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Food Writing This Week: Sous Vide, Pastry, & More

Since I was named the editor of the Food & Drink Section at Chicagoist, I haven't had as much time to blog here. A lot my writing there isn't going to be particularly interesting unless you live in Chicago, but I have a scattering of pieces that might appeal to a broader audience I will highlight here from time to time with commentary. 

Chicagoist Pieces

I did a stint as a guest writer at Chicagoist and wrote a couple of pieces. Most might be kind of boring if you don't live in Chicago, but there are a couple that are of more general interest. 

The Worst Part of Scotland Was Leaving It

 
 My travels started when I made an off-hand comment to a friend in the UK about WWOOFing in Scotland
 
“I really want to WWOOF in Scotland for some reason.”
 
For the uninitiated, WWOOF stands for “World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms” and it’s a loosely organized international directory of farms that accept volunteer labor, usually in exchange for some degree of room and board. 
 

Chicago Restaurant Recommendations

 Since I get regular emails on this subject, I thought I might as well create a whole post on restaurants (and a smattering of bars) in Chicago that I think are worth recommending.

Home, here, there, and abroad: The best of what I ate this year

 An incomplete list of my favorites- I set the timer on 30 minutes to sift through my photos (makes me realize why I take them- Schwa, Ruxbin, Blackbird's dinner menu are absent because I didn't take any) and here is what I picked.

@home: lingonberry(frozen w/ no sugar/crap added from Erickson's Delicatessen & Fish), seaweed (Seasnax), reindeer pate (Smoking Goose Meatery), and buckwheat pancake (buckwheat from Chicago winter Greenmarket, soured in sour cream for a day, mixed with egg, cooked in butter)

The Best of 2012: The spectacular food coming from Midwestern kitchens

 If there is anything I can say about this year for sure, it's that I ate well, perhaps better than I ever have. I had meals that went beyond what I ever imagined food could be in terms of intricate qualities, each ingredient like little clockwork pieces, gears whirring together perfectly in tune.

Rektún mat- Real Food

 It's amazing for me to think that it was 2008, the year when I lived in Sweden, when Magnus Nilsson was getting his little restaurant in the North of Sweden off the ground. That so much has changed since then, not just for me, but for the entire idea of Swedish food.

A Trip to Montreal: Blood, Marrow, Butter

 This blog wouldn't exist if food wasn't important to me, but it amazes me how I can continue to have experiences relating to food that change my view of things. That's one of the reasons I haven't written a book. I'm just not there yet in terms of experience, even though I've made great improvements in my life and maintained them, there is still much to learn. How could I ever put the pen to the page knowing that my words would be a static representation of my views for months and even years?

Senza: Gluten-free dining exits the health-food ghetto

There is no doubt that gluten-free options are growing. However, at least in the places that I've lived, most gluten-free options are kind of sad. They are either bundled in with "health food" options and are also whole-grain/vegan/low-fat bundles or misery or are just regular menu items made with an assortment of mediocre processed gluten-free breads and pastas. Since the main problem for me with wheat seems to be the complex carbohydrates, often these options are worse than regular food.

The Future of Seafood

Last year I paid a visit to Miya's Sushi, in New Haven, a restaurant that tries* to be sustainable