1. Online "Knife Maintenance and Sharpening Clinic" at the eGullet Culinary Institute, Wednesday, August 13.
2. First annual BBQ-NYC picnic at Ward's Island, Saturday, August 16, 3 to 7 p.m. [via nyc eats]
3. More barbecue at Blues and Barbecue at Hudson River Park, Sunday, August 17, 2 to 9 p.m.
4. Head out to the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah for Food Matters: Explorations in Contemporary Art, August 10 through October 26. [via eGullet]
5. Continue North to Pawling, along route 22, for roadside ribs and thai rice made by Warren Norstein, formerly of Bouley and Chanterelle, at Big W's Roadside Bar-B-Q.
6. Slow Food USA is hosting a Celebration of Heritage Meats at the French Culinary Institute, 462 Broadway, 2nd Floor (at Grand), Wednesday, August 20, 7 to 9 p.m. Call (212) 965-5640 for reservations by August 15th.
Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential, weighs in on Jeremiah Tower, the origins of California's culinary "revolution," and Tower's new book, California Dish : What I Saw (and Cooked) at the American Culinary Revolution:
I think Tower makes a pretty compelling case--supported by documentary evidence--that the "revolution" would not have happened without him, (Chez Panisse menus from before and after are hilariously illustrative), that the "bounty" of NoCal was certainly not anything like it is today back in the 60's and 70's, and that noone was writing or producing menus like his before he arrived on the scene. (There are supporting quotes as well from notable grads). In fact, if there was a "genius" to Tower, it appears from the text to have stemmed from his truly creative menu writing and conceptualizing--and radical departure from French language, terms and ingredients. It would be silly-and ignorant to dismiss Tower's contribution to American culinary history--no matter how obnoxious you find him--or how egregiously he screwed up later. Stars--though a hideous, star-fucking trainwreck by most accounts--was an important and hugely influential trainwreck--and the number of chefs and cooks I know and have met who either passed through those doors--or were forever changed by the experience are legion. It would be dishonest and foolish to minimize that. Today, you can hardly pick up a menu without seeing its imprint. And while his self serving account is transparently skewed , one is still (to his credit)left with the relentless impression that working with or around Tower would be unpleasant in the extreme.
The complete discussion at eGullet.
1. Sample oysters, $1 a piece nightly from 5 to 7 p.m., at Five Points, 31 Great Jones (between Lafayette and Bowery). [via Time Out]
2. Discounted Prix Fixe lunch/dinner at participating Restaurant Week restaurants, through Labor Day.