Maybe cooking is

Food Style

Posted on: March 10, 2010

This month’s weekend travel is sending me to locations where I can’t reliably whip up a good meal.  Hotel counter-spaces do not amount to a makeshift kitchen.  Check out the Griswolds’ inventiveness in the “Napoleon Room” to catch my drift (I love Chevy Chase):

However, related to cooking and foodie interests:

Reading

For bedside reading about food and culture, I suggest you pick up the recently published The Gastronomica Reader.  It’s an anthology of more than 40 thought-provoking essays from the food and cultural journal Gastronomica, which started in 2001 and is published by the University of California.  Paired with art and poetry, some of the essay topics are Christian diets, food in wartime, seafood and caviar in Muslim dietary laws in Iran, food as clothing, food choices in Zambia as they relate to genetic modification, and profiles of a rice farmer in the Carolinas.  This book sounds delicious for my mind.

And if you weren’t already sold, Gastronomica has a Julia Child issue.  Mais bien sur!

Shopping

A few items worth coveting:

Rose Trivet

  • For a splash of style in your kitchen, try this rose trivet for handling hot plates.  Kind of a pricey potholder at $22, but it’s so cute.
  • The Banana Bunker by Cultured Containers ($7).  Because no one wants to cry over a bruised banana.
  • To skip the time management required for airing wine, try the Vinturi wine aerator ($39.95), which adds air as you pour.  How cool is that?

Drinking

Beverages are conversation starters, but the Mad Men character Barbie doll line is leaving its cocktails on the set.

Anyway, for coffee lovers that want the 411 on the latest varieties (beyond the custom toffee-nut soy latte with skim milk orders) or terms surrounding the industry (like free trade), read up on this glossary from the Times.  Affogato (vanilla ice cream drowned in an espresso shot) sounds yummy.

D.C. Restaurants on the DL

Right now, the D.C. scene has hot nightlife trends, and all involve food.  Restaurants are choosing to blend dinner fare with the nightclub, and some are bringing a level of exclusivity over which a top-secret government clearance has no sway.

Miami-inspired Lima could have started the restaurant-meets-club trend with its velvet ropes downtown on K Street.  Another locale in Georgetown on M Street, The Washingtonian describes: “It’s a restaurant, it’s a nightclub, it’s Mie N Yu, one of a growing number of area establishments blurring the line between dinner and after-dinner fun.”  And it’s happening all over the city.  I love the Francophone menu at Bistro Napoleon, but my friend Geoff clued me into its basement lounge French house/ electro nights that have prompted The Times to declare, “Washington night life, it seems, has come of age.”

That said, there’s a new game in town that involves a list beyond the one at The George and belongs to the subculture.  In the speakeasy, hush-hush style of The Gibson on U Street, these anti-restaurants have adopted Atlantis’ location policy and appear in different places around the nation’s capitol.

Meant to be clandestine, Orange Arrow invites 150 guests via email for a dinner affair at $125-a-head.  With a James Beard award-nominated chef and a new location at each dinner, OA is working on liquor and location licenses to become a district mainstay.  Another traveling underground restaurant, though not nearly as exclusive, Wok + Wine began in NYC in 2008 and hosted a gathering of D.C. strangers to dine on garlic shrimp this February.  Will they be back?  I don’t know, but the duo is headed to New Zealand currently.

That’s the latest D.C. dish, and here’s the thought for the week, “Noncooks think it’s silly to invest two hours’ work in two minutes’ enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet.”Julia Child

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3 Responses to "Food Style"

I love the Freudian slip in this guy’s (impressive) stream of consciousness writing: “I have to say, though, I haven’t meat a lot of vegetarians and vegans who I would think of as food-adventurers.”

Ha! I didn’t even notice!

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