Subscribe now and receive Issue 13, our Holiday issue, in December (And our Seashore issue is available now!)

current issue



And now a MAD Dispatch from Christine Muhlke, executive editor of Bon Appétit and co-author of Eric Ripert’s On the Line and David Kinch’s Manresa. In the piece, Muhlke consults with the likes of Fergus Henderson, Jordi Roca, and Judith Jones to figure out how much room there is for intuition and personality in recipe writing. “How can a professional cook effectively transmit his or her knowledge to a stranger through the written word, and isn’t there room for intuition—even innovation—within the confines of steps on a page?,” she asks.

Here’s Christine:

Many of the chefs and writers at MAD either have produced a cookbook, or probably will be asked to publish one within the next five years. It’s a curious thing, this business of developing recipes to be sent out into the world for use by other cooks. Here are some thoughts about and approaches to that process which you may never have considered, as brought to you by five very different people.

Read More

Reblogged from themadfeed | Originally from themadfeed

Reblogged from pizzzatime | Originally from pizzzatime


Kebabistan in Copenhagen is still my favorite name for a kebab place, but OH MY KEBAB! here in Shanghai is a close runner up…

Reblogged from eataku | Originally from eataku

Sometimes it’s the little things that make it all worthwhile, like recognition from the thought leaders at Potato Chip World.


Lucky Peach Magazine’s Record Club

Magik Markers

By Michael Tunk

Dream project I could quit now and it would be okay (but I won’t) . Lucky Peach magazine is the only magazine that involves food you should ever buy. Magik Markers are seriously the best thing since Neil Young. This 7” has a gatefold cover that hugs your vinyl. It’s also home to an unreleased version of their song Crebs.

Thank you for making this come true

And you better check Elisa’s new video for ‘Superstitious’. Track on her new album coming out through Drag City.

Reblogged from michaeltunk | Originally from michaeltunk

today’s scanner eff-up

Today we’re running series of posts about (and/or hijacked from the book Fancy Desserts, written by) Brooks Headley. Do enjoy.

I spent an hour with Brooks Headley a couple years ago when his band passed through the dining room of a restaurant I work at in San Francisco. The emails had been murky and puzzling: “a nine minute set, some time between three and five p.m.” There was no publicity and no specific start time. I didn’t realize people did that. Brooks and his band pulled up at three p.m. (as promised, which is impressive because they came straight from Tijuana). We moved some tables, bought some extension chords, and then it got very loud. The Chinese ladies continued their afternoon mahjong with ears half covered, and an audience of seven formed on the sidewalk.

The thesis of Fancy Desserts is in the foreword. It starts, “What you’re eating is actually the totality of the life of the cook…” And the recipes are full of heart, wisdom, finesse, and humor; they communicate savvy techniques and the logic behind them, which can help you accomplish making something look “simultaneously insanely elegant and totally stupid.” The rest of the book is like a culinary Matthew Barney exhibit accompanied by anthropological fables unraveling the human condition from the “BOH” perspective. Some of the morals: “That there is glamour to be found in in the unglamorous” and “That true hospitality is noble and selfless.” These pearls of wisdom communicate what it means to be a cook, and rather than come across as forced, Brooks pulls it off with the same humble and nonchalant flair as an impromptu punk show at Mission Chinese Food. —Anthony Myint, Mission Chinese Food

To read about the tour that brought Brooks to Mission Chinese Food, check out his travelogue from our Travel issue, now up on Medium.

Today we’re running series of posts about (and/or hijacked from the book Fancy Desserts, written by) Brooks Headley. Do enjoy.

Fried fruit (fritelle) was on the menu a few years back in what used to be the enoteca section of Del Posto, beside the bar near the front window. One Christmas Eve, a night we are always very busy and the stress levels are in the red, I nearly came to blows with Daniel, then the manager of that section of the dining room. Fried fruit was involved.

Daniel and I had conducted a series of heated screaming matches in the kitchen from 11:30 p.m. to 12:20 a.m. (Merry Christmas!) At issue: I’m an adrenaline junkie asshole and Daniel is a stubborn Italian from Friuli. Eventually, I refused to let him serve a fried fruit I’d finished and went to serve it myself. He blocked me in the passageway of the kitchen as I left, creating a wedge with his chest and his shoulders. I pushed against him with one forearm, outraged that a waiter would dare take on a chef. in my other hand was a plate of warm, cinnamon-drenched fritelle accompanied by soon-to-melt gelato. Flying fists seemed inevitable. The rest of the staff looked on, some horrified, some laughing hysterically. I would have gotten my butt kicked and been disgraced. But I wouldn’t have surrendered that plate. Finally, I moved past him (or he let me pass, whatever). Today, Daniel and I are friends, the near-fisticuffs a smudged, if comical, Christmas memory.

Apple and pineapples work wonderfully. Peaches in the summer are the absolute best. It should be a firm fruit. Apple rings are the most forgiving and nonconfrontational. —Brooks Headley, Fancy Desserts

Bread Crumb-Fried Fruit

Makes 4 servings

2 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
2 C (250 g) all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 C bread crumbs, untoasted
1 quart peanut oil
1/2 t (2 g) salt
1/4 C (50 g) sugar
1/2 t (1 g) ground cinnamon
+ extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

1. In a medium deep-sided saucepan over high heat, bring the peanut oil to between 325° and 350°F. 

2. In three separate bowls, place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs. Going one piece at a time, dredge the fruit in the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs and set on a plate until all the fruit is prepared.

3. Deep-fry the coated fruit pieces, turning occasionally. Don’t put too much stuff in at once. The fruit is done once it is golden and floating in the oil, about 3 minutes.

