Monthly Archive for July, 2014

Podcast: Cooking with Illicit Substances

One more in the podcast bonanza! Whilst Masters of Social Gastronomy is on our summer break (we’ll be back next month with the history & science of soda) I give you ILLICIT SUBSTANCES.

On this week’s Masters of Social Gastronomy podcast, we’ll look at the culinary world’s experiments with illicit substances.

Let’s get high with the Victorians! From patent medicines to absinthe, Coca-Cola to laughing gas, we’ll look at all the forms of socially acceptable substance abuse during the 19th century.

Later, we’ll fast-forward to modern-day America, and explore the little known true history of the pot brownie. We’ll survey the range of altered-state culinary concoctions and see what both science and chefs have to say about creating the most effective epicurean euphoria.

New Blog: The Savage and the Sage

Salt-rising bread: it’s made with botulism!

Since January, I’ve been working with an intern, Jill Paradiso. She has been helping me with my book (recipe testing and research, amongst other projects). I have been helping her launch a food blog–which is now live!

Welcome to The Savage and the Sage! Jill is a divine technical chef; join her as she explores recipes that are bizarre (monkfish liver), complex (puffed beef tendon), and simply delicious (super easy sour cherry jam). And, like me, Jill loves the historical; so be sure to check out her posts on candied angelica, a historic ingredient in European confections, and salt rising bread.

Jill is continuing to work with me even though her formal term as my intern is done. She’ll be getting a huge thank you in my book for all the grunt work she’s done so far, but she’s also going to be one of my official recipe testers moving forward.

If you’d be interested in an internship opportunity at Four Pounds Flour, I’m looking for a new assistant for the fall. They’ll be more details posted here soon, but you can also send me an email for details. 

Podcast: We are SWEET on You: Sugar, HFCS, & Artificial Sweetners

Hey, hey! Another podcast from MSG! While we’re taking a break from our live shows these summer months, we wanted to give you something to tide your over. This week’s podcast is all about sugar & sweeteners! And we spend a bit of time talking about artist Kara Walker’s piece at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn. Today is the last day to see it, as well as the factory itself, which is being bulldozed to make way for condos. Get there before it’s gone!


This time on the Masters of Social Gastronomy podcast, we’re talking about **sugar and artificial sweeteners**

If you’ve ever crossed the Williamsburg Bridge, then you’ve surely noticed the towering structures of the defunct Domino’s Sugar factory. In this month’s MSG we’ll explore Brooklyn in an era when sugar was king, as well as take a behind-the-scenes peek at its modern day inheritor Sweet n’ Low.

But is giving in to our sweet tooth digging our own graves? Let’s break down the science behind the fear of sugar, from carcinogenic artificial sweeteners to the possible perils of that ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup.


Further Reading: Eat the City: A Tale of the Fishers, Foragers, Butchers, Farmers, Poultry Minders, Sugar Refiners, Cane Cutters, Beekeepers, Winemakers, and Brewers Who Built New York & Sweet and Low: A Family Story.