September 22, 2007


So, the New York Times opened up it's archives back to 1981 this week, a move I wildly applaud. Every newspaper, as a public interest, should do this for their communities. In doing so, the Times editors have invited users to go digging through the vault to see what they can find.

Anyway, I decided to do some archive mining to see the earliest references in the Times for some of the best-known food names and trends during the past 26 years:

Rachael RayRACHAEL RAY: (Feb. 15, 2002)

Rachael Ray Host of ''30 Minute Meals'' on the Food Network

My old chipped Le Creuset pot is the one thing in my house that I would grab if there were a fire. I remember being on my mother's hip and watching her stir everything in that pot with a big wooden spoon. My grandfather would often begin playing cards with his friends in the kitchen, and I must have had 120 cousins who always ate with us. That pot is magical. It's really like a scrapbook for me. Every time I use it, all those memories come back. When I moved to my little cabin out in the woods, my mother gave me the pot along with a wooden spoon. I spend all my time in the kitchen -- my living room must hate me -- and that pot is always out. My favorite thing to make is called minestra, which is a thick soup made from white beans and bitter greens. The pot is now all blackened on the bottom and it's about three different shades of red and orange. It has a lot of scars, but I can't imagine not having it.

Paula DeenPAULA DEEN: (March 7, 2004)



In November, Paula Deen moved the Lady & Sons to this four-story temple to grits and greens, at 102 West Congress Street; (912) 233-2600. This was supposed to cut down on the waiting time. Fat chance. Hungry patrons still clog the front entrance, so reservations are advised. Go for the buffet, and the endless helpings of catfish, sauce-slathered ribs and the Lady's Cheesy Mac. If possible, save room for the sweet-potato gooey butter cake and peach cobbler. Lunch and dinner daily; the all-you-can-eat buffet runs $12.99 for lunch, $16.99 for dinner, $14.99 Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Martha StewartMARTHA STEWART: (Sept. 23, 1981)



''I PREFER big parties,'' Martha Stewart remarked. By big she means several hundred, maybe a thousand guests. And what she enjoys about them would probably send most people running in the opposite direction. She prepares the food.

Food NetworkFOOD NETWORK: (May 5, 1993)

Rating TV Chefs: Cooks Beware


COOKING programs are the soap operas of the 90's, in which poaching supplants passion. Since the mid-1960's, when Julia Child warbled her way to America's hearts and the Galloping Gourmet demonstrated that clowning and cooking did indeed mix, these broadcasts have steadily grown in popularity. On any weekend, dozens of cooking shows saturate the airwaves, showing everything from Amish cuisine to Zen vegetarianism.

The rewards are significant for those involved in the most popular shows. Today's whisk-waving television heavyweight is Jeff Smith, whose program, "The Frugal Gourmet," has been among the top five programs on PBS for five years. Aside from the money "The Frugal Gourmet" earns from commercial sponsors, Mr. Smith's books related to the show have sold in the millions. And cooking programs have a long life, as they are bought and sold by cable-television companies that keep them in reruns for years, and as they resurface for sale on videotape.

Moreover, industry spokesmen say their growth is certain to continue. In November, the new Television Food Network will debut, featuring eight hours a day of food-related programming, including cooking shows. In New York City this fall, WHM Communications Corporation plans to introduce Foodday Television, six-day-a-week, one-hour food and cooking packages that it hopes to syndicate to independent television stations around the country.

Anthony BourdainANTHONY BOURDAIN: (April 12, 1995)

Book Notes


A Chef Who Can Write

The recipe went something like this: Two years of partying at Vassar, then dropping out. Training as a chef. A sprinkling of trial testimony from Gotti underboss Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano. Pressure from an old roommate turned businessman. And a generous dousing of talent, luck and mayhem.

The result is the blossoming writing career of Anthony Bourdain, 38, whose first book, "Bone in the Throat," will be published in June by Villard. The novel follows the story of an aspiring chef who ends up working in a kitchen in Little Italy. But one of the specialities of the Mafia-run restaurant is chopped mobster.

