Saturday, October 10, 2009

Storytime with Amanda Meyer: Jeffrey Steingarten and for the love of foie gras

Every Saturday, my friend Amanda Meyer writes a blog entry. One, because I think she's an excellent writer, and two, because I like to have a day off. Questions, comments or concerns? Leave them at the end of this entry, gawd!

Something I have learned about myself this week is that if I could trade lives with anyone in the world I would choose... Jeffrey Steingarten! Shocking, oui?

So he doesn’t have much going in the looks department, he has a funny sounding voice and I’m willing to bet most people don’t even know who he is. But you know what I have to say to those people? Get you butt to a couch and start watching some Food Network!

Steingarten happens to be one of the world’s leading food critics, a field I wish was easier to break into. This guy has a sweet gig going on. First of all, he works for Vogue. Hello! Who doesn’t want to work for Vogue? That magazine can singlehandedly solve any of my life’s problems.

He is also a regular judge on Iron Chef. Not only does this mean he eats delicious food, but he gets a lot of opportunities to meet Bobby Flay (my ultimate celeb crush). I also have a great appreciation for the fact that he graduated from Harvard and then Harvard Law, worked for Boston’s Mayor White, but left politics behind to be a writer. That’s admirable, and he’s really good at it; I highly recommend his book, The Man Who Ate Everything.

This leads me to my next point - The guy is paid to eat (everything!). I blame my love of food on my very Italian family. It was not until I was about 15, when I invited my then-boyfriend over for Christmas Eve dinner, that I realized most Americans do not eat seven courses of seafood over the holidays. I grew up assuming that raw oysters and calamari were every day fare, although I now realize that could not be further from the truth. Silly me.

I have also learned that conversations with new friends about favorite foods seldom go well. Usually they talk about their love of pizza or lasagna or even ribs, to which I express my undying love of foie gras and cioppino (for those of you who care, that’s goose liver pate and Italian fish stew). My obsession with Food Network shows as well as Bravo’s Top Chef only continue to encourage me to try new things, which in turn encourages more and more strange looks from people I tell about them.

But when you’re a famous food critic, I bet you don’t get funny looks. Mr. Steingarten makes these same dishes sound so fantastic that everyone who reads his book will immediately be inclined to book a flight to France for some authentic escargots! I would love that kind of power.

Luckily for me, I have found a great way to share this love of food with other foodies via the Internet. Yelp! is not only a great way to rave or rant about a meal out, but also a wonderful way to find some hidden gems in your area that you just have to try. So maybe this doesn’t put me quite on the same level as my new-found hero, but everyone has to start somewhere. Oh, and if you’re curious, you can find all my reviews under my username:

The picture of Jeffy is from this site here, which has several humorous photos of chefs and others downing some sort of booze.

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