Michael Pollan Immortalized as Heirloom Tomato

Tomato_michael_pollan Author and food luminary Michael Pollan has been widely praised for his thoughtful inquiries into how our food is produced and what it means for our health and environment. For his work and impact, he was recently named to Time's annual Time 100 list of noted figures.

So, it is not surprising that the next logical step in his apotheosis, would, of course, be his immortalization as an heirloom tomato.

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Bloomberg: Romance is a Six Pack on the Staten Island Ferry


From the inbox, the PR people for "The Martha Stewart Show" send these sound bites from Mayor Michael Bloomberg's appearance today on the daytime television show.

In addition to showing off his cookie-baking skills, the Mayor expounded upon his gastromantic techniques:

MS:      When people ask you about New York City, what are the three things…that are absolutely important for out-of-towners to do, to see, to visit?
MB:      Well, number one, I would take the Staten Island Ferry over to Staten Island – get off. There are lots of cultural things on Staten Island, but even if you don’t have time to do that, take it over and back. It’s free and you get a phenomenal view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and the skyline of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
MS:      You don’t know this, but do you know what happened to me on the Staten Island Ferry?
MB:      What?
MS:      I got engaged.
MB:      Mazal tov! I wont asked what happened after that.
MS:      Well that’s history, but it was very exciting and the view is very nice.
MB:      I used to buy a six pack of beer and a pizza and take a date…it was very romantic and something I could do. The second thing I would do is go to a Greek diner. Greek diners are something that is unique to New York. There’s a thousands things on the menu; they all cost about five bucks; they come in 30 seconds; and they all taste good. If I was going to eat every meal for the rest of my life in one restaurant, it would be a Greek diner…and then I guess the last thing I would do…Broadway show.


A Taste of GOOP

Gwyneth On the heels of her PBS road trip through Spain with Mario Batali and Mark Bittman, Gwyneth Paltrow seems to be cementing her reputation as a gastrolebrity. Adopting the guise of a lifestyle guru, she is dispensing her thoughts on cooking (along with shopping, fashion, and other activities that "nourish the inner aspect") on her oddly-named new web venture, GOOP.

So far, GOOP's main product is a weekly subscription-based email newsletter published in the mode of Daily Candy -- only here written in the first person and signed simply as "Gwyneth." The first email dedicated to cooking shipped today, with healthy recipes for vegan pancakes (they look better than they sound), tuna sandwiches, soy/sesame mayonnaise, and caramelized black pepper chicken (courtesy of San Francisco's The Slanted Door).

GoopchickenOverall, the food looks fine and the first-person instructions are straightforward, save for some chirpy aphorisms like "Cook with love!" and "Make it Great!" There's a plug for Jamie Oliver's cookware in the mix and this puzzling comment: "[the chicken] is so easy and tastes like what you always imagine take-out will taste like (but sadly never does)." And I always had such low expectations for take-out food.


Ryan Magarian, Ambassador of Imbibing

At S Bar in Hollywood, master bartender Ryan Magarian (second from left) watches approvingly as mixologists-in-training learn the nuances of crafting cocktails.

If cocktails everywhere were designed by Ryan Magarian and made by bartenders who have been through his training program, we'd be a country of seriously raging alcoholics.

But such a scenario would be very expensive. And more importantly, he'd never want it that way.

"I’m not trying to get people to drink more. I’m getting people to drink less. I just want you to drink better," he says. Although some existing and invented buzzwords are tossed around, he uses "passion," "awesome," and "excited" with such frequency and conviction that you just have to believe him.

The 10-plus years Magarian has spent concocting thousands of drinks and customizing cocktail menus for clients large (Holland America Cruise Line, Fairmont and Sofitel Hotels chains) and small (restaurants in Portland and Seattle) have not dampened his enthusiasm one bit. But lately the "associates" in his firm, Liquid Relations, crisscross the globe when he needs to stay closer to home in Portland. Magarian's other venture, Aviation Gin, takes his ambition one step further by allowing him to formulate actual raw materials, not just ingredient combinations. Such is the life of a master mixologist in contemporary American cocktail culture.

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