Ahi Tartare Just Like Michael Mina

Ahi Tartare Just Like Michael Mina

One weekend LL and I spent the weekend in San Francisco to see Kiki and Herb at the A.C.T., but the show seemed sad and we were happy so we snuck out and walked down to the St. Francis where we went to sit at the bar at the Compass Rose but it was the new Michael Mina (which is the old Michael Mina now) and we were wowed by his tuna tartare.

It was one of those astonishing dishes, prepared table side – in our case, bar side – with gorgeous pink rich ahi and crisp sweet diced pears and salty pine nuts with the zing of garlic and the heat of jalapeño held together with quail eggs. It was a dish we had to recreate.

Let the wild rumpus live on . . .

Let the wild rumpus live on . . .

I remember taking Kid One for his first weekend in San Francisco, a dozen years ago. LL had to spend a few days at Macworld, so he and I tagged along, leaving the baby with Grandma and Grandpa and setting out for some serious big kid adventures. We took a ferry ride to Sausalito in the fog and warmed up with big bowls of overpriced clam chowder next to the the bay, checked out our weight on Jupiter at the Exploratorium, and made it educational with a little California history at Fort Point. Nothing, though, compared to what we discovered at the Metreon: a bigger-than-life Where the Wild Things Are playground. We didn’t know about this, didn’t plan for it or seek it out. We just wandered into the Metreon – a very strangely conceived building with a movie theater, a small handful of retail stores, and lots and lots of empty space – while LL was working to find a snack. It was just across the street from our hotel. What a wonderful, odd, quirky find . . . this colorful, cool, and completely empty exhibit sprawled over the top floor. We spent the whole afternoon climbing around; in my chronicle of mom-memories, this day ranks pretty high. Thanks to Maurice Sendak today for all his wonderful words and images that have made reading to the boys so enjoyable. And be sure to watch his interview with Stephen Colbert to discover what a very funny, charming man he was in person:   The Colbert ReportGet More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive Let the wild rumpus...
What does it mean to cook well?

What does it mean to cook well?

Anthony Bourdain asked the question. I read his book Medium Raw over the summer and got the impression he actually was really curious to know. There are an endless number of answers – love, fun, pride, posterity. As these things go, he and his publisher are holding a contest to see who comes up with the “best” answer. I read through many of the entries and was so interested to hear how cooking is so close to people’s hearts: Cooking to live better. Cooking as a metaphor for life. Cooking to carry on tradition and as a means of bringing people together. And also as these things go, I went ahead and came up with my own answer. It’s a tougher exercise than you might think, so it took me a while to come up with something that rang true. So here’s a link to my essay, the best answer I could come up with right now: Improvising the Way to Immortality....