Every single day, i try to have some kind of food or wine adventure. When I wake up, I think about what I’m going to eat for breakfast, as well as what I’ll have for lunch, dinner and a snack. And I make sure to include something I’ve never had before. This is a little obsessive, I know, but I live for it. For those of you who also like to experiment, this issue provides a guide to exciting new tastes—not only for tomorrow’s meals, but for the entire year! Some of the things I’m dying to try: fantastic Chardonnays from Oregon, as good as some of California’s best; Bison Meat Loaf; and Chinese Noodles with Cockles and Pork. And I’d love to go to Beijing—not for the Olympics, but to drink Champagne at the Rem Koolhaas-designed Mandarin Oriental’s bar and to meet up with our partners creating F&W in China, our first international edition.
After putting together this list of the 100 best recipes, travel hot spots and drinks for 2008, I can’t resist sharing a few New Year’s predictions. Americans will continue to recognize the importance of local and organic food, and we will make even more sustainable choices. So take a look at this issue’s recipes for amazing heirloom Maple-Glazed Beans, pasture-raised Spicy Roast Chicken and wild American Creole Shrimp with Garlic and Lemon. This will also be the year when craft beer steps out of wine’s shadow—distinctive, complex beers like those from Russian River Brewing Company and Allagash Brewing Company will convert any wine snob. We will take incredible trips, guided by food experts, to places like France and Italy; Middle Eastern spots like Abu Dhabi and Bahrain will also be on our radar.
To ring in the new year, I’m going to follow another trend—I’ll drink wine made in France by a top American sommelier, Richard Betts, and then I’ll dig into the delectable fondue he serves with it and imagine tasting my way through the rest of F&W’s remarkable list.
Where I’m Coming From
Notes from my recent expeditions:
New York City
Had divine roast chicken with sweet-potato salad and hazelnut butter at this great new restaurant and food market. 54 Carmine St., Manhattan; 212-255-2100.
New York City
Loved the homemade cavatelli in sage brown butter with slices of spicy sausage at this cozy Brooklyn spot. Took home a can of their custom-blended spicy olive oil imported from Sicily. 457 Court St., Brooklyn; 718-403-0033.
Still thinking about the unlikely but brilliant combination of bluefin tuna (maguro) with goat cheese, pumpkin-seed oil and black pepper at Tyson Cole’s Japanese-American restaurant. 801 S. Lamar Blvd.; 512-916-4808.