As the world speeds up, I feel increasingly pulled in two diametrically opposed directions. On one hand, I want to be plugged in to every nanosecond of news across every medium. But I also want to reconnect with a simpler time and find ways to pare back my choices in this crazy, info-zany world. In this issue, we looked at all the different ways to simplify our lives, which will hopefully leave us more time to float in the digital etheror just to dream.
To be reminded of old-fashioned pastimes, we headed to Wisconsin to hang out with L'Etoile chef Tory Miller and his crew for a robust game of broomball, followed by a delicious winter-white meal. Always one for theme menus, I'd happily re-create a few of those white dishes, especially the roast pork with fennel saladbut instead of playing outside in the cold first, I'd stay in my nice warm house.
In our quest to reach a travel destination seemingly untouched by time, we sent writer Emily Kaiser all the way to Laos to experience the authentic cuisine before it is lost to reinvention. The recipes she found were surprisingly easy and replicable, like the mixed salad with peanuts and crispy fried shallots.
We also asked our editors to divulge how they've simplified their own lives. In Trendspotting, Kristin Donnelly shares 20 must-have kitchen items, including my new favorite, the Spoonula (a hybrid mixing spoon and spatula). In Tasting Room, Ray Isle reveals the best wines made in large quantities, so they're easy to find in stores. The time-saving lessons from these two stories alone will give me many more hours to spend on Facebook, getting to know all of you.
To meet me in person (and also chef Bobby Flay) and check out events like the "Best Thing I Ever Ate at the Beach" dinner, come to Miami's South Beach Wine & Food Festival. February 2427; sobefest.com.
Where I'm Coming From
My Recent Paris Expedition
Chef Inaki Aizpitarte deserves his cult following. My favorite course on his set menu: the surprising tabbouleh of black radish with sardines.
I loved the fresh, uncomplicated dishes at this wine barrestaurant, like a juicy roasted guinea hen with perfectly cooked vegetables.
The magnificent blending of French technique, Asian aesthetic and international ingredients led to an extraordinary meal, with a different tea for each course.
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