Spanish Culinary Happenings

At a ceremony on November 22, 2012, Spanish chefs found out who was up and who was down in the Spain & Portugal Michelin Guide 2013. A total of sixteen new stars were awarded, including the long-awaited third star for Quique Dacosta, who responded to the news by saying he would begin the impossible task of working hard enough to earn a fourth Michelin star.

Andoni Luiz Aduriz let out the secret of his success at Mugaritz, the “Cuaderno Secreto de Mugaritz”, an encyclopedia-like notebook where he and his staff keeps records of their travels and gather inspiration for new creations.

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Male, female, gay, straight, legal, illegal, country of origin—who cares? You can either cook an omelet or you can’t. You can either cook five hundred omelets in three hours—like you said you could, and like the job requires—or you can’t. There’s no lying in the kitchen. Anthony Bourdain via Michael Ruhlman

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Rules For A Stagiaire

Compiled from the advice of friends in kitchens around the world:

  1. Head down, mouth closed.
  2. Work clean, work fast.
  3. Pay attention, takes notes. You are here to learn.
  4. Be the mise en place fairy.
  5. Do not touch a cooks mise.
  6. “oui, chef.”
  7. No “war stories.” See rule 1
  8. Ask to trail. Ask where you can be of help.
  9. Prep, Sweep, Wipe, Shut up.
  10. If you are ever so lucky as to get to work the line; wipe, garnish, send it!
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Album of the Year

As I approach the end of my thirty-fifth trip around the sun, I have the urge to mark the occasion with a little look back at my life so far. Towards that end, I am working on a series of little posts about silly (or not so silly) things about me and my life.

Here we have a sort of “life in music” list. One album for each year I have been alive, based on how much I still listen to the album now. This is not so much a “best of” as a “best loved”. There are most certainly more “important” or groundbreaking or representative albums for music in general, or your favorite genre for almost every year listed. These are my favorites, the albums I listen to most often.

This was a surprisingly hard list to make. While there were several years (1976-1979) where it was obvious what album I would choose since there were only one or two to choose from, there were many years (1989-1991, 1994, 1997, etc…) where to narrow down the releases to even a few I loved was pretty hard, and picking a favorite had me resorting to flipping coins.

1976 – Ramones – Ramones

1977 – Grateful Dead – Terrapin Station

1978 – Patti Smith Group – Easter

1979 – Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

1980 – Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

1981 – Brian Eno & David Byrne – My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

1982 – Misfits – Walk Among Us

1983 – Cocteau Twins – Head Over Heels

1984 – Minutemen – Double Nickels On the Dime

1985 – The Jesus and Mary Chain – Psychocandy

1986 – Chumbawamba – Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records

1987 – The Cure – Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me

1988 – The Pogues – If I Should Fall from Grace with God

1989 – Nirvana – Bleach

1990 – Fugazi – Repeater + 3 Songs

1991 – This Mortal Coil – Blood

1992 – Rollins Band – The End of Silence

1993 – Phish – Rift

1994 – Jeff Buckley – Grace

1995 – Radiohead – The Bends

1996 – Outcast – ATLiens

1997 – Roni Size & Reprazent – New Forms

1998 – Bad Boy Bill – Bangin’ the Box, Volume 3

1999 – Moby – Play

2000 – Apoptygma Berzerk – Welcome to Earth

2001 – Sinéad O’Connor – The Black Album

2002 – Ugly Casanova – Sharpen Your Teeth

2003 – Dropkick Murphys – Blackout

2004 – Rise Against – Siren Song of the Counter Culture

2005 – Elbow – Leaders of the Free World

2006 – My Morning Jacket – Okonokos

2007 – Band of Horses – Cease to Begin

2008 – Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip – Angles

2009 – Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More

2010 – Brandon Flowers – Flamingo

2011 – Adele – 21

2012 – Ben Howard – Every Kingdom

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Bonnaroo 2012 By The Numbers

For the first time in my Bonnaroo career, I attended 2012 as a volunteer, which means I worked off my ticket doing jobs that didn’t require the skills of a paid staffer. In exchange for this work, I got my ticket for free, a free meal a day, unlimited free showers and better camping than I have had in past years. I will certainly be doing that again! will be posting pictures and thoughts later, but in the meantime, here are some quick numbers/statistics/factoids/anecdotes from the show.

NOTE: All figures are guesses, estimations, or hearsay; others are taken from my personal experience:

  • Average High Temperature: 82F
  • Average Low Temperature: 60F
  • Volunteer Hours Worked: 19
  • Minor Medical Issues Treated: 50+
  • Nights in a Tent: 6
  • Liters of Sulpherous Water Consumed: 68
  • Approximate attendance of Bonnaroo: 85,000 attendees + 15,000 in staff, vendors, etc.*
  • Bands Seen: 25
  • Times “Jambushed”: 2
  • New Friends Made: 8
  • Pictures Taken: 183
  • Conversations with Buddhists or about Buddhism: 5
  • Level of glee (on a scale of 1-10) of watching the sun come up while Umphrey’s McGee covered AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”: 12
  • Airbrushed Breasts Seen (Pairs): 8
  • Number of creepers with cameras lurking around the fountain taking pictures of breasts (airbrushed and otherwise): 20+
  • Percentage of frat boys on serious hallucinogens who were unnerving and/or dangerous: 100%
  • Times Glenn Danzig acted like a complete tool during his show: at least 3
  • Times Glenn Danzig was made fun of by other bands for acting like a tool: at least 15
  • Number of Phish shows seen lifetime after Sunday’s Festival Closer: 124
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The Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders. Some years later, eight of the ten Commandments were reformatted as a poem titled “Anyway” and hung as a sign on the wall of Shishu Bhavan, the children’s home in Calcutta run by Mother Teresa. Slightly modified to better fit my tastes, here they are:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do try to help them.
Help people anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten by tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

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