Bret Anthony Johnston’s outward appearance oozes fiction writer. You see his thick-rimmed glasses and often solemn photos and you think, Yup, this is what they’re all like. But Johnston (whose name sounds a little like a member of a boy band, doesn’t it?) is so much more than the scarf-wearing stereotype you might associate with the typical writer.
Author Archive: Jennifer Heigl
Jennifer Heigl is a writer, photographer, and entrepreneur based in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of Career Diary of a Caterer, the former co-owner of Zen Kitchen Catering, and currently serves as editor of Daily Blender and owner/principal of Jen Heigl Creative.
First, you head north past Los Angeles’ Hasidic Jewish neighborhood and onto the posh boutique-lined Beverly Boulevard for a bite at Petty Cash, an upscale taqueria. The walls look like an enormous Digital Retna mural, and the bar is stocked with scores of agave spirits, many of which you’ve never seen before. You see the trompo and decide to order tacos al pastor to go with your Paloma.
Jeffrey Morgenthaler, bartender extraordinaire.
More like Jeffrey the Grouch when I first met him in the Denver airport years ago. The name rang a bell as the shuttle driver rattled off the list of us weary travelers waiting for a ride to Vail. “I think I follow you on Twitter,” I mumbled to the tall, graying mixer as we walked to the van. “Where are you based?” I asked like a common cocktail newbie.
For this round of “48 Hours in…”, I asked my friend, and locale expert, Evan Strange, to point us in the right direction. Though I originally met Evan during my visit to Indianapolis, he made the trek down Texas way two years ago, and is certainly my go-to to get the off-the-radar dining deets in this capital city.
San Francisco chef Richie Nakano is as widely known for his opinions as he is for his ramen. An online biography describes the cocksure chef as “the expert of kitchen trash talk”, his regularly updated Twitter feed peppered with sideswipes at everything from local regulations to “Best Of” lists. Nakano doesn’t toss his thoughts around lightly, however, and his long abandoned blog reads like a Bourdain novel, an articulate, knowledgeable voice representing kitchen dwellers from Los Angeles to New York. A father, a baseball fan, a line cook. Another dedicated chef you won’t see at an awards show.
It was a last minute trip home, the kind you don’t want to make, the kind you take because someone’s health is failing and visits must be made. Everything from my pre-departure routine to those long hours in a metal tube with wings felt more dismal than usual. I had a cocktail on each flight, sleeping when I could, eschewing my iPod and trashy magazines. The subsequent gathering of my immediate family upon my arrival into Detroit weighed heavy with concern, a weekend schedule of meals and responsibilities and meetings with health care providers. Our family’s modus operandi to laugh and carry on conflicting with the uncomfortable stomach-gnawing of impending loss.
I arrived in this weird Pacific Northwest city back in the early 2000s, settling into a house in Portland’s then-undesirable Northeast neighborhood. I remember being pretty dismayed with the food options in the area, venturing out one night, determined to find a great restaurant nearby. Thankfully, I stumbled upon a dimly lit corner spot on Fremont Avenue, where the menu at Acadia pulled me in, full of seafood and Cajun spices, and I stayed for both dinner and dessert.
Jumping off the success of our inaugural “48 Hours In…Miami” post, we’ve got jetsetting funny man Jason Kessler listing off his favorite airport bites across the nation, whether you’re running to your connection or killing time on a layover.
Chefs Steven McHugh and Michael Gulotta on Cured, MOPHO, and life in the kitchen with Chef John Besh
The guidance and training a chef receives within the kitchen – particularly during those early years – often dictates the tone of his or her career, from knife skills and spices to business acumen and demeanor. Whether cookbooks or creative bios, it is always referenced where a chef has worked previously, ripples that continue to flow for years to come. Particularly when it is a great chef – Boulud, Keller, Chang – it is exciting to see the evolution, the next generation of creativity emerging from the kitchens and training, ready to build on their own dreams.
Food and gossip columnist Lesley Abravanel kicks off our new food & travel series, “48 Hours In…”, with her top dining and drinking picks in sunny Miami, Florida. With a handful of favorites, both the glamorous Martini Bar at the Raleigh – with food from our favorite Miami chef, Michael Schwartz – and the kitchy Alabama Jack’s make the cut.
Chef Greg Grohowski has his hands full managing the high volume kitchens of the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. The Midwest native began as many chefs do, on the line through high school and college, cooking with family and friends along the way, apprenticing at the Tippecanoe Restaurant within the historic Studebaker Mansion in South Bend, Indiana before joining Paragon Restaurants.
There’s been much discussion since Cheerios manufacturer General Mills announced last week that they’ve been making GMO-free versions of the well-known cereal over the past few months, and expect customers to spot the adjusted product shortly on their store shelves. The company is confident about their decision, of course, with spokesman Mike Siemienas commenting, “We believe consumers will embrace it.”
Books that cook have really evolved over the last few years. A few – like David Chang’s tale in the Momofuku cookbook of fighting anger and shingles – plunge even deeper into the cooking/storytelling vein, revealing the heart of the kitchen where memoir and measuring cup collide.
René Redzepi: A Work In Progress is teetering on that fine line as well. The Copenhagen chef’s latest release, a raw glimpse into a leader and chef, part cookbook, part year-in-the-life tale of its star player and his role within the greater team.