Racking up the miles and the calories is part and parcel of this job, and I confess: I love it. Not all weeks are like this, but this was mine.
Monday: Tremont 647 chef Andy Husbands celebrated a recent trip to the New Orleans Jazz Festival by cooking up a multicourse “Big Easy” dinner, which included fried chicken with buttermilk dressing, crawfish jambalaya, crab and black-eyed pea salad, soft-shell crab etouffe, slow-roasted pork shoulder, and fried pickles. Yeah — the pickles were fried and they were good. Marissa, Moria, Megan, and me (I know “me” is not proper grammar, but I like the alliteration) washed it all down with hurricanes and Sazeracs, and we managed to toss beignets and chicory-coffee custard down our gullets, too.
Tuesday: Had trouble getting out of bed to attend meetings most of the day in New Hampshire, and I mostly behaved, foodwise.
Wednesday: Met Stella and Carl from Boston’s WCVB’s Chronicle to shoot a segment on great local hot dog places. (All will be revealed on the show July 8 at 7:30 p.m.) I ate some good doggers. I ate a lot of ’em. Some with habenero sauce, some with mayonnaise, some with sauerkraut, some with kimchi, some with chorizo (yup, a hot dog with added chorizo — hot dog heaven), some boiled, some grilled — not a clunker in the bunch. Afterwards, I really needed a liedown, but I had to go to the market and then meet friends at the Boston Harbor Hotel to watch the “White Heat” swing orchestra perform live on a floating stage. A warm summer night watching men in white dinner jackets play great music, with Boston Harbor as a backdrop and good friends around — what could be better? My pants were too tight from the hot dog adventure to let me dance, but I did have a nice night. Came home and made gazpacho, because…
Thursday: Crack of dawn, I was on the road to Portland to shoot 207. I made gazpacho (check out the current issue of Yankee for the delicious recipe, or click here to watch) — a lot of chopping so early in the morning. On the ride home down I-95 South, I couldn’t help but stop to get a hot dog at Flo’s — it was on my brain and they’re soooooo good. Again, probably should have napped, but I went to a fantastico party that night to celebrate Regan, Sophie, and Jo’s new company, the Moxie Agency. These stylish gals took over a South Boston penthouse and let us all know who’s who in Boston. What a view, what a gathering.
Friday: We packed the car and headed to Duxbury to visit the oyster kings at Island Creek . From pinkie nail spat to edible wonders, Skip, Shore, and Mark took us through the process of oyster farming — fascinating and delicious. They took us out to their acres of ocean beds, put on waders, and were pulling oysters fresh from the water, shucking them on the gunwales of the boat, and handing them to us. Carl brought rose champagne. I fluctuate in my religious beliefs, but if there’s a heaven, it might be something like that. I even remembered my sunscreen.
Saturday and Sunday: Foxwoods. A new MGM Grand hotel has gone up, and with it have come loads of new gaming tables, a huge concert hall, and great dining. I lost money, but ate well at Shrine and CraftSteak. I missed dinner at Michael Schlow’s Alta Strada, because Al Green and Gladys Knight ran overtime, but that alone is reason to return — Schlow can cook.
Monday: It’s a new week full of new adventures — off to NYC for the NASFT “Fancy Food” show…