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I don’t go to many press events. It’s not that I don’t like getting to taste new and interesting things, or check out restaurants before they open and to get a glimpse of what they’re going to do. But I prefer to go and have a relaxing time, and to enjoy and experience the place as a customer would. Another thing that’s challenging about press events is that they can sometimes be a scrum, as anywhere where there’s complimentary food or drink involved.

That happened to me when I attended a cocktail soirée at a very posh hotel. I was personally invited by the publicist and the bartender was quite well-known and quite competent. And as I found out when I arrived, also quite dashing.

Door Mats for Inside Bir Sitting on a Branch

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Summer has just started and temperatures have been hovering close to 100ºF (37ºC). It’s been hard to stay cool but I’ve learned that temperatures are lower first thing in the morning, so I wake up earlier and get some tasks out of the way before the full blast of heat begins to slowly roast me, and my kitchen. The other thing that’s hitting us at…

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Not a day goes by when I don’t get a message requesting a restaurant recommendation in Paris. (Curiously, I also get asked for restaurant recommendations in cities I’ve never lived in, or even visited.) My promise to you is that I’ll only write up or recommend places I’ve been to, and with apologies to all who’ve asked for restaurant recommendations on social media, if I…

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We’re buckling down for a heatwave that’s on its way, with temperatures heading up to 40ºC (104ºF). Fortunately I’ve got a small stockpile of fans I’ve been collecting over the years, and few bottles of rosé in the refrigerator. (And my refrigerator actually has an ice-maker.) I sometimes bring a bag as a host gift when invited for dinner…but this week, I’m saving them all…

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I don’t quite exactly when things shifted, but for many years, if you wanted salt you either bought granulated table salt, usually sold in a round canister for less than a dollar, or kosher salt, which came in a big box. Kosher salt didn’t get its name because it’s kosher, it’s because the bulkier crystals are a better size for salting meat, which koshers it….

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Not many of us saw it coming, certainly not me, way back in 1989 when La Brea Bakery opened, and I thought, “Who the heck is going to buy freshly baked bread in Los Angeles? That’ll never work…” And the rest, as they say, is history, as La Brea Bakery and Campanile restaurant, the adjacent restaurant in the same Spanish-style building (that Charlie Chaplin built),…

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New York Restaurants and Bakeries

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  Here’s a round-up of places I visited recently in New York City. One happy change (which is also happening in cities elsewhere) is the proliferation of excellent bakeries making top-quality artisan bread, as well as bakeries with a global focus. While Americans don’t buy bread daily, as the French do, you can get terrific bread and pastries if you know where to look. Restaurants…

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Papaya isn’t a very common fruit in many parts of the world. But if you go to the tropics, you’ll see them piled up at markets, and even alongside the roads, where people are selling the overload from their trees. Papaya is a curious fruit that is often just out of the sightline of our radars, and is usually eaten fresh. Some varieties are spectacularly…

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When I originally came up with this ice cream, the year was 2009, which seems like a long, long time ago, in so many ways. Absinthe had been banned in France since 1914, blamed for a host of societal ills, even being accused of causing people to go crazy (which has since been debunked; most blame additives added to cheap absinthe, which caused brain damage),…

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