Tuesday, May 25, 2010


The new (self-titled) Stone Temple Pilots album drops today. I've always been a huge fan of the band and consider them to be vastly underrated. Scott Weiland is back, hopefully to deliver the camp from Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop and driving, soulfulness form Purple. Hard to believe he is still making music, and not a casualty of addiction.

STP occupy a huge chunk of my early 1990s/high school memories. Learning to drive my Grandmother's hand-me-down Chevrolet Cavalier, 'The Brown Hornet', windows rolled down, trying not to stick to the plastic seat.

Monday, May 24, 2010

UVA Men's Golf

Unreal ending to the East Regional @ Yale, as UVA advances to the NCAA Championships.

AB and ER

Attended a wonderful interview session with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert on Friday night. The event had no set agenda, it was just the two on stage (with a moderator) to discuss their experiences, anecdotes, beliefs, and leanings. Q&A followed, and, finally, a meet and greet and book signing. Both were very humorous, with ER being more understated/subtle than AB.

I enjoyed listening to AB's take on foie gras, which was on point. Food critics should be attacking Monsanto/Cargill ("big food") and the King, Colonel, and Clown as opposed to foie gras. Both AB and ER buy only from purveyors of the highest quality, and when you visit their farms/facilities, "the ducks happily approach humans, which is something you don't experience in a mass produced facility".

Briefly met both at the book signing, and, while being near the end of the line, both were humorous and engaging. To keep on theme, they compared the wait to the wait of a production line, which was apt.

Reflecting on the night, it is apparent the two are good friends (ER introduced AB to his wife) as they engage with ease. I think they'd be a great duo for a movie, possibly a food themed remake of The Apple Dumpling Gang? AB would be a great Tim Conway.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Annoy and Enjoy

Normally I like to keep my writing upbeat, but I need to vent. I watch little TV, but of the few shows I follow, these people annoy me the most.

3. Rachael Ray - Food Network - Seems overly fake, and has bastardized the skill required for great cooking.

2. Michael Breed - The Golf Fix, TGC - An annoying mile-a-minute personality.

1. James Oseland - Top Chef Masters - I love how the chefs/judges rebuke every comment he makes. By the way, food cannot 'be subterfuged', subterfuge is a noun, not a verb.

On a better note, three types of candy reminding me of childhood.

3. Baby Ruth
2. Krakel (or Special Dark) - I don't think I ever had a full (non-mini) bar
1. Rolos

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Umbrian Wine Tasting

I attended a wine tasting of Umbrian wines, produced fully organically. Organic production easily leads to a philosophical discussion, as the wine essentially 'makes itself' from the grapes, and the well-timed squeeze of the vinter. Unfortunately, I was not overly impressed with the resulting product. While in some cases it developed for an extended period before bottling (2+ years) there was not a direct relationship to an improvement in quality of the wines. They did not measure up to their Italian brethren.

Regarding the whites, I'm predisposed to assess an Umbrian white (or any Italian white) two immediate strikes. Italian whites are Chris Gaines, why not stick to reds? Poor coloring, a less than floral nose, and a lackluster finish left me unimpressed, and having no inclination to purchase.

Unfortunately the reds really suffered on account of the fully organic production, resulting in very one-note wines. Coloring tended to be on the lighter side, and complexity was non-existent. The wines were very dry, and, in large quantity, would lead to puckering. I don't see how they would pair well with food. Normally, I prefer a bolder red (Brunello or Barolo), but, of the Umbrians, liked the lighter reds, which were more drinkable. Food/cheese parings (especially a brie) would most likely enhance the reds.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I've watched...

...a lot of golf. Rory McIlroy's 62 @ Quail Hollow was one of the best rounds I've ever seen. It was a pleasure to watch. I'm speechless. Wow.