Today marks the release of the annual food issue of The New Yorker. As usual, the table of contents includes myriad food-related pieces, highlighted by Calvin Trillin's take on Canada's national dish, poutine (audio here), Adam Gopnik's musing on cookbooks and why we use them, a cartoonist's video sketch of Carnegie Deli, Mimi Sheraton's great Baumkuchen search, and Heston Blumenthal's ramblings about duck.
Only a few are available for online perusal, but probably most notable for our purposes here is John Colapinto's piece on dining with a Michelin inspector. Supposedly the first time Michelin has allowed a journalist to tag along (ahem: "by far the most salient sign of Michelin’s new openness"), the article recounts a dinner at Jean Georges while delving into the world of the French red book, from its long history to the actual New York inspector (dubbed "Maxime") to the almost silly CIA secret nature of the inspectors.
Frank Bruni, Daniel Boulud, and Eric Ripert all share some thoughts as well, but most notably, Tim and Nina Zagat both make cameos too, leaving a few bitter quotes. Says Tim:
"Usually, the experts—for example, the major critics for the major papers—you know what their background is. But this business of making a virtue out of not knowing? I question it. How are you supposed to judge their expertise if you don’t have any idea who they are?”As it stands, Colapinto recounts the entire background of "Maxime" and the Michelin hiring process, but above all, he continually comes back to the ultra-secret reputation that the Michelin brand is really, really pushing lately.
· The Food Issue: Table of Contents [The New Yorker]
· Lunch with M. [The New Yorker]