After a long, relaxing week in the sun of Florida, and some AMAZING dinners at remarkable restaurants, I’ve come back to the tundra of New England. Thank GOD we have good chefs here too.
My new favorite place in central Florida is the Ravenous Pig, in Winter Park. Aaagggh! Where to begin? We went on the night of a torrential downpour complete with tornado warnings, but that did nothing to squelch our enthusiasm for a good meal, nor did it seem to bother the wait staff at the Ravenous Pig. Smiles and warm welcomes greeted our wet visage at the door. Our table was waiting and ready for us in two minutes. The Ravenous Pig identifies itself as an American Gastropub. The decor is relaxed upscale, with white cloth tables, covered with white butcher paper. Noise level is moderate, music is acoustical and pleasant. Our server greeted us kindly and asked if this was our first time there? We must have looked like tourists 🙂
She told us about the place: chef owned and operated, mostly local, organic when available. Cocktail menu was creative, with many ingredients homemade. Mom and I had a Ward Eight, something she remembers from her young adult days. It was yummy with bourbon, homemade sour mix, grenadine and something else, I cant remember.
We told our server we liked to dine, slowly, and she graciously and craftily obliged. Appetizers were a House-made Charcuterie and Artisan Cheese board and Martha’s Vineyard Oysters….yes we traveled 2400 miles to eat Oysters from 60 miles away! The oysters were special, they originally were served with crab legs as well, but we don’t eat them crab legs, so the chef willingly made up a full tray of oysters for us. Very nice service!
Dinner, with a beautiful bottle of Pinot, was a range of meals: Grilled pork porterhouse with winter green gratin, Flat iron steak with truffle fries, Organic Irish trout and Speck wrapped monk fish.
We even had room for dessert!
Best. Meal. Ever.
Ok, so the real thing I wanted to blog about today was this new cookbook being published this month:
Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking
Hardcover, retail price $625.
Yes, not a typo. $625 for a cookbook.
Not any old cookbook, they tell me on Amazon , who by the way will discount the book to $467.25 (25%). This cookbook is a 2400 page, six volume set.
Written by the CTO of Microsoft (really?), a scientist and a renowned chef (I’m not sure I’ve heard of him, but I never claimed to be in with the James Beard crew), this tome delves into the science of cooking, debunking such myths as plunging vegetables in cold water stops the cooking process, and raising the grill doesn’t reduce the heat load.
Worthy to know? I guess. But really: $625 for this knowledge? I gather it will be accepted and used readily by the academic set, I’ve had some of my kids textbooks for college cost them this much. And of course Hyde Park has made space on its kitchen shelves for this bible.
For me, I would have to be assured lunch with the authors to spend that kind of money. Or at least a meal prepared by them. I’m easy like that.