The Gentleman Gourmand

sharing the best food around

Month: September 2004

Chef Pronunciation Guide – The Results Are In

So let’s face it, some of us from time to time butcher a chef’s name for 6 months, then hear somebody pronounce it correctly and feel really dumb. Don’t worry; it has happened to all of us. I know I used to do it all the time, but now that I have compiled this list of a number of the top chefs and food personalities in the food world, I rarely miss a name. I suggest carrying a copy in your wallet for reference wherever you go.

After coming up with this list it was suggested that before archiving it, I should attempt to contact everyone on the list, to both make sure the pronunciation was correct, and to see if there were any funny stories they had. Personally, this summer I had my last name, Baber, butchered into “Pilar” at a Michelin two star in Colle di Val D’Elsa, which nearly lost me my reservation. I had to confirm my cell number with them in order to get my table back!

Some of the responses I received were absolutely great:

Note: The responses are abridged. I only included the relevant portions, and dropped the greetings and other miscellaneous info.

Grant Achatz– ACK-ETZ

Yes my name is often mis-pronounced. I can’t say that I have any one funny story…most people just avoid it altogether and call me Chef or Chef Grant.
You are correct on the pronunciation.

Ferran Adriá– feh rahn ah dree AH

I’m Ferran Adriá BEYATCH!! {Just kidding. No response.}

Daniel Boulud– dan-YELL boo-LOO

Chef Boulud evidently has a very good PR department. They provided me with not only the best information, but was one of the first to respond.

You have the pronunciation correct: dan-YELL boo-LOO
As for stories there are a few we can think of off hand. Most common is the confusion so many people have between Chef Daniel Boulud and his friend Chef David Bouley. I cannot tell you how many times people have asked if the chef of our restaurant is David Boulud, if Chef Boulud’s restaurants in Tribeca are still doing well, if Daniel Bouley has any more plans to expand, etc….
A second confusion with restaurant DANIEL is that we have often had people make reservations at a small downtown restaurant called DANIELLA and appear here thinking this is where their table will be. We always try to accommodate them if we can.
In terms of pronunciation, he has been called everything from Chef Blue, to Chef BuluD, Bolod, Buld, etc…

Tom Colicchio– ko-lick-e-o

As for a phonetic way to spell chef’s last name, I think this would be most accurate:
ko-lick-e-o (like radicchio)

In addition, Mike Colicchio actually posted here to inform me that:

My brother and our entire family pronounce our surname Ko lick e o. We stress the second syllable.
Italian, of course, from the village of Vallata in the province of Avellino. By way of Elizabeth, New Jersey.
I hope this clears it up once and for all.

Ruth Reichl– RYE-shul

It’s more like rye-shel, but I can’t say it the way my German father did, which was with an r in the back of the throat. When I first started writing I used to save envelopes with the various permutations of my name on them; my favorite was the one addressed to Ruth Raisehell.

Michael Ruhlman– ROOL-munn

Yep, that’s a good phonetic spelling of the name. no funny stories, just the annoying assumption that it’s spelled and pronounced Roman.

Guy Savoy– Ghee Sav-wah

One thing I thought was incredibly ironic, was the name they addressed the return email to.

Dear Mr Barber,
Thank you for your mail.
Very often there is a confusion with the spelling of my name. People write it like the well-known French region: La Savoie.
This confusion doesn’t shoke me, on the contrary I am very proud beeing associated to this beautiful area where I was born.

It’s ironic because my name is Baber, and given the topic of the email it was especially funny. I was glad to hear from Chef Savoy himself, though.

