Line of the Moment Archive

I read a lot, especially in the food press – here, on an occasional basis, the best line I spot… whether humorous or just one of those “made ya’ think” sort of lines…

July 17, 2016 – “I hate it when people asked me to fix something I like or ‘create something new’. My immediate thought is, ‘I already did that, it’s called The Menu. It’s even written down for you.'” – Me

December 28, 2015 – “Delicious is more important than creative because everything’s been done before. You’re not going to reinvent the wheel. At this point, after the post molecular era and the compositionist era, where basically commercial artists have gone into the food business because its more lucrative for them financially. A lot of the artsy fartsy food is beautiful in pictures and some of it is beautiful in its presentation, but it’s soulless in the eating of it. Because it’s composition, it’s not cooking.” – John Tesar has Choice Words for Bourdain, Trump, and the $15 Minimum Wage, Playboy

June 24, 2015 – “This is more like it. When Joe says, “Excess weight starts to pour off,” he is describing the effects of starvation. And when he says later that a juice fast will “release stored toxins,” he is ignoring the fact that these “toxins” will be “released” anyway, as long as your liver and kidneys are in good working order, which is to say that you could detox with coffee and falafel if you wanted. You’re detoxing right now.” – Aaron Thier, Juice it Up!, Lucky Peach

June 13, 2015 – “As for advice, I’d say pick one thing you haven’t cooked with before, find a recipe from someone you trust, and follow that recipe just to understand the vegetable and become familiar with it. That’s what I do.” – Rick Bayless on Cooking (and Eating) Vegetables, Lucky Peach

January 31, 2015 – “… there is an odd emphasis on discovering places. In fact, Yelp has been freaking brilliant for this. You get this little star if you’re the first to review, which means a lot of restaurants are “reviewed” before they’re even open. But it also means that in areas with lots of small, very obscure, hard-to-find places, people go and at least try to figure out what the restaurants are, because they want that gold star on their forehead.” – Jonathan Gold, American Food, Whatever That Is, Lucky Peach

November 25, 2014 – “All good restaurants are good in the same way: they have tables; they have chairs; they have nice food, and it’s served by people who aren’t psychopaths. The number of ways by which restaurants have to fuck things up, the bad ones, leaves me speechless—for a little while, until I sit down to write.” – Jay Rayner quoted in Bloody Awful Restaurants and the Critic Who Loves Them, The New Yorker, by Hannah Goldfield

May 15, 2014 – “Let’s be clear that a menu that has to be explained is not a good menu. If it’s not immediately apparent how many dishes you should order then there is a fundamental failure of menu communication.” – David Coggins, Contradictory Document, First We Feast

March 7, 2014 – “One of my idols on social media, and he’s a friend of mine, is Mario Batali. I love when people tweet at him that they had a terrible time in one of his restaurants, which happens. His immediate response is, “Did you speak to management?” Usually their answer is no. And if that’s the case then were you trying to have a bad time? Did you not want them to fix it? Did you want to be able to blast people publicly?” – Kelly English in interview on Eater, Chefs and Restaurateurs Weigh In: How to Handle Yelp

January 11, 2014 – “Cleansing and detox, don’t make me laugh! Good food and wine are elements of a healthy, enjoyable life, not guilty pleasures.” – Eric Asimov in interview in The Daily Beast, What to Drink in 2014

December 13, 2013 – “I think there is an oddly-drawn line between declassé processed foods and haute processed foods. Restaurants like Momofuku and El Bulli serve highly processed foods, but a lot of the foodies who would think it’s gross to go to McDonald’s would say, ‘oh yeah, absolutely Momofuku’s terrific.'” – Ezra Klein Got Drunk at El Bulli, Respects the Big Mac from Food & Wine

December 10, 2013 – “These people try to make up for their inadequacy with slogans and insults. They are the same people who chant “Down with the USA” yet wish to get a US Green Card. They insult Messi, yet wish to get a souvenir fan photo taken with him.” – Andarbab, “Digital Hooligans” from Iran Attack Messi’s Facebook

September 4, 2013 – “The Facebook ice cream does not taste like Facebook because Facebook is a website and you cannot taste it (though I imagine it would taste like a combination of narcissism, short-term social fulfillment, and regret).” – Kate Knibbs, This Ice Cream Shop Knows What Facebook Tastes LikeDigital Trends

