About That White House Dinner

White House dinner

College football’s championship team, the Clemson Tigers, had dinner at the White House on Monday night, and we’re still recovering from it—mainly because the photos are so shocking. The grinning president of the United States presiding over a meal fit for … well … hungry college football players?

My Salad Days, When I Was Green in Judgment

It’s the new year so of course I’m standing in line at Sweetgreen waiting to order my salad. This despite a story in the Weekend section of the Washington Post warning us that many of those salads are rather unhealthy.

I Watched Mokbang Videos Because I Was Curious

South Korea food

South Koreans are really into mokbang. (I knew that line would get you to read on.) But it’s not what you might think—mokbang is a foodie video, in which people record themselves eating.

The Bombay Club Turns 30

Nalligosht

In 1961, Cecilia Chiang opened a tiny restaurant in San Francisco called the Mandarin. It offered authentic Chinese cuisine that attracted a devoted following. Victor Bergeron of Trader Vic’s fame was a fan. But more important was man-about-town Herb Caen of the San Francisco Chronicle. On the one hand he called it a “little hole in the wall.” On the other, he said it had “the best Chinese food east of the Pacific.” Seven years later the Mandarin moved to Ghirardelli Square—expanding from 65 seats to 300—becoming one of San Francisco’s premier dining destinations.

Joël Robuchon and the Quest for Perfection

Yesterday the French government reported that Joël Robuchon, the most Michelin-starred chef on the planet, had died from complications related to pancreatic cancer. He was 73. By most accounts, Robuchon was a tyrant in the kitchen, a madman obsessed with perfection, and a genius. Pete Wells of the New York Times breaks Robuchon’s career into two parts: the culinary wunderkind who, at age 36, received his first Michelin star after opening Jamin in 1981 (and the maximum three stars only three years later), and the seasoned veteran who opened L’Atelier de Joél Robuchon in 2003, not caring what those Michelin critics thought, and redefined high-end dining. (This whole gastronomic experience where customers can pay thousands of dollars to sit on stools around a bar while chefs cook what they want? You can thank—or blame—Robuchon.)

The Bloody Mary Garnish Gets Garish

Sobelman's Pub and Grill

The subject of today’s A-hed in the Wall Street Journal is the Bloody Mary garnish boom—and I’m not talking about four olives instead of three.

Cribs: Papal Edition

Pope Francis

“Benvenuto, giornalisti!” That’s how our group of journalists was welcomed into Vatican City last week. Previous participants on this pilgrimage were booked at the Paul VI hotel, but not us. For the first time we nonclerics would be staying at the Domus Sanctae Marthae—the home of Pope Francis.

A Taste of Taiwan

It was an honor to be invited to a dinner hosted by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (for all intents and purposes, the embassy of Taiwan).