The Last Supper with David

May 8, 2010

New York Times’ David Corcoran, who’s wonderful restaurant reviews have graced the “Old Gray Lady’s” NJ Metro/Dining section for 10 years.

My foray into food blogging has almost certainly had much to do with my respect and admiration for the newspaper writers, who’s level of reviewing standards I could never even try to emulate with any degree of success.

The print newspaper and magazine staff restaurant writer is a dying breed, one who’s role has had to change with the times, if not for the challenges that newspapers and  other periodicals must now face in competition with the food blogs and other new media outlets.

That being said, I am sad to see this occur, even if I am a willing participant and advocate in this change of focus towards the Web.

Perhaps one of my saddest moments in this realization was a happy occasion — having a wonderful Chinese dinner with a newspaper restaurant reviewer that I call a friend and mentor, who had told me that this meal would be his final review.

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The Halloween Bar-B-Q Mitzvah

November 1, 2009

The Bar and Bat-Mitzvah. If you’re Jewish, or have Jewish friends with kids, then you’ve probably been to one or even had one. Maybe even several or too many to count. And you know what most of them are like. Large, wedding-like catered affairs usually held at a catering hall, with standard chafing dish food. For entertainment, everyone dresses up in suits and dances the hora.

You’re supposed to attend and hold them because you have an obligation. Not necessarily to have a good time. For the most part, Bar Mitzvahs are a requirement for Jewish parents because every other parent is having a Bar Mitzvah for their children, at great expense. You can’t NOT have one if you have children 13 years of age.  If you’ve been invited to a Bar Mitzvah and you happen to be close family or friends, and you live fairly close by — within several hours drive — you pretty much HAVE to go.  That is the unwritten rule of Bar Mitzvah etiquette.

This last weekend I went to a Bar-Mitzvah in which I actually had a good time and I didn’t feel like it was a sense of obligation at all. Why? Because it broke every single rule in the Bar Mitzvah book.

For starters, the family holding it decided that instead of outsourcing the entire thing to a catering hall and spend God knows how much money in the process, they would cook virtually all of the food they would serve themselves. Second, they held it on Halloween, and encouraged everyone to come in COSTUME. Third, the parents doing the cooking are accomplished competition BARBECUE chefs and judges. Combine that, and you get …

The Jordan Keiles Halloween Bar-B-Q-Mitzvah!

The Bar Mitzvah boy, Jordan, upper left, inspects his cocktail party spread. The star of the cocktail spread in my opinion were the Apple wood smoked Salami and Bologna, which I thought was genius. Shown also are sushi rolls and Asian pasta salad. Click on the photo to enlarge.

Ready for an unconventional Bar-Mitzvah? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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