August 21, 2013 – “On this mother daughter trip through Nova Scotia, each night my mom would hand write her notes and I would type away at night on my laptop. One night she had me doubled over in laughter when she said, “I’ll find a restaurant we can go to tonight.” And she proceeded to pick up the phone book and look in the yellow pages. I sat there in disbelief thinking about how I had forgotten that we used phone books in those ways not that long ago!” – from one of my fave travel sites, Ottsworld

June 18, 2013 – “When you are a young adult, you sleep about two hours a day because you’re hopped up on chemical stimulants, and you are inconsiderate of others because you think the world revolves around you. When you are old, you sleep about two hours a day because you’re kept alive via pharmaceutical supplements, and you are inconsiderate of others because you know the world doesn’t revolve around you but you no longer give a shit. The most extreme datapoints of these two demographics are the Two Chatty Young Women Travelling Together and the Three+ Sheltered Old Men Travelling Alone But Sitting Near Each Other.” – Traveling the United States Cross-Country by Train,

April 22, 2013 – “There have been some people that have said to me, ‘I’ll never come to your restaurant because I have to buy a ticket.’ And I go, ‘Awesome.’ Because the person basically just told me, ‘I could never make a commitment to going a certain night and I cancel all the time.’ So I’ve just eliminated exactly the person I want to eliminate.” – Nick Kokonas, How Restaurants Can Deal With No Show Diners,

March 13, 2013 – “I’m going to try not to sous vide anything over there. It takes some of the love out of cooking, for me. It takes out some of the fire and smells and caramelization. Some things are just better roasted in a pan.” – Andrew Carmellini, He Won’t Upstage His Food, New York Times

January 23, 2013 – “If you put a Cheeto on a big white plate in a formal restaurant and serve it with chopsticks and say something like “It is a cornmeal quenelle, extruded at a high speed, and so the extrusion heats the cornmeal ‘polenta’ and flash-cooks it, trapping air and giving it a crispy texture with a striking lightness. It is then dusted with an ‘umami powder’ glutamate and evaporated-dairy-solids blend.” People would go just nuts for that.” – Jeb Boniakowski, One McWorld, One McDream

January 13, 2013 – “Rudeness is not having fun when it is at the expense of another person. You’re a very rude man. And I hope your mother’s not listening to this show today because she would not be proud of her son.” – Marco Pierre White during an interview in Australia

December 23, 2012 – “Say what you want about guns… just don’t act like it’s about defending freedom. You’re not defending anything. Your stupid game prevents us from ending a threat to public safety, but it is utterly irrelevant to the struggle for liberty in 21st century America. You want to do something real, start researching campaign donations, make FOIA tougher, call up a Congressman and bitch. Right now your biggest enemy is not a fleet of UN helicopters. It’s an Olive Garden breadstick basket. Cut down on the carbs and grow the hell up.” – Paul Bibeau, A Message To the NRA From the Four Horsemen Of the Apocalypse, Daily KOS

December 22, 2012 – “Can you imagine how it feels, as a human, to be part of someone else’s effort to multitask? While you say to the phone, “Uh-huh. Yeah. Yeah, well, I told her they wouldn’t go for it. I know these people,” I get the lift of an eyebrow, side glances, brief and uninterested head nods thrown in my direction indicating your main focus remains on your call, perhaps a moment where you hold the phone slightly away from your ear to benevolently allow me 5 percent of your attention. That call will end in five minutes. But because you treated me like an automatic check-in machine, this room I’m giving you will plague your whole stay.” – Jacob Tomsky, Confessions of a Hotel Insider, The Week

December 8, 2012 – “Not everybody can use flavour as an access point for memory. The crown prince of all this is supposed to be Marcel Proust, who apparently conjures up an entire universe from one Madeleine and a cup of weak tea. It’s a nice literary device, but I’ve never completely believed it. You have to be constantly hungry to use food as a route back to experience, not the sort of person known for coughing plaintively into a handkerchief then checking it for spotting, while waving away a tureen of consommé for being too, too much.” – Jay Rayner, 2012: how did it taste to you?, The Guardian

