The most important meal of the day

The thing that makes New York City such an exciting place to live is access; access to an entire world of culture. A story I’ve told often that illustrates this beautifully begins with me enviously watching Anthony Bourdain eat some mysterious Egyptian street food on “No Reservations,” and ends with a steaming bowls of kushari and ful medames delivered to my door before the episode was over. I had gone from hearing about it, to seeking it out and finally tasting it, in under an hour.

It’s invigorating to live in a city where the local paper reviews the best restaurants in the world. Where your neighbors are the ones pushing the food culture forward.

Well I don’t live there anymore. I’m not upset about my move; I’m excited to embark on the next part of my life in Kirksville, Missouri. But, to be blunt, Kirksville is the opposite of New York, culinarily speaking. In some ways this is my favorite part of living here ($5 burgers! Fybread tacos! Cheap, locally produced meat! No fighting through swarms of strollers at the Farmer’s Market like Mad Max and Furiosa!).

But for the most part, these perks cover up for a fundamentally different food scene here. I’m not just complaining about not having any Sichuan places in town. I mean, they don’t always stock Siracha at the local grocery store. I’ll let that sit there for a minute while your brains melt.

So what do I really miss most? It’s that experience I had watching “No Reservations.” It’s reading a mouthwatering description of some new restaurant’s dazzling creation and rushing out to taste it as soon as possible. It's having the best of world food culture available to me. But why sit? Why stew? Why resign myself to the peculiarities of my predicament? Have I not an oven? Have I not pans? Have I not an internet brimming with information and a mandoline I got on sale from Amazon at my fingertips?

So with a limited resources and a studious eye, I have resigned to change my situation: to take those dishes I still read about in the New York Times, New York Magazine, etc., and attempt to recreate them (as best I can) in my own kitchen. They probably won’t be as skillfully crafted as those dishes described in the reviews, but I guarantee they will be more transporting. And, just to be magnanimous, I'll take you through the process as well, sharing everything I learn along the way.

I may not live in the center of the food world anymore, but that doesn’t mean I left it behind. Come Join me.

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