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Russ Parsons

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About Russ Parsons

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  1. That is really interesting, isn't it? At least I think so. Even a bunch of people, like me, that know nothing about fashion or fabric or sewing or garment composition can look at those clothes and reach a pretty common agreement as to what looks great and flatters the body and what is awful. i think it's a bit different ... like Top Chef, I do think there's something compelling about watching talented people (variously, admittedly) being pushed to do their best. i like the glimpses of the thought processes and how the ideas evolve, though that seems to be getting a bit shorter shrift this year than in the past.
  2. i'll swim against the current: it's possible that it's the age of the rice, but if it's vacuum-packed, i doubt that's the issue. and having made hundreds if not thousands of risottos (risotti?) with arborio, vialone nano, carnaroli, and even baldo, i believe that the differences in the specific type of rice used is pretty much a matter of nuance -- vialone nano makes a soupier risotto, carnaroli is a bit creamier and arborio is somewhere in the middle. i'm afraid the problem sounds more like technique. It sounds like you're coddling your risotto, cooking it over too low heat. risotto takes a higher heat than steamed rice ... there should be a nice "whoosh" of steam when you add the first ladle of stock. here's a refresher course i wrote a couple of years ago.
  3. you kids, all spoiled with your chile roasters and all. when i was a lad, we used to have to buy chiles by the bushel and then take them to the local bakery, which would cut back on breads for a couple of weeks and devote their ovens to roasting peppers. the one i used (can't remember the name ... on Central in ABQ, just east of Old Town) would collect the excess chile juice from the roasting and knead it into their bread and so for September-October, you could get white bread that was hot enough to make you sweat. and Hey! You! off my lawn!
  4. chuck berry, of course (although i suppose it could be hard to tell him from his millions of imitators) bbking: whiskey and lemon jerry reed (way underrated): whiskey and transams mark knopfler ... sweet ringing sound. waylon jennings ... that chicken scratching style Albert Lee
  5. personally, i've almost always enjoyed my meals upstairs more than the ones at the main restaurant. maybe that's just me, but their cooking seems to be better when it seems more effortless.
  6. Hmmmm. Of course, Julia was 10 years younger than Paul. So there may be some exceptions.
  7. I edited some of the first internet food boards for Prodigy back in the mid-90s. I then was part of Chefs and Cooks on the Internet. Then EGullet and Chowhound and now mainly Chowhound (anonymously) and MF. I sometimes shake my head at all of it, but it's been a lot of fun. I am probably a little different than the typical board member because I really don't care about other people's opinions about restaurants and food, though I am always pitifully grateful for real information and thoughtful analysis.
  8. I'm not sure how Julia felt about being childless. That was a topic that never came up, though she certainly enjoyed other people's children. The first time I introduced my daughter to Julia, she was about as blase as only a 14-year-old meeting her parents' friend can be. That changed about a week later when she greeted me at the door with "Dad, dad, you know that chick we met in Monterey? She was on Rosie O'Donnell!" Julia got quite a kick out of having been referred to as a "chick". I do know that she and Paul had a very full life and were devoted to each other. Paul's infirmity and, to a slightly lesser extent, death, were defining moments for her. In fact, I remember a very poignant moment when we were having dinner with a (male) friend who was getting ready to marry a much younger woman. Julia counseled strongly against it, saying something like "you won't want to leave her all alone when you're gone."
  9. hmmm, actually i thought that was a pretty good piece of writing.
  10. Thanks all. I agree with Rich. If it wasn't for the Julie parts, the piece could have become a costume drama. they added resonance, annoying as teh character may be (and I'm sure julie powell in person is not nearly like that).
  11. Thanks for your patience. Hated to have to play coy, but that's the way the business works. Here's the piece:
  12. She had her reasons and I think they were perfectly valid from her point of view. and no, it wasn't the swearing.
  13. it's a terrific movie and, not to be a big tease, but my column Wednesday will be about it and about the backstory of why julia didn't like the blog.
  14. again, robyn, church and state is not fine dining and it wasn't intended to be. it's like folks who go to bouchon and claim that they don't understand what all the thomas keller fuss is about. it's supposed to be very simple food that you can eat several times a week ... there's simply no comparison with bazaar (though the traditional side of the menu would be more like it).
  15. it sounds like you might also have mistook the restaurant's purpose. it's not fine dining, it's a bistro in a really bad neighborhood (well, not the immediate block it's on). price is adjusted accordingly ... i don't know if there's anything over $25 on the menu and most under $20. Charcuterie, flatbreads ... those are the kinds of things you should expect at that kind of restaurant. I do agree with you about the foie gras with jelly ... tasted like concord actually.
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