November 19, 2012 – “The food media, having little in the way of hard news to work with, traffics in trend stories, and these are never more appealing than during this season. Stories are bound to appear about this year’s genius chef plying his magic tweezers, or hyperbolic odes to the year’s “epic tasting menu.”” – Josh Ozersky, The Truth About Brooklyn’s Overhyped, Undercooked Restaurant Scene, New York Observer

September 6, 2012 – “To cook for someone is an intimate act. To prepare food that another will place in their mouth, that will be tasted and swallowed and then pass through that person’s body, is a primal exchange. We care about food in literature not when it is deployed as a symbol but when it becomes a language. One cooks. Another eats. It is a simple exchange, perhaps the simplest of all. The pleasure taken by one becomes the reward of the other. EM Forster, Howard Jacobson and I were nearly right but still wrong. Eating, far from being too sensual an act to be paraded on the page, is only half the story. Behind every dish stands a cook, and every cook has a story too.” – Lawrence Norfolk, Why does nobody eat in books?, Guardian UK

July 2, 2012 – “So what if it wasn’t baked by a squadron of bearded, monastic Brooklynites using a sacred strain of yeast that can be traced back to the Last Supper.” – (in re Pepperidge Farm white bread) Jeff Gordinier, When ‘Local Sourcing’ Means Aisle 12, NY Times

May 2012 – “The microwave is a nifty, modern, heating mechanism. Like every other way to cook food, it’s good for some and not so good for others (no one would suggest making consomme in the oven, for example). What happened somewhere in the 90s was not that microwaves started sucking bad but that they got judged not for what they were but what went into them – ready meals. Which is, if you think about it, about as stupid as judging fridges and freezers just because McDonalds uses them too.” – Jonas M. Luster, “culinary mercenary”

May 27, 2012 – “Rare is the leading chef who will say: Sustain this — my job is to excel in the kitchen, and “saving the planet” is a task better left to government and scientists. Too often in celebrity chefdom, sanctimony about “sustainability,” support for local farmers and “humane” treatment of doomed creatures matter more than how their food tastes.” – Steve Cuozzo, ‘Sustain this, Mario’, New York Post

May 5, 2012 – “So you’re having friends for dinner. You’ve worked out a delicious menu, paying careful attention to the colours and flavours of the dishes. Perhaps you’ve even thought about music and lighting. But did you remember to consider the flavour of your cutlery?” – Fuschia Dunlop, Spoon fed: how cutlery affects your food

March 12, 2012 – “Meat is not the only food that is the byproduct of animals suffering. Other foods have what I call a “blood footprint,” but the relationship is more subtle. It is possible for a vegetarian meal to require more suffering than a carnivorous meal.” – Jackson Landers, A Better Choice

February 17, 2012 – “These young cooks, so much information is available and they can learn and read, but a lot of these molecular techniques are just an equation – you put these certain ingredients together and this will happen. But there’s not that physical connection of saying, “I can cook beef to medium-rare” or “I can glaze an onion,” or “I can glaze carrots.” They don’t know how to do that anymore. That’s where the generation gap is.” – Timothy Hollingsworth during Toqueland interview

February 7, 2012 – “When are people going to learn that restaurants are a business and not a public service? Time is money. After all, an airline would not hold a plane on the ground for an extra 10 minutes while said partner finds a car park, would they? Such is life.” – Sydney Morning Herald reader quote

January 21, 2012 – “I believe the cheese log is pretty much the best invention of all time.” – Marvin E. Quasniki, GOP Candidate for President

December 28, 2011 – “The extravagance and elitism of modernist/molecular/progressive cuisine will stop the already tiresome, wheezing movement in its tracks. No one is going to be opening a place serving thirty-course, $200 meals made out of thin air and chemically-induced aromas.” – John Mariani, Top Food Trends 2012, Eat Like a Man blog

November 23, 2011 – “What is this ‘Mac and Cheese’? Is it a Black thing?” – Pat Robertson, Televangelist

September 25, 2011 – “…food choices are not black and white; the alternative to fast food is not necessarily organic food, any more than the alternative to soda is Bordeaux.” – Mark Bittman, New York Times, Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?

