Archive: Q&A

Q&A: Sichuan Food Expert Fuchsia Dunlop

As part two of our kitchen tribute to Chengdu, I tracked down Sichuan cooking expert Fuchsia Dunlop, who is presently in Shanghai, leading a culinary tour. Fuchsia Dunlop, at market. While eagerly awaiting Dunlop's reply, I recreated her recipe for Dan Dan noodles (from "Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper") yesterday afternoon, complete with a shopping expedition to Maxim Gourmet Oriental market in Rockville (460 Hungerford Drive; 301-279-0110). The recipe, below the jump, includes metric conversions and cooking notes. And the dish -- well, it blew through my nostrils, it numbed my tongue and it really and truly warmed my belly. It was my first experience cooking with Sichuan peppercorns, which until 2005, had been banned by the FDA (due to a strange citrus virus -- they all belong to the same family). The Sichuan pepper is a sensory phenomenon to behold in a most unexpected way -- there's a floral,...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 22, 2008; 07:45 AM ET | Comments (10)

Eco-Vino

I'll be honest: Despite the greening of my pantry, I've been slow to embrace organic wine. After a less than tasty experience a few years ago with a bottle of organic red from a California winery that shall remain nameless, I've been swearing off the stuff because it either hasn't been up to snuff or is just too darned expensive. Mendocino Wine Company's Paul Dolan. A recent run-in with a 2007 bottle of "Sustainable White" by Parducci Winery has me revisiting the eco-vino issue and I'll tell you why: The wine is delicious and under 10 bucks a bottle. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Tokai and Viognier, "Sustainable White" and its sibling, "2005 Sustainable Red" are part of a year-long partnership with Whole Foods, where it's sold exclusively between $8 and $9.99 through December. To be clear, the "Sustainable" sibs are not certified organic (95 percent organic grapes...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 13, 2008; 09:24 AM ET | Comments (12)

All Hail the Vegan Queen

She's a high-school dropout with no formal culinary training, but Isa Chandra Moskowitz is quickly becoming one of the hottest names in the vegan cookbook world. At the age of 16, Moskowitz, a born-and-bred Brooklynite eschewed her meat-and-potatoes upbringing and embarked on a vegan punk rock journey that would morph into a public access television cooking show and ultimately, into a successful career as a cookbook author. It was only two years ago when Moskowitz, now 34, published her first book, "Vegan With A Vengeance," which has sold more than 50,000 copies, and already she's got two more under her belt, "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World" and most recently (October), "Veganomicon," both written with her punk pal, Terry Hope Romero. Isa Chandra Moskowitz. If you thought vegan was far off the mainstream path, think again. "Veganomicon" is kicking everyone's butt on amazon.com; it is currently #18 on the list...

 

By Kim ODonnel | December 10, 2007; 10:34 AM ET | Comments (0)

Take Time to Smell the Onions

The movie will be there in November, well before Thanksgiving, the publicist kept telling me. But the arrival of "How to Cook Your Life," the documentary by German filmmaker Doris Dorrie ("Men," "Enlightenment Guaranteed"), kept getting delayed, and admittedly I was annoyed. Ever since I got wind of this movie featuring Zen chef and cooking teacher Edward Espe Brown, I had ants in my pants, which isn't very Zen-like. But now I can cool my jets, as the movie opens this Friday, Dec. 7, at Landmark's E Street Cinema, and the timing couldn't be better. While we work ourselves into a holiday lather over the next few weeks, Dorrie's movie is a welcome respite from the seasonal madness, an opportunity to silence the jingle bells and perhaps smell the onions. The 97-minute movie, which premiered earlier this year at the Berlin film festival, is about nothing and everything. The camera...

 

By Kim ODonnel | December 5, 2007; 09:48 AM ET | Comments (5)

Has the Farm Bill Made Us Fat?

If it's called a Farm Bill, why should the average citizen care? I'm talking about the omnibus legislation currently under discussion in the House Agriculture committee. I posed this question to Daniel Imhoff, a California-based publisher and public speaker on environmental and food issues. The author of "Food Fight: The Citizens Guide to a Food and Farm Bill," which was published this spring, Imhoff touched on several issues including the environment, agribusiness and our health as a nation. He went so far as to call the Farm Bill the "fat bill." I couldn't help but think about this notion as I caught an episode of "Shaq's Big Challenge," the latest reality show in which basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal rides herd on six Miami area middle schoolers to shed some major, life-threatening weight. Got me thinking when the last time these kids, who live in the citrus state, last had an...

 

By Kim ODonnel | July 19, 2007; 01:16 PM ET | Comments (7)

 

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