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Le Plat du Jour: Monday March 26, 2012

Back from a weekend jaunt to Yosemite, taking my 86 year old grandmother (who doesn’t look or act a day older than 26!) for the first time. More on Yosemite dining later this week. It’s not Paris, but it’s also not like camping. O.k., well, you can camp at Yosemite and eat freeze dry scallops, but I’ll take the Ahwahnee route instead.

This final Monday of March, the debates over Julia Moskin’s excellent article two weeks ago on cookbook ghost writers. Many celebrity chef-“authors” have fiercely denied these claims including Gwyneth Paltrow and Rachael Ray. Then Moskin fires back in defense of her research. Back and forth we go. Today more and more sniping and griping. It seems to be we all sort of agree, the celebrity chefs don’t write all of their cookbooks.

When I first read the article I had no idea what controversy would follow. I figured that chefs did not always write their books, much like I’m sure they always cook what you see on TV. What, you don’t think Emeril cooks everything on his show? What is important is that the people who do the work, get the credit. If some intern really wrote half of a cook book and tested all the recipes for some celebrity chef, then that is every bit the intern’s book as the celebrity chef. It’s only right.

Here’s a list of the best restaurants in the world most of us will never go to. Generally any list from a private jet lifestyle magazine in conjunction with NexJets will probably be lavish and expensive. Interesting how similar it is to the San Pellegrino Top 100, except that latter’s #1 Noma in Copenhagen, isn’t even in the top 20.

It’s great to see Paul Kahan, the very talented chef behind Blackbird, The Publican, and other restaurants and markets in Chicago get some attention. Laboring behind the giant legends of Grant Achatz and Charlie Trotter, Kahan was virtually unknown outside Chicago and the intense national food community until recently. I still am hoping to make it to Chicago soon to sample his restaurants, but I take my Dad’s word that Kahan is sensation. He describes his dinner at Blackbird last year as one of the best of his life.

Finally for this Monday, I will pass on my wisdom acquired from the weekend to jazz up the always exciting Monday afternoon.

http://banditwines.com/

Wine in eco friendly juice boxes ladies and gentleman. You can buy them at the Wawona General Store in Yosemite. I didn’t try any sadly. I can say though I am not the biggest Franzia wine out of the box fan, unless the choice at college party is that or Keystone Light.

Maybe they’ll be good…who says wine needs or bottle or cork? They’ve already proven the glories of screw tops…

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