Results tagged Amateur Gourmet from David Lebovitz

A Quick Trip to New York City

La Parisienne

Last week, I had to make an unexpected trip from Paris to New York City. It was kind of a last-minute affair, But I’m always up for a trip to New York, even in the winter, which I remember from my years living on the east coast, how brutal they could be. Fortunately we hit a sweet spot and people were actually wearing t-shirts on the streets – in December!

pastries at Robert

Unlike being able to forget that bitter cold I’d experienced for so many winters in New York, I did forget how civic-minded Americans are and actually saw two people pick up trash on the sidewalk (that wasn’t theirs) and toss it into a nearby garbage can. People are polite, holding doors for one another and excusing themselves when they’re in someone’s way. I also forget how blue the skies are in New York, even when it’s cold, in the middle of December. New York City can be brutally cold, but there’s usually a cheerfulness in the air that’s unmistakably très américain.

blue sky

And I also forget how eager people in stores are to help you, and when I asked at Bergdorf Goodman if they knew where the display of candies from Fouquet in Paris was (the owner asked me to take a picture for him), the person I asked on the ground floor actually took a personal interest helping me, and insisted on taking me up to the top floor and asking everyone up there to find out where they were.

(Interestingly, they said the shipment had arrived a little late and were being put on display the next day, so it’s nice to know that even in America, where Romain marveled a few times, saying “People make sure things work here!” – they still have troubles with deliveries.)

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Blog Notes / Links / Misc

Misc. thoughts, notes, and links from around the web…


Links

I recently read several excellent articles online about food writing. So much has changed in the last few years, and like most mediums, newspapers, magazines, blogs, and websites continue to evolve.

How to Blog
The editor of Boing Boing discusses the current state of blogging and offers a fresh perspective and tips.

Advice from Every Angle
Seasoned food writer Amanda Hesser assesses the current state of food writing.

How to Blog About Food
A good compendium of tips for new, emerging, and aspiring food bloggers.

Food Blogging
An article I wrote last year with some of my own ideas and advice on the topic.

Are Food Blogs Over?
Adam Roberts talks about the saturation of food blogs and offers insights.

Paris’s Best Croissants
On another note, I took a little ‘croissant quest’ for Travel and Leisure magazine, sleuthing out places in Paris for the best croissant. I veered off the usual path and hit the Right Bank, mentioning a few lesser-known addresses.


Paris & Switzerland Chocolate and Gastronomy Tour in June

We have two spaces left on my upcoming Paris and Switzerland Chocolate and Gastronomy Tour in June (due to a last-minute cancellation.) Requirements are that you must be able to consume large quantities of chocolate and caramel, reasonable amounts of butter and cheese, wine (as necessary), and plenty of charcuterie. If you fit this description and are interested in coming – or want more information – there’s a link on my Tours page for getting in touch with the contact person.


Comments

There’s a trend to use external commenting systems on blogs but I’m not sure I like the idea of folks having to log-in elsewhere to participate in the discussion. Discussions, tips, advice, and commentary of various sorts are welcome but you must leave a verifiable e-mail address (which isn’t made public, or shared), as noted in my comment policy. I may be revisiting using another system in the future that can be integrated into the site. But for now, I prefer to keep it as is.


Links to Services I’m Using

Dropbox
I was trying to figure out an easy way to move documents and pictures from my computer to mobile devices, and friends recommended Dropbox. It’s very easy to use and the basic version is free. You can also share documents and stuff with others on it as well.

Flipboard
If you have an iPad or iPhone, this application turns your device into a virtual magazine, allowing you to choose from sites (including mine), social networks, newspapers, and magazines, which Flipboard organizes into a magazine-like format.

Rue La La
One of my tour guests turned me on to Rue La La when I was eying her Tumi suitcase, so I joined and in addition to suitcases, I keep seeing amazing deals on everything from Le Creuset and Staub cookware, to KitchenAid mixers and Cuisinart food processors. The prices are great, but you have to act fast.

(Note: Membership in Rue La La is by invitation only. You can use that link as an invitation and Rue La La provides me with credit toward my own future luggage. But membership is free.)

