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Food

Restaurant Critic Praises Bâtard Chef’s Sniper Skills

MarkusGlockerPicOne of the keys to a memorable restaurant review is the turn of phrase. Be it a rave or a slam, it’s all about how the writer conveys the ecstasy of a clean plate or the agony of an unused doggy bag.

Score one in the clean-plate department for New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells. Here’s how his praise of Bâtard in TriBeCa begins:

A few minutes into my first dinner at Bâtard, it became obvious that the chef, Markus Glocker, has a sniper’s accuracy at the stove.

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Good News-Bad News for Salt Lake City

Food & Wine tags its first annual “America’s Favorite Food Cities” online survey as “quasi-scientific” and “potentially controversial.” Indeed, those two things tend to go together like a risotto’s mushrooms and finely shaved Parmesan.

In the “Best of the Rest” section, Salt Lake City receives a couple of flagged mentions. There, asserts the magazine, you will find both this country’s Worst Tippers and fewest amount of Pompous Foodies.

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Saveur Serves Up Gourmet Eats on the West Side Waterfront

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Foodies flocked to Saveur magazine’s annual barbecue last night at the 79th Street Boat Basin, where they could sample bites from 17 different chefs and restaurants. Highlights included seafood boudin blanc from Sean Rembold‘s Wythe Hotel; Dale Talde‘s lemongrass slippery pork noodles; grilled lamb sliders by Amanda Freitag; barbecued chicken wings and potato chips from Marc Meyer of Tenth Avenue Cookshop; and barbecued octopus grilled up by Chris Cipollone, executive chef at Piora. Food lovers also got to try dishes crafted by Joey Campanaro, Mike Price, Kerry Heffernan, Jenn Louis, Dana Cree, Einat Admony, Jonathan Benno, Richard Capizzi, Brent Young, Sara Bigelow and Justin Devillier. Saveur editor-in-chief James Oseland and publisher Kristin Cohen co-hosted the event, which was packed with hungry diners. Click through the jump for more photos!

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Gag Restaurant Underfinger Set to Pop Up for One Night Only

UnderfingerLogoWe’ve all heard of farm-to-table. Less common but no less delightful is the culinary trend spoof-to-reality.

It all started last month when Chris Stang, co-founder of food blog Infatuation, shared a gag item about a hot new restaurant in Chinatown called Underfinger:

The chef at Underfinger, Jesper Paulsen, grew in Copenhagen just a few miles from Noma, and has eaten there several times. He’s taken that training and applied to the Scandinavian tradition of serving minimalist finger sandwiches at funerals. The end result is one of the city’s most impressive tasting menus, a somber celebration of “farm-to-finger” ingredients and classic Neo-Nordic techniques.

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The Vegan Honeymoon is Over for Daily Mail Staffer

TaylorLorenzTwitterProfilePicHalfway down Jordyn Taylor‘s piece in the New York Observer about living with an allergy to gluten, she ropes in Taylor Lorenz. Lorenz, a Brooklyn-based Daily Mail (pictured) staffer who oversees the emerging platforms group, was once an outspoken vegan. But now, because of various levels of abuse, she tends to keep that part of her life a bit more quiet.

FishbowlNY apologizes for bringing attention to this matter, but really, the anecdotes were just too good. Lorenz talks about her OKCupid vegan problems and shares this almost unbelievable first-date boyfriend maneuver:

“I went out with one guy,” Lorenz said, “and when I got back from the bathroom he was trying to sneak cheese into the sandwich I ordered.”

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Advocate Shares Some Farm-to-Mainstream-Media-Table Tips

Last fall, two buses full of Vermont and New York dairy farmers executed a highly successful Big Apple “Cabot Farmers Gratitude Tour.” There were selfies, lots of farmer hugging and “55 Random Acts of Cheddar.”

