and Japanese cooking, Chinese, French, and Italian food. I learned how to use the finest ingredients and the techniques to bring out flavor. For example, if you make a French-style fond and use sake instead of wine and negi [Japanese scallion] instead of onions, you have the very best base for a sukiyaki. You can learn from all cuisines. I also worked at night in an ikesu kappo restaurant, a place where the customer chooses a fish from a tank or pond at the restaurant. I was chef for deep-fried dishes.

CWYou went on to cook at Kitcho in Kyoto. That is probably the Japanese restaurant best known outside of Japan, and probably one of the most expensive. It serves kaiseki food, which may be among the most demanding of cuisines.

YI: I continued to learn at Kitcho. It is a place where they pursue perfection — and I mean perfection. Let me tell you a story about Kitcho. They emphasize perfection in the service as well as in the food. The waitress pays attention to the customers so she can tell the kitchen when the next course should appear, never rushing the customer and always serving food at the perfect moment. One time a table of guests took their time before the rice course. They were talking and relaxing, so the waitress told the kitchen to stop making the rice. The cooks waited until the waitress signaled them to start a new batch, but she had to stop them again. This went on eleven times before the last batch was finally served, so important was it to deliver the perfect rice at the perfect time.

CWCooking at Kitcho with such an agenda must have been difficult. What was the trajectory of learning?

YI: My first year at Kitcho was spent learning to cut sashimi and to boil foods. I also learned about organic farming and local Kyoto vegetable varieties—like the round tama eggplant and the long, brightly colored carrots. Every morning I went to the fields to choose the vegetables for the day. My favorite jobs were arranging the display of scrolls, ceramics, and tea utensils for the restaurant’s rooms. I learned to love traditional ceramics, and I myself now make dishes and bowls. If I weren’t a cook I would be a potter.

The second year I was tsukemono (pickles) chef. I also helped prepare off-site dishes for ocha kaiseki (the tea ceremony meal) events, and I maintained the tea rooms at the restaurant. I loved cultivating the mountain land owned by Kitcho. It was a mix of activities.

In years three through five I was chef for main dishes. I also continued all the other activities, especially flower arrangement. During my last three years, I was kitchen manager and loved learning calligraphy to create the menus (I’m second danlevel) and other traditional arts. Through it all, I fished. When I am traveling, I am so fanatic about fishing that I pack my fishing rods in my bags before I pack my kitchen knives.

Grilled pigeon with Kobuyaki-Artichoke in “Bizen” pottery designed and crafted by Yoshinori Ishii. Photograph by Charmaine Grieger © 2010

Read more

Spring 2011, Volume 11, Number 1

Spring 2011, Volume 11, Number 1

from the editor
Happy Pongal! | Darra Goldstein

Rumblings from the World of Food

orts and scantlings
A Pumpkin in a Tablespoon | Mark Morton

feast for the eye
Set for Transition: Dansk Designs’ Fjord Flatware | Sarah Froelich

Measurements | Ellen Birkett Morris

The Art in Gastronomy: A Modernist Perspective | Nathan Myhrvold

The BP Oil Spill and the Bounty of Plaquemines Parish | Randy Fertel

Survive, But Not Thrive | Eric LeMay

“In Bacteria Land”: The Battle over Raw Milk | Anne Mendelson
High-End Dining in the Nineteenth-Century United States | Paul Freedman and James Warlick

The Struggle for Sunday Lunch: Gastropolitics in the Life of Nelson Mandela | Anna Trapido

local fare
Between Plenty and Poverty: Foraging in the Salento with Patience Gray | Adam Federman

Snacking with the Sons of the Soil | Dan Packel

My Adventures in Sugar | Rachel Adams

To Market, to Market! Riding Shotgun with the Tomato Man | Barry Estabrook

The Last Supper | Julie Green

St. Joseph’s Day in Kerala | Mary Taylor Simeti

Jean-Louis Vignes: California’s Forgotten Winemaker | Scott MacConnell

Strukli: “The Best Dish in the World” | Velimir Cindric

chef’s page
An Interview with Yoshinori Ishii, Umu, London | Corky White

Does Wine Matter? | Amy B. Trubek with Chris Keathley

the bookshelf
Books in Review

Baba, the Elephant Gastronome | Gilman Parsons

Cover: Sarah Illenberger, McForest. Photograph by Ragnar Schmuck.