We're highlighting local and regional bloggers we think you ought to know about. We can’t be everywhere at once, so we look to these passionate eaters, cooks and writers to keep us tapped into every facet of the food world. Consider this a way to get to know a blog’s taste buds, because, well, you should. And if Jamie Shupak's face seems familiar, it's because you may have seen the Emmy-nominated reporter delivering traffic news on NY1.
Who: Jamie Shupak, of TV Dinner
Where: New York City
My rheumatoid arthritis used to be so bad in my hands - in particular my wrists and fingers - that I could barely cook. My knuckles were so inflamed they looked like giant red Gobstoppers. I'd still try, struggling to lift heavy pots and pans, prying open boxes and packages with my teeth, and most of the time I'd succeed. But it was exhausting, frustrating, and painful.
I grew up in a house where my mom cooked for my dad, two brothers and me almost every night of the week, so ordering in or going out all the time just didn't register with me. I've always loved the whole process of dinner time: from meal planning to grocery shopping, preparing and cooking, and then, naturally, eating. There's something so satisfying about creating a meal for someone you love.
Editor's note: Aktar Islam is one of Britain's premier chefs, specializing in South Asian cuisine. Born and bred in Birmingham, Islam's exposure to British cuisine and the strong influence from his Bangladeshi heritage have shaped his approach and unique style. He has won several awards including the BBC Great British Menu, and his restaurant Lasan won the Gordon Ramsey's Best Local Restaurant award.
Eid in the Islam household was always a very special occasion for me; it was when I'd get to see family and friends and, most of all, I could eat myself silly, gorging on amazing Asian food!
What sticks in the memory most was the build-up; this would begin several days prior to Eid - mum would be busy preparing the sauces and marinades which were invariably rich, vibrant reds and greens. The aromas emanating from the kitchen were so intense that our mouths watered in anticipation as our bellies simultaneously whined "are we there yet?"
This is the thirteenth installment of "Eat This List" - a regularly recurring list of things chefs, farmers, writers and other food experts think you ought to know about.
Everybody eats. We may all come from different places, belief systems, political affiliations and football divisions, but at least once a day, every last one of us puts food into our bodies to fuel us for the road ahead.
We also all suffer loss, both on a global scale and in the gut. At times like these, eating might seem like the least important, most impossible task on the planet, but it can feed so much more than the stomach.
A shared meal, a dropped-off plate of cookies or a raised glass can add a much-needed note of normalcy in an overwhelming time. As groups like Operation BBQ Relief and Team Rubicon speed toward Moore, Oklahoma to feed and assist tornado victims, here are eight stories of times when food helped people find a little bit of respite in a world turned upside town.
Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of barbecue across the United States. SFA filmmaker Joe York wrote this remembrance of pitmaster Ricky Parker after attending Parker's funeral on Wednesday, May 1, in Lexington, Tennessee.
They buried Ricky Parker yesterday. A few miles down the road from the cinder block pits where he cooked whole hogs for more than half his life, from the sliding glass window where he sold sandwiches, from the creosote-stained door where he hung the “SOLD OUT” sign every afternoon to let the latecomers know not to bother, they gathered to say they were sorry, to say goodbye, to say that they didn’t know what to say.
They dressed him as he dressed himself. In blue Dickies, a tan work shirt with a pack of Swisher Sweets peeking from the breast pocket, and his burgundy and brown ball cap resting on the ledge of coffin, he went to his reward. The only thing missing was his greasy apron. I imagine it hangs on a nail somewhere back by the pits where he left it.
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