Full list:
Grant Achatz– ACK-ETZ
Ferran Adriá– feh rahn ah dree AH
Lidia Bastianich– lid ee ya bahs-TYAHN-itch
Mario Batali– bot tal ee
Richard Blais– Blaze
Paul Bocuse– pole boh-KOOZ
Daniel Boulud– dan-YELL boo-LOO
Tony Bourdain– boor dain
Michael Chiarello– kee ah rell oh
Tom Colicchio– Ko leek ee o
Gary Danko– DANG-ko
Marcel Desaulniers– mar cell di sol ni yay
Georges Auguste Escoffier– jorgz oh goost ess coff ee ay
Yutake Ishinabe– Yew-tah-keh Ee-she-nah-beh
Steve Klc– Kelch
Chen Kenichi– Chen is self explanatory, Kenichi is Keh-nee-chee (note that Chen is his family name, and Kenichi is his given name)
Masahiko Kobe– Mah-sah-hee-koh Koh-bay
Emeril Lagasse– la gass ee
Rokusaburo Michiba– Rouk-sah-boo-roh Mee-chee-bah
Masaharu Morimoto– Mah-sah-hah-roo Moh-ree-moh-toe
Koumei Nakamura– Koh-may Nah-kah-moo-rah
Jacques Pepin– pep anne
Paul Prudhomme– proo-DOHM
Ruth Reichl– RYE-shul
Dale Reitzer– RITE-zer
Eric Ripert– eh-REEK ree-PAIR
Michael Ruhlman– ROOL-munn
Guy Savoy– Ghee Sav-wah
Hiroyuki Sakai– He-ROH-yew-KEY SAH-kai (hee-roo-you-kee sah-KAI is hee-roh-YOU-kee)
Joachim Splichal– joe ah keem splee kahl
Charlie Trotter– trah tur
Jean Georges Vongerichten– VON-gehr-ICK-ten
Giada De Laurentiis – JAH-dah DEE-lor-EN-tis
Guy Fieri – Fietti
Pichet Ong
Philippe Rispoli
Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, VA – CAH-huhl Arm Strong
Tom Sietsema
Roberto Donna – doh-NAH
Michel Richard – Mi-shell Ree-shard
Marcel Desaulniers – mar cell di sol ni ya (Desaulniers is a common name in Québec. It isn’t di sol ni yay but day sol ni yay (in France and Québec).
Matsushita – Maht-SOOSH-Tah

Overall this was not only a learning experience for me, but also a fun one. I got the pleasure of getting emails from some of my personal favorite people in the food world. I even considered emailing some that didn’t really apply. “Chef Keller…umm we’re having a bit of a problem pronouncing Thomas. Do you prefer Tom or Tommy? Because we don’t have any problem with those.” In the end, though, I stuck to the list.


Andrew Baber


To the following chefs; let it be known that it is quite difficult to contact you!
Lidia Bastianich
Mario Batali
Paul Bocuse
Michael Chiarello
Gary Danko
Marcel Desaulniers
Yutake Ishinabe
Steve Klc
Chen Kenichi
Masahiko Kobe
Emeril Lagasse
Rokusaburo Michiba
Masaharu Morimoto
Koumei Nakamura
Jacques Pepin
Paul Prudhomme

John Kessler agrees with me!

Soto rocks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

Soto rocks. -The Gentleman Gourmand

John Kessler, the food critic for the Atlanta Journal Constitution has said it before, and is saying it again.

I will merely say that I am grateful to have Soto — one of my all-time favorite restaurants — back in business. -John Kessler

Let’s all say it out loud.

Now that we’re done doing that, you can read Kessler’s review and look at all the pretty pictures. mmm.

(Registration is required, but free.)

Check it

I can’t let this go unnoticed. Evidently epicurious is trying to step up it’s image, and has started a new news page.

There’s some really, really interesting stuff on it, like this:

Ahead of The Times
When you sit down at either of Thomas Keller’s celebrated eateries, Per Se in NYC or the French Laundry in Napa, your waiter will typically present three menu choices: a five-course prix fixe, a nine-course vegetarian menu, or the nine-course chef dégustation. That is, unless you happen to be New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni. On a putatively anonymous summer visit to the French Laundry as part of the research for his Per Se write-up, Bruni was quickly spotted by the restaurant’s GM (and longtime Keller girlfriend) Laura Cunningham. As luck would have it, Keller was in the kitchen that evening and, after a brief confab with his staff, he decided to offer the critic something special—an extravagant fourth option.

A source tells me that Bruni and his two companions were then treated to a total of—get this—25 to 30 courses, each paired with a different wine. All told, I hear they sampled more than 83 wines from 10 countries, as well as various sakes and beers. Did the effort pay off? Well, it clearly didn’t hurt. On September 8, Bruni awarded Keller’s new home in the Time Warner Center a rare four stars. Per Se, Time Warner Center, Columbus Circle, NYC, 212.823.9335; French Laundry, 6640 Washington St., Yountville, Calif., 707.944.2380

Another thing that I thought was great was the Sushi Spreadsheet. Blurb on it found here.

