Tag Archives: food

all things food

A Shanghai Chef vents his frustration

Like the twisted Anthony Bourdain Tell-all, but without humor or depth, a netizen claiming to be a hotel chef in Shanghai has aired his grievances and the internal secrets of his business.  I discovered (via China Smack) the excellent blog Veggie Discourse, who translated the diatribe, which appeared initially on a popular Shanghai BBS, Mop.  I highly recommend you read the whole post, which includes amazing pictures.  If you are so inclined, the original post in Chinese is here.  From living conditions to ‘Old Oil’, it is fascinating commentary.  Click through to see my favorite quotes.
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baseball food

The first time I ever ate sushi was at the San Diego Padres baseball park. I don’t remember much of anything about the game, just the sheer size of the park to my wee 6 year old eyes, the navy seamen in full dress riding up and down the escalators at attention just like my litle penguin slide game, and eating a something very, very odd but strangely delicious. I was always a very picky eater, but I like my first sushi.

Fast forward 20 odd years and i’ve recently resumed my baseball attending ways. The last few games I’ve attended I didn’t even eat anything, but when a crusty old red sox fan bothers to write up his thoughts about Safeco Field’s food selections as opposed to Fenway’s, it gets dropped here.

hat tip to my boy Gary Grass, who added “I almost expect him to say ‘they do wild stuff to their fish out there – like cook it on a grill!'”

beans are glorious

Those of you who know me know I hail from the dry, despotic land of the sonoran desert. Most people who learn this respond with one of the following:
–I’m sorry!
–it must be hot!

I accept all of these with gratitude, as the desert does suck, it is hot, and you should be sorry that people are forced to live there. The collective psychosis of those who live there and actually enjoy it is inexplicable. One question that often crossed my mind when sweating with the oldies through a june or july–more accurately, march through october– was how ancient civilizations actually fed themselves in these harsh climes. After all, there isn’t one gringo in Sonora feasting on anything grown withing 200 miles.

There is a very simple answer. beans and chiles. But not the likes of which you’ve ever seen. Check out native seeds search. Their selection of beans give a glimpse into the variety that grow in the intolerant climes of the sonoran desert. it is really quite amazing to think about how modern farming techniques have homogenized the available plants beause crop choice and genus are decided on yield.

strange fruit

Lately, I have found myself making strange food. Now, for the two people who might read this, ‘strange food’ is nothing new for El Gastronero. The strangeness in recent creations, however, is palatte, not palate. In honor of the beginning of the 2005-2006 NBA season, I made a dish that is a functional metaphor for this season’s Los Angeles Lakers. Now please, follow me through this one:

2c. polenta: polenta is the culinary equivalent of Smush Parker + Kwame Brown’s haircut. Let it cool and cube it up to match the angular disaster that are Chris Mihm’s arms and legs when he attempts to rebound.

1/2 head radicchio: Radicchio brings the royal purple of Abdul-Jabbar/Shaq dynasties, but as you sautee de-stemmed strips, it releases a dark maroon/black substance that MUST resemble the venom of the ‘black mamba.’ “The black mamba can strike with 99% accuracy…” At least Uma Thurman probably isn’t a whiney, dynasty destryoing, tights-wearing bitch. OK, so she hasn’t had a chance to destroy a dynasty, but I can’t speak for the rest of that.

I really hope Tarantino sues him for biting his lines without credit. I mean really, did he think the average basketball fan would miss that reference? Mamba should go fuck him up. C’mon Uma, it’d be better for your career than a new set of tits.

1 can tomato paste: okay, so this is a cheap one, but Lamar Odom’s bloodshot eyes. Add it to the 1/2 soft radicchio, drained of its Mamba Juice, with some water and onion, put down to braise @ 400 for 10-20. Remember, handle the pan with care, unless you’re as high as Lamar–you’ve already numbed the pain.

salt and pepper: aka the new song/dance team starring Luke Walton, Von Wafer, Sasha Vujacic and Brian Shaw. Watch for their new dance routines at the end of the bench. Inside sources tell the Gastronaut that Sasha has finally figured out how to shake it ‘like a polaroid picture.’

basil and onions: just two of the vegetable sacrifices made by Phil Jackson–to whatever fake eastern deity he made up this week–to insure Andrew Bynum’s development into a pre-tween. I don’t care what you say, there isn’t any religion that endorses facial hair and ties like that, Phil. Soul patches belong in Eddie Murphy movies and 70s midget porn.

There you have it– a pan of delicate, delicious Laker Purple, offest by cubes of golden baked polenta. My dish can’t drain buzzer-beaters, throw nasty screens, or run the triangle offense, but it is a sumshy homage to lakers dynasties of old, and it is not a tights wearing bitch.