I Am Strong. I Am Bulgogi.

We had to leave...we're sorry.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  We were supposed to make bulgogi.  Together.  You and I.  But you had other plans.  You went to the outlet mall with your “friends.”  You shopped at Tory Burch and Chanel while I went shopping for london broil and kimchi.  It was all I could do not to cry while chopping the onions.

Sure my 40-year old friend Randy thought you were great.  You were a cute Korean exchange student from South Dakota. Who wouldn’t love you?  So naive and innocent with those big, dark eyes.

You’d never been to New York you said.  We were going to make bulgogi you said.  It was your favorite dish you said.  Was any of it true?

Because then you disappeared.  Like a thief.  In the night.  And after losing the keys to my house!

Sure you left a note.  Said you were sorry.   Said you were so ashamed you’d lost the keys you had to leave.  But what about my calls?  My pleas?  “Come back!” I cried.  “I’m not mad at you.  What about the bulgogi?”

But you didn’t return my calls.  All you did was leave me trinkets.  A plastic Korean drum on a key chain and a pair of chopsticks.  What am I supposed to do with those?

But it’s okay, because I’m strong.  Stronger even than kimchi.  And I figured out how to make bulgogi.  On my own.

I learned there are different ways to make it.  You can fry it in a pan.  You can barbecue it.  One recipe even called for Asian pears to sweeten and tenderize the meat.  But I decided to do it my own way, using oranges instead of pears.  Because I could. Because I wanted to.  Because it’s my bulgogi now!

That’s right.  I made bulgogi.  I made it without you.  And it was good.  And my friends liked it.  And you know what?  I’m going to make bulgogi again.  Because it’s a great summer dish.  And it’s delicious.  And I know now, because of what happened between us, I can survive.  I can make bulgogi on my own.  And because of that, I know I’ll be okay.

Bulgogi Without the Korean Girls (Who Went to the Mall, Lost the Keys to My House, Left Me an Apology Note, Disappeared, and Refused to Answer My Calls)

Serves 6


The dinner table set with bulgogi fixins'.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds london broil, thinly sliced

For Marinade:

6 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 scallions, including green, sliced on diagonal into 1″ pieces
1 yellow onion chopped into 1″ pieces
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon grated orange rind

To Serve:

1 head red leaf lettuce
5 cups cooked white rice
12 ounces kimchi (1/2 – 3/4 jar)

Directions:

1.  Whisk marinade ingredients in a small bowl.

2.  When sugar has dissolved, pour marinade into large ziplock plastic bag.

3.  Add beef and chopped onion to bag and, using your hands, massage marinade into beef.

4.  Allow beef to refrigerate at least three hours.  For more flavor, let marinade overnight.

5.  When ready to prepare, preheat outdoor grill.

6.  When coals are ready, remove meat from marinade and place directly on grill.  Optional: brush grill with canola oil to prevent sticking.

7.  Cover with top and allow meat to cook 5-10 minutes until tender and slightly charred.  Use tongs to turn meat over and cook another 5-10 minutes or to desired doneness.   Remove from grill.

8.  While meat is cooking, wash and dry lettuce, separate individual leaves, and place on plate.

9.  Place spoonful of rice on top of each leaf, top with  slices of meat and a spoonful of kimchi to taste.

10.  Wrap lettuce around meat, rice, and kimchi.  Eat and enjoy!

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Ten Commandments of the Couchsurfing Cook

In my last post I skewered (humorously I hope) the gluttony of food blogs currently devouring space on the Web and questioned the utility of adding yet another filler to the mix in the form of the Couchsurfing Cook.  Given however that I seem to have, perhaps unwittingly, plunged into the foodesque, food-ish, blog-like-thingy, I have no choice now but to attempt, at least if I want to look myself in the mirror each morning, to distinguish this blog from the others being offered up for public consumption, or at least keep it sufficiently entertaining such that people don’t come to question the meaning of their lives or wonder whether their time on this earth was well spent by having wasted another perfectly good hour reading this blog.

With that as introduction, what should you, dear reader, expect from the Couchsurfing Cook in future episodes, should you deem her worthy of your time?  Well, given that the idea for this blog emerged as part of a half-witted idea that it would be pretty sweet to get paid to travel the world and eat with people and then — given the ice-water shock of reality when I realized no one was likely to pay me to do anything even vaguely resembling such a plan for some time — and then, coming to the third “ah ha” moment when it occurred to me I could simply start cooking with couchsurfers in my apartment to get the ball rolling, upon which I next surmised, “Oh, but what are you going to do when there are no couchsurfers?” and next noting the further factoid that there were already a slew of food bloggers already out there plying their trade who had far more cooking cojones than I, and then, well, yadda, yadda, the narrative could go on and on, but needless to say somewhere in the midst of all this I began writing, and a couchsurfer appeared, and a recipe came forth and now here we are, but truthfully I’m still a bit baffled myself as to what this blog is going to be and more importantly how the hell I got here.

