The hot seat is the favorite place to be for my Last Chance Foods guests, Sisha Ortuzar, chef of Riverpark and partner of the sandwich shop, 'wichcraft, and Zach Pickens, manager of Riverpark's Farm at the Alexandria Center on Manhattan's East Side. They are big hot pepper fans and brought a paper bag full of them to the WNYC's Studio 4.
You can't rile Thomas Wickham with the prospect of the Stir Fry. "So, what are you going to ask me?" he said calmly, as producer Joy Y. Wang and I corralled him into the Studio 4 hot seat.
The man's a farmer, and his family has farmed for generations. I got the sense that nothing phases him. Not even the unblinking gaze of the Studio 4 cat behind him.
Cookbook author Mindy Fox gives her take on some Chicago staples in this 60-Second Stir-Fry.
Community gardener Annalee Sinclair is no stranger to the hot seat. After all, she gardened in a syringe-infested abandoned lot on the Lower East Side, in the 1990s, when the neighborhood was a scary and violent place. Robin Shulman is also a cool customer. She should be. She wrote a book, Eat the City. I'm trying to write a book proposal of my own, and I know there is no pressure like a deadline.
So, bring on the lightning round of Stir Fry questions!
Jennifer Divello of Patty's Berries and Bunches in Mattituck, on Long Island, does a 'berry' good job handling the heat of the stir fry lightning round of questions. Okay, had to do that. It's been a 'berry' long day.
Whether you're looking for Jersey tomatoes, apples from upstate New York, or fresh fish caught off Long Island, you'll find it at the Union Square Greenmarket, the center of New York's regional food scene. And chances are the person selling you the food is an immigrant.
This Stir Fry is less "fry" and more "stir." Brooklyn Botanic Garden herb curator Caleb Leech and BBG Terrace Café chef Ariel Nadelberg were allowed a do-over of my lightning round of questions, after both were scorched by the heat of the hot seat.
This Associated Press story caught my eye last week. How could it not?
Hot dog, bacon and doughnut lovers can get all three foods in one cholesterol-boosting item at this summer's New York State Fair. The Big Kahuna Donut Dog tops the list of unusual items at this year's fair. The offering consists of a maple-glazed doughnut around a bacon-wrapped hot dog.
I had a bad food day Thursday. Not "bad" as in salad vs. cheeseburgers. (I don't think of food that way. It doesn't deserve such moralizing.)
I mean bad as in flavorless. Bad, as in, everything I ate today turned to sawdust in my mouth.