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Barcelona tapas - identify this one?

I heard from a family friend that there is a seafood oriented tapas place where you can point at a display of fresh ingredients and choose the way you would like the item cooked. My friend was taken there by local guides at the end of a half day bike tour of Barcelona, and it sounds like the meal became a trip highlight. Given these vague clues, which restaurant might this be, or which possible restaurants should I look into that might be like it? We'll be in Barcelona in Sept and I'm starting to research the city.

Aug 18, 2015
calf in Spain/Portugal

My review on Michelin 3 Star and other restaurants after taking a "tour" for a month

> 2nd course: Forager’s Treasure Of Wild Mushrooms-Sweet garlic, special spices, grilled toro, black truffle dressing

That's interesting, I really enjoyed this dish when I had it. It was tasty and I thought it was really creative. Your list of best Bouley dishes, I've had all of them and they really are the best.

One thing, though. I have an impression that Bouley is better for dinner than lunch. But I have not tried to verify this empirically. I know that some restaurants do reserve better items (or their stronger chefs) for dinner service than lunch, but I don't know the extent to which this may be true.

Aug 12, 2015
calf in Manhattan

A Brit Hates NYC Fine Dining

- The opinion would probably be similar. She's isn't taking issue with American Fine Dining per se; rather, the article makes better sense read as a complaint about globalized luxury cuisine in general. That's what the "claw your eyes out" and similar statements in the article are about, as I understood it.

- But a fair critique is her article leaves open the question, what do you think are examples of a good restaurant? She clearly alludes to "duck" preferably served without a "garden", yet doesn't give any concrete alternatives.

- Her best overall point is the question of ethics from the perspective of the consumer (hence the very title of the piece). She makes an argument that a lot of this spectacle creates a distorted illusion and is anti-intellectual. I would add to this by making the connection, if you as a diner care so much about organically-sourced food, etc., then shouldn't you also care about the social and intellectual dimensions of what these kinds of restaurants represent?

In light of these issues, Helen Rosner's rebuttal simply fails to recognize the kind of cultural and political criticism that is being offered. In my time reading about food, I have seen only a few sources that try to think more critically about it--and those sources are less humorous (one's even a doctoral dissertation). Honestly, it doesn't surprise me that the editor of Eater, with a vested interest in promoting restaurant culture in its current state, would miss the point.

And I say all this as someone who has been to Per Se and EMP and would happily go again. Just today I was preparing some travel notes to recommend to a good friend to try these places.

Aug 12, 2015
calf in Manhattan
1

Australian Wagyu Beef at Costco.

Interesting… What beef better than Alberta AAA can I try to find in the Vancouver area (I live in Richmond)? I like beef but I rarely buy it.

Jun 07, 2015
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Barcelona trip report..long but hopefully helpful

Four of us are in Barcelona this September, and La Boqueria is one of the obvious sightseeing points for lunch (we love seafood) and to buy fresh fruit or snacks. What do you recommend instead for this?

Jun 07, 2015
calf in Spain/Portugal

Hawksworth #2 in Canada?

I live in Richmond. Kirin is not my go-to idea of superior dimsum. I highly recommend Golden Paramount. Try the shrimp dumplings, which are actually made properly. Downsides: lunch hour crush and incredibly surly head waiter. But the food makes me think, this is what Chinese food should really be like.

Apr 17, 2015
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
1

What does New York have that LA doesn't?

Has it occurred to you that maybe you didn't get good answers, because you asked the wrong kind of question? I mean, maybe it is not valid to compare cities in terms of commodities one city has and the other doesn't.

LA has the Walt Disney Concert Hall and NYC has the Carnegie. Does this fact constitute an excuse for a concertgoer from one city not to be interested in checking out the other one? Because I thought culture was about broadening horizons, not a narrowing or bucketizing of experiences.

What does New York have that LA doesn't?

But then the New Yorker says to the Parisian, "We have fine dining here - and it's great". And one can imagine the Parisian's face.

I kid!

Apr 16, 2015
calf in Los Angeles Area

Why delicious Indian food is surprisingly unpopular in the U.S.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. :)

Mar 08, 2015
calf in Food Media & News

Why delicious Indian food is surprisingly unpopular in the U.S.

Can you recommend one book (that is available in NA; I live in Canada) that shows how to cook some Indian cuisine at this level?

Mar 05, 2015
calf in Food Media & News

Hawksworth #2 in Canada?

I tried F.A. last fall for lunch. I appreciated the concept of the dishes, but I would think maybe they didn't score well here due to problems with execution. My dad's dish was way over-salted, my azuki beans were still hard, and my mom's salad was incredibly stingy with the main ingredient. Dessert was, frankly, unpleasant, come to think of it, and I usually one to love the unusual stuff. Vancouver has many restaurants of the same category, but I think there's a balance to be struck between cool dishes/combinations versus getting to the point of a consistent, mature technique. Cooking is hard.

