Tag Archives: Serious Eats

On Food Writing and Interviews with Chefs Masaharu Morimoto, Amanda Cohen and Will Horowitz

copyright Brent Herrig

Chatting with Chef Morimoto at his new Tribeca Canvas, copyright Brent Herrig

I’ve been having a crisis of faith, recently.

Not about this week, with Passover and Easter coming – though there is some angst there that is in tomorrow’s post (lucky you!)

But about the value in what I do.

I write, mostly about food. I interview people and build recipes and am a part of the pop culture world that partly gives me the willies. I was never the one to know what restaurant was hot and worth going to. I’m still not, really, other than that I now know about 50 chefs who are creating amazing food. I don’t like going out to eat to be seen. And did you know that chef groupies are a thing now? Quelle horreur!

I want the work I do to have value. I want to be a part of something because it contributes, because it helps give our world shape, and because it connects people on a visceral level. And while food does that in intimate and beautiful ways, it’s also become such an eye-rolling point of focus in New York that I want to yawn and pour a whiskey and watch Frasier or something.

That is, until I actually sit down and work.

Continue reading

Why are Women the Gluten-Free Gladiators?

Screen shot 2013-03-24 at 2.18.49 PM

Why are Women the Gluten-Free Gladiators?

This is a question I’ve asked myself many times while researching or calling in products, or scanning a list of ingredients at my grocer’s.

I interview high-profile chefs weekly for my Serious Eats column, and there I have to conscientiously focus on bringing more women into the mix; there are plenty of incredible female chefs out there, but the majority of the chefs owning and running high-end kitchens in New York are still men.

Yet when I scan my mental list of bloggers, writers, editors, developers, PR representatives and producers in the gluten-free field, the steep majority of them are women: editors Silvana Nardone and Alice Woodward at Easy Eats and Living Without; writers/bloggers/developers Amy Green, Nicole Hunn, Shauna James Ahern, and Karina Allrich; producers Pamela’s Products, Jules Gluten-Free, Better Batter… I could show you my address book and guarantee that at least 85% of those in the gluten-free world are women.

Alex Thomopoulos has an incredible blog and a web show on Hungry - Gluten-Free With Alex T - that I'm addicted to

Alex Thomopoulos has a beautiful blog and an insanely amusing web show on Hungry – Gluten-Free With Alex T – that I’m addicted to.

As someone who hasn’t eaten gluten-containing products in almost 20 years (minus an incredibly unhealthy and disastrous period in college), I’m mesmerized by how grandly the food world has changed, and the gluten-free food world has developed from a few ingredients and progressive health food stores to the insane trend – yes, trend – that it is now. This community basically made me a food writer, as other ambitions melted away when people around me wanted to know more about how to eat on an adapted diet.

I, personally, am probably not the best advocate for this way of eating.

When someone mentions to me that they’re cutting out out gluten and expects me to be excited and supportive, my response is always, “why?” I have a very specific illness that makes gluten dangerous to my health when eaten with any sort of regularity. It doesn’t stop with gluten, and two-thirds of my life I’ve spent having the same conversation with waiters, relatives and new friends about what I can’t and why I can’t eat certain things. Those with Celiac Disease have it even worse than I, and in support of them (and for many other reasons) I think those who can digest gluten should digest gluten. Yes, eating less simple carbohydrates and more healthy vegetables and proteins in general is better for everyone, and even more so for those with health conditions. But if I could enjoy the crackle of a crusty piece of bread or a slice of pizza, you can be damned sure I would.

Continue reading

I Chat With… NYC’s Finest Tastemakers

At the table with Executive Chef April Bloomfield, photo Brent Herrig

At the table with Executive Chef April Bloomfield, photo Brent Herrig

I get all reflective around the holidays.

My birthday, too, when I come to think of it.

As the year comes to a close my current focus is on my health – following your passion into the kitchen and on the city streets as a writer puts a lot of stress on a body with a chronic illness. I love my jobs. Cooking, nourishing, interviewing, covering events, working on building up Easy Eats Magazine… they really fulfill me. But sometimes I let the balance tip too far towards overworking and too far from sustaining my health. As proven by having to take a day completely off of work this week – literally, calling in sick which I never do – because of back pain limiting my capability to cook.

