• Given the looming, drunken specter of St. Patrick’s Day next Tuesday, we’d have been shocked not to see a cover story on Irish food in today’s Good Eats section. Bill Daley delivers on schedule, but insead of bogging down in the usual corned-beef-and-cabbage rut, he takes a look at what’s really going on in contemporary Irish cuisine. Much like contemporary American, the focus is on hyperfresh ingredients prepared to maximize their inherent flavors, but there’s dissent about how much liberty to take with the old recipes. To add wasabi to mashed potatoes, or not to add? What the heck, it’s green.
• Daley again, on the wine beat, but instead of drinking the stuff he’s tracked down Matthew Lew, a Chicago-based artist who paints with the stuff. It’s not just a bloody barolo flung up on the canvas — he mixes the wine into his paints, in order to imbue his landscapes with “a sense of place.”
• JeanMarie Brownson suggests that if we’re making dinner tonight, we make squash risotto with ginger and smoked gouda. We suggest that JeanMarie Brownson is our favorite person in the world for suggesting that.
• Tonight is the premiere of NBC’s Chopped Chopping Block, and Monica Eng interviews the show’s host, British chef Marco Pierre White. A classic “bad boy” (he’s the proto-Ramsay, having mentored the other vitriolic chef back in the day), he’s surprisingly tame in the interview, talking lentils at home and that he hopes his show will help parents cope with a chef in the family.
[Photo: Ireland, via]