Mar 05, 2015
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Hawksworth #2 in Canada?

I don't see Acorn on the list. I've been once and was really impressed. Impressed is the wrong word. I just really liked their food.

Also, Market?

Mar 05, 2015
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Why delicious Indian food is surprisingly unpopular in the U.S.

What makes Indian food particularly labor intensive relative to others? The article does not back up this claim, though it sounds plausible.

Mar 05, 2015
calf in Food Media & News
1

Every week sushi?

If I enjoyed Sushi Hachi (in Richmond) and Kiriri, what other sushiya should I be checking out? (To clarify I've sampled places like Ajisai, Zest, Minami, amongst others but these two seem to be my preferred style.)

Feb 09, 2015
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Pressure cookers are NOT appropriate for foods, including Oatmeal, Barley, Peas, Pasta? (!?)

Yeah that's what I've been suspecting mainly. However, last night I unearthed this article <http://www.cookingissues.com/index.ht...>, in which the chef suggests that for the case of making stock, a non-venting cooker is the better choice--i.e., otherwise, one would get better tasting stock made the traditional way over stock made with a venting (v.s. non-venting) pressure cooker. I don't know how well his result generalizes, e.g. with stews, soups, grains, or vegetables simply cooked in water, etc.

Then again, maybe his evaluations were in the first place based on having ultra sensitive taste buds.

Feb 04, 2015
calf in Cookware

Pressure cookers are NOT appropriate for foods, including Oatmeal, Barley, Peas, Pasta? (!?)

Thanks for the replies. I am narrowing down my decision to a Fagor 6 qt or a Kuhn Rikon 5 L model. Now based on their user manuals, I've noticed that the Fagor requires a minimum of ≈200 mL cooking water, versus ≈100 mL with the KR. I'm also reading that the Fagor will vent more gas (including flavorful aromatics) than the KR in order to regulate pressure while cooking. The question I want to ask is, how much do performance differences such as these, between cheaper versus higher-end brands, affect the final taste and flavor of the food?

In other words, if I pressure cook a simple tournée of nice, organic carrots, would the Kuhn Rikon be able to a capture a level of flavor or texture that a more budget-conscious brand can't achieve? Or else is the price differential accounted for in other aspects of the value of a high-end brand (such as ease of use/speed, safety/reliability, etc.?)

I've noticed that many of the pressure cooker reviews do not really focus as much on comparative taste testing, which is why I thought to ask about this.

"Does it taste better??"

Feb 04, 2015
calf in Cookware

Pressure cookers are NOT appropriate for foods, including Oatmeal, Barley, Peas, Pasta? (!?)

My brain is exploding!

Feb 02, 2015
calf in Cookware

Pressure cookers are NOT appropriate for foods, including Oatmeal, Barley, Peas, Pasta? (!?)

Thanks. Your suggestions are good to know.

Another question. When a pressure cooker is marketed as "5 qt", the actual capacity is only a fraction 2/3 or 1/2, the choice depending on the type of food?

For example a so-called "3.5 L pressure cooker" could only safely cook 1.75 L of soup at a time. Is this correct?

Feb 02, 2015
calf in Cookware

Pressure cookers are NOT appropriate for foods, including Oatmeal, Barley, Peas, Pasta? (!?)

In the process of looking for a pressure cooker (after hearing how miraculous a kitchen tool it is supposed to be), I have just downloaded the User Manual from the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic website. On page 56 it says:

10. This cooker is not suitable for the preparation of apple compote, cranberries, porridge (oat flakes), barley or other cereals (except those listed on page 73), peas, pasta, macaroni or rhubarb. These foods tend to foam and froth and could block the valve. These foods should not be cooked in a pressure cooker. <-- <--

But unless my memory is failing me at this age, I am quite sure there exist recipes for pressure-cooked 1) oatmeal, 2) barley, and 3) pasta, from both online sources as well as books such as the much-vaunted Modernist Cuisine series.

So what gives, given this apparent blatant violation of the usage guidelines? What's going on; I would like to know to be able to make an informed purchase.

Feb 02, 2015
calf in Cookware

Where to buy food-safe clay for e.g. sealing crockpots?

I have a recipe that says to use a rope of clay around the lid to create an airtight environment for a potroast. Where can one obtain a suitable material? Or is this something I would have to order online?

Also, maybe some sort of pastry dough could work too? I've never done anything like this so I have no idea.

Nov 13, 2014
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

How are the fine dining offerings in Hong Kong?

For example at: Bo Innovation, Pierre, Amber? And the quality of the cooking during lunch versus dinner? My comparison point is fancy restaurants in NYC—however, I don't actually live in NYC anymore, which makes me miss and crave fine dining. But if the value is not there, I would rather skip it entirely and focus on eats that are lighter on the wallet. Mainly just trying to think of something special to take my mom and auntie out with—have about 5 days left before heading home!

-calf

Sep 23, 2014
calf in China & Southeast Asia

Videos about Japanese cuisine, NON-sushi?

(bump - Hoping for some opinions and advice : )

Jul 23, 2014
calf in Food Media & News

Videos about Japanese cuisine, NON-sushi?

I want to see more about the food of Japan—are there some English or Japanese documentaries or series that are considered must-see? I'm especially interested in Kaiseki, desserts, vegetarian/vegan, but anything goes so long as there is insight into the technique, ingredients, and/or cultural and socioeconomic context of Japanese cuisine.

I think in North America the only such media we get exposed to is stuff like Iron Chef, or that Jiro film—surely such a rich food culture has much more that's already been documented, people like me just don't know of it!

Jul 21, 2014
calf in Food Media & News

Thomas Keller at Stanford School of Business

I haven't watched it yet but would you say he mainly explaining his "cooking clean" / "finesse" philosophy, or is there more?

Jul 21, 2014
calf in Food Media & News

Proper way to get tree branches for grilling, smoking

Some recipes that emphasize using local ingredients sometimes call for fresh branches/leaves from pine, fir, and cedar trees. Is there an easy and safe way of getting, say, a ziploc bag full of these for, say, grilling and smoking salmon? Or to make a spruce-flavored ice cream?

Mainly I'm wary of trees in urban areas because of potential pesticides, roadside pollutants, and possibly that it's inconsiderate/not permitted. If I forage a small handful of material from a tree in Stanley park, or otherwise lower-populated but accessible area, is that reasonable? Or not?

Jul 08, 2014
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

2014 spot prawn season

I think it's because Chinese (e.g. Cantonese) cuisine prefers species such as tiger prawns. The texture is different, and thus the cooking style; I had cooked spot prawn for the first time, I thought it was mushy and tasteless.

But spot prawns are a major delicacy in Japan, where they are eaten raw; in Japanese they are artfully called botan-ebi, or "peony prawn". Thus not surprising that this list has lots of Japanese and Japanese-influenced restaurants. Actually, the Japanese species is Pandalus nipponensis, whereas in BC we have Pandalus platyceros.

May 10, 2014
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

What is "fruited hazelnut praline"?

Thanks, that makes sense.

Apr 08, 2014
calf in Home Cooking

What is "fruited hazelnut praline"?

In Pierre Hermé's Pastries book (2012) is a millefeuille recipe where a Hazelnut Praline filling calls for using 70 g of "fruited hazelnut praline (Valrhona)", along with the other ingredients (milk chocolate, butter, Piedmont hazelnut paste, gavottes, toasted hazelnut).

1. What is it? Does it literally contain fruit, or is it a pastry term?

2. I'd rather substitute with something homemade, e.g. I could make the hazelnut paste and buy the gavottes somewhere, but can one also make this "fruited hazelnut praline" instead of buying it from Valrhona?

I found this page but I don't know if it's especially different from a regular homemade recipe for hazelnut praline: http://www.valrhonaprofessionals.com/...

Apr 08, 2014
calf in Home Cooking

Buying good quality duck meat?

Not a frequent buyer of meat, but I'm suddenly craving a nice juicy, Moulard duck breast of this sort: dartagnan.com/Moulard-Duck-Magret,-Half-Breast/FDUMA006-1,default,pd.html

Is there a local market that sells duck or duck breast of a similar quality/price range? I live in Richmond so I'm much less familiar with the higher-end butcher shops in the Vancouver area.

Also, interestingly the supplier above (top search I found using Google) doesn't ship to Canada, but they source from Quebec. I'm willing to consider the possibility of mail order of flash frozen duck breasts, but being more expensive it would not be a regular thing I'd do.

Mar 28, 2014
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

So really what's the problem?

What the heck is TU?

Economic fact: The turnover of restaurants in many urban cities—NYC for as one example—is also 50%. It's because of economic conditions and market structures. Hipsters are not so influential as to be the specific cause across multiple cities. That should be obvious.

As for Vancouver, it is a world class city but for various reasons it is not one that supports specialty restaurants very well. That is why Lumiere closed, for example. Similarly, what some of us call "hipster" restaurants have a larger client demographic in say, NYC and L.A., maybe Toronto, but not necessarily in Vancouver. The food can be actually really innovative and impressive—the ones that do succeed are routinely reviewed in those cities' local newspapers. I don't feel it's a loss that Vancouver doesn't have many of those kinds of restaurants—point is that it's often informative to understand what's going on in the bigger picture.

Jan 01, 2014
calf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)