4. Remove the fruit from the oil and drain on a paper towel on top of a cooling rack.

5. In a bowl, combine the salt, sugar, and cinnamon.

6. To serve: Drop each piece of still-warm fruit into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, coat thoroughly, and serve immediately with a scoop of sorbet, gelato, or ice cream, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Photos by Jason Fulford & Tamara Shopsin

Today we’re running series of posts about (and/or hijacked from the book Fancy Desserts, written by) Brooks Headley. Do enjoy.

For the opening of the new Bastianich restaurant Orsone in Fruili, I had a real piece-of-shit gelato machine. As someone who puts ice cream on nearly every dish, I was crippled by this thing, which was one part stoned fat kid and two parts giant middle finger. It worked, but only when it wanted to, and then only with a massive chip on its shoulder.

My deputy Annie and I made flavored whipped creams rather than deal with that goddamn Carpigiani Quartetto machine (the name rankles my neck hairs still). It was summer, and we had amazing Italian apricots and not-so-hot Italian corn on the cob. For all the polenta consumed in Northern Italy, you would think you could find nice fresh corn. I found only weird, starchy garbage.

We placed the apricot pits on a dish towel and cracked them with a frying pan: It’s not a fast method, but it’s really fun, ominous, and gratifying. We extracted the bitter almond inside and used it to make a whipped cream. Excellent. It has a strong marzipan flavor, with a slight burn on the back end that feels illicit. We named it “pit cream” because all the official terms for what we were doing were French and boring. Hey, Annie, your pit cream doesn’t taste enough like nuts. We were working ­eighteen-hour days, and the low-­hanging-fruit comedy lobes of our brains were perpetually engorged.

The corn was inedible. It tasted like corn, but the kernels refused to break down as you chewed. So we stripped the cobs and soaked them in cream to make a corn stock. The cobs looked like chicken bones or chicken necks floating in the pot. But they infused the liquid with a beautiful corn flavor: a perfect match for blackberries.

On the second day we were open for service, an American tourist at the bar requested an Irish coffee. We had only the corn cream ready and whipped, so we went with that. The bartender didn’t return with a complaint, so I gather it worked out just fine. Not that I recommend using it in Irish coffees, or drinking Irish coffees at all. —Brooks Headley, Fancy Desserts

Corn Cream

Makes 1 1/2 cups

2 C (500 g) heavy cream
1 corn cob, stripped of kernels
1/4 C (30 g) powdered sugar
+ salt to taste

1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the cream. Add the corn cob, bring to a boil, and remove from the heat. Let the milk infuse on your countertop for 1 hour.

2. Strain the mixture through a chinois or fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Meantime, place an empty mixing bowl in the freezer until it is very cold.

3. Transfer the cold corn cream to the cold mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar and salt, and whisk until fluffy.

Pit Cream

Makes 1 1/2 cups

12 apricot pit nuts 
2 C (500 g) heavy cream
1/4 C (30 g) powdered sugar 
+ salt to taste

1. Fold the apricot pits in a sturdy kitchen towel and whack with a frying pan to break them open. Inside the pit there is a nut that looks kind of like an almond. It has a soft white flesh. Remove the flesh parts and discard the exteriors until you have 1/4 cup (50 grams). This is a labor of love. (Don’t eat these kernels, by the way. They are poisonous.)

2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the cream, add the pit nuts, and bring to a boil. Remove the mixture from the heat and let the pit nuts infuse the cream on your countertop for 2 hours.

3. Strain the mixture through a chinois or fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Meantime, place an empty mixing bowl in the freezer until it is very cold.

4. Transfer the cold pit cream to the cold mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar and salt, and whisk until fluffy.

Photos by Jason Fulford & Tamara Shopsin

As creatures blessed with opposable thumbs and access to sharp objects, one of the most important skills we can learn is how to shuck an oyster. We asked Tom Sancimino, the co-owner of San Francisco’s Swan Oyster Depot, to teach us how he does it. Check out our video to gaze longingly at one of the world’s best places for bivalves, and learn how to shuck them yourself. 

A Lucky Peach Bildungsroman: Walter Green, our art director, travels far and wide across the fine city of San Francisco to learn how to make a perfect martini. Watch his transformation from innocent colleague to strapping barman, and learn why you should be drinking martinis in your workplace, too.

Today we’re running series of posts about (and/or hijacked from the book Fancy Desserts, written by) Brooks Headley. Do enjoy.

At most three- and four-star restaurants in Manhattan, everything is very contained and formal. It generally is at Del Posto, too, but there are times when we like to let things be a little bit messy, a little bit out of control. So when we serve fregolotta, we smash it on the table and the pieces fly everywhere. It’s an Italian good-luck gesture. We bring out some cookies in hand-painted jars that a little old lady in Umbria made for us. We flip the jar upside down and drop the fregolotta so that it shatters all over the nice linen. It’s a Lidia thing—she calls it “confetti-ing the table.” —Brooks Headley, Fancy Desserts


Makes 6 large cookies

1 C (125 g) all-purpose flour
Zest of 1 orange
1 C (200 g) sugar
3 egg yolks
1/4 C (60 g) heavy cream 
30 toasted almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, orange zest, and sugar.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cream.

4. Slowly add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and combine by hand until you have a crumbly, textured dough.

5. Using a 4-inch ring mold, portion the dough out onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure to leave ½ inch between each. Press 5 toasted almonds into each cookie. Remove the ring molds. Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden. Remove to a rack to cool.

6. When the cookies are cool enough to handle, transfer them to parchment sheets, being careful not to break them.

To serve: Smash on a table and invite everyone to eat the shrapnel.

Photos by Jason Fulford & Tamara Shopsin

1 2 3 4 5 Next