Diana and Actaeon as painted by Titian. And a quote from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The hunter after filling the forest with blood looks upon the chaste goddess of the hunt, and in so doing seals his fate to become the stag his own dogs kill and eat. Consider the film below that The National … Continue reading Actaeon: “These violent delights have violent ends.” And they are served at the dining table.
Philippe de Champaigne’s painting Saint Augustine (1645-1650) presents the image of a burning heart in the theologian’s hand to emphasize his burning love of knowledge, truth and God. A smoking heart has much to do with a love of taste, and with that, a few words about taste from the Journal of René Redzepi: The connection … Continue reading Smoking Heart Of Love.
Houston like any city from Ur to Rome to Hong Kong tells its story through food and those who bring food traditions from around the world to their neighborhood. A Brief History of Houston Barbecue offers such a tale, one where I stir a barbecue sauce in my Houston Heights home and wonder, whose sauce … Continue reading More Alchemy And Travels Through Space And Time With Barbecue Sauce.
A maid and a cavalier look out at us from a 17th century kitchen in Pieter Cornelisz van Ryck’s A large kitchen still life with a maid and a gentleman. She’s scaling a fish and he’s pouring back some water or wine. Practices of a day and time, very much like today, though the clothes … Continue reading House Of Kitchens To Doctor Omelette: Cooking Strategies And Tactics.
The Magician (1952) by Rene Magritte where the fantasy of a human with four arms navigating table to mouth contains a question for our senses–is taste, along with our other senses, a fantasy, an illusion? This steak may not be a steak. We are familiar with questions about the veracity of our senses. They’ve been … Continue reading What Is Really In My Mouth? The Case For Cypher Over Socrates.
Such a sacred tableau in Pablo Picasso’s 1902 painting La Soupe. There’s a graceful, reverential bow on the part of the mother as she offers a bowl of soup to her daughter, who springs forward, ready to receive sustenance, ready to receive a gift. I love cooking soup. A small, crafted merging of nature and … Continue reading A Few Thoughts On Soup
This recipe begins with Joan Miró’s The Table (Still Life with Rabbit), 1920 with its mix of realistic details and slightly Cubist perspective, and a paragraph from Feeding Hannibal: A Connoisseur’s Handbook by Janice Spoon. On page 181, under the title “Pappardelle Sulla Lepre,” I read, In Contorno, Inspector Pazzi and his young wife, Allegra, … Continue reading Cidered Rabbit
My morning thoughts do not immediately turn to blood, but then I read an article by Katie Macleod which offers a wonderful observation of blood sausage and what we will eat when we’re young and what we will not in Blood for Breakfast is Wasted on the Young. And then, all my thoughts turn bloody. … Continue reading Blood In The Kitchen.
Sometimes they arrive without an invitation. As in Edward Gorey’s masterful The Doubtful Guest, having a door exposes you to knocks and bells beginning a doubtful process of hospitality. Maybe you had sent an invitation but then forgotten you had, and now as you’ve settled in for a quiet evening with a bowl of leek, … Continue reading The Dinner Guest
White to rose to crimson this cow tongue’s muscle, fat, cartilage, and bone draws our attention more as anatomy than food, but food it is . . . simmer for hours, smoke for hours, roast, sautée, stew. Why paint such a raw scene? Gustave Caillebotte’s Calf’s Head and Ox Tongue (1882) exemplifies an everyday reality … Continue reading Transforming Tongue: The Alchemy of Cooking (“True Detective” Style).