Eating Out & About in New York City

empire state buildingshake shack burger
shake shack french frieskorean dumplings nyc

I was recently conversing with someone about what excites (and stuns) French people when they come to the United States. Supermarkets are always interesting places to go; last time I took Romain to one in Florida, he came out and said “Pas de stress!” because shopping in a French supermarket can be an exercise in frustration. (Which is putting it mildly.)

welcome to bank

Someone suggested that I take him to a bank, because there is no place more stressful, or more unwelcoming, than a bank in France. I was recently having a discussion about how distrustful my bank seems to be of customers and a friend stunned me by saying that banks have so many rules and blockades in place because “…you shouldn’t be trusted with your own money.”

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New York City Dining and Travel Notes

pretzels empire state building

I had a wonderful trip to New York City recently and shared some of the places that I visited (see links at end of post), but there were plenty more places that I ate at, which didn’t get mentioned in previous posts. So here’s a round-up of them…

katz's corned beef sandwich

Katz’s

Most of the good delis are gone in New York City, but Katz’s is an institution and I like to believe it’s never going to let me down. I’ve had great meals there, but on this visit, my corned beef was tough and almost all of the meat inside my sandwich was inedible. A sandwich that costs $14.50, plus tax, should be museum-quality.

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Amnesty Cookies

baking cookies

When I was speaking at the Blogher Food Conference last year, one of the organizers was telling us that on the last day of each month, she carries out what she calls E-mail Amnesty Day. On that day, she deletes all her e-mail in her Inbox, then issues an all-points-bulletin to everyone she knows that if there was anything important in there, to e-mail her again. She swore that it drastically reduced her e-mail and any meltdowns one might have trying to answer it all.

I thought that was an interesting idea, and when I looked around my apartment the other day, (which wasn’t half as scary as my Inbox), I realized that I had a huge miscellany of half-bags and jars of stuff left over from various baking projects, odds and ends that I was saving, which I said to myself (at the time) that I’d certainly use in the future. And this weekend, I thought it was high time to do something about it and get rid of them all, to do an exhaustive, clean sweep and get rid of everything.

kit-kat bars ingredients for compost cookies

What also prompted the purge was when I read where Adam made something called “Compost Cookies”, a recipe which includes anything you wish to dump in it, from chocolate chips to Fritos.

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Simplify It Sunday

bread bar jules

Just taking a breather here and thought I’d share some thoughts as I looked at my crazy Inbox this weekend. I switched to Gmail last year and things just keep moving down as they come in, until they turn the corner and head into the ‘older’ page (ie: Siberia). Where they get forgotten. So yesterday, I deleted a few messages. As in, a few hundred messages. I don’t even recall what many of them were about, or why I was saving them, but invariably a few likely got tossed that I probably should have answered. Drat.

There’s a concept I’ve been hearing about called declaring “bankruptcy”. It’s not about the global financial meltdown, but it’s about preventing another kind of meltdown by simply starting back again from zero, a blank slate. It’s an interesting idea and it’s nice to do a bit of spring cleaning now and then, even though spring is a few months away, unfortunately. (Although it did give me an excuse to buy a killer-stylin’ new overcoat for winter last Wednesday.)

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10 Reasons The Amateur Gourmet Should Come to Paris

10 Reasons The Amateur Gourmet Should Come to Paris…

1. They have no idea who Bobby Flay is.

2. The have no idea who Rachel Ray is.

3. They know who Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are, but don’t care.

4. Scientology is illegal.

5. Since they wouldn’t let Oprah into Hermès, there’s an unclaimed Birkin bag for Adam’s mom.

6. They know who Oprah is, but don’t care.

7. Yes, figs are really in season here.

8. “Brangelina” and “Bennifer” are not in the French vocabulary.

9. Richard Quest has been ‘on assignment’ for a suspiciously long time.

10. We need some New Yorkers here to show Parisians that you can’t just walk right into people and expect not to get slugged.

Bonus Reason:

11. Carrie Bradshaw left.