But while my health is wavering, reflecting on the beautiful things I’ve gotten to accomplish this year is so satisfying.

One is the insane amount of talent I’ve gotten to sit from across a table, as I’ve interviewed chefs, restauranteurs, writers and mixologists/sommeliers. I’m blown away by who I’ve gotten to speak with.

The faces below are my most recent – taken before, during and after Hurricane Sandy ravaged my city. I have interviews on the calendar through January and am excited by the endless list of tastemakers to speak with.

For my entire gallery, visit my I Chat With… page. And for links to all the interviews, including the most recent ones pictured here, check out my page on Serious Eats.

Happy Friday,

- Jacqueline

I Chat With: Chef Floyd Cardoz of North End Grill

“When you do something good for people you don’t do good because you want something good to come out of it: you do it for the goodness of your heart and soul, what your parents teach you to do. I believe that if everybody does their part this would be a better place to live in.”

It’s not often that a chef moves me to tears in an interview, let alone twice.

Yet Chef Cardoz did just that.

Our chat together inspired many such moments, where his balanced belief system gave me confidence that kitchens aren’t always about ego, celebrity doesn’t always mean drama, and good food can be created by happy hands.

I could go on about how special this interview was, and how much I look forward to heading down to North End Grill again for a long lunch. Or how much I hope that Chef Cardoz and I do get to share a Portuguese meal together in Jersey (he’s from Goa, a Portuguese part of India where my Indian godfather is from which is how he met my Portuguese family). Or how the world, this city and my profession do seem friendlier knowing that such chefs are out there.

Head over to Serious Eats NY to read the full interview.

Stay dry and warm,

- Jacqueline

Oh, and if you missed it earlier today, check out my new “Private Chef-ing By the Book” post with Seamus Mullen’s HERO FOOD. I also interviewed Chef Mullen for this Serious Eats series!

I Chat With James Oseland, Editor-in-Chief of Saveur Magazine

When I set out to start shaping my writing career around the culinary world, I had no real expectation. At the time I was more focused on getting in front of a camera, sharing my dusty little recipes in a friendly environment for those struggling with food allergies. But, honestly, it takes a lot of energy to be a performer, and after 10+ years of pushing to find it I’ve realized sometimes my body doesn’t have that energy.

So writing became the focus. I’ve always been a reader, and an observer, and been most excited by what excites others – hence why I wanted to slip into the skin of another person as an actor, or make documentary films on other kinds of performers, or now interview chefs in their own kitchens.

I remember my first issue of Saveur Magazine… or at least the first I purchased and the one that made me sign up for a subscription shortly after. It was #123: Why Lamb Rules. Along with a diagram of cuts of lamb and recipes from all over the world on how to prepare it, the issue also featured different types of cinnamon and which apples proved to be best for baking (I remember all of this, including the images of lamb, cinnamon and apples, as I sit here… I didn’t have to look this up).

I read a lot about food. But Saveur has a special place in my heart. Reading it – both in print and now on my iPad – takes me all over the world and into the kitchens and dining tables of places I could only dream of eating at and exploring.

So today’s interview on Serious Eats was a special one for me. James Oseland is incredibly kind, passionate, energetic. His love of food and his trajectory with how he got to Saveur is delightful. He talked for over an hour, and it was a nightmare cutting down some truly entertaining tidbits for the article. He uses such colorful language so fluidly, and paints incredible pictures with his words.

One thing I pointed out in the interview is how much I admire how Saveur’s stories really do tie together food with family, culture, the earth, and god – however the subject perceives those to be. When Brent and I went to the Acores last year, several of the stories we were working on I had with Saveur in mind. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll get back there together.

Until then, please check out this very special interview on Serious Eats.

Happy Tuesday,

- Jacqueline

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,166 other followers

%d bloggers like this: