The year I decided to become a food writer (which was also the year I broke my journalism school's heart by not striving towards a career in medical or legal journalism) I stalked Jonathan Gold until I could corner him at a bar and ask him what I needed to do to make it happen. Stalking people in New York is a lot easier — no car.
He told me to start a blog and give a fuck about it. I took that advice very seriously, went home, learned Blogspot which you'd think they'd teach you in journalism school, and decided the first fuck to give was about sea urchin. I didn't know how else to take a food blog seriously, they were usually so lame. The first post seemed popular enough on Facebook, lots of comments arguing whether shotglasses filled with sea urchin, ponzu and sake were gross or delicious, so I followed it up with steak tartare. Most of my friends had tried the uni shooters with enough coaxing. But nobody would try the tartare, which was disheartening.
By the way, the name of my blog — Gourmet/Gourmand — was a tribute to both an entry from the AP Stylebook and the time I failed copyediting despite knowing these more obscure parts of the text and had to take it again over the summer.
I reproduced Anthony Bourdain's tartare recipe from the Les Halls Cookbook not even fathoming I could possibly end up working for the same company that produced No Reservations. And though I did some weird food stuff that year (the Valentine's episode of the cooking show I hosted on the Trojan Vision, Dorm Gourmet, was shot topless in an apron and yanked from air immediately), no amount of cajoling or Googling steak tartare's safety record would change my diners' minds. One of my friends actually said it would be better with cheese. While eating the whole thing myself, I assumed my career was toast…but not before I introduced everyone to burrata, which I described as "soft mozzarella surrounding cream of mozzarella packed in mozzarella sauce." Redemption. I was okay at this.
So today for lunch, consider the rarest of meats, that which is only very slightly cured by the acid in its binding components of olive oil, egg yolk, mashed anchovy and just the tiniest squirt of ketchup (we have had this discussion, ketchup is fine). Make it yourself, keep it well-chilled and maintain a French accent until you're done.
More questionable food for lunch on Food Republic: