Category Archives: lifestyle

The Most Boring Lunch in the World?

To qualify for this award, the lunch in question must be intentionally boring. Not just the product of outrageously bad kitchen skills.

And which culture produces this?

According to BI, the answer is Norway. Many Norwegians eat a “matpakke”. And I would agree that this is very, very boring. Basically, a few pieces of bread,, a wipe of butter or other spread, and a piece of something.

Image result for matpakke

It is meant to be eaten without enjoyment.

Vox gets into the philosophy of this style of lunch. Minimalism, dude!

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Is Loving Death and Decay So Bad?

To be more precise, I do not mean to argue that inflicting death and decay is justifiable. No, no, no! It is nasty — and I have written below that I I am opposed to nastiness!

That should be clear.

But I am in favor of autumn. I like how the trees shed their leaves and how those leaves decay. And I know that a certain amount of dying happens because of this seasonal change. It is unavoidable. Does that mean I am in favor of death and decay?

While you think about it, consider this quote from Carla at BA

I’ve written before about the feelings of dread and despair that accompany the fall season, and I realize that my perspective may be offensive to the leaf-peepers and sweater-weatherers. I don’t love death and decay, is that so wrong?

Poor Carla! Get a grip! At least she loves soup! And she knows how to make it!

I don’t suffer from Carla’s sense of dread and despair. To the contrary, I feel a sense of adventure coming. The cold is on the way! Get ready! And I love soup too!

Errr … not to mention a sip of whiskey on a cold winter’s evening sitting by the fireplace with Oscar Bruun, my rescue cat. By then, he will have had his vet check up and might be ready to venture out into the yard again, just for fun. So far, he has rejected any such opportunity!

A Sad Farewell to Dean & Deluca

The Manhattan deluxe food purveyor has shuttered its falgship location.

This is not a huge surprise.

In July, an article in The New York Times highlighted the chain’s financial troubles and painted a bleak portrait of its Bangkok-based owner, Pace Developments. Dean & DeLuca’s parent company, which bought the grocer in 2014, reportedly pulled out of lease agreements, promised and then revoked sponsorships and consistently fell behind on payments to vendors.

At the same time, it is a bit sad. Dean & DeLuca was — in its day — something new and exciting for foodies. It was an emphatic advertisement that  high end food culture had burst out of expensive restaurants and now was there for nibbles, take out, and the rest.

Sure, we moved on from those days. Food culture is no longer just for yuppies. And that is a good thing. But the closure of Dean & DeLuca does make you look back to where we came from.

Onward!

How Do You Produce Great Chefs?

Good question.

Back when I was a lad, you didn’t. Becoming a chef was not an optimal career choice. The folks who went down that road usually did so because they dropped out of the mainstream. Tony Bourdain was a good example of that type of person. And he was a great success story. Most of the folks like him did not achieve what he did.

But times have changed and so too has our food culture. We now accept the idea that “celebrity chefs” are very, very cool. We pay huge amounts to sample their wares. We get caught up in how to make things in our kitchens . And we want to know what the kitchens of the celebrity chefs look like too.

Ina Garten in her kitchen

Here is an example of where we are right now. The Robb Report targets people who aspire to the highest lifestyle standards – super rich. And it can be annoying because it is so obviously promoting expensive stuff to buy. At the same time, following The Robb Report offers a window into what some people think living really, really well is all about. And as you can see from this post about the “Ment’Or” gala dinner, celebrity chefs and eating really well fits right in.

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And there is something missing here. The missing thing is connecting food culture to community. Making our dining part of strengthening locality. Farm to table can help there in breaking farmers out of their isolation.  Perhaps we are headed towards “celebrity farmers”. The pop up scene helps too – as an avenue that opens up more opportunities for young people to make and serve food in communities.

So what is lacking? What will make this come together as a “movement”`? I think we need an institution that is devoted to figuring out how to do this on a global scale. Or perhaps there is such a thing and I missed it.

What do you think?

Living the BobBo Life in the Marais

If Paris is the epicenter of daydreaming, one could argue that the Marais is the epicenter of that epicenter. As Henry K once said, “the quintessence of something!”.

So why not allow your thoughts to wander to the Marais while you sip your cappuccino. Walk the cobblestone streets. Stop for a cafe au lait and a croissant. Of course, the sun is warm. The puppies are playing in the park. Life is good.

Ahd here you go! Fathom offers this picture guide to take you there.

It starts here …

… with a warm croissant dipped in a cafécrème at historic neighborhood spot Au Petit fer à Cheval. This Maraisinstitution has an original horseshoe-shaped zinc bar and décor from 1903.An ideal terrace to watch the city buzz to life

Image result for Au Petit fer à Cheval

Go for it!