A delicately floral-scented cocktail with a smooth, creamy finish, and the heady kick of gin, the Ramos Gin Fizz is the perfect drink for a Southern femme fatale.
Invented in 1888 by Henrico C. Ramos at the Imperial Cabinet Saloon in New Orleans, the formula for this drink was a closely-guarded secret for many years. But when the saloon closed in 1920 under Prohibition, Henrico's brother, Charles Henry Ramos, shared the recipe with the public in consolation.
"They're Alice B. Toklas. It's her recipe. She wrote a freaky cookbook."
In I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! (1968), worlds collide over coffee and cake. Returning home after a long day at the office, strait-laced lawyer, Harold Fine (Peter Sellers), gets a surprise visit from his fiancé and parents. Afraid his overnight guest (Leigh Taylor-Young) might still be in the apartment, Harold is relieved to find a note on the kitchen counter: "I decided to split—made you some groovy brownies."
Donuts have long been an American staple, but in 1934 they hit the big time when they were billed as "The Hit Food of the Century of Progress," and churned out to the masses by up-to-the-minute machines at the Chicago World's Fair.
Every family has its own way of prepping garlic. Some, proud of their knife skills, wouldn't be caught dead with a garlic press; others - the specialists - go for the high-end uni-taskers, swearing by the Zyliss Susi 2.
In Goodfellas (1990), mobster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) recalls his days in stir, where Paulie (Paul Sorvino) developed a method all his own: "He was in a year for contempt and he had this wonderful system for doing the garlic. He used a razor and he used to slice it so thin that it would liquefy in the pan with just a little oil. It was a very good system."
We finally saw Ratatouille - a mere two months after it opened. After we got over our fascination with how real the rat fur looked (tiny bristling hairs!) we were just as transported as every other critic by the kitchen action. We liked the tiny attention to detail, like the cartouche laid over the ratatouille as it cooks, and the Rube Goldberg-esque coordination of the rat kitchen crew.
We were also touched by the role of nostalgia; we may be biased, given our mission, but we felt like we saw the ultimate triumph of the home table over the finest restaurant meal. We wanted to run home and make the simple and elegant concluding dish. Fortunately a few others have...
A James Bond movie is nothing without champagne, and so it only stands to reason that any good James Bond spoof needs a silly scene where corks get popped.
Fortunately Casino Royale (1967) rises to the occasion. In this early satirical take on the Ian Fleming novel (remade with a straight face in 2006), Peter Sellers (below) plays Evelyn Tremble, one of a small army of agents assigned by the real James Bond (David Niven) to impersonate him: driving fast cars, dallying with beautiful women, assassinating spies, and, of course, drinking champagne.
This is going to sound odd. But of all the food seduction scenes in movies, this one’s our favorite. While the elegant picnic innuendo in To Catch a Thief (“a leg or a breast?”) and the racy dinner-table antics in Tom Jones (lobster, chicken, and oysters) are both standout classics, the strange, subtle poignancy of baby carrots on a plate in Rushmore (1999) deserves a romantic category all its own.
In honor of this month’s theme of Escapes, it’s time to think outside the movie theater, beyond the living room sofa, and get out onto the grass! (For inspiration, here's Kurt Russell busting out of an abandoned movie house in Escape From New York.) Beginning tonight and all the way through Saturday, the Central Park Conservancy will show a different movie each night (details here). It’s a mixed bag, but the common thread is each movie features a scene in Central Park.
But what about the food? Bloomberg’s providing free popcorn, but with gates opening at 6:00 and “curtain” time at 8:00, you might find yourself getting a little hungry. We want to hear your favorite movie picnic suggestions, but to get the ball rolling, here’s a little something in the spirit of each film:
Was director Billy Wilder a kitchen renegade? Maybe. Let's take a look at the evidence so far:
We've already witnessed Sugar Kane's (Marilyn Monroe) cocktail improvisation in Wilder's 1959 classic, Some Like It Hot (1959). When the sultry singer can't find a shaker, she re-purposes a hot water bottle to mix Manhattans on the run.