It's always the simple pleasures and/or personal experiences that endures - a grilled eggplant w/olive oil and sea salt at the Venetian residence of an acquaintance; grappa and bittersweet chocolate shared with my uncle and the resident owner of a 13th century castle in the Italian Alps; the incredible crab cake at Oceanaire in San Diego; the wonderful pastas at Oliveto in Oakland
My current drink of choice:
a short, expertly-pulled, espresso ristretto
I really wish I could:
...start each day with a traditional Japanese breakfast. ...study the "craft" of food around the world: baking bread in France, making soba in Japan, hand-rolling egg pasta in Italy...
My "Go-to" dinner party dish:
I'll cater the espresso drinks!
My favorite comfort food:
natto and raw egg on rice; pho tai gan; congee w/pitan; a great menudo!
My top 5 favorite restaurants:
Oliveto, Rockridge, Oakland, CA; Kaito Sushi, Encinitas, CA; Tartine Bakery, San Francisco, CA; Okan, San Diego, CA; Grimaldi's Pizzeria, Brooklyn, New York, NY; 2 Amys, Washington, D.C.
My most tattered cookbooks:
"Cooking by Hand" by Paul Bertoli (see http://www.chowhound.com/topics/380735#2391177 for my review...); "Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art" by Shizuo Tsuji; "Local Breads" by Daniel Leader; I suspect that my recenty acquired copy of "Made in Italy: Food & Stories" by Giorgio Locatelli is destined to become my most tattered