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StephenB

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  1. Simply Ayzen on upper Wisconsin Ave has a laudable array of Asian foods. I'm waiting for a purist to say that one place can't produce Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese, etc. food -- certainly not with distinction. But for my taste, I appreciate the variety and the ability to hop around. Anyway, a lot of the food is either raw or lightly cooked. Here's what I had a couple of days ago: Vietnamese Spring Roll deep fried minced chicken, bean thread, and mushroom roll Shumai : Chinese steamed crabmeat, minced pork dumpling Tokyo Ginger Duck light fried boneless duck, mushroom, in gravy sauce Sea Food Ho Fun In Gravy chinese stir fried rice noodle, seafood with chinese broccoli in gravy Miso Ramen japanese egg noodle with roasted pork in soy bean flavor And here's what I'm set to have the next time aroud: B.B.Q. Roasted Pork Lo Mee malaysian egg noodle stir fried with roasted pork Sushi & Sashimi Combo sushi : tuna, flounder, salmon, shrimp, and roll, sashimi : tuna, flounder, yellowtail, and salmon Mee Krob : (Thai) sweet and sour crispy noodle Thai Spicy Salad mixed of cucumber, tomato, onion, chili in fresh lime juice choice of beef, shrimp or tofu (vegetarian)
  2. Mary, thanks so much for your kind note. I have been under the weather and not going anywhere. I wish I could gl to the picnic, it looks wonderful. --Stephen

  3. The story was more of a testimonial than an interview. 60 minutes, which is ostensibly part of the network's news division, didn't allow for the possibility that the food at Minibar would be mediocre or unpleasant. This is the sort of story that used to be handled by Morley Safer with much more savoir faire. Don Hewitt would never have allowed such an uncritical look at a so-called trendsetter. The question of whether a spoonful of foam can legitimately be called "a course" never came up. Anderson Cooper, a Yalie, threw in Andres's Harvard connection as some sort of amorphous catchall endorsement, but what the chef is doing in acadmia was completely unclear. While it is true that I have never eaten at Minibar, and the possibility exists that I would be bowled over by it, this story did nothing to further that possibility. It was a disgraceful piece of celebrity journalism with an uncharismatic celebrity, and may be a portent of the new product-oriented emphasis of television news.
  4. And Germany, too. This is what it looks like after passing through Google Translation: ---------------------------------------------- Roam these K?'s Chef, Peter Chang has hei? T and specializes exclusively on the K? Surface of Sichuan Province. Chang go? Rt when the evidence of his Anh? Ngerschar can trust the Spitzenk?'s On this planet. However, there is a problem: The man is always found. Before f? Five years, he spotted John Binkley, a retired economist, the good Chinese K? Che loves, and he hit him immediately with skin and hair. At that time, the maestro had a unauff? Lliges restaurant in the St? Dtchen Fairfax, Virginia, the "China Star" here?. And one day he was, as it is so his style has disappeared. Only a year sp? Ter dipped his food in "TemptAsian", an equally unauff? Lliges premises in Alexandria. On the Internet had l? Ngst formed a gourmet club, who tried to keep pace with Peter Chang. In his new / Cafe, so black? Rmten Chang specialists who succeeded him his fried fish with gr? Nen onions as good as ever ( "a plate, with the Tradeshow? Was nnisch fried vollgeh uft?? Berst? ubt with Kreuzk? MMEL, curved? nt of chopped ginger, fried parsley and weight? rfelten chili peppers, served in a woven bamboo bag "). But then Peter Chang was one day pl? Additional gone again - until it was in "Tasty China" hired in Atlanta. His admirers John Binkley However you followed him? Ndlich there too. He was begr of his favorite cooking with hearty hugs? T. A few months sp? Ter fell Binkley, however, that the food in "Tasty China" had become stale. In addition, the photos no longer hung on the wall, which showed Chang in the company of his prominent admirers. No doubt, a culinary genius, the "master of Kreuzk? MMEL," had again verd? Nnisiert. For weeks the fans on the Internet remained perplexed. Ger? Chte emerged, the maestro would demn? Grows in the area of Washington, pitch his tent, but they proved Unlimited nds?. Two years ago, Binkley, finally found his idol in "Hong Kong House" again - in Knoxville (Tennessee). Various theories are circulating on the Internet, why Peter Chang as h changes? Ufig its location. A more psychological interpretation is that not a man to deal with success k? Nne: Once he had established themselves somewhere, it would also help him again too much. Others speculate that the ignorant take him to the spirit with which he sits in? Resembled Done? Ft must grapple:) For example, people to whom its courts are too severe weight rzt? (In Szechuan pepper gives it a little bit more tuned . Or maybe Peter Chang flees from anything? Is it the mafia on their heels? If he has problems with the Einwanderungsbeh rden? In one of those periods, when Chang was traced, was blogged on the Internet: "The hunt for Peter Chang continues. The only question is whether we find him, before La Migra (the Einwanderungsbeh? Rde) does. If yes, are we adopt him to marry convert, in short, we will do, n what? is tig. " One idea is the Anh? Not yet come nger of Peter Chang in their endearing innocence: the man k?