August 25, 2011 – “When [Paula] Deen fries a chicken, many of us balk. When the Manhattan chefs David Chang or Andrew Carmellini do, we grovel for reservations and swoon over the homey exhilaration of it all. Her strips of bacon, skirting pancakes, represent heedless gluttony. Chang’s dominoes of pork belly, swaddled in an Asian bun, signify high art. There’s some class-inflected hypocrisy in the food world, where the center seems to be ceding territory to two wings: the self-appointed sophisticates and the supposed rubes.” – Frank Bruni, New York Times, Unsavory Culinary Elitism

September 2011 issue (out in mid-August) – “Sooner or later, depending on how long it takes to get a reservation, you’ll end up having a bad time at what is supposed to be a good restaurant. When that happens, you might be startled by how upset you become. It probably won’t be the food that’s to blame. You can always shrug off a tough steak, since the chef didn’t mean to disappoint you. But everyone takes poor service personally. Get a bad table and you’ll wonder if the hostess finds you unworthy. Find yourself with a disrespectful server and you’ll feel worse, because you’re expected to tip.” – Alan Richman, GQ, Diner for Schmucks

July 15, 2011 – “America, where it’s become virtually impossible to throw a dinner party. One person doesn’t eat meat, while another is lactose intolerant, or can’t digest wheat. You have vegetarians who eat fish and others who won’t touch it. Then there are vegans, macrobiotics and a new group, flexitarians, who eat meat if not too many people are watching.” – David Sedaris, Chicken Toenails, Anyone? Guardian UK

May 24, 2011 – “Personally, I wouldn’t touch a trans fat if you wrapped it in gold and sprinkled it with diamonds, but this is because I can read, comprehend, digest, recall and act on the free will allotted to all sentient adults. In the absence of willpower among some, should trans fats be forbidden to all?” – Kathleen Parker, The Seattle Times

April 20, 2011 – “And when it comes to restaurants, perfect food, perfect service and a cellar filled with thousands of superb bottles aren’t good enough. Now every dish has to be a painterly glory, arranged on the plate with surgical tweezers; the chef has to be on network TV three times a week; and, most importantly, you need to be able to broadcast your experience on your blog, your Twitter stream, Opinionated About Dining and the Very Large Array radio telescopes, if possible. It’s turning a lot of people off, myself included. Something is changing and it has nothing to do with quenelles, crayfish or the first ramps of spring.” – Josh Ozersky, Are Gastrocrats Bad News for True Food Lovers?, Time Magazine

March 1, 2011 – “But foodies want none of it. Sacrifice isn’t their dish. They carry forth under the impression that they can consistently have their local grass-fed beef, line-caught tuna, charcuterie cured in a special cave guarded by a troll. And they never—and I mean never—ask the critical Kantian question: what if everyone in the world consumed these supposedly sustainable alternatives to conventional food?” – James McWilliams, The Atlantic

February 25, 2011 – “I was less sanguine about readers who disparaged not my argument but my character or my shoes or my nose, attacks that generally concluded, “You should be ashamed.” I blame the anonymity of e-mail. And underprescribed medication.” – Randy Cohen, The Ethicist – Goodbye

February 12, 2011 – “I still feel lonely,” she said. “I don’t feel like I have 180 friends. It’s not like I have 180 friends that I can go hang out with. I don’t think I have this great social life because I have 180 friends.” – from Can Facebook Help Overcome Shyness?

January 18, 2011 – “I think the locavores should stay home, that they shouldn’t fly back and forth, especially from California making big carbon footprints in the sky to speak to us about the importance of being local…. Locavores should stay in walking distance.” – Mimi Sheraton in Eater

December 11, 2010 – “…if you can squeeze the essence of a place down into a couple of lines, either the place is Las Vegas or your sense of where you’ve been and what you’ve seen is so vapid, so translucent, it’s worthless.” – Raphael Kadushin, Can the Gays Save Travel Writing?

October 31, 2010 – “I have no idea what shelling a pea is, usually my peas come from the freezer.” – Isabella, contestant on Junior Masterchef Australia

October 21, 2010 – “The thing that I find the most funny though, is when this prejudice against American cuisine comes from cultures that have contributed NOTHING to good food, and that STILL claim that they do not understand how anyone would state that you can eat well in America.” – A Tuscan Foodie in America

September 24, 2010 – “Good food, served by pleasant people, in a nice place. … I don’t have to have the best food of my life at a neighborhood restaurant, but I do want to eat well, be greeted warmly by someone who isn’t a robot, and I want to feel comfortable and that the price makes sense to me for the kind of food that’s served.” – Michael Wild, Berkeley Bites

June 20, 2010 – “[W]hile most of the fruit we enjoy are the ovaries of the plant on which they ripen, the watermelon is more precisely the placental tissue of the plant, speckled with seeds. This revelation, hopefully, will in no way diminish your enjoyment of the pretty, unassuming fruit – make that vegetable.” – Edward Bottone, The Cantankerous Cook

May 6, 2010 – “Generally cooks, or chefs, that yell at their cooks, are expressing their own self-loathing for not having prepared their staff to do the job they knew was coming at them.” – Mario Batali on the The Daily Show

April 25, 2010 – “There has always been more bad French food on offer than good. It has come with a pretension and snobbery that the fork has been unable to sustain. Almost everything that people believe they know about French cuisine is, in fact, untrue.” – A.A. Gill, Times Online

April 17, 2010 – “salt and freshly ground black people” – Pasta Bible

February 8, 2010 – “…of those people claiming to have an allergy or intolerance, only 2 per cent actually did. That means millions of people wrongly think they have a food allergy. Their condition is not an allergy itself, but the belief that they have an allergy. Of course, some people use food intolerance as a socially acceptable way to say they just don’t like something. It’s posh-sounding pickiness.” – Max Pemberton, Food Intolerance: The New Epidemic?

January 19, 2010 – “The key thing to remember about American food is that it’s not food. Much of it is made from oil-based plastics, volcanic sand and the run-off from copper mines.” – Martin Bishop, confectionery analyst, Will Chocolate Buttons Taste Like Shit?

December 8, 2009 – “What locavores forget, or don’t stop to consider, is that calculating the emissions over the entire life-cycle process is far more complex than counting transportation miles.” – Kevin Libin, Rethinking Greet: Eat global, not local, National Post

September 11, 2009 – “But the campaign for food democracy needs to start with boning knives and cast-iron skillets. A lack of technique behind the stove is, in the end, as complicit in harming human health and the environment as the confinement pig or the corn-fed steer.” – Dan Barber, Why Cooking Matters, The Nation

July 31, 2009 – “Ugly, after all, is only crust-deep.” – Baker’s Banter

July 17, 2009 – “If you have a problem with an ingredient, by all means, vote with your pocketbook. But, don’t waste food because your precious body is too delicate in its sensibilities to poo out anything less than grass-fed, massaged, milk-bathed and thrice-daily masturbated Wagyu beef.” – Jodi Kasten, Trees of the Mind

July 8, 2009 – “We are well aware that we’re not even permitted to call the product wine. No grapes were used in its production, it’s simply a product that is flavored to taste like wine.” – Stefanie Dietrich, in Spiegel Online

June 13, 2009 – “Preached vegetarianism isn’t effective: it fosters a hostile, even adversarial, relationship towards food. This is not how food should be–people love to eat, and sacrificing the joy of food is simply too much to ask. Besides, it’s hypocritical. I’ve always found it amusing that vegetarians can be so concerned about the well-being of animals and yet quite ready to shame their own parents.” – Max Fisher, the Atlantic

May 30, 2009 – “I realised you can do thousands more things by being a cook for your country than you can by being a politician.” – Gastón Arcurio, Chef, Restaurateur, Author

May 29, 2009 – “…the idea of terroir was borrowed from the French. It is that very Gallic thing: a prejudice dressed up as science; epicurean eugenics; simply the belief in sauce and earth. That the food of a place is irrevocably and intimately designed by the land. Terroir is more than mere geology and climate; it is a spiritual, Rousseau-ian ideology that claims the alchemy that combines people and places is made by the connection of food. … Le terroir is food as pride, as jingoism, and, by implication, as xenophobia. Lots of countries have it. “What we eat is better than what you eat. So what we eat makes us better than you.” – A.A. Gill, Times UK

May 26, 2009 – “No one thinks someone on the cellphone can really be paying attention to another person.” – Harry Lewis, Harvard computer science professor

May 21, 2009 – “I remember, back in 1996 or 1997, when you could finish the Internet… You could stay up until two or three in the morning and go to sleep and know, ‘I read the Internet today.'” – Baratunde Thurston, Web Editor, The Onion

May 7, 2009 – “By and large, bloggers do an outstanding job providing sources and details for their information and reporting. If we did not, we’d have no readership. The free market works wonderfully in the blogosphere, because readers are not going to waste time on blogs that aren’t credible.” – Evan Dawson, in a followup comment on the 1WineDude blog (worth reading)

March 23, 2009 – “We are sorry if Mr Wilks has felt let down by our customer service on this occasion, however, if you wake up in the morning and have to apply anti-chaffing cream to your inner thighs just so that you can shuffle up to the fridge in relative comfort then maybe warning bells should be ringing and you might consider easing off the saturated fats and getting some exercise.” – McDonald’s director of communication in response to a customer being refused service

February 21, 2009 – “Chefs work hard to create dishes they’re proud of, and if they can’t vouch for a dish when changes are made, it’s their prerogative not to serve it. If you can’t find anything you like, it’s your prerogative to go someplace else.” – China Millman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

January 14, 2009 – “If we had constantly walked away from the tomato and said, ‘I’m not going to eat this because it’s poisonous,’ we would never have tomato sauce.” – Judd Canepari, Executive Chef, Rancho Bernardo Inn

December 21, 2008 – “Only bad cooks blame the equipment. I can make almost every dish in my restaurants on four crummy electric burners with a regular oven — as can just about anyone else who cares to.” – Mario Batali, NY Times

November 6, 2008 – “If you cook Italian food or French food, you could cook anything after that. You could cook Turkish, you could cook Russian, because it’s the method and technique, the process.” – Michael White, ABC News

September 27, 2008 – “…if she’s a good enough likeness of a loudmouthed middle-American archetype, as Sarah Palin is, John Q. Public will drop his giant-size bag of Doritos in gratitude, wipe the Sizzlin’ Picante dust from his lips and rush to the booth to vote for her.” – Matt Tabibi, The Smirking Chimp

August 11, 2008 – “…it’s more a “homemade means you don’t have enough money for store-bought” thing, which seems to be a leftover credo for many of us forced to eat, say, a liverwurst sandwich made on mom’s homemade rye when our classmates were unwrapping a PB & J on Wonder Bread. Some of us, refugees from the convenience-in-a-can 1950s, learned early that store-bought was cool, and homemade was… well, HOMEMADE. Some of us, unfortunately, have never forgotten that lesson.” – Baker’s Banter

June 25, 2008 – “I have a few other dislikes, but not many. I don’t want salt sprinkled on my desserts, even high-minded pink sea salt from some Hawaiian coast. I don’t enjoy marshmallows snipped off tableside; it’s way too French. Of course, marshmallows roasted over a campfire are exquisite, the only dessert that should be served searing hot. (That’s the second great lesson I learned in the Cub Scouts.) I particularly dislike the custom of plopping cold ice cream in the center of hot soufflés, a perverse practice that ruins two desserts at once. I never cared much for Chuckles as a kid, and I don’t go for gelées now. That’s never going to change.” – Alan Richman, GQ

May 24, 2008 – “The asparagus tips arrived on a slim and perfect little onion tart with two more foams and two of those weird skid marks that seem still to be fashionable, three or four years on, despite looking quite horrid. Here they were sort of khaki, as if a person with a tiny heel had skidded on goose poo.” – Giles Coren, Times UK

May 7, 2008 – “…if you insist on being the aggressive blowhard who takes meatlessness as a personal insult and rails about what fools we all are, you’re only going to persuade me that you’re a dickhead. When someone says he’s Catholic, you probably don’t start the stump speech about how God is a lie created to enslave the ignorant masses, and it’s equally offensive to berate an herbivore. I know you think we’re crazy. That’s neat. But seeing as I’ve endured the hassle of being a vegetarian for several years now, perhaps I’ve given this a little thought. So let’s just agree to disagree and get on with making fun of Hillary Clinton’s inability to operate a coffee machine.” – Taylor Clark, Slate

April 7, 2008 – “You’ve been cooking like an idiot. You press on meat and compare it with the flesh on your hand to guess how rare it is; you throw spaghetti at the wall to see if it’s done; you add an amount of salt that looks pretty when it’s in your palm. If people made medicine this way, we’d all be dead.” – Joel Stein, Time Magazine

March 16, 2008 – “Truth be told, women are seriously misguided about calories. They will shriek if they spy a piece of crackling, yet swallow gallons of coconut milk – one of the most fattening things you can eat. Likewise, dairy products are out if served in abundance, but they will devour an avocado – because it’s green, you see, it can’t be fattening.” – Rod Liddle, Times UK

February 28, 2008 – “It’s the closest thing you can get to eating dirt, it really is. It has that earthy dirt quality to it, it smells like, in the spring, when you dig your hands into the earth and you smell it, that’s like mushrooms. To me, it’s really a way to connect you to the Earth.” – Chef Tom Colicchio on Nightline

February 20, 2008 – “Like a lightbulb coming on over our heads, we realized that the chefs had known the identity of the main ingredient all along, just as they had known ahead of time which Iron Chef would be paired with the challenger. How else to explain the utter nonchalance displayed by the sous chefs, who fetched ingredients and blended them; toasted, fried, and roasted them; then plated them like they were enjoying a relaxing holiday in the country.” – Robert Sietsema, Iron Chef Boyardee, Village Voice

January 21, 2008 – “Pay attention. All diets work. When I taught cooking, people used to say that recipes didn’t work. Well, all recipes work, if you know how to cook. The Kama Sutra works, if you know how to shag. It’s not diets that fail, it’s you, you miserable, spineless, sticky-fingered fridge magnet. All diets come down to the same sentence: more in than out, you get fat; more out than in, you get thin. It’s not rocket science, it’s bicycle science.” – A.A. Gill, Times UK

January 8, 2008 – “[T]raditional cuisines have had a kind of beta testing that the Western diet has not had. The Western diet kind of springs full-blown out of the head of industry and food science. Presumably at various points in time, groups of people ate really badly and didn’t leave very many offspring, and now they’re gone. But the ones that have survived a long time in a given place eating a certain way have a local knowledge that is full of wisdom about health.” – Michael Pollan, Gourmet’s Choptalk

December 26th, 2007 – “It’s a tremendously competitive field, so what we can expect in 2008 is more restaurants going to elaborate lengths to set themselves apart from their competition. That means new heights of silliness and new clichés, doubtless a new smattering of failures, as well as, one always hopes, a handful of successes.” – Paul Adams, New York Sun

December 11, 2007 – “This spring, after 10 months of testing, the aquaculture company HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries created what it calls “sea-flavored” tilapia, the first farmed fish manipulated to taste like a wild fish. “It met 10 out of our 10 taste parameters,” says HQ’s president and C.E.O., Norbert Sporns.” – Charlie Foster, NY Times

November 21, 2007 – “Sushi has become one of those things. Like Cate Blanchett, like a Led Zeppelin reunion, like enlightened anal sex, there is simply nothing else like it, no other comparable cultural experience.” – Mark Morford,

November 10, 2007 – “As well as being incapable of experimenting, women are useless at following written instructions, which in this instance are called recipes. Blinded by a series of numbers and symbols, they get confused, and usually add the wrong amount of sugar or salt, or, more likely, substitute one for the other.” – Sam Holden, letter to Daily Mail

November 5, 2007 – “Chocolate cures all ills that Champagne doesn’t. Anger, depression, melancholy attitudes, reflection, cold. I was already in a perfectly good mood. I just wanted chocolate.” – Shola Olunloyo, Studiokitchen

October 31, 2007 – “Anyone with half a chimp’s brain can see through Nossiter’s transparency easier than a JJ Prum riesling, It is Nossiter and his ilk (call them scary wine gestapo) chanting the same stupid hymn that demand wines be produced in one narrow style.” – Robert Parker

October 27, 2007 – “The survival mechanisms of these places require an unholy level of quality control, minimizing the damage done by universal blights — doped-up cooks, slacker waiters, shoddy purveyors, and the like. And in fact the food is often, if not brilliant or original, at least reliably excellent: Ruby Tuesday’s hamburger is so good that if it were sold by a one-legged Cuban in Fort Greene, there would be lines all the way to Flatbush Avenue.” – New York

October 12, 2007 – “In fact, you’ll find foods in this world that don’t even seem possible. Not just that they could exist, but that people would actually stick this stuff in their mouths without a gun to their head.” – Cracked

October 4, 2007 – “I think Gordon Ramsey is wussy. I’d like ten minutes in the back of a dark taxi with him. (Laughs.) I think reality food shows are made with people who don’t know or have respect for food whatsoever.” – Alton Brown, on The Strong Buzz