I’m still working my way through the archives. Neat stuff.

Speaking of train travel….

Today for lunch, I enjoyed the food from the closest place from my dorm. The Campus Trolley.


Now, it may not look like much, but $4 will get you a very decent sized wrap in under 30 seconds from order time. Throw another dollar down, and you get an ice cold drink from the cooler outside the trolley.

Most of the wraps are just chicken, lettuce and tomato with your choice of sauce. My choice? Buffalo sauce.


Don’t you just wanna eat it?


Grill 23. A Man’s Restaurant.

Restaurants these days are turning a bit frou-frou. They hire design consultants, feng shui artists, poodle walkers. While these touches can be cool and sleek looking, sometimes you just want a taste of the old school. Grill 23 provides that and then some.

When you heave open the heavy, wooden and glass doors (no automatic, cylindrical glass spaceships here), you enter a darkened, wood paneled dining room. There is definitely old world charm here, and you can see it from the first second. Wines are stored in meshed-in cabinets all around the room, the tables are heavy, immovable wood pieces of furniture; not just a wobbly platform. The chairs are plush armchairs that you would feel perfectly at home leaning back in smoking a cigar and sipping a glass of 30 year port. And if you do it right, you might just be doing that in a few hours.

Once seated, a waiter appears at your table as if he had been standing there all night just waiting for you to arrive. The rather new-school choice of waters is offered, and then food menus, wine menus, and cocktail menus are given out.

The meat is clearly the focus. This is a steakhouse. The name of the restaurant is Grill 23. Some may argue that “hey, you can grill other stuff, like fish!” No. Order meat for your entrée. If you wanted a girly piece of seared tuna you should have gone to your local avant garde place. Seafood is acceptable, nay, encouraged as appetizers. We indulged in the seafood platter.


After the delicious, simply prepared seafood, the appetizers arrive. The super-chilled iceberg lettuce was interesting, and I couldn’t really see what was “super-chilled” about it. It was cold.


Anyway, the kobe beef carpaccio was delicious, but the toughness of the parmesan basket sort of took away from the tenderness of the meat. The onion and mushroom salad inside was delicious though.


The tuna carpaccio was fine; it was the same as all the tuna carpaccios that appeared spontaneously on all menus across the country about three years ago.


Once the appetizers are cleared away, prepare yourself. The real reason you came to this place is about to be made apparent to you. They will take your chilled white wine away, and return with a bold, hearty red. Get ready to be taken back to the days of dinner in tuxedos and train travel. This is a man’s meal. An old school, aristocratic, powerful man’s meal. What could possibly be more masculine than drinking ancient wine, and chewing on a perfectly dry aged, amazingly flavorful cut of beast?


Not only is the meat cooked perfectly (Rare/Medium-Rare), but every single one of the side dishes is crafted with amazing care. The onion rings are shoestrings, and each one is perfectly coated with batter, and fried crisp. The hash browns are browned evenly, and entirely delicious. You can even get tobacco onions.

The desserts were uniformly excellent. The winner was quite possibly the “s’mores;” a chocolate mousse with marshmallows on top, and graham crackers stuck into it. Others included a black and blue shortcake, and a few others that were unfortunately not shared with the guy who writes about the food. *ahem*



As per Massachusetts law, cigar smoking is no longer allowed inside, so the traditional way of finishing the meal will have to stay at home. However, you may most certainly enjoy a fine glass of Graham’s 30 year tawny and go on your way.

Please note: This post is not trying to say that women are not allowed at Grill 23. In fact, I went with two of them and enjoyed their company very much. My point is simply that a lot of places have let the atmosphere get out of hand and become much less masculine. That’s not to say that for something to be good it needs to be masculine but a steakhouse has a very manly concept behind it, and the decor should, in my opinion, reflect that. The focus should be on the food first, then the surroundings. We have really lost a lot of what made our country the way it is. The days of grand train stations, fine steakhouses, and just being a man are slowly fading away to shopping mall airports, chain Cheesecake Factories, and metrosexuals. I could keep going on about how letter writing is a lost art and cell phones are starting to drive me crazy, but that has nothing to do with food. It’s nice to sometimes go back to the good ole days. I suggest everyone do it from time to time. Leave your cell phone, your blackberry, and your palm pilot at home. Go out to dinner with your spouse, your kids. Go somewhere independant. Go to a local mom and pop italian place. Go somewhere that the food doesn’t come in portioned controlled baggies. (Now I’m really digressing. I did have my cell phone on me at Grill 23, and I’m sure they portion control their meat, but I’m making a broader point now.) Think about how hard it is to find places like that these days. If you can do it, come back and tell me about it. I know you’ll enjoy it. Don’t do it for me, do it for your country.

