jealousy! jalousie! gelosia! in any language, it is still one helluva hungry, green-eyed monster.

does this mean i have to go to the cordon bleu now? just thinking about el bulli makes my head spin. wah!

i have this deep-seated need right now to be in a professional kitchen. i miss working to that most-satisfying state of physical exhaustion; seeing (and smelling and tasting) the results that gave me the back-pain-that-will-never-go-away, the sourest ache in my feet (and indeed, this flavor seems to capture the feeling most ably); and achieving that zen state of mind that can come only from doing repetitive tasks that require, at most, a functioning brain stem and low-level cerebrum processes. i miss the dance! i miss that feeling of just coming short of pitching off the cliff of stress, tension, and frenzy. i miss the misogyny, the testosterone-charged posturing, the trash-talking and the complaining, complaining, complaining. i miss that reverence for the perfect mizuna leaf, the perfect silken lobe of foie gras, the humblest organ meat. but most of all, i miss the love.


i am intrigued by the new features in the nytimes dining/food section, particularly the lees’ “the industry” coverage, which shows some promise. (and thankfully, the lees are two (1.5?) of their more capable writers.) what’s up with “the arsenal”? this is not more hesser-bashing on my part — i just don’t see the point of this column. it just seems like the nyt’s usual tardy leap onto the band wagon. witness marion cunningham’s and raymond sokolov’s already excellent contributions from last year.

the market in bra is awash in beautiful pears and apples: succulent d’anjous, sweet diminutive seckels, grainy, tart reinettes.


it is very, very moving to me that my italian colleagues have been sending me reminders to register as an overseas voter (done). particularly ones that i don’t really know personally. but what is it that makes me care now and here? perhaps it has everything to do with this election year and these candidates and these issues and this state of the world. but more so, there is this undercurrent here of activisim, of non- or anti-apathy. it is heartening. it is mobilizing. it makes so much seem possible.


i am eating a boero, a little sphere of chocolate encasing a highly prized Vignola cherry stuffed with a hazelnut, all bathed in grappa. nothin’ like grappa before lunch.


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