Spanish-American chef Jose Andres, a Ferran Adrià disciple who helms DC’s Minibar, is taking reader questions in an eGullet forum through Thursday. He hasn’t started answering yet, but the conversation so far looks like it will be fairly tame. As of Tuesday evening, the 14 user posts include a query about how Andres was influenced by Mr. El Bulli, and a reader’s photo of Andres’s cookbook in a Spanish airport bookstore. Some of the more interesting ones are a politely worded but transparent request that Andres open a can of Haterade on non-Spanish tapas restaurants, and a possibly pointed question about “the unrealized potential for excellent coffee in fine restaurants” from a fan of Andres’s cooking.
If you have a couple of cents to add to the conversation, go post your own question. And while you’re there, check out the great “Why I Cook” piece by chef Joseph Carey in Daily Gullet, the site’s “literary journal” (which actually looks an awful lot like a blog). In a series of four engaging posts so far, interspersed with reader comments (the posts themselves can be viewed here, here, here, and here), Carey talks about making baby caskets, pissing off Allen Ginsberg, cleaning out an abandoned whorehouse, and his roundabout route to culinary success. Carey, the author of Creole Nouvelle: Contemporary Creole Cookery and Chef on Fire: The Five Techniques for Using Heat Like a Pro, has a wild-and-woolly writing style that works well for the blog medium, where commentary and autobiography are often interwoven. Case in point: After describing how the manager of a local restaurant taught him how to make pizza and ride horses, Carey boasts:
I still make a mean pizza. And a couple of relatively tame ones, too. I can also deliver a mean pizza—just not as far as I used to—as that was another of my collegiate jobs. Don’t like riding mean horses. My first wife, Suzan, was quite a horsewoman, though. She actually won the Arabian costume class at the Grand Nationals at the Cow Palace one year. Today, she and her husband live near Lodi and raise and show quarter horses. More on Suzan in installment two when our antihero arrives in California.
I’m looking forward to it (even if it IS taking Carey forever to really get down to the actual food).