|Obviously, I used raspberries.|
*The new Netflix series Chef’s Table is even better. You must watch it! The three episodes I’ve seen have been intelligent, engrossing, vivid, detailed, and altogether superb. Each installment delves into the psychological forces that drive a single noteworthy chef (in all but one case, a him) to do what he does. It’s more about character than cooking; food is treated as a manifestation of personality rather than the main event. You’ll start to see the way the intricate, precise creations of Los Angeles chef Niki Nakayama, reflect her intensity, integrity, and thoughtfulness. The Argentine cook (and long-ago Piglet winner ) Francis Mallmann is bold and unapologetically sensual, as are the pink chunks of brook trout he pulls out of a remote Patagonian fire pit, the primal slabs of juicy meat he slaps onto a hot pan.
In Mallmann’s case, my feelings about the food actually tracked my feelings about the person. At the start of the episode, Mallmann’s dishes -- succulent, elemental -- made me drool. But the more he talked, the less I liked him (you just have to watch and make up your own mind) and the less I wanted to eat that food. Gradually, the unadorned hunks of flesh and rudely smashed potatoes came to embody Mallmann’s selfishness and unchecked carnality. By the end, I was completely turned off by the man and had lost all interest in his food, which was sort of interesting. Anyway, terrific TV.
You might like Mallmann, by the way. Each to her own.
*Isabel and I are going to Thailand and Myanmar this summer. Her graduation present. We started with a joke about Iceland and somehow ended up in Chiang Mai. I owe her, after the three exotic trips I took with Owen. Any thoughts or suggestions, please send them my way.