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Things I am digging – Chef Edition

Illustration my friend made of me and our kitty

Due to surgery-related opioids, today’s post may be an interesting one. I just had surgery on my knee yesterday and I am laid up in bed, taking pain meds, and my wife is taking care of me. Perhaps someone should also take away my keyboard since I am all looped up, but I figure what a better time to write? I will dig deep down and find my inner William Burroughs to write something interesting today. Can I channel Naked Lunch into a food blog post? I don’t have the skill or time, so probably not, but I am going to try my best! Since I am not going to be running around the kitchen today, today I am going to talk about other people. I am going to share some of the stuff I like reading online and a few of the people I like following.

Also, regarding the photo above, this was done by a super talented illustrator friend Carrie Copa. It is of me and one of our kitties (one that loves me lots), Val. If you go to her contact page, there is an illustration of me and Kate Winslet. She is fabulous and a fabulous illustrator!

Serious Eats

Serious Eats is probably one of my favorite cooking websites. They continually provide interesting content and really dig deep into recipes, techniques, and food items. I think I first found them a few years ago when I was looking for a recipe on ramen eggs. I did find an obscure YouTube one that I like a little better than Serious Eats, but I still end up using a variation of Serious Eats’ when I can’t find the other. There is one thing I have found about a bowl of ramen, a great marinated soft boiled egg can make it 5x better. At home, I usually make 6 eggs for the two of us. Lol.

But the name stuck with me and I now follow them on social platforms. They always share interesting information and I would highly recommend following them on the ol’ Twitters. And if you haven’t done so yet, follow me!

Carl Ruiz

I don’t have cable, so I don’t really watch Food Network. I don’t really listen to morning radio. Carl Ruiz is probably mostly known for both the Food Network and being a personality on Opie Radio. I first found him on Twitter. I don’t even know how, but you know… I am sure I saw a funny retweet and looked at the feed. A funny or interesting feed usually translates to a follow. This is what I did with Carl Ruiz.

One of the better Twitter follow choices I have made. The guy is hilarious and informative. I want to get to one of his restaurants or delis one day. He is a classically trained chef who studied at Le Cordon Bleu in France. That all sounds fancy schmancy, but I think his favorite grilled cheese is Velveeta slices on wonder bread. He turns up in a video eating at some high class joints, but then later in the night will show him taking a shot of bourbon followed up with a Bud Light chaser.

I think what I really appreciate about his style is that he definitely knows good food. He also isn’t afraid to call BS on stuff he thinks is nonsense. He is knowledgeable and opinionated. Finally, he has all sorts of opinions which are entertaining and interesting to listen to. I might not agree with all of them, but what do I know? I am just a guy with a blog who writes some stuff. Here he is at work, but be warned that there is some language in the video that some people wouldn’t approve of.

Check the guy out.

Mario Batali

Ok, this is one that I remember from Food Channel, when I had cable. I always liked him and probably the earliest thing that stuck out in my mind from him is him talking about cheese. I think it was probably the first time that it really sunk in just how many different kinds of cheese are out there and that so many people make a living just talking about cheese.

Then there was Iron Chef. I definitely liked that show and how they showed people working in the kitchen. While my experience as a line cook in local joints were vastly different, I loved the pace of a busy dinner gone right. That show tended to show chefs in that place that I loved when I cooked for a paycheck. Being in that space over a grill when tickets were just stacked up and all I had was my station to tend to and some tunes cranked… oh man. I have some glamorized nostalgia about that sort of feeling.

Where Mario really won me over, however, was at Babbo. I had my first tasting menu there and absolutely was blown away. When we go on trips, I now try to plan one fine dining experience. Don’t get me wrong, some great meals are at very affordable places and I try and find that, as well, but Mario has me chasing the dragon. His tasting menu, for right now, is the experience I am chasing after. I want to find the next one I like better.

I now follow him on Instagram and Twitter. He is always answering questions and taking great pictures. I like the guy.

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