Francis Lam, the features editor of Gilt Taste, is da bomb. First, he brought me a sample of the homemade tomato paste he so richly describes in this week's Last Chance Foods. Second, threw himself completely into treating the Studio 4 mascot like a live kitty, giving this Stir Fry a creepy, Halloween vibe. Too bad we weren't talking about pumpkins.
We were talking about tomatoes and how to preserve them. Lam dries his in the oven, but insists they are not sun-dried tomatoes. He is so opposed to the often oily, rubbery items that I had to ask him about them right out of the gate in the Stir-Fry lightning round.
What's the best reason to appreciate sun-dried tomatoes, Francis Lam?
"That the scourge of sun-dried tomatoes is over," he said.
Someday, someone will say that about yogurt.
Lam has no problem showing his hand when it comes to sun-dried tomatoes, but he claims not to have an opinion about the show "Top Chef Masters." He's a judge on the Bravo program. Flap your wings and repeat after me, Lam: bawk, bawk, bawk, ba-KAWK! Chicken.
He also equivocated on my question, stolen from an article he co-wrote on his blog on Gilt Taste, "Is it fair for chefs to cook other cultures' food?" The 60-second format requires a "yes" or "no" answer, but it's far more complicated than that. Follow the link to check out his conversation with Baohaus chef Eddie Huang.
That question could have derailed the entire Stir Fry, but it was my "favorite comfort food" question that had Lam speechless and struggling for an answer. It's a great moment. I won't spoil it by writing about it. You'll have to take 60 seconds to see it for yourself.