Food is the substance that loops us together—everyone’s got to eat! New Yorkers, however, are probably the most fervent in regards to what constitutes “the best”. Points of contention arise at parties when someone dares to ask, “Where do you get the best pizza in the city?” The same goes for the illustrious carnival fare of hot dogs, knishes, pretzels, burgers and the growing number of gourmet truck offerings. People are thrown into a frenzy of choice, no matter if they’re visiting or have lived in the same Brooklyn apartment for 20 years.
Gotham’s bustling food communities are closely monitored by a battery of publications and Internet social networks that propel the eaters themselves into the position of restaurant critic, continuing the feeding frenzy. For a majority of New York residents, apartment living has its limitations, helping create another food community. Backyard space is rare, forcing Knickerbockers to go out to parks or to attempt to barbecue on their balconies and rooftops.
Dear culinarians, in this column I hope to guide you through the mire of the food world, away from the threat of misinformation, publicity stunts and gossip around the trough. I’m an out-of-focus esculent enthusiast from California who reads Escoffier like it’s Jane Austen, embracing the KFC Double Down as much as locally sourced Green Market and CSA vegetables. I take interest in the well-rounded culinary experience, the spectrum of diets and techniques as well as the people that instigate the rise and fall of New York’s food culture. We’ll discover new ways to describe the cravings, the sumptuous, unctuous and divine. Join me in my exploration of 5-borough cooking traditions, challenges, emerging personalities, trends and documentation of the particular way that Big Apple adventurers digest the world around them.