Victorino Matus

Time to Revive the Roast Chicken

Cooking a whole bird is easy—plus you might not have a choice

Last October Michael Ruhlman came out with his latest cookbook, From Scratch: 10 Meals, 175 Recipes, and Dozens of Techniques You Will Use Over and Over. For years the bestselling food writer has been urging us to cook more for ourselves because it's healthier than eating out. From Scratch just happened to be his latest plea. It's a gorgeous book that weighs a couple pounds and is priced at $40, appealing to those of us who tend to mess around in the kitchen. Five months later, that would be all of us.

Solving the Beer Crisis

We once did keg stands. Now let's stand up for kegs.

kegs beerThere was an outpouring of grief when the Wall Street Journal ran the headline: "A $1 Billion Problem Is Brewing." Or at least there was an outpouring of grief from those of us who love beer. For when the pandemic shut down bars, restaurants, arenas, and stadiums, it cost the industry $1 billion and about 10 million gallons in lost suds.

Former College Tour Guide Reveals All

Let me tell you about meal plans!

Georgetown UniversityThere's a very interesting piece in the Atlantic by Adam Harris on the college tour guide experience. Or at least I found it interesting having been a tour guide myself. In fact, Harris spends time with Jaydon Skinner, a Blue and Gray tour guide at Georgetown University—I was one too, albeit 27 years earlier.

The Case of the Disappearing Editors

We few, we happy few…

editor writerA few years after I joined the Weekly Standard, then-literary editor Joseph Bottum asked if I was more interested in writing or editing. I said the latter. I never wrote for a school paper and only had a few clips at the magazine. Over time, I hoped to gain the confidence to make writing a full-time occupation. But until then, editing would be my safety net, allowing me to hide behind other people's bylines, looking for typos, grammatical errors, and eventually matters of style. Bottum gave me all sorts of advice, sharing various tricks of the trade, and went on to explain how he stole the hands off Healy's clock tower in Georgetown. Did I mention this was at a bar?

Review: Ruth Reichl’s ‘Save Me the Plums’

She ate, she wrote, she conquered

Ruth Reichl /For Ruth Reichl, one memoir is not enough. Her early years were covered in Tender at the Bone. Then came her career as an L.A. Times food critic in Comfort Me with Apples (where she also confesses to infidelity). In Garlic and Sapphires she chronicles her stint as the New York Times's often incognito restaurant reviewer. For You Mom, Finally grapples with Reichl's relationship with her mentally unstable mother. And now there's Save Me the Plums, which covers Reichl's tenure at Gourmet—right up to its untimely demise.

In Defense of Fredo

The hapless Corleone wouldn't threaten to throw someone down the stairs

Fredo The God FatherThe Internet has erupted like Mount Vesuvius (oh!) over the viral video of a guy calling Chris Cuomo “Fredo.” Needless to say, the CNN host did not take this lightly.

The View From Behind the Bar

If Basic Books continued its Art of Mentoring series—Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Chef by Daniel Boulud, Letters to a Young Conservative by Dinesh—anyway, we could’ve used a Letters to a Young Bartender by Derek Brown. I recently interviewed the bar owner at his Columbia Room outpost in Washington, D.C. And while I had questions about his new book, Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the World, our conversation turned to practical issues like the dry Martini.

Low Art on the High Seas

Amy Chozick has a piece in the New York Times about the mental decline of pop artist Peter Max and how his son has allegedly been exploiting him since the onset of his dementia a few years ago. The artist would enter a room above the Shun Lee restaurant on the Upper West Side where lesser artists were "churning out art in the Max aesthetic: cheery, polychrome, wide-brushstroke kaleidoscopes on canvas."

‘The Quintessential American Drink’

Review: 'Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the World' by Derek Brown with Robert Yule

cocktailsPrior to a conference, I was at a hotel bar with a colleague who had just turned 21. When the bartender came to take our order, I asked for a martini up with olives. My friend, on the other hand, said, "Long Island Iced Tea." The bartender promptly asked for his I.D.

The Need for Speed

Test-driving an Aston Martin in the worst traffic ever

Spotted Cars SC:FacebookThere are guys who do this for a living. They slink into the leather bucket seats of a $150,000 sports car without the slightest hint of concern. (In March, the Wall Street Journal's Dan Neil test drove the McLaren 600LT Spider, valued at $256,500.) But when I step into a 2019 Aston Martin Vantage, all I've got is concern: What if I scratch it up? What if this hand-assembled masterpiece ends up in a ditch? What if I embarrass myself like Pete Campbell trying to drive stick in Mad Men? (The Vantage turns out to be an automatic.)