DailyYonderLogoBut Lorraine Lewandrowski, an attorney and upstate New York dairy farmer who goes by the Twitter handle @NYFarmer, cautions that it takes effort to keep the interests and issues of “deep rural” commodity farmers in front of the MSM. Ahead of a Friday night NYC panel discussion on the future of farming moderated by New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman, Lewandrowski has shared via The Daily Yonder some good tips on how to connect with big-city media. They include:

- Promote our talented rural writers, journalists and photographers. Some of them are experts in their area of writing but are ignored by urban media. Ag and rural journalists have chronicled our ups and down, pouring their hearts into our stories. Point out their writings, photography, creative work and talents out to urban media and create linkages.

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NYT Article Has New Orleans Exclaiming ‘What the Kale!?’

The words that launched the hashtag #NOLAKale and triggered angry local reaction pieces can be found in the seventh paragraph of Lizzy Goodman‘s New York Times travel piece:

“New Orleans is not cosmopolitan,” said the actress Tara Elders. “There’s no kale here.” Her husband, Michiel Huisman, the actor and musician who moved here with Ms. Elders in 2009 to shoot the HBO series Treme (he’s currently on the series Nashville), agreed. “The sign on a shop says that they’ll open at 10? You’re there at noon and it’s not open,” he said.

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Goodman probably came close to not using the Elders remark. It’s the kind of throwaway comment that is often left behind in a reporter’s notes. Elders is most definitely wishing that had been the case. Instead, her “not cosmopolitan” slag has been chewed on by the Times-Picayune‘s Jarvis DeBerry, The Gambit blogger Alejandro de Los Rios and many more.

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Malaysian Journalist Adds Michelin Star

Here’s a vivid reminder of how busy life can be for a New York area restaurant owner. Although the letter alerting Nani Yusof Hughie (pictured) that her Flushing, Queens restaurant Mamak House had been awarded one star in the latest Michelin Guide arrived in late December, she only opened it January 18. Either way, not bad for a modest establishment that is still three months away from its first-year anniversary.

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Hughie, a former full-time journalist with Malaysia’s national news agency Bernama, still freelances. Nevertheless, per a write-up in home country newspaper The Star, food is now her main focus:

“I am surprised and honored by the recognition as I am not a professional chef, and that includes my kitchen team. Furthermore, I am very new in this restaurant business,” she told Bernama via e-mail recently.

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New York Magazine Restaurant Critic Decides It’s Time to Lose the Fake Anonymity

NYMagAdamPlattCoverTo go along with his noggin on the cover of the latest issue, New York restaurant critic Adam Platt has penned a very funny essay about the antiquated business of restaurant critics working their beat anonymously. He explains that a large reason for his decision to come appetizer-plate clean in 2014 is that the on-paper napkin crux of this time-honored journalism tradition wasn’t fooling anyone:

Do they [restaurants] know who you are? (Of course they do.) So why do you register under an assumed name? (Because chefs would otherwise prepare for my arrival.) Will they come up and say hello? (Probably not.) Why not? (Because they’re pretending I’m not here.) Why are they doing that? (Because they want to pretend I’m having a “normal” dining experience.) So ordering the entire menu in one sitting is a “normal” dining experience? (Umm, maybe not for you …)

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Blogger Questions Martha Stewart’s ‘Food Porn’ Skills

The Internet really is the great equalizer. Today’s Exhibit Z – a Monday night post by LA Times food blogger Jenn Harris.

LATJennHarris_LogoHarris, host of Internet radio show Forkin’ Amazing and a self-professed “bacon schmootz lover,” spent some time scrolling through those contentious Martha Stewart food photos. In case you missed it, Stewart has been getting flak from her Twitter followers for the generally poor quality of her iFood photography, and Harris is now right there with these critics:

Some celebrities hire people to tweet for them, but after scrolling her feed, it’s pretty safe to say a professional had nothing to do with it. Most of the photos are poorly lit, which is something we’ve all experienced when trying to take a photo at a dark restaurant. But most are just plain awful. Some are blurry, some look neon and in some you really can’t tell what you’re looking at, no matter how long you look.

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