Wednesday, January 14, 2009

40 Ways to Love Lunch

Just because the expense-account lunch is largely a thing of the past doesn't mean that you can't still enjoy the meal, even celebrate it. Instead of depending on the kindness of menus, use a little homespun imagination.

Thinking outside the lunch box is probably the best way of getting anything good inside it.

In the comfort of your own kitchen, you can compose a lunch that's tasty, well-constructed, a bit off the beaten PB&J track -- and, most important, portable. Imagine that you're packing a picnic.

Lunch is more fun if you think pragmatically. You don't have to have seen Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life" to know not to pack items that might pose a health risk. Avoid fragile things like delicate cookies and, yes, potato chips. Don't dress salads in advance -- carry a container of dressing separately -- and don't pre-cut fruits or vegetables that will brown or dry out -- pack them whole and include a paring knife.

Even if you use a Thermos, don't include items that need to be served very hot or very cold. And think about how the components of the meal work together over time: Very few dishes taste better when they're soggy.

One that does is a pan bagnat, a pressed baguette sandwich that actually gets better the longer it sits. Take a tip from bakers and South American street vendors and make a batch of empanadas, a tasty one-dish meal enclosed within whole-wheat pastry. Or use a Thermos and have hot soup for lunch.

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

After dark in New York: Chef Daniel Boulud reveals his favourite places to dine

After dark in New York: Chef Daniel Boulud reveals his favourite places to dine

Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud has some great New York eateries of his own. But where does he dine out?

Interview by Andy Lynes
Sunday, 28 December 2008

I've been living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan for a little over 25 years. I was born in Lyon and first came to New York in 1983 to work at the Plaza Athénée on Madison and 64th Street. Now my kitchen at Daniel restaurant backs on to the kitchen at the Plaza Athénée; that's how far I've travelled in a quarter of a century.

I live in an apartment above Daniel, 20 steps above my kitchen, but I don't hang out in the local neighbourhood too much. Whenever I want to go out for a drink or a bite after work, I jump in a cab.

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