In case you’ve missed the thread about FUQUA Wines and where his grapes come from, here’s the link. I just caught up with Lee who has been working 24/7 over the last five days. His head just cleared from a tasting last night that ended with a smooth-drinking 1925 Haut-Brion.
Me: Lee, why didn’t you just make it easy on all of us and just answer the question?
Lee: I didn’t like the way the guy asked the question.
Me: Yeah, but it looks like you’re being a jerk too by not answering the question. Even I know your grapes come from California. What gives?
Lee: It’s not a secret and it’s not a big deal. All of the grapes are Tempranillo–the Texas grapes are from the high plains and the other fruit is from Santa Barbara, California. I’m a real person and I follow all of the rules. Every wine writer in Dallas knows what I use. I just don’t like the way the guy asked the question. It says on the front page of my web page what kind of grapes I use and it has said that for eight years.
Peace out. Men will be boys.16 Comments »
Used to be my good friend Nancy would occasionally drop goodies off at my house, just because she was a good friend. Then she’d do it because we were neighbors. Now that we are colleagues, everything comes with a price tag. The price for the Puck Bunny leaving a care package in my fridge Sunday afternoon was this: “Well, you are going to blog about it.” Well, here I am, working for my dinner.3 Comments »
Courtney Luscher studied hard to pass the first level of the Master Sommelier exam and today she learned that she passed with flying big jammy nose colors. The test is the first tier of testing conducted by the Court of Master Sommeliers (not to be confused with this court). You know Courtney; she’s married to chef Brian C. Luscher. Together they own and operate The Grape. Congrats. (That’s not really Mrs. L to the left. Oh wait, I mean Mrs. Luscher.)2 Comments »
So, the Top Chef tour came to Dallas yesterday at the West Village starring TC faves and hometown celebs Casey Thompson and Tre Wilcox. I’ll be honest: It was kind of boring. Granted, you have to be highly entertaining to make a cooking demo exciting. And both chefs were working on very little sleep. (Due to storms, they had spent 15 hours stuck in a Houston airport.) But come on. This is Top Chef. My favorite show. I want sizzle. I want pizzazz. I want crying, bitchslaps, and someone threatening to shave someone’s head. What did I get? The following: 1) Casey makes a mean cuttlefish tossed in mint and pea shoots served with blanched English peas and burrata. 2) You can find cuttlefish (which is like a creamy calamari, according to Ms. Thompson) at Thai Oriental Food Store off of Lower Greenville. 3) Casey is a self proclaimed “fireball.” 4) Casey knows how to charm a crowd. Tre needs to speak up. His low voice is hard to hear. 5) Top Chef now sells t-shirts that quote chef Andrew from Top Chef Chicago: “I Have a Culinary Boner.” Charming.
So, let me admit upfront: I love cookbooks more than cooking. My library is lousy with them and, though I often entertain the notion of cooking a four-course meal from scratch, I’m more in love with the romance than the reality. In other words, takeout rules in the Johnson household. That’s what makes this new SideDish feature—Test Kitchen—such a delicious challenge. I’ll dust off a local cookbook or published recipe, attempt to prepare it (please note the word “attempt”), and blog the results plus a photo of the finished product. You, dear SideDishers, get to discover which local recipes are winners and losers. I, your foolish amateur chef, get to sharpen my knife skills while documenting my culinary shortcomings for the blogosphere to read. So, see? It’s a win-win. For my inaugural outing, I tackled Top Chef season three contestant and local fave Tre Wilcox (formerly of Abacus) and his episode seven winning bacon-wrapped shrimp with cheese grits and chipotle-tomato butter sauce. It’s from Top Chef: The Cookbook and I have a new respect for sauciers after this back breaker.6 Comments »
Here is a (rough) video, starring Marguerite Robbins of My Rancher All-Natural Meats, from yesterday’s discussion at The Dallas Farmers Market.
China seems to be in the back end of SideDish. One moment please.
Yesterday I hit Roaster’s (old Ed’s Deli space at LBJ & Preston) around 1:00p.pm. and the place was jumping. There was still a wait for tables but since we were the only deuce, we were seated quickly. The staff was flying around the room at dizzying speed thrusting jars of home made pickles and metal bowls of cole slaw on the table while they rearranged the condiments and slapped down the plastic (with pictures!) menu. Customers: kids a go-go, old Jewish ladies, young families, middle-aged foodies. I felt like I was dining on a Carnival cruise docked in Nassau.
Anywhoo, I just wanted to tell you about the pastrami sandwich because it is worth the trip: hot and hand-sliced pastrami it’s packed and piled high. Mine was on toasted rye with melted Swiss and extra Russian dressing. I scooped the cole claw, which was light and slightly sweet, on top. I ate half and thought I would burst. Some serious foodies feel that the pastries and breakfast platters are super expensive but the sandwich ($11.95) was enough for two.
Looks like they’ve shortened their name from Roaster’s ‘N Toasters to Roaster’s. I don’t care what they call it– when my mouth was full of pastrami I could have closed my eyes and imagined myself sitting at Carnegie Deli in New York. (Then again, I was highly caffeinated.) Evan Grant will review the lox, bagels, and corned beef later. UPDATE: FYI, they are only open for breakfast and lunch.24 Comments »
Sorry for the late notice, La Garza is on channel 8 right now.
UPDATE: She has hard news: concentrating on kids camps, has a TV deal in the works, and readying to roll out “a multi-unit franchise concept” she has been working on for seven years.2 Comments »