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The Best Long Reads of the Week, From Daniel Boulud to Downton Abbey

A roundup of worthy weekend reading material.

Daniel Boulud.
Daniel Boulud.
Zoltan LeClerc/Getty Images

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Lucky Peach

It was the scariest thing in my life up to that point: I'm opening up a vegetarian restaurant in Napa with a yoga studio. Am I going to embarrass David Kinch? Is he going to disown me, is everyone going to laugh at me? All the things running through my head. I wanted to make David Kinch proud, and I wanted to represent him well.

America's Most Relentless, Fun-Seeking, Demanding, and Revered Chef: Daniel Boulud
Bon Appétit

If you spend enough time with Daniel Boulud, at one point or another you will almost certainly end up acting like one of his assistants. It may, for instance, be 2 a.m. and you'll be trying to extricate him from a smoke-filled party on the Lower East Side, and you just know that if he makes the ten-yard trip across the room to retrieve his jacket, he'll bounce from conversation to conversation with as much chance of making it back to his starting place as a beach ball at a rock concert, meaning there's no way you're leaving for another hour. So you get the jacket for him.

Letter of Recommendation: LaCroix Sparkling Water
The New York Times

During a morning meeting, I noticed two of my younger colleagues clutching cans of LaCroix. I later realized that they were rarely seen without them. Initially, I thought it was one of those food-­as-­personality things, where otherwise dull people develop an "obsession" with something ostensibly exotic — typically Nutella, Sriracha or Fernet-Branca —­ and pass it off as a quirk. But the first time I cracked one open and took a swig, I understood. LaCroix sparkling water is absolutely delicious.

Inside the Powerful Lobby Fighting for Your Right to Eat Pizza

For the pizza lobby, even better times may lie ahead. Fresh and frozen, the pizza industry tends to support Republicans. In the last two election cycles, Republican federal candidates received about $1.3 million from the industry, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics of major companies and those listing "pizza" in their name. Democrats received just $157,000. (The biggest beneficiary was 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, despite published reports that he pulls the cheese off his pizza.)

On ‘Downton Abbey,’ Beware the Fish Mousse
The New York Times

The series has traveled from 1912 to 1924 over its five seasons, and Ms. Heathcote said that the art directors were careful to take note of social changes and kitchen innovations, like food mixers, refrigerators and Pyrex. "Food was highly fetishized at the beginning, with those extraordinary ice creams and jellies and decorated food made with aspic," she said. "As the series moves on, it gradually moves away from that, but it is still quite complicated, with mousselines and the edges of the plates decorated."