Recently I got a chance to meet Tanya Steel the Editor-in-Chief of Epicurious.com. We talked a lot about the site, the problem of hunger in America and even got a chance to visit a food pantry, one of the innovative programs of the San Francisco Food Bank. I also got to ask her about a couple of things on my mind:
There is more interest in food than ever and yet it seems Americans aren't in the kitchen. What's keeping people from cooking?
Time. I come home like every other person and I have 30 minutes at most to get dinner on the table.
But a huge generation of Americans has grown up not cooking and not seeing their moms or even their grandmothers cook. A lot of people who might even enjoy cooking as a hobby haven't learned how to integrate it into their lives. Many baby-boomers don't know how to cook--how to truss a chicken or baste a turkey or roll out a pie crust. At Epicurious we're adding technique videos, so people can take their laptop into the kitchen and learn how to do it.
What's happening on the East Coast in terms of trends?
In NY the breadth is so magnificent. Indian is a huge trend "nuevo-Indian" starting with what's happened at places like Tabla. The French and Italian thing has ebbed. Spanish has ebbed too. There will always be a market for that though. But Southeast Asian is still ever evolving with fancy decor and cocktails. The other thing is hyper-specialization like dessert bars.
Perhaps things aren't as different in Bay Area as they are in New York! Check out recent additions making a splash in our local culinary scene Junnoon, and Poleng Lounge.
Over at Bay Area Bites is part one of my interview with Tanya Steel where you will learn all about Epicurious