Sunday, April 3, 2011

Side Dish - what we're reading, eating and talking about . . . Gourmet Books, André's Wine & Cheese Shop and Bravo TV's Top Chef.

Andre's Wine & Cheese Shop's Sweet Pita Pie:
 Fig jam, goat cheese, salami, sundried tomatoes
Used book shops are a great place to pick up cookbooks for a fraction of their original cost. We came across a shop in Doylestown, PA, Central Books at 35 West State Street, that had a nice selection of relatively new cook books in excellent condition. I picked up a 1994 edition of Gourmet’s America published by Condé Nast Books. It was a bittersweet pick-up as it reminded me of how much I miss receiving the now deceased monthly edition of Gourmet Magazine. The website version is certainly worthy of its namesake print predecessor for content, but it lacks the tactile pleasure of the published version. I was shocked when I first heard of Gourmet’s demise and couldn’t understand the basis of Condé Nast’s decision to cease publication. At the time, Vikram Doctor wrote an excellent piece in the Economic Times breaking down the breakdown of the Ruth Reichl edited Gourmet. It’s still available online here and is a good read for anyone interested in the state of food journalism . . . While in Doylestown and  upon recommendation from our friends at Central Books, we stopped for a bite to eat at André’s Wine & Cheese Shop (22 South Main) . It was our first time at Andrés and we will definitely be back. The selection of imported cheese was excellent and we found the cozy atmosphere quite charming  . . . Finally, it’s not often that a cooking show makes you cry.  But as we watched the finale of BravoTV’s Top Chef All Stars , it was hard not to tear up at the emotional finale last week while watching Michael Isabella and Richard Blais bare their creative culinary souls and put it all on the line in their head to head battle. That such a long competition could be decided by such a small margin was extraordinary; it was not unlike watching two great marathoners simultaneously lean for the tape.  As devoted followers of the show we have declared this the best season yet. According to the ratings, we were not alone in our opinion.


  1. I love Top Chef and thought this season's All-Stars were awesome. I too cried when Richard won! He was my fav along with Dale and Angelo - who I still think is the best even if he is a little weird.

  2. Chris,
    I'm glad I'm not alone in my emotional reaction to the finale. Angelo made me uncomfortable, but he was talented. Dale started off cocky but I think this season humbled many of the "all-stars"

    My favorites were the top three girls, Antonia, Karla and Tiffany, they had great personalities and their food seemed so personal.

    I haven't seen the reunion show yet, it looks interesting.

    Already looking forward to next season.