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[From Homepage] Home Cookin' Part I: Alan Lake (Jazzfood)

[From Homepage] Home Cookin' Part I: Alan Lake (Jazzfood)
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  • [From Homepage] Home Cookin' Part I: Alan Lake (Jazzfood)

    Post #1 - October 14th, 2013, 7:25 am
    Post #1 - October 14th, 2013, 7:25 am Post #1 - October 14th, 2013, 7:25 am
    This is an excerpt of an article from the homepage. Read Full Article
    __________________________

    By Alan Lake (Jazzfood)
    [caption id="attachment_1380" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Image Son of Lolita and author's best friend, holding Lolita's Lasagna[/caption]

    [pullquote align="right"]

    JAZZFOOD'S RECIPES:

    Mess-O-Greens
    Lolita's Lasagna


    [/pullquote]

    In my 30 years of being a chef, searching the world for the finest foods and collecting the most interesting recipes to inspire my craft and satiate my belly, I’ve discovered that many of my favorite meals have been in homes, not restaurants - inspired meals served from the heart, with food that resonates on many levels besides "delicious."

    Food often produces a response similar to sex: sensual pleasure. Food provides for basic human needs that can be shared without impropriety or (in most cases) guilt. In fact, these days the word orgy is more commonly associated with food than sex, as in food orgy - at least, among my circle of friends.

    And we all have someone special in mind when we think of certain dishes or occasions. Along with my father, who was not a cook but a dedicated glutton, two others significantly shaped my culinary proclivities early on: Lazlo and Lolita.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #2 - October 14th, 2013, 7:59 am
    Post #2 - October 14th, 2013, 7:59 am Post #2 - October 14th, 2013, 7:59 am
    "I’ve discovered that some of my favorite meals have been in homes, not restaurants – inspired meals served from the heart, with food that resonates on many levels besides 'delicious.'"

    So true.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #3 - October 14th, 2013, 3:05 pm
    Post #3 - October 14th, 2013, 3:05 pm Post #3 - October 14th, 2013, 3:05 pm
    I'd been reading The United States of Arugula and there was a lot that resonated with me. In particular, the story of Craig Claiborne and his negotiations with the NY Times prior to him becoming its food editor. He made it clear that he was interested in ALL food, not just restaurants and wanted to cover it from a simple apartment in Queens to chic stomping grounds in Midtown. They agreed, and the rest is history.

    Everyone writes about this hot chef or that new restaurant, but what of the inspirations to many? I think it's still as relevant (and neglected) and is what I hope to give its due with this series. I began with my story just to set the tone, but Part 2- I can promise you is even more wonderful.

    By the way, that apartment in Queens? It was Marcella Hazen's. She was giving cooking lessons in broken English and had been getting a bit of a rep, and by writing about her, he virtually made her career.

    Who's next? Wait and see...
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #4 - October 15th, 2013, 11:13 am
    Post #4 - October 15th, 2013, 11:13 am Post #4 - October 15th, 2013, 11:13 am
    Where's the damn like button?
  • Post #5 - October 15th, 2013, 12:59 pm
    Post #5 - October 15th, 2013, 12:59 pm Post #5 - October 15th, 2013, 12:59 pm
    nr706 wrote:Where's the damn like button?


    If you go to the article, it's on the left side of the page.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - October 15th, 2013, 1:06 pm
    Post #6 - October 15th, 2013, 1:06 pm Post #6 - October 15th, 2013, 1:06 pm
    Hi Jazzfood,
    I am eagerly awaiting part 2. As I read your stories, memorable home-cooked meals paraded through my thoughts. Sunday meals at best childhood friend's Italian household with fried zucchini flowers. Her Nonna spent long hours preparing meals and the results were different from anything I'd ever seen or tasted. I also remembered a curry presented from a sea captain in Pittenweem Scotland. I was young and didn't ask for recipes, but the toppings he offered included tomato paste, coconut a variety of chutneys and more. These sensory memories are filed away and occasionally they surface. Your article brought them to mind today.

    Even the home cooked meals I grew up with are now a rare commodity for many households. Growing up, all 7 of us sat down together to share dinner and even breakfast and lunches on weekends. Sadly, this is a rare occurrence at my own house.

    Thank you for your thoughtful work.
  • Post #7 - October 16th, 2013, 9:26 am
    Post #7 - October 16th, 2013, 9:26 am Post #7 - October 16th, 2013, 9:26 am
    Hey Alan--

    Thanks for setting the table, so to speak. Definitely looking forward to Part 2.

    Jay
  • Post #8 - November 5th, 2013, 12:01 pm
    Post #8 - November 5th, 2013, 12:01 pm Post #8 - November 5th, 2013, 12:01 pm
    Hey Alan,

    I appreciate this spotlight that you bring to homecooking, especially in a time when many people are enamored with checking out new food at restaurants (admittedly, I am too sometimes..). Quite bold of you to post about homecooking on this website! How do you think homecooking can make a comeback in this restaurant hopping culture?

    Also, curious about Homecookin' Part II!

    Helen
  • Post #9 - November 6th, 2013, 9:24 am
    Post #9 - November 6th, 2013, 9:24 am Post #9 - November 6th, 2013, 9:24 am
    Home cooking is/has been making a comeback in many ways. Look on restaurant menus today that are heavy on comfort foods, or pickling or fermenting or curing... Ask most chefs what orignally inspired them to cook and many will mention memories of a relative or friend, not a pro chef. It's as under reported and timely today as it was when Craig Claiborne championed it back in the day. In fact, sitting on my back porch this summer reading about him wanting to cover it on behalf of the NY Times made me realize that it was still not being given it's rightful due. I also grow tired of every new PR blurb championing this hot chef that worked the line @ (take your pick of trendy restaurants) for a yr and is getting the often premature chance to run a restaurant. Or of celebutante chefs spreading themselves too thinly to oversee their mini empires, places you can easily spend $50-100 on mediocre souless food.

    "Bold"? I don't feel that way. To me LTH is about food and everything related, with restaurants being just one facet of it. Believe me, I love this business and it's been good to me for decades but I wanted to touch on the soul and spirit of cooking for loved ones and the interactions that come from that as well- something often missing @ most restaurant meals. To go back to the roots. If that didn't come across in part 1, it most certainly will in part 2 (coming up in mid December). Please stay tuned.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #10 - November 6th, 2013, 9:29 am
    Post #10 - November 6th, 2013, 9:29 am Post #10 - November 6th, 2013, 9:29 am
    hfc wrote:Quite bold of you to post about homecooking on this website!


    While Alan's article made for a good read, and has me looking forward to part 2 (and beyond), it's not all that out of place for a site that has a whole section devoted to Shopping & Cooking.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #11 - November 11th, 2013, 12:42 pm
    Post #11 - November 11th, 2013, 12:42 pm Post #11 - November 11th, 2013, 12:42 pm
    Looking forward to part 2.
    Jerry the Golfer

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