Anthony Bourdain, host of the popular CNN series “Parts Unknown” left the world with a final and permanent sign-off June 8th 2018. I absolutely loved his show and the fact that he brought us all a little closer to each other just by sharing a meal. Anthony really showed us how much we all have in common through all the culture, diversity and cuisines he brought to us no matter where his location.
Bourdain was larger-than-life, an amazing chef and a fantastic storyteller. The news of his death shocked the world and according to CNN, the most common sentiment was “I feel like I’ve lost a friend”. I personally felt connected to Anthony, through his extraordinary way with words, his gutsy on-scene locations, and his edgy character.
His article in “The New Yorker” back in 1999 spoke volumes and I can definitely relate to it. The article titled “Don’t Eat Before Reading This” was about the secrets of working in a restaurant’s kitchen. “In America, the professional kitchen is the last refuge of the misfit. It’s a place for people with bad pasts to find a new family”, Bourdain wrote. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have a bad past. I worked in a few restaurants, starting in the kitchen as a dishwasher and moved through the stations. I can definitely say that I have come across some shady characters.
Now I love food and the relationships it brings to the table. Anthony’s work is incredible and plays a huge influence on my writing as well. I am sure that I can speak for all of my readers and pretty much everyone else. Anthony is sharing a meal in some part unknown to all of us and telling some amazing story.
We will miss you Anthony, your work will not be forgotten.
If you are debating between Chicago deep dish or New York’s slice, there really is no debate about whose pizza is the best. New York wins hands down. I’m not just saying that because I am a native New Yorker. There is nothing like a “slice” from the pizzeria.
There is something so yummy and delicious about a slice of NY pizza. What is it exactly? First, the best crust is thin, slightly charred on the bottom and a hint salty. When you fold it, it almost cracks up the middle but it stays together.
Then its the melted mozzarella on top of the sweet marinara sauce. The best slices are hot, dripping with oil from the melted cheese and crisp on the bottom.It really is the best bite of goodness. I know Chicagoans think their deep dish is the best, but lets get real. Chicago style pizza is a casserole not a slice. I like Chicago deep dish. It has all of the same ingredients, however the experience is different.A slice, served on a paper plate, on top of a piece of tissue paper for blotting or holding, with a can of soda and a straw, good cheap, fast eats. You can eat a NY slice on the go. You can’t eat deep dish on the go, you need a knife and fork. The crust is bready and chewy and you can’t hold it or fold it.
We can debate who in the 5 boroughs has the best slice, but we can all agree that a slice is a slice and there is nothing like a NY slice.
There are things that native New Yorkers know that transplants don’t like what “regular” coffee means, or what a “smear” is or a “black and white”. These are just some of the best things about New York.
I remember the first time I had a black and white cookie. It was first grade, 1977. Theresa Catina carried one in her lunch box every day. One day, she shared hers with me, splitting it against the grain, so that I had an even bit of black and white.
I was so excited I never had one before. That first bite was magic, I was hooked. Let me explain for those who are not native New Yorkers. A black and white is more than a cookie, its really more of a cake. The base is a yellow cookie/cake with a hint of lemon essence. Half the cookie is frosted with a white glaze the other half is frosted with a chocolate glaze. There is nothing else like it. Each bite is soft and chewy with a delicious sweetness.Everyone I know has a different way of eating a black and white. I am a chocoholic, I eat the white side first and save the yummy chocolateness for last, always the best for last. Some people prefer the white side, so they eat the black side first. Others just go for it and dig in. It’s The perfect cookie for sharing as they are the size of a desert plate. They are a NYC staple.
Next time you walk by a NYC bakery, not a cupcake place, pick one up and share it with someone you love or savor every bite for your self. They are worth the calories.