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Cuisine

Please, leave out dye in your Key lime pie

The first time that I ever ate Key lime pie was at a restaurant in Annapolis where I worked in 1984-5, a beautiful spot replete with wood-stoked fireboxes and a smoker large enough to cook 500 pounds of product with the single flip of a switch. I learned a great deal while working here. Although… Read more »

How I spent my (2010) summer vacation

In 2010, I was approached to help run the kitchen at the Yacht Club for the summer. I was in between semesters, they were in-between chefs and I was foolish enough to say “yes.” Hadn’t I learned my lesson from my two-and-a-half year stint as the executive chef? Wasn’t I the focus of unwanted attention… Read more »

Smarter chefs, better food – start reading

It seems an eternity since I was a high school teacher. While I still hold many fond memories of teaching at that level, I much prefer being at the college level, where more of my students are further-intrigued about the craft of cooking. Plainly put, I can get some of them to actually read a… Read more »

Just say ‘no’ to TV chefs, ‘yes’ to truffle salt

Food Television: The nemesis to any good chef, and the bastion of misinformation for two generations of viewers and connoisseurs of fine dining. The sanctimonious airs of hosts on the now-many food channels drives me insane, but we have to live with it as it is now a part of our culture. To be fair,… Read more »

Coffee, cheese, more coffee essential

For the love of all that’s holy, someone get me a cup of coffee. Nay, bring me a tankard – a thermos of joe. Just load me up with one of those one-gallon carafes and I’ll be on my way. My body is buzzing, and I can’t figure out why I’m coming unraveled. I’m supposed… Read more »

Beware of bombastic ‘Buckeye’ Zealots

To clarify, she was rude to me first. Maybe she saw the Maryland tags, or perhaps it was the forlorn looks on our faces as we were obviously in the middle of a long road trip. Or in hindsight, had the cashier found herself victim to countless miserable drivers who had to pull off of… Read more »

Take your chances with unconquerable BBQ

There are times in a man’s life when he must face his biggest challenges head-on, or more to the point, incisors-on. Into the bargain, it is in these great times of conquest that he must prepare himself by having a hefty roll of paper towels at his side. Otherwise, all will be lost. I had… Read more »

Feasting on dinner of tasty sirloin filets

(Reprinted from March 6, 2014 issue) I love my children so much that I decided to call a snow day on our youngest daughter’s 13th birthday. Not only was it a great snow day, but it was in March. I’ll do what I can to make my kids happy. I’m sure I’ll have to pay… Read more »

Oklahoma brisket enough for small army

It’s funny how writing has lent itself so therapeutically to me in my aging years. There have certainly been times during which I drone as I suffer from inescapable writer’s block, and there are a few occasions on which I’ve had to take a week or two off to gather my thoughts. But one thing… Read more »

Thank Babaar, the elephant in the room

If I had to guess, I was 8 years old, and at the time my father was one of the lead engineers at the National Gallery of Art in D.C. As such, we would find ourselves receiving tickets to a random quartet in the West Wing, or passes to a special event on the Mall… Read more »