A Celebration of Chefs

kitchenmysteries.jpg“Two eggs – any style”.  If you see that as an option on the menu and your breakfast companion is French culinary chemist superstar and founder of Molecular Gastronomy Dr. Hervé This (pronounced “Teess”) – I’ve got one word for you and it’s “Run!!!” – unless you aren’t doing much for the next three years.  This This sees egg like a bull sees red.

Hervé This is the reason I flew to San Francisco from Los Angeles this past week — to sit at the feet of the master in this sold-out event.  Other spectators ranged from Los Angeles Top Chefs Walter Manske (Bastide) and David Myers (Sona/Comme Ca) to Bravo Top Chef 2nd Season foam finalist with the meringue-peaked hair Marcel Vigneron.

Hervé was in town hawking his recently published English edition of "Kitchen Mysteries – Revealing the Science of Cooking" - and he was also there to change the way the world cooks.

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annetreasury.jpg There are times when I scrutinize my outfit before I leave the house, and find it absurdly, compulsively over-accessorized.  It’s then, as I grab my keys and prance out with red sneakers, mismatched bracelets, and a brooch shaped like a turnip, that I’ll find myself thinking of her.  Subtlety, in many things, is often advised; but I, heeding Anne of Green Gables, rarely listen.  If at a dinner party, after I’ve gone on and on to someone about a book they’ll probably never read, ignoring every attempt they make to escape me, she’ll just appear in my mind.  And often, when faced with a moral dilemma, like whether to leave the last bite of pie for the person I’m sharing it with, or to request that my upstairs neighbors stop rollerblading on the hardwood floor, I’ll ask myself:   

“What would Anne of Green Gables do?”

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moldedshortbread.jpg Shortbread is simply the most delicious biscuit ever conceived by mankind (though I suspect womankind had more to do with it!).

It would be blasphemy to call shortbread a "cookie". It is, truly, a BISCUIT!

As with all simple things, it is NOT easy to make, so I suggest you try this out on yourself or the family before you present it at afternoon tea to strangers.

Here is my Mother's recipe (I can not refer to that sainted lady and not capitalize - sorry, America!)

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wagon trainFrancois Truffaut has been famously quoted about the process of making a movie being similar to a wagon train crossing the country.  You start out the journey with high hopes and the spirit of adventure and halfway through, you just want to get there alive.

That’s pretty much what my journey with cooking has been like.  I seduced my husband with duck breast and wild rice pancakes with apricot sauce.  That was nothin’.  I really loved to cook.  People were always surprised by that and I was always surprised they were surprised.  What? Women in comedy can’t cook?  Every Hungarian Jewish woman has to be a good cook. It’s biological destiny.

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pickles1.jpg It all started with my Mom’s 1/2 gal of dill pickles 40ish years ago....I was always facinated with the glass jar itself, the settling of spices in the bottom and the beauty of how the small cucumbers were so artful and lovingly arranged. Our Mother could cook like an angel inspired by Julia and the Time/Life series to guide her. Everyday of the week she watched and read and plotted and planned for the weekend.

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