Food Hat Trick: Omakase, Veggies & Food Waste
I’m a hybrid. I have to write things down AND keep track of them digitally. I have an old-fashioned week-at-a-glance spiral bound calendar AND an Outlook one. The best proof? I still subscribe to the LA Times, not just their digital version but their hard copy too. Today at Starbucks, I drank up their FOOD & DINING section. See why …
NEW ENTRY FOR MY MUST-TRY LIST: JAPANESE FOOD IN STUDIO CITY
Jonathan Gold’s review of Asanebo: A beautiful way to start a Saturday …
You will find a curl of ruddy sea urchin roe, the sweetly austere stuff shipped in from Hokkaido instead of the lusher Santa Barbara uni, and some briny, lightly chewy bits of stewed abalone atop a shiny glaze of chilled reduced dashi made with deeply smoky katsuoboshi — dried bonito. Microscopic cubes of minced wasabi are strewn over the seafood, almost as much for their crunch as for their bright heat, and the chawanmushiitself, half an inch of egg custard, is crème brûlée-rich, impossibly smooth, steamed just to the point when it is maximally luscious but has not yet released its liquid.
You will eat this in two bites without pausing to reflect on the thousands of air miles, centuries of technique and microseconds of timing that have come together in these few grams of food set in front of you at your table. And you are not meant to reflect — I don’t think.
Jonathan Gold sure knows how to wax poetic. Really poetic. Once he mentioned that the founders of Asanebo were among the original chefs at Matsuhisa, I stopped reading and put it at the top of my must-try list.
VEGGIES ARE HAVING A MOMENT
“It’s not a basket case” shares good news about how the push is really on to get people to eat their veggies. This topic cannot be talked about enough. I used to go to a dietician who tried to get me to eat vegetables. Not more vegetables. Just vegetables. I would keep a food diary and a typical day might go something like this: Coffee; Chipotle rice bowl with chicken; popchips; Girls night out – Bandera: mac & cheese, Dip Duo, sole & broccoli, banana crème pie, red wine (yes, indulgent, but told her it was my planned splurge day – white lie). Her buzz kill response?
You didn’t eat all the rice they gave you at Chipotle did you? Do you know how many calories are in the Dip Duo? How much of that did you eat? Do you know every glass of wine is equal in calories to a Snickers bar? Oh – and as always – where are the veggies??
It’s different these days. Pinky swear she’d be proud. My preferred and most frequent meal is fish and veggies. Lots of veggies. Steamed with olive oil, salt, pepper.
The article encouragingly highlighted progress on the eat-your-veggies front:
- Growth in farmers markets (200 in Southern Cal);
- Sales of fruit and vegetables increasing for each of the last 4 years;
- The FNV (fruits-n-vegetables) campaign with spokesperson actress Kristen Stewart (SMART move – our young Americans will take notice); and
- Omaha Steaks! Now offering fresh produce from Chef’s Garden to go with your strip steak.
FOOD WASTE CONSCIOUSNESS
“Europe’s little fridges hold secret to less waste” makes you wonder if you really need a big refrigerator. She traveled in Europe and was amazed by the size of people’s barely-there fridges. “Instead of weekly trips to the supermarket, grocery shopping was an activity folded into the rhythm of daily life.” Great point. I used to be one of those people who would grocery shop once a week. I bought plenty of produce but, as noted above, didn’t eat much of it and threw most of it out. Now I try to buy food for only 1 – 2 days on each trip and am happy to report that I do eat the veggies I buy.
“Saved from the garbage bin” outlines how people are raising awareness about the issue of food waste. 40% of food in America goes uneaten ($165 billion worth!) and 1/3 of the world’s food globally is wasted. Chefs, restaurants, movies and books all aim to raise awareness:
- New York chef Dan Barber created a 3-week pop-up at his Blue Hill restaurant on food waste and reuse (wastED).
- A new documentary called “Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story” covers waste across the food chain.
- The title of the book, “American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half Of Its Food” by Jonathan Bloom says it all.
Also on the topic of food waste, a great article, “How not to let it all go to waste” with easy tips such as: (1) Shop smarter – don’t bring so much food into your home; (2) Love leftovers – actually eat them; and (3) Only order what you’ll eat at restaurants – don’t order the burger on a bun if you won’t want to eat the bun.
Who says papers aren’t relevant anymore?