Note number two: I have read this a few times through now, and each time it seems that what I’m saying is really sexist. I’m really not trying to be. What I’m trying to say is that a steakhouse should be manly like a nail salon should be womanly. A nail salon would not do very well if it had paneled wood walls, a humidor, and Playboy to read. At least I don’t think it would. Unless it was in Northampton.

(Just KIDDING. I love Northampton!) People get so offended over the silliest things. Here’s my final comment; Go eat at Grill 23 if you want a steak without frou frouieness. Take the rest with a grain of salt.

Barbecue from the Dirty South

This meal sponsored by Kingandspalding_1**

When people think of food in the South, they almost always immediately think of barbecue. Now, this is a fair argument, since barbecue is made quite well in the South, but it’s not the only food we have. This is why I tried to stay away from doing a Barbecue review until now. I feel like I have shown the full spectrum, and can shine the light on the kings feast that is Dirty South ATL Barbecue.

If you ask someone where Harold’s Barbecue is, most likely you’ll get something like this;

“Hey, where’s Harold’s Barbecue?”
“You mean the place down by the prison?”
“Yeah, where is it?”
“Down by the prison.”

Basically, you have to smell your way there. No one knows precisely where it is, but every day for lunch it fills up with business men, workers, and local folks who are lookin for some good, old school, southern style, barbecue.

Once you get there, the menu is a relief. There are very few menu options, and your biggest decision comes when you order your pork chopped or pulled. (There are also some secret options, like inside/outside, which refers to the inside or outside cuts of meat from the roasted pig.) Clearly the most popular option is the large pork plate which comes with a big bowl of spicy, thin soup with huge chunks of meat, cole slaw, and about a suckling pigs worth of meat. On the side you get cracklin’ cornbread (cracklin’ referring to the pieces of pork skin in em), and any true Southerner washes it down with some sweet iced tea that has been poured by the same gray-haired woman for the last 20 someodd years.


On all the tables are two squeeze bottles. One is hot barbecue sauce, and the other; sweet. Personally, I like a lot of both, all over just about everything. Once you’re done dressing your meat to your personal preference, dig in. Once you feel like you’re about to burst, eat some more cornbread and take a sip of your iced tea. Pause. Dig back in. Repeat until finished.

All the meat is either chopped or pulled by hand, right behind the register. You can even see the roaster in the room behind. Everything is made on property, and it absolutely shows.


Don’t let the cars parked out front confuse you. Three quarters of the lot behind the building are either Lexus or Mercedes. The one thing you can’t forget about Harold’s is how to find it. Just follow your nose.


**This is a joke. I don’t want to get any emails starting with “This message is being sent by or on behalf of a lawyer. It is intended exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. This communication may contain information that is proprietary, privileged or confidential or otherwise legally exempt from disclosure. . .”

Those emails scare me.

A look back

Well folks, you ain’t gettin exactly what I promised, but you will get at least a little bit.

I seem to have lost the spark that got this website started (or maybe it has to do with the fact that I’m now surrounded by 20,000 college age girls…..), but it’s been harder and harder to remember to take pictures during meals, and even when I do, it seems like a chore to write about it. I don’t like that, and if I don’t like it, the writing is poor, and you don’t like that. Now, this doesn’t mean that those of you who have been sending bribes should stop, but I’ll have you know I can’t be bought! (*wink wink* Email me for the new mailing address.)

Anywho, I figured I would start by letting you know about some of the meals that I was able to chronicle during my brief tenure in HOTlanta. First, I had the pleasure of dining at the amazing Bazzaar. The other review is of Harold’s Barbecue, a long time Atlanta institution. My attorney has advised me that I suggest this site be enjoyed responsibly, else it induces astronomic weight gain from attempting to emulate my gluttony.

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