Interweb Cookery: Chow's Obsessives

Interweb Cookery: Chow's Obsessives

Dana Velden
Jan 12, 2009

It's not too much of a stretch or too much of a risk for me to admit that I'm a bit of a food geek. I love all things that have to do with food and cooking. Witness the tottering pile of cookbooks on my bedside table or my endless roving of the Bay Area's farmer's markets or the clutter of bowls and platters spilling out of my kitchen cabinets or the, seven kinds of sugar in my pantry. Words like 'larder' and 'kohlrabi' and 'until al dente' make me happy just reading them.

So it's no surprise that I also love's Obsessive video series. These are my people! Read on for a few highlights from my favorite episodes.

There are 15 Obsessive features on and I've enjoyed all of them. From the demure yet ardent June Taylor on making marmalade to the uncompromising Chris Cosentino, chef of Fan Francisco's Incanto on all things offal, these people are indeed committed, passionate and yes, rather obsessed.

After watching these clips, I am always inspired, energized and itchin' to get in the kitchen. I am also grateful for all the time, education, effort and care that each one brings to their obsession. Below are a few quotes from some of my favorites. By the way, each episode is divided into several short clips, so to be sure to stay with them all until the end.

Nach Waxman owner of the famous Kitchen Arts and Letters in New York City on cookbooks: "Cooking is going to be lost, quite honestly, if people just do recipe following. It's like painting-by-numbers."

Arno Holschuch from the Bay Area's Blue Bottle Coffee on not buying pre-ground coffee: "You should know why it's better to buy coffee fresh, grind it at home right before you make it and put it in a French Press versus buying coffee at the grocery store that has a fancy label on it, grinding it there, and then going home and putting it in your drip maker. You should know why there's a difference there."

Shinmin Li on her wedding cakes: "I wake up in the middle of the night and I'm be short of breath and I think 'I've got to go back in the kitchen' because I've just thought of what I have to do."

Anthony Mangieri of Napoletana in New York City on his pizza: "...That we really don't compromise, that we really do care and that we're not trying to get anything over on anybody. It's the truth. It's not done in anyway but with love...and a little bit of anger."

Lance Winters of St. George Spirits' Absinthe on his first attempts: "I started eleven years ago. The first batch was completely undrinkable; drank it anyway."

(Images: Chow)

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