Our cooks in the Food & Wine Test Kitchen are superheroes. Every day, Marcia Kiesel and Grace Parisi troubleshoot recipes from our fantastic contributors—sushi from master chef Masaharu Morimoto, for instance. Marcia and Grace also create their own incredible dishes. For our blockbuster story "Art of Summer Cooking," they developed 21 recipes for the very best seasonal ingredients. I love the Thai chicken and watermelon salad, but honestly, it's impossible for me to choose a favorite, since each recipe reflects both a real understanding of the needs of a home cook and a curiosity about what's new.
I am not the only one to recognize Marcia and Grace's superhuman talents: They star alongside Spider-Man and the Green Goblin in a new culinary comic strip, created exclusively for F&W by Marvel. It's one of my favorite pages in this food-and-art issue.
Just as comic-book artists recorded Marcia and Grace's superpowers in ink, other illustrators, as well as painters and photographers, are showing a passionate interest in the world of food, too. You'll see the intersection of food and art in stories like "Gjelina: A Restaurant's Irresistible Party Dishes." Fran Camaj, the owner of Los Angeles's Gjelina, hosted a party in the restaurant's courtyard for his friends, family and staff, many of whom are artists. They ate the most delicious comfort food by chef Travis Lett—sugar snap peas with chile and mint, slow-cooked lamb with spiced yogurt, butterscotch pots de crème—while painter Jules Muck created a mural on the wall.
I hope you enjoy every art-filled page of this issue (we even had Kathryn Rathke illustrate my portrait above). But most of all, I hope the wonderful recipes inspire you to get into the kitchen and make the most of summer's peak ingredients before they vanish until next year. After all, as our Test Kitchen heroes prove when they vanquish the Green Goblin to protect a recipe for immortality: "No one should underestimate the power of good cooking!"
Where I'm Coming From: My Recent L.A. Expeditions
Second only to my fried-chicken obsession is my fascination with Peking duck. The version at Wolfgang Puck's new restaurant on top of the Ritz-Carlton is exceptional, with crisp skin and drippingly juicy meat.
Roy Choi's air-dried Chinese-style ribs were sticky-great with hoisin-chili glaze.
At the amazing pop-up spot LQ@SK, masterminded by Starry Kitchen's Nguyen and Thi Tran, I sampled teriyaki-rabbit albondigas (meatballs) from French chef Laurent Quenioux.
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