The Gentleman Gourmand

sharing the best food around

Month: January 2007

Eat Food.

Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivores Dilemma, comments on current day nutrition in this outstanding article.

That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly
complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in
order to be maximally healthy. I hate to give away the game right here
at the beginning of a long essay, and I confess that I’m tempted to
complicate matters in the interest of keeping things going for a few
thousand more words. I’ll try to resist but will go ahead and add a
couple more details to flesh out the advice. Like: A little meat won’t
kill you, though it’s better approached as a side dish than as a main.
And you’re much better off eating whole fresh foods than processed food
products. That’s what I mean by the recommendation to eat “food.” Once,
food was all you could eat, but today there are lots of other edible
foodlike substances in the supermarket. These novel products of food
science often come in packages festooned with health claims, which
brings me to a related rule of thumb: if you’re concerned about your
health, you should probably avoid food products that make health
claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a good
indication that it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat.

More HDR food pics

Pics from Eastern Standard and Mary Chung using High Dynamic Range Imaging.


General Gao’s Chicken – Mary Chung’s, Cambridge

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HDR Food Imaging — The Beginnings

HDRI – High Dynamic Range Imaging is the wave of the future.  Here’s what it means: you take three different exposures of the same scene, then combine them into an image that looks more realistic than any one image a camera can capture.

This has some amazing potential for not just standard photography (portraits, landscapes etc), but really makes food look amazing.

I have started experimenting with it — let me know what you think!


Yum Nuea Salad at Dok Bua, Brookline

Learn more.

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GGOR {Gentleman Gourmand Original Recipe}: “Real Ultimate Power Fusion Roll”

Step one: buy deep fryer.

Step two: use it enough for normal purposes to get slightly bored.

Step three: come up with the craziest from-the-fridge leftover-utilizing americanized "sushi" inspired thing you’ve ever seen.

Ladies and gentleman, I not-so-proudly present the Real Ultimate Power Fusion Roll:


Behold, and be fearful!  What you have before you is mushroom-kissed risotto wrapped around the flavored edges of not just honey ham, but deli-sliced buffalo chicken and provolone cheese.  The nori-replacement consists of the rectangular-cut slices of said honey ham and buffalo chicken.  Simply roll like maki, and then tempura fry.

K.Walters will summarize: "Dear Baber, this is K.walters’ stomach… what did you just make her eat? i think it had some risotto in it… I hate you."

“Where should we eat?” A Lesson In Food-Research

People ask this all the time.  "I’m hungry, where should I go to eat?"  They ask me, you, strangers
(hopefully),  and friends. This question comes with certain unspoken
rules.  The field must be narrowed: "ethnic" or american/french?
Casual or fancy?  Kid-friendly or tie-only?

Many times, the choice ends up being one of the old standards – the
pizza place around the corner, chinese delivery, with maybe a deli or
(god-forbid) a home cooked meal thrown in for good measure.

When you decide to go out, there are again regular choices that can be
made.  The steak place?  Sushi?  What about that bistro we go to. .
.it’s always good.

No bistro around you?  Hmm. . .

Can you get to Rye, NY and go to Ruby’s?  No?   Damn. . .

Well. . . can you get to Kenmore Square?  If you can, the most
constantly satisfying french-inspired american-spirited dining
experience in Boston is available to you.


Eastern Standard is the red-bannered bistro holding Kenmore together.
Located in the Hotel Commonwealth, and featuring the best bar in the
city, ES is guaranteed to impress.

Click "Continue Reading" below to read the rest of the review.

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Pigfest, 2k7

"Fishermen found that at least one
of Pfiesteria’s toxins could take flight: Breathing the air above the
bloom caused severe respiratory difficulty, headaches, blurry vision
and logical impairment. Some fishermen forgot how to get home;
laboratory workers exposed to Pfiesteria lost the ability to solve
simple math problems and dial phones; they forgot their own names. It
could take weeks or months for the brain and lungs to recover."

…zombies?  uhh soo anyway…

This is definately worth cross-posting, as I think as many people as possible should read this article about domestic pork "farming."

Unclear if the image is photoshopped, though.

Enjoy the read, and….pass the pork?

Makes the F word slaughter look absolutely lovely in comparison.  (Not for the feint of heart)

How to eat at a restaurant.

"Most of us know at least one person who has great restaurant karma. You
know, the person who always picks the right place, always orders the
right thing and has a great rapport with waitstaff. Restaurant karma,
however, is not some mystical force that some are predestined to
control while others are out of luck. It’s certainly the case that some
folks are great intuitive diners, but most of us have to learn."

Excerpts and commentary on Steven A. Shaw’s Turning the Tables: Restaurants from the Inside Out: a wonderful book on how to dine these days.  I highly reccomend this book — its got some great information in it.

"Let me try to clear up a few common misconceptions that I’ve encountered on the road:

knowing how to get the most out of the dining experience is not some
rarified skill that’s useful only in super-expensive, fine-dining
restaurants. You can take control of your dining experience at all
restaurants above the level of McDonald’s. Restaurants are all
fundamentally members of the same species. The differences between the
corner diner and the four-star temple of haute cuisine mostly have to
do with scale, style, training; in other words, they aren’t different
species — the difference is the equivalent of a gene here and there.
You also don’t have to live in New York or San Francisco. Restaurants
may be better or worse according to geography, but they’re still
restaurants. During the years I spent doing the research for Turning the Tables,
I spent time in restaurants from New York to Vancouver, and at every
level from highly regarded fancy places to pizzerias, hot dog stands
and barbecue joints. The similarities by far outweigh the differences.
Indeed, some of the most rewarding special dining experiences I’ve had
have been not at fine-dining restaurants but at smaller, family-run,
casual places.

Second, you have to be willing to expend some
effort. People often bristle when confronted with the reality that they
have to work in order to get a good meal. They want to be served. But
it doesn’t work that way. Just as with any kind of human relationship
from a marriage to a business partnership, you get more out of dining
when you put more into it. It’s like when you decide to buy a new TV.
You have two choices: walk in to the store and buy whatever the
salesperson convinces you to buy (or, in the case of a low-service
store like Costco, pick something at random), or take control of the
situation by doing some research: go to Consumer Reports online, read
product reviews on CNet, check message boards and Amazon feedback,
compare prices. You’d put an hour into it, wouldn’t you? Well, guess
what? Dinner for two at the top restaurants in the Western
industrialized nations now costs as much as a new TV. And the value of
participation remains high once you get to the restaurant. If you want
to get the best possible meal out of a restaurant, you’ve only got two
choices: resent being an active participant in your dining experience,
or learn to enjoy it. Either way, don’t blame me. I didn’t create the
system; I’m just trying to help folks get the most out of it."

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Breakfast of Champions!

As usual, right after half an hour of strecthing, my morning jog and two hour meditation, I ease my way into the day by tucking into a bit of sevruga caviar on toast points with farm-fresh chicken eggs.


I round off my routine with a game of chess and a long walk on the beach….

….and by around two I’m ready to start my day.

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