  5. This reminds me of somone, somehow, somewhere: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCvz8y_DUSY
  6. Why is bruschetta listed but not maraschino?
  7. Here’s the solution: Steve Wynn opens Chang Dragon at the Bellagio. In the land of celebrity chefs, our guy would thrive. No more strip malls. It’s amazing what big bucks can do. A multi-million dollar investment gets you a large room, modern equipment, imported spices, a well-trained multilingual staff, and a procedure for taking reservations. The place is an international draw which is what Las Vegas loves. Everyone’s surprised at how many people book a table from China. Reservations are available six months in advance and traded on the market. You can cash in a today reservation for $600 in play money. Hours of service are limited. The restaurant is closed on Mondays. Chang has a fulltime interpreter just like Ichiro Suzuki. Recipes are shared with sous chefs and other staff members who are sworn to secrecy. Chang himself is legally bound by an airtight contract. The Suzie Wong dress shop in the lobby goes nuts.
  8. In the interest of adding to and revising the record, here is part of my reply to Trillin after we went to Charlottesville and he asked what I thought were the chances of Chang's lasting tenure there: So -- what i didn't take into consideration was the madness that broke out. Whatever motivated Chang's peripatetic behavior in the past, no one could have dealt with the new tsunami.
  9. It's sad, very sad. The worst thing is that the jig is up wherever he goes now. The cat is definitively out of the bag. As one who is partly to blame, I hang my head.
  10. Anna, nice typing. Now let’s read what it says. Your first quote refers to a contest. There must be variation in any contest, or else everyone would be tied for first. When there is variation, there is individuality. If authenticity were codified, you wouldn't need a chef. So the contest cannot be judged on a rigid notion of authenticity, only on what succeeds, and that is a subjective judgment. Your second quote refers to a conversation I had with Mr. Trillin in which we were listing various theories to explain Chang’s vagabond behavior. In the passage you cite, Trillin considers the backlash American customer theory, which I offered only half seriously, and, sensibly, dismisses it.
  11. The Slate piece by Jonah Weiner is based on a false premise. Neither Trillin nor Kliman discuss the authenticity of Peter Chang's cooking. They just say it tastes good.
  12. Its time to puncture the myth of Peter Chang and his so-called cooking. First of all, his real name is Barry Horowitz and hes writing a book to be called, How I Fooled the World into Thinking I was a Chinese Chef.* He pretends not to speak English because his Brooklyn accent would give him away. He moves around because his day job is as a hot dog vendor with a circus, and so he goes where the Big Top goes. His followers are various ringers parolees, Scientologists and desperate housewives. What he doesnt know about cooking would fill a book. Most of his concoctions come from Swansons, which he gets at A&P, leavened with generous amounts of Louisiana Hot Sauce and orange-flavored rice. By the time people catch onto his scam, hes already packing up. *Look for it in October, Public Affairs Books, Foreword by C. Trillin, $22.95.
  13. More like a Yogi Berra saying -- you know which one.
  14. Are you ready for a hearty laugh? This is from the mid-Atlantic Chowhound board:
  15. Calvin Trillin suggests in an e-mail that the time is ripe for an august critic to make the trek to Charlottesville and reveal what simpletons we all are and how Peter Chang really doesn't know a wok from a jalapeño.
  16. Todd Kliman's crazy, delightful piece in the Oxford American is also about Peter Chang, but in no way travels the same territory that Calvin Trillin does. It's interesting that the OxAm was able to get a quote from the editor of The New Yorker on the coincidence of the two articles. God save us from the crowds that will inundate Charlottesville now. But I'm thinking the hordes may not drive Chang away -- only accelerate his move to franchising, which would, luckily for us, include Fairfax.
