The Gentleman Gourmand

sharing the best food around

Category: Food and Drink

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.

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)

Statement on the ‘new cookery’

This is the
international agenda for great cooking written by Ferran Adria of El
Bulli, Heston Blumenthal of the Fat Duck, Thomas Keller of the French
Laundry and Per Se, and writer Harold McGee.

Read More


Still working on the East Coast Grill review.  Until then, check out these great Daniel videos from LX TV.

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

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?



After the lunch in Orvietto (I guess I really do need to post backwards when I do this….on second though, just turn your monitor upside down. That should accomplish the same thing.) I got some gelato.

It was very good, nice and creamy, not too hard (too hard = too much sugar, or cream, I can’t remember, one makes it creamy and one makes it hard. But it was perfect.)

Upon reviewing this photo I have decided that I probably need to shave, and my hair was looking a bit a mess. In my defense I can say that it was windy.


I was also highly dissapointed that I could not, in fact, buy a tasty fast food burger at the Orvietto “In and Out” location. I will be writing an angry, burger deprived letter to the management.


Aceto Balsamico di “Addictivo”

I have become hopelessly addicted to Balsamic Vinegar.

It started a few years ago, mopping it up with bread. Then I moved on to eating the really good stuff on parmigiano cheese. Then, when we took a trip to Italy last summer, I bought damn near $200 worth, including the $1 / MILILITER “Aceto Balsamico Traditional di Modena Extra Vecchio.” That literally translates to: “Liquid Crack.”

This summer, I must have consumed damn near a bottle by myself. This stuff is dangerous, though, I could be addicted to worse things. I feel that this is a healthier addiction than one to, say, mayonnaise.


See that liquid running down the bottle? It’s my tears. Balsamic tears for the empty vessel.


So, I always associated Jagermeister with drunk college kids and Jagerbombs.


Evidently, it’s a respectable drink.

I had been wondering why the castle stocked Jager; I couldn’t really picture any of the 30+ year old customers of our getting tanked off shots of Jager while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Tonight, someone ordered Jager as an digestivo, while others ordered limoncello and espresso.

I was thoroughly boggled.

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