Our weekly whirlwind of stories in the food/dining sections of several papers kicks off this week. Please note, we use the electronic editions for much of our work, so stories profiled here may be in the previous week's or next week's print edition. Also, many of these sites may require you to register. If you're not comfortable registering your real e-mail account, I suggest signing up for a "burnable" account at Hotmail or Yahoo to use just for these sorts of things.
The New York Times starts us off with a little log-rolling, promoting the memoirs of Mimi Sheraton, the food critic for the Paper of Record from 1976-1983. She's not impressed by latter day critics who she thinks spend too much time on the chef's intentions and not enough on the outcome. Julia Moskin points out that the chefs who have these intentions are not necessarly the ones with their names on the door. Many a restaurant owes its quality not to the Charlie Trotter or Wolfgang Puck celebrity chef who starts the business, but to the chef de cuisine.
Other features from the Times - South African Wine has a bright future, Zona Rosa in midtown is worth trying for its mix of traditional and nuevo Mexican. Gabrielle in New Orleans has a very popular duck dish. The Minimalist writes about ketchup's starring role in a stir-fry dish he loves. And finally, Cooking With the Times features three quite delicious looking custards.
The Washington Post carries an interview with D.C. super-chef Jose Andres as part of their Washington Chef of the Year section. Lisa Yockelson thinks you shouldn't confine your stockpot to the back of the closet just because it's spring. Bonnie Benwick helps you clean out your pantry. Do you really need that can of cod cakes from 1994? Caroline Kettlewell encourages you to go pick some berries, and tells you where you can. The feature restaurant review is of Simply Fish. The Rooster Cafe, Fiore Di Luna, The Garden, and Editor's pick Lewnes' are also reviewed.
My hometown Chicago Tribune's Good Eating section asks us all to meet a farmer. Perhaps a farmer who grows one of the 15 Trib-designated Super Foods, like kale, blueberries, and avocados. The Tribune profiles a bit of culinary masochism with its tale of the hot wing eating contest at Kincade's. What people will do for $280... Much more sensible to make Viennese Fried Chicken, Wolfgang Puck style, or let the good people at Jang Mo Nim, the Cheap Eats pick of the week, make you a Korean dish instead.
The Los Angeles Times takes you to school and explains the difference between and gives you recipes for the many types of wild salmon. A bowl of celery root soup would go nicely with that fish. The LA Times' Wine of the Week is not from California, but from Oregon's Wilamette Valley. I love Oregon Pinots. David Shaw loves his foie gras and doesn't want the state government to take it away from him. Rachael Ray owns the top two spots and number five on the LA Times Cookbook Hot List. She may be the first chef to do an actual cheesecake photo shoot (pun intended) for a lads' magazine. (Well there is that one shoot Julia Childs did in the 70's, but -)
In New Orleans, we find Alex Patout has a whole archive of recipes from the Times-Pacayune. Want to know the best sushi place in the Big Easy? The best Bistro? The best Po-Boy? Consult the paper's top ten lists.
In London, The Guardian runs a story about the return of wild boar to England thanks to a storm-assisted jailbreak. Writer Alok Jha explains why he's not a low-carb revolutionary yet. In an article my hunting Kentucky in-laws will place firmly in the "Well, duh" column, Roger Scruton suggests that the best way to get rid of most backyard pests is to eat them (but if you're having squirrel, only eat the grey and not the red ones- the red ones are endangered, and besides, they taste awful). If your'e pregnant and suffering from nausea, that's probably not the most appetizing idea. Perhaps you should have some chocolate instead. Scientists in Finland have found that mothers who have chocolate while pregnant end up giving birth to happier healthier babies.
The Times of London give us a peek inside Gordon Ramsay's new cookbook. A number of additional Ramsay recipes are availble on the Times site. Curiously, the paper's reviews of restaurants by Giles Coren are availble only if you pay to access the TimesOnline (I don't), but they print the man's picture in the Food Section summary! If the restaurants see him coming, how can he ever do an accurate review? Unless that's a fake photo, of course, but I don't think it is.
Have any English language papers (or papers with an English language edition) that you'd like to see covered each week? Let me know.