  17. For the record, here is part of a note I sent to Calvin Trillin a year and a half ago at a time when the whereabouts of Peter Chang were unknown: <<I am moved to tell you about Chef Peter Chang who cut quite a swath through Washington a couple of years ago on his way to god knows where. Chang is reputed to have been the chef for the president of China, a major hotel in Beijing, the ambassador to Washington, and then (this I can certify) at three restaurants in this area, and then one in Marietta, outside Atlanta. On each occasion, he received over the top reviews and consequently hordes of customers, and then disappeared. No one, including his last stopover in Georgia, has any information (to share) on where he is now. There are various theories to explain all this — trouble with la migra, with his wife, with the proprietors of the places he was working at, but the most likely seemed to me that he just couldn't bear the screaming traffic. I met him on a couple of occasions and beyond the language barrier I could see that he was a shy and deferential man. (A group of us tried to work our way through the menu on Summer Tuesday afternoons.) So the story is a mystery with psychological implications, international intrigue and of course a central theme of richly satisfying food. My prediction would be that your reportorial skills will quickly enable you to discover where he is and then … won’t tell. That mysterious conclusion would be all right with many of us who are almost as fascinated by the story itself as we are by the astonishing dishes he prepared.>> There have been many communications since then, but that got the ball rolling.
  18. Not enthusiastic about the food? You need to read the paragraph on p.29 that begins, "There was equal concentration..." As for the mystery of Chang's moving about, I will simply say that if there were a simple explanation, there wouldn't be any story. Trillin says the reasons Chang offers are as complex as his cooking.
  19. Kudos to Tom Seider, a law student at UVa, who has made his own independent discovery: http://www.lawweekly.org/?module=displaystory&story_id=2788&edition_id=143&format=html
  20. The March 1 New Yorker is now available. It should be in stores today. Online, the Calvin Trillin story is restricted to subscribers.
  21. In December, I asked if there were anyone here who had specific memories of the excitement generated by Chef Peter Chang when he cooked in three restaurants in Northern Virginia a few years ago. I received no useful response. (pandahugga and johnb were already in the loop.) Now I can reveal that an article by Calvin Trillin on the crowd that followed Chang around, and our use of the Internet to do so, will appear in The New Yorker in the March 1 issue. By coincidence, another piece about Chang, this written by a local author, will appear in another excellent magazine on the same day. But beyond that, as Don Rockwell would say, I must keep the lid on. Stay tuned.
  22. Roast prime rib at the East River place -- Mattemashita!
  23. After lingering over "One Noodle at a Time" in the NY Times, which is focussed on Tokyo restaurants, I had a hankering for ramen, and stopped off yesterday with a companion at Simply Ayzen (a name heartbreakingly reminiscent of TemptAsian) in Chevy Chase. The Miso Ramen japanese egg noodle with roasted pork in soy bean flavor ($10) filled the bill. You could hear me slurp across the room. It was tasty and satisfying but perhaps not as sharp as I would have liked. And here's a gimmick: When I called to make a reservation and asked about parking, the woman on the phone said, "We will give you change for the meter." That turned out not to be necessary. There is also a sushi bar and a $10 lunch special, neither of which we tried.
  24. A Jesuit friend and I had a holy feast Thursday night: We started with clam chowder (for him) and sherried crab bisque for me. Then we split an order of blackened scallops. I guess they blackened them too much the first time, because there was a lengthy delay while they did them over. Then we both had the bertolucci cut, $28.99 (which I believe Michael has described as "calotte") and which comes with an enormous split bone bursting with delicous roasted marrow. The cleric had a couple of sodas along the way and we had cheesecake and key lime pie for finishers. That, plus coffee, tea, the obligatory hot choclate demitasse and of course parking, not to mention a healthy take home head start on my lunch today. The priest said he couldn't remember having a better meal. I doubt that the round collar made any difference, but I was pleased by the humility of the bill. Praise the Lord! And by the way, the place was teeming on a Thursday night. There was a crowd forming at the door when we left. The room in the back, described by the waiter as "the VIP section" has tinny acoustics, no tablecloths and uncomfortable chairs. They were nice enough to bring a cushioned chair from the other room when I requested it.
  25. I was there Friday (non RW) night with a couple of friends and we had a 4-hour dinner (7:30-11:30). Nobody rushed us. The service was courteous and restrained. I had the quennelles de poisson with lobster sauce (2 delicately flavored balls the size of spaldeens) and the boeuf bourgignon. In the latter, I think the wine was refreshed in the cooking because I felt a buzz from it. (I was thinking of the Julia Child version, having just seen the movie, but I cannot say how close they came to that.) I would comment that it was filling and satisfying and the noodles were fresh. For dessert I had the Savarin Aux Châtaignes, a chocolatey concoction. I had requested a corner booth so that we could hear each other talk, and that worked out well. Bistro Bis is an honest, upscale, unpretentious restaurant.
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