"I dropped out of school with no idea what I wanted to do," said Mr. Bourdain, who works by night as the executive chef at the Supper Club, a 40's-style nightclub in Manhattan's theater district. "But I liked the swashbuckling camaraderie of kitchens, and once I got out of the Culinary Institute of America, I found it was easy to get work as a chef." His Vassar roommate, who knew of his gift for writing and who runs a licensing management company, approached him three years ago and urged him to write a book. Now that roommate, Gordon Howard, is Mr. Bourdain's agent.

Villard Books has also bought Mr. Bourdain's second book, "Gone Bamboo," in which the chef takes refuge in the Caribbean where he opens his own restaurant.

MicrogreensMICROGREENS : (December 8, 1999)

Diaphanous Dressings For Light, New Greens


THE salad, a mix of baby lettuces like red oak, frisee and lolla rossa, arrives at the table, looking stark naked. Appetizing, yes. Dressed, no. Hold a candle under the greens, and there isn't a glint of oil.

Enter the stealth salad dressing, invisible to the eye but evident to the tongue. It is the reason that many salads in restaurants these days have a delicious yet elusive quality that may puzzle diners trying to replicate them at home.

Five to 10 ingredients, few of them predictable, go into the subtle, light and tasty dressings that are blended by the chefs at restaurants like Nobu, Palladin and Local.

The inspiration for these new dressings are the baby lettuces and fragile microgreens, like sunflower and buckwheat sprouts, that have come onto the market.

SmoothieSMOOTHIE: (Feb. 28, 1993)

THE $500 WEEKEND; In Tireless Pursuit of Key West


... After breakfast the next day, we say goodbye to Duval Street. We stop to split a smoothie, a Key West specialty of mixed fruit juices blendered up with wheat germ and served with crushed ice; today's special, orange-strawberry-peach, is a lovely rosy color, costs $3 and tastes better than you might expect.

PaniniPANINI: (Sept. 22, 2007)


Q. On a recent visit to Italy my husband and I dined on a fine bread called panini. It was a small round roll served with marmalade for breakfast. Are you familiar with this bread and can you tell me how it is made?

A. I found a description of panini in an old regional Italian cookbook. It is a specialty of the Easter season in the Friuli region of northeastern Italy and, the book notes, it is rarely made today. It is a sweet bread made of yellow corn meal, yeast, sugar, butter, milk and raisins with a slight flavor of lemon.

The actual name of the bread in my reference work is panini di pasqua. I could not find a recipe for it in any of the Italian cookbooks that I own, all of which are written in English.

Tom ColicchioTOM COLICCHIO: (Feb. 26, 1989)

New Jersey Q & A: Dennis Foy; Testing the Limits of Traditional Cuisine


Q. Who in the food industry has influenced you?

A. Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill; he's a purist and runs a very large kitchen impeccably. Thomas Keller of Rakel; he has intelligent, clean ideas. I admire these guys for their restaurateur skills, which supplement their cooking skills. They are very involved in the management of their restaurants in addition to the kitchen.

Tom Colicchio, the chef de cuisine here at Mondrian, has clean ideas from conception to realization. The ideas are not muddled with things you end up taking away later. Idea, technique, presentation are all there.

George Foreman GrillGEORGE FOREMAN GRILL: (August 16, 2000)

THE DEMOCRATS: THE FAMILY CONNECTION; A Daughter Becomes a Valuable Adviser


Karenna Gore Schiff reached into her purse and pulled out a clump of typewritten pages. They were pockmarked by harsh X's through several paragraphs, dashes through words and arrows to the margins.

''It's a mess!'' she lamented. ''Here it is. It's like this, and I'm trying to figure out this, and I do it down here, and I cross out, and then I've got all this and I'm not sure if I should add this, and maybe it's too long, and I'm going this afternoon to type it up again and ask someone to look at it, whoever has time.''

Ms. Schiff was going through a few unsurprising frantic moments as she prepared to do something no other young woman has done: introduce the roll call that will formally nominate her father for president.

... Her ease of manner, the elastic band she slips around her wrist when she shakes out her ponytail, and her exuberance at extolling the virtues of the George Foreman grill, as seen on late-night infomercials, all lend her an air of authenticity that the campaign hopes rubs off on her father. The not-so-subtle thinking: If Mr. Gore can have a daughter who seems natural and appealing, he must be a good guy himself.

Posted by Jeff at September 22, 2007 09:51 AM | TrackBack
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