Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My lunch with Gael Greene

I met the legendary New York food critic for lunch in NYC in May 2006, at Momofuku Noodle Bar. We made the date after I interviewed her for a story in The Commercial Appeal about her book "Insatiable", the first chapter about her close encounter with Elvis. Seems that fling-a-ding-ding help launch her food writing career.

This wasn't just any lunch, either. We were standing on line (to use the New Yorker verbage), and bumped into a few people I knew through the Southern Foodways Alliance and Calvin Trillin rode up on his bike. I flipped! Somebody, please take my pic with Calvin Trillin.

Turns out he was meeting Randy Fertel for lunch, I know Randy through SFA, his late mother launched a little steakhouse chain you might have heard of: Ruth's Chris. Randy is a tireless champion of preserving food stories in his support of an annual documentary made by the Southern Foodways Alliance. (I got to see behind-the-scenes action on the making of "Whole Hog" a couple of years ago, and thrill to see it premiere to a wildly appreciative audience at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley.)

So, long story long, we all sat together along the communal tables at Momofuku and shared nearly everything on the menu. Calvin Trillin gave me a bite of his ssam!! Hot damn! (Shameless fan alert!) Even the camera shy Ms. G agreed to have her pic taken with me. I can't imagine a more memorable meal.

Fast forward to last week when I found Gael Green's new Web site on, and reached out. We chatted over email, and she asked me to submit a recipe. Up it went on one of her daily briefs. So cool this global village. Check out her site:

No comments: