Diggings 24 March 2018


Takehiro Kishimoto carved eggplant

The Chef Who Carves Traditional Patterns into Fruits and Vegetables

‘Kishimoto refers to produce carving as “Thai” carving, because the masters of fruit carving are from Thailand. It’s an old tradition that originated from chefs cooking for the royal family. But Japan also has a history of food-carving. Mukimono, as it’s called, is hundreds of years old. By combining historical patterns and mukimono, Kishimoto has created something unique. News outlets have gushed over his work, and he says he’s been surprised by the attention.’


Cooking with Alexandre Dumas

According to the introduction to my abridged, translated version of that volume, Dumas “wrote novels and stories because he needed the revenue but produced his masterpiece, the Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine, because he loved the work.” The book includes recipes, society gossip, bits of culinary history, and the writer’s meditations on hosting and entertaining. It is not, the introduction says, “a basic cookery book for an untaught bride.” I found it fun to read that a recipe for ortolans, a rare songbird, tells us that to kill them, we must “asphyxiate them by plunging their heads into very strong vinegar. It is a violent death that improves their flesh.”

Thanks, I think, to John Newton for forwarding this to me.  No ortolans on hand but there is a pair of mynahs in my backyard that could possibly substitute.


Takehiro Kishimoto carved avo mar 2018

Qantas to showcase native Australian ingredients

‘Australian food company, Charlie’s Cookies, is now producing shortbread using native Australian finger lime for Qantas domestic flights.’

Sorry, but I am at a loss to know how putting finger limes in shortbread ‘showcase(s) native Australian ingredients’. Serve up some roo and warrigal greens and I might begin to think…oh, wait, perhaps not a good look for “The Flying Kangaroo” to be serving up its mascot.


Nicole Kidman Eats Bugs

This is weird in all kinds of ways, not the least that she does the entire meal with chopsticks.


The power of those who get to tell the stories

‘That hour of television was an acute fantasy of Africa, a regurgitated trope called up from the pit of a familiar Western stomach. The episode is perfect insight into mainstream American views of othered places — Africa or Asia, New Orleans or Compton — a story limned by limited outsiders and thus non-representative, objectified and objectionable.’

Haven’t watched any of the Bourdain corpus. Can’t stand the macho chic of it. As recommended at the end of the article, I have ordered “Longthroat Memoirs: Soups, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds“ by Yemisi Aribisala instead.


OpenTable Stumbles Into #MeToo

‘But it’s easy to question OpenTable’s self-assigned role in making the industry better by letting restaurants declare themselves safe spaces with seemingly no oversight to make sure they are. The service doesn’t monitor the user-generated reviews for possible intel regarding bad behavior at the restaurants, the company confirmed. OpenTable is “not the police here,” OpenTable CEO Christa Quarles told Eater in a recent interview. And elsewhere, OpenTable isn’t actually doing much to “call out inappropriate behavior” or to “hold offending parties accountable,” as the language in Quarles’ Medium announcement said. Take a spin through the site and you’ll still find reservation pages for Mario Batali’s restaurants, like Del Posto and Babbo; John Besh’s Restaurant August; and Ken Friedman’s the Hearth & Hound. These men — credibly accused, and in Batali’s case, admitted, harassers — have “stepped away” from their restaurant groups, but still own and profit from them, and so does OpenTable.’

Yep, sounds like a cash grab to me plain and simple and cynical.


700 dollar meal notice mar 2018

Rebirth of the world’s best restaurant: is lunch at the new Noma worth $700?

‘”Unlike native Americans who have no more knowledge of their cooking and traditions, it was so inspiring to be with Aborigines and see and taste with them.”

By all means run a restaurant on the site of what used to be a counter cultural commune and charge people $700 for the meal, but even the simplest search on Wikipedia would show you how wrong this statement is. You could do start here, for example https://bit.ly/2iQhwXF


Takehiro Kishimoto carved turnip mar 2018

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