September 27, 2007 – “I realise that if I want to cook properly I have to be a complete power-crazed bastard.” – Suzanne Moore in Daily Mail

September 21, 2007 – “Yes, well do I know the brutish libertarian view of all this, which simply goes: If you’re dumb enough to eat this garbage, you get what you deserve.” – Mark Morford in SFgate

September 18, 2007 – “There are maybe two or three decent practitioners of molecular gastronomy in the world, so unless your name is Ferran Adrià, leave the foam on your latte.” – Tony Bourdain in Radar

September 12, 2007 – “The health department does not consider a person’s shoe or boot a proper instrument to use in food preparation.” – CNN

September 11, 2007 – “I’d rather make videos with Barbie dolls . . . than be the next Frank Bruni.” – Adam Roberts (the Amateur Gourmet), quoted by the LA Times

August 30, 2007 – “Government officials,” says Nancy. “Two of them upstairs. They’re having the penis hotpot.” – BBC News

August 25, 2007 – “More boozy prunes, please” – S. Irene Virbila, L.A. Times

August 21, 2007 – “One could deep fry a #2 pencil and have it come out edible.” – Eater

August 19, 2007 – “A French committee wants to convince Rome that God condones expensive multicourse meals; He just doesn’t like us getting extra helpings.” – Atlantic Monthly

August 15, 2007 – “Everyone seems up in arms over appointing this girl as the food critic, when the reality of it is that no one even knew the Daily News had a food critic, until now.” – New York Magazine

August 13, 2007 – “My father’s personal favorite? The kaffir-lime meringue, which contained a mélange of decorative ingredients (basil seeds, pink rhubarb ice) and called to mind one of Imelda Marcos’s more festive summer hats.” – New York Magazine

August 7, 2007 – “You see a McDonald’s label and kids start salivating.” – CNN

August 2, 2007 – “I believe we are what we consume, so I really struggle with bodily fluids, especially sexually.” – The Press

July 26, 2007 – “Just as a bunch of oyster recipes invented in the last century propelled the ingredient to popularity, the combination of two cheap and common ingredients – powdered drink mix and dill pickles – stands a chance to transform our current culinary landscape.” – Gothamist

July 20, 2007 – Overheard on Broadway at 71st Street – “I heard that you can get really good Italian food in New York…” “Yeah, I saw an Olive Garden down near that Times Square…” “Awesome, let’s go there.”

July 19, 2007 – More often, though, the dishes were so unsuccessful that I had difficulty finishing them. A pan-roasted salt-and-pepper chicken tasted only nominally of either flavor. Instead, the moist but bland bird was subsumed by a tarlike apricot hoisin that could have been a McNugget dipping sauce. An arid scallion pancake side did nothing to distract from this lackluster main. The equally lame token noodle dish was thick rice pasta with a fatty pork ragú, deluged in a heavy plum goo – reduction of orange juice, soy and oyster sauces. – Randall Lane, Time Out New York

July 14, 2007 – The best party food I’ve ever had, the best spit-roast: it came in great piles on metal trays, warm juicy flesh, and loads of sweet, sweet fat and crispy skin. (Best thing about 25-year-old girls? They don’t eat the fat, so there’s more for you. OK, second best thing.) – Giles Coren, Times Online

July 12, 2007 – “”What’s in the recipe?” the reporter asks. “Six to four,” the man says. “You mean 60 percent cardboard? What is the other 40 percent?” asks the reporter. “Fatty meat,” the man replies.” – CNN Report

July 11, 2007 – “No fancy linens or snooty maitre d’s. No stiff service or dishes that have to be eaten with special implements according to instructions from on high.” – S. Irene Virbila, LA Times

July 10, 2007 – “Biofuel enthusiasts in Italy may have just seen their hopes falter a bit: facing the prospect of mounting durum wheat prices, many pasta lovers in the country will undoubtedly wonder whether it’s worth trading in their staple food for more wheat-based ethanol.” – Jeremy Elton Jacquot, Science & Technology writer, Treehugger

July 9, 2007 – “And while we can all agree that ceviches demand acid, so do car batteries. There should be a way to tell the difference.” – Charlie Suisman’s MUG

July 8, 2007 – “The service was sweet and young, but a slight air of “What are we doing?” permeated the dining room.” – Tom Sietsema Washington Post

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