Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Help me out?

In the running for this scholarship! Please help me win by voting! Takes two seconds and I will be forever indebted to all who vote! Thanks!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011



Feelin like this dude at serious eats hits the nail on the head with his post about ramps. Ramps aren't life changing. They're no foie GRAS. Chefs probably do overhype them a little bit, but can you blame them?

So many foods are so readily available year-round that to be able to get your hands on a new ingredient to work with, and experiment with, and attempt to use in a new way must be exciting for that one month time slot.

It's probably more the foodies like me who do the overhyping. Cause you know, we just pick up on the demand from chefs without really knowing the value of a product ourselves. So then I go and brag to my friends I "just had these fresh picked ramps. Those things are like the holy Grail to chefs" and they stare at me in awe as if I were Zeus of Mount Orampus.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Night at Penn

So last night I went to University of Pennsylvania for this big annual concert called Spring Fling and spent the night afterwards.

Immediately noticed the dearth of good places to eat that were open late on campus. There was a Wawa and a pizza place and that was about it. That's gonna be a problem next year.

Went to the Philly diner on campus for breakfast. Had a monster breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon and sausage. Wasn't great. Gonna have to discover the good places to grub on campus.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spain 1

Dude. Here I am. 1.5 weeks left of school in my senior year. I started this puppy up back in freshman year. I was reading the blog French Laundry at Home and I noticed a "Create a Blog" button in the top right. The rest is history.

But the rest after that is mystery. I don't really know what's gonna happen with this blog or my food life in general. Next year when I'm at the University of Pennsylvania, I will be required to join a meal plan, which means I'll be eating the majority of my meals in the cafeterias, where, everyone seems to agree, the food is what it is--cafeteria grub. Unless I get lucky with housing, I won't have a kitchen in my dorm either.

So will readers wanna hear about that? Will a student's attempt to make the most of a measly meal situation create a compelling storyline? I don't really know, but I'll try to make it work and we will see what happens. I'm here for now though.

And I've really missed writing on my blog. I've missed writing the disjointed, non-flowing sentences and paragraphs, and incomplete thoughts that I feel is really my style, but can only create on the blog. I've had my mind on other things: finishing my senior year, graduation, prom, Lacroix, what I'm doing over the summer. But I'm happy I'm back here writing. Cause ya know blogging is the coolest thing ever. The fact that I basically just talk about myself, and people listen, and offer support, really blows my mind.

Now to Spain.

A few months ago I was chillin at my friend's house, and my friends dad, a big-time psychologist, approached me. Knowing that I'm really into food, he told me that he was asked to speak at a conference in Spain hosted by the restaurant Mugaritz.

I freaked out. Then he said I could come. I freaked out more and with good reason. My trip to San Sebastian was the best vacation I had ever been on. It was so perfect for me. Everybody always says that San Sebastian has more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere on earth and our trip turned out to be a completely food oriented trip. I loved it so much.
We were brought to Spain by this company that was was organizing the conference and we were treated like absolute royalty. They paid for us to stay in this incredible hotel, and they payed for incredible meals every lunch and dinner. I really hit the jackpot on this trip. I was experiencing all the incredible food and wine in San Sebastian without breaking the bank.

The hotel even had a bidet!

Some vegetables and serrano ham with olive oil at Bar Hazea, a random tapas bar in San Sebastian that was actually the tapas bar that Anthony Bourdain visited in No Reservations.
At a Txakoli winery overlooking the Cantabrian Sea. Txakoli is a sparkling wine native to the Basque region of Spain. The grape that makes the wine is found only in Basque country. The wine is typically taken in the early afternoon with some tapas or whatever. It was great. I ordered it everywhere we went. Champagne San Sebastian style.

Tuna and anchovies from the sea that the winery overlooks to go with the wine.

That's me in the white shirt talking to the manager of Mugaritz.

Fish testacles. Absolutely delicious. Seriously. I ate a lot of these.
My friend's sisters.
Me and Isabel Conde, one of our guides who works for the company that put the conference together. She's told me that she's engaged to Ferran Adria's right-hand man.
There's a shot of Andoni Adruiz, head chef of Mugaritz. We were essentially his guests so we were hanging out with him non-stop and I was able to talk with him in-depth about his philosophy on cooking etc. Unfortunately, my Spanish is good, but not great, and he doesn't speak English, and so a good amount was lost in translation.

More about Spain to come. I feel like I didn't do a good job of explaining the experience in this post so I will work on that more in the next.