Paella and Pinxtos at the Basque Market in Boise, ID

[Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of articles about the foodways of the Basque immigrants who settled in the West and Northwest, including Boise, ID, whose population of 16,000 is the highest of anywhere in the US.] Tony Eiguren spins his paella, which he makes outdoors every Wednesday and Friday at the Basque…

A Pie Tasting: Lea’s of Lecompte

Monroe, LA — The days leading up to Thanksgiving can be overwhelming for the pie-bakers at Lea’s of Lecompte (which is a confusing name for outsiders, who don’t know it references Lea’s Lunchroom, the original Lea’s, which IS in Lecompte, a small town almost 110 miles almost due south on State Highway 165.) Lea’s of…

Cubs Fans Still Dig Doug’s at Wrigley as the Hotdog Turns 125

Coming up on four years after he shuttered his “encased meat emporium,” Doug Sohn remains a Chicago treasure. That will come to no surprise to the three hundred people who patiently waited in lines, some as long as five hours, to get one of the final red-basketed sausages at his beloved Avondale institution, Hot Doug’s. Still,…

Travel: Foodie Tour of Hobart Curated by Cally Lyons of Rathmore House

Cally Lyons, who I am lucky to count as my second Tasmanian girlfriend, has a lot in common with Greg Ramsay, owner of Ratho Farm, who ‘hired’ me to come and cook pop-up dinners of American Southern Food at Australia’s oldest golf course in February and March. Beyond being charming, well-spoken, and delightfully cheeky, both of them are…

‘Me Oh My Oh’: Catering Lessons from Heather and Izzy, Jambalaya Edition

Jambalaya is so quintessentially New Orleans that, when menu planning, I considered the rice-sausage-and-seafood casserole to be a no-brainer of a show-stopper main course for our Mardi Gras Dinner. As it turned out, both “no-brainer” and “show-stopper” were painfully apt descriptions, as recounted in this continuation of Part 1 and Part 2 of ‘Catering Lessons from Heather and…

Even Surprise Vegans Get to Eat: Catering Lessons from Heather and Izzy Part 2/?

Part 1 of this blogpost, ‘She’ll Be Alright, Mate’ introduced Heather Bickford, Ratho Farm’s chef and my catering savior the night of our front-of-the-house triumph and back-of-the-house roller coaster Mardi Gras Dinner. We also went over catering lesson one: An intoxicated guest is one who will overlook or forgive mistakes. 2. Start at LEAST one full…

‘She’ll Be Alright, Mate:’ Catering Lessons from Heather and Izzy Part 1/2

It occurs to me that I shouldn’t let even one more blog post go by without introducing you to Heather Bickford, the Chef of Ratho Farm and one of the most delightful and food-knowledgeable people I’ve ever encountered. She’s charming, eccentric, has a beautiful family and has forgotten more about catering than you or I will ever know. Without…