Blog Posts by Andrew Knowlton, BA Foodist, Bon Appetit Magazine

  • Fall's 12 Best Cookbooks

    The world needs another celebrity chef cookbook like I need another beet and goat cheese salad. Up until a few months ago I thought this was true (ok, it still is about the salad) but looking at the stack of upcoming fall cookbooks piled on my desk, it's clear that this is the best lineup I've seen in my eight years at the magazine. Grant Achatz's Alinea cookbook alone should excite you. Add in offerings from Adria, Ramsay, Keller, and Robuchon and you see what I'm talking about. The three I can't keep my eyes off of? The mind-boggling Big Fat Duck Cookbook from the radically inventive Heston Blumenthal; Ripert's behind-the-scene peak at Le Bernardin in On the Line; and Carmellini's Urban Italian. I still can't make pasta as good as Carmellini's, but at least now I can try. Here's the month-by-month releases (check out all 12 picks over at bonappetit.com). Which do you think will be this season's bestseller?

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  • The Next Big Ingredient: Sucrine Lettuce

    What's the culinary scene's next ramp? Is ricotta the new burrata? Grits the new polenta? Menu Spotting searches the country's restaurants, bars, and farmers' markets, revealing the next big ingredient coming soon to a plate near you.

    Brush up on your culinary vocabulary and skills with bon appetit's Tips, Tools & Ingredients section where you'll find all the info you need to get cookin'.

    The Ingredient: Sucrine Lettuce (aka Lactuca sativa)

    What: Rooted in the French word for "sugar," sucrine (sugar lettuce sounds better) is a smaller variety of romaine with soft, silky leaves, buttery texture, and, as the name suggests, a sweet-ish flavor. Chef Tien Ho at Momofuku Ssam in NYC describes it as a complex lettuce with bitter flavors on the finish that help cut the rich fat in the restaurant's crispy pig's head torchon. For David Kinch, chef at Manresa in Los Gatos, CA, sucrine reminds him of a cross between a Bibb/Little Gem lettuce with the structure of Romaine. "I really like sucrine

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  • The Burger Wars: Celebrity Chef Edition

    Love Shack Burger_484.jpgThe Dirty Love Burger at Love Shack, Fort Worth, Texas

    Was it the 2004 opening of Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas? Daniel Boulud's braised short-ribs-foie gras-and-white truffle-stuffed DB Burger (yours today for only $32)? Or was the high-end burger tipping point in 2000 when Ducasse-trained Sang Yoon opened Father's Office in Santa Monica? It's difficult to say exactly when it became acceptable for four-star, classically trained chefs to start flipping burgers, but the trend is, for better or worse, here to stay. Factor in the current state of the economy and rising food costs, combined with empire-building chefs eschewing fine dining, and you've got the makings of yet another burger boom. Are Boulud, Tourondel, and H. Keller (who says the French can't do burgers?) the new Kroc, Snyder, and Thomas of haute burgers? Can Craftburger be too far away? Here is a quick list of celebrity chef-driven burger spots around the country.

    What makes a good burger? One of BA's Project

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  • Peruvian: The Next Big Cuisine, Finally?

    Peru is considered by many to be the gastronomic capital of the Americas, and for good reason. It boasts 4,000 varieties of potatoes, 2,000 species of fish (that's the most in the world), and blessed us with Pisco, ceviche, and anticuchos (grilled skewered meats often including offal). But for at least 10 years, I've heard that Peruvian cuisine was the next "it" cuisine--and it never happened. At least not the way it did with gastropubs, regional Italian, or tapas. Perhaps what it lacked was an ambassador--a Batali of the Andes, if you will. Someone besides Nobu, who famously spent three years in Lima honing his trend-setting flavors, to introduce us to real, soulful Peruvian cooking. Could Peruvian celebrity chef Gaston Acurio be the savior? Judging by the way the media (Eater SF, SF Chronicle, 7x7), are covering the opening of his first stateside restaurant, La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, in San Francisco, it looks that way. But just to be clear, there are already a number of excellent

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