Food | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

JFK’s New England Fish Chowder.

Jun 4th, 2013 | Categories: Food, History | by Michael Williams

JFK (1)

Going through the John F. Kennedy archives I came across this recipe for New England Fish Chowder. Apparently, chowder was the favorite dish of JFK —pictured here sailing on the Presidential yacht Manitou near Hyannis Port, Mass. which was one of his favorite activities.

Could this be the beginning of an archival food section for ACL? Unlikely. But nevertheless it’s an amusing little piece of history. Someone please follow this recipe and report back.


Images via the John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, MA.

Sonoma’s Indie Scene | Scribe Winery

Mar 22nd, 2013 | Categories: Food, Wine | by Michael Williams


Scribe_Winery_02 Scribe_Winery_03
Part I of II.

My hypothesis was that the grounds of Scribe Winery in Sonoma provide an exceptional setting for an enjoyable lunch in Northern California. To find out if my theory proved true I challenged myself to make the trip up to the two hundred acre farm to eat and drink with founder Andrew Mariani and the rest of the Scribe camp. It was a tough assignment, but I’m very committed to the truth so I made the trip. I can say with certainty, that after extensive testing of the various Scribe wines throughout the property, it is indeed an outstanding experience.

If you are interested in wine and good food, do yourself a favor and visit Scribe at some point. Take your better half and visit for the weekend. I can assure you that it is one of the better places you will ever discover. If you belong to the Scribe Viticultural Society (their wine club) you can dine with the Scribe folks when you pick-up your wine. Much of the Scribe production sells out, so joining the SVS is a smart move even if you don’t end up dining at the farm.


King of American Swine.

Mar 1st, 2013 | Categories: American Badass, Food | by Michael Williams

Carl Blake, who has bred a unique pig, the Swabian Hall

Carl Edgar Blake II is on a mission to produce the most delicious pig in the world. It’s a bit of a strange pursuit, but I can think of a lot less appetizing adventures.

I came across this story in The New York Times about Blake’s quest to re-introduce the Swabian Hall pig, an old breed of swine that produces meat with a higher fat content than the everyday pork that Americans are used to. You’re thinking: Skinny pig? How does that even make sense? Well, in the pork industries quest to produce “the other white meat,” the fat has been systematically bred out of American pork. Luckily, Carl Blake has our back. Don’t worry, no one is getting skinny. Good Americans like him won’t allow it strictly out of principle.

What really caught my attention in the story was the video which wonderfully captured Blake’s no bullshit style. Oddly, and I know he is going to get pissed at me for saying this, but Blake reminded me of America’s most heroic graphic designer Aaron Draplin. It got me thinking fondly of Draplin and his diatribe about how “America is fucked.” Imagine if we got Blake and Draplin together in one room to put down a few cold ones and eat prosciutto? That’s a reality show I would watch.

Video after the jump.

Shopping Cleveland | West Side Market

Oct 14th, 2012 | Categories: Cleveland, Food | by Michael Williams

As a kid, my father took me with him to the West Side Market about once a week to accompany him as he made the rounds visiting his favorite butchers, bakers and produce sellers. The market has so much going on, so many things to see smell and taste, it was always an eye-opening event for me and it remains one of my most cherished childhood memories of Cleveland. Getting the opportunity to show off the West Side Market to a few friends that were visiting last weekend, the experience remains as great as it ever was. It’s good to know some things don’t change.

New York State of Mind | Ghurka x Eleven Madison Park.

Oct 9th, 2012 | Categories: Food, Made in the USA, New York City | by Michael Williams

One thing almost everyone I know can agree on is the fact that Eleven Madison Park is one of the best meals in NYC, if not the world. The fourteen year old restaurant recently underwent a bit of a reinvention under Chef Daniel Humm, transitioning to a unique set-up where the only option (lunch or dinner) is a New York centric four-hour tasting menu. The celebrated restaurant, which boasts a three star Michelin ranking and four stars from The New York Times, is on a mission to elevate an already great experience.

This reinvention is a bold move that actually reminds me of what is happening currently at Ghurka. The American leather goods maker which has recently been reinvigorated by its new ownership group and these days everything I see emerge from Ghurka is both well thought out and equally refined, this collaboration being no exception. In keeping with the theme of “made in New York,” Eleven Madison Park tapped Ghurka to produce a handsome group of custom leather goods for the restaurant (coasters, menu covers, placemats, check presenters, table reserved signs).

Discovering Those Who Make.

Sep 12th, 2012 | Categories: Food, Video | by Michael Williams

Short videos of people making things is nothing new around these internets. How many factory videos have I posted on this site? Answer: a lot. Does it mean that all of the attention to craftsmanship is slowing —not so much. And it is not dissipating because it is still interesting. People are also becoming more and more interested in actually making things —be it leather goods or food items. Small batch goods from small batch makers in towns all over the world.

The discovery of the tumblr Those Who Make came as a very welcome surprise. The site is sort of a catch all for interesting maker films — sort of like a regionally unspecific version of my Fuck Yeah Made in USA, but with a more open concept for food, consumer goods and all sorts of other interesting stuff. After looking through, I found some of the food / spirits films most intriguing and original. Maybe I haven’t been paying attention, but the culinary film aspect hasn’t been as front and center. With the exception of the Mast Brothers who must have had thirty shorts focus on them. I pulled out a few of my favorites, and added in a few other recent film discoveries that seemed to fit the same bill.

I should add that far and away my favorite film of this sort was made by The Smith (discovered via Devour) who profiled hunter / gatherer /cook Rohan Anderson —who could be the most badass man on the internets since Aaron Draplin crushed the world one slice of illustrator at a time. Watch as Rohan builds himself a smokehouse by hand, all with bacon in mind. It is a gloriously representative film for a mesmerizing movement that I hope continues to flourish.

Caught in Time | Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Aug 30th, 2012 | Categories: Food, Kate Dulin | by Michael Williams

Dim sum is one of those things that I always want to eat, but rarely do. Chinese restaurants in New York City with dim sum are madhouses on weekend mornings (when dim sum is typically served in the States), and it’s best to go with a big group in order to maximize pushcart access and dumpling variety. But rallying a bunch of my hungover, bacon, egg, and cheese-craving friends for anything but an American-style brunch early on a Sunday morning is never an easy task.

Thankfully, a friend of mine recently recommended Nom Wah Tea Parlor, where it’s totally acceptable to eat dim sum anytime, regardless of the day of the week or who’s coming along. Though new to me, Nom Wah is the oldest dim sum restaurant in the city and a New York City institution. It opened at 15 Doyers St. as a bakery and tea parlor in 1920, but lost its lease in 1968 and was forced to move into the building next door. It has been at 13 Doyers ever since.

Below: Pell St & Doyers Street circa 1901.