But I digress…

Today (or rather tonight, because in truth it was 10:20 p.m. on 5.11.10 when I began this entry after downing a beer and two shrimp empanadas) my goal is to spell out, for myself as much as for you, “The Ten Commandments of the Couchsurfing Cook” or at least a rundown of what I’m going to strive to provide to you, dear readers, should you find yourselves lost in the foresty ramblings of this itinerant cook as she/I ever-so-bravely traverses the culinary universe.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF THE COUCHSURFING COOK

1.  This blog will be about more than just food.  Since we’ve already determined that the world has enough food blogs in it, this blog will be as much about introducing you to cool people from around the world who are cooking interesting dishes or doing interesting things as it will be about food in and of itself.  Because, at the end of the day, I’m much less interested in food on its own than I am fascinated by people and food in context, as ritual, and as segue way into other cultures.  The people cooking on this blog are ones you might not otherwise meet but who, upon having met, may be ones you’d want to hang out with and, who knows, become friends with some day.  The Couchsurfing Cook’s tagline:  It’s not just about the food.

2.  This blog will be FUN to read.  There’s nothing worse than wasting your time (time and health being all we have) reading boring dreck.   However, to be even clearer, I’m going to offer various departments of fun like Adventures in Cooking, Dinner Party Conversation, Taste Test, Cook-Off, Sunday Dinner, and Food and Sex, so you can choose your food fun poison…if that makes sense.  Nah, probably doesn’t but what the hell.  You get my drift.

2.   The dishes presented on this blog will be affordable for the average person.  By that I mean, I’m not generally going to make aspirational dishes that break your grocery store bank.   While some of this is dependent on the courchsurfers who stay with me (or the people whose homes I visit), I’m going to try to keep costs reasonable and publish the food prep costs as much as possible (thank you Cathy Erdway for that inspiration) so you know approximately what to expect before heading to your local superette.  It’s not that I’m against splurging, but I also firmly believe eating well shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.  The Couchsurfing Cook has to pay her rent too!

4. This blog will focus on quality not quantity.  I’m not going to publish a recipe or post every day because I don’t think most people can keep up with that much weekly cooking.  To my mind, publishing a recipe-a-day or “twittering” every meal you eat is excessive.  I want people to be inspired by this blog to cook for themselves, not feel so inundated with recipes they end up reading about what I’ve made and never experiment themselves.

5.  This blog will NOT glorify food porn.  While I have no problem presenting mouth-watering pictures of food, the last thing I want to do is display gorgeous images of prepared foods that only make you feel worse because you know you won’t have time to make the same dish or worry your version won’t measure up to the glossy hype.   In other words, no one is going to be shaving ANYTHING (not even Parmesan) in response to this blog!  Got it?

6.  This blog will be about regular people not food stars.  While I have great respect for culinary experts sharing their passion and expertise with us ordinary folks, I sometimes think we’ve exalted experts so much in our society that we’ve come to distrust our own ability to be creators of our own lives, especially regarding something as personal as taste and what you enjoy eating.   In my world, you are a creative cook right now!  Yes, there are things you can learn to be a better cook, and I’m happy to share what I know and/or borrow/steal from those who know more than me.  But let no one say you need Le Creuset pots and Wusthof knives (though both are nice) in order to make a meal of beauty.  Some of the best cooks I know work in kitchens smaller than many people’s bathrooms.   Heck, really great meals can be prepared over a hole dug in the ground filled with wood chips.

7.  This blog will aspire to be a multilingual conversation among many.  Not right away, but in later iterations, I’m envisioning Skype dinner parties and live cooking demos so people feel truly connected in real-time with the community who participate in this blog.   After reading the Couchsurfing Cook and joining the CSC community, I hope one day you’ll feel like you have places to eat and people to visit all over the world!

8.  This blog will promote food rituals and gatherings. While I completely support eating well alone, one of the practices I feel is lacking in the world today is ritual.  Therefore what I want to inspire via this blog is the organizing of Sunday night suppers and Moveable Feasts with friends and family.  I want people to host simulcast world-wide dinner parties so people can participate in a multicultural shared dining experience.  Optimistic?  Probably.  Crazy?  Absolutely. Possible?  Let’s hope!

9.  This blog will give back to the larger Couchsurfing community. Couchsurfing changed my life.  Okay, maybe that’s grandiose, but it definitely introduced me to amazing people whom I never would have met had it not been for the site.  Few experiences in life allow for that deep connection in a short time; couchsurfing does.  So whatever goodness gets generated via this site, some percentage will be donated back to Couchsurfing.org.  To be clear, the site is NOT making money now.  I’m just saying if it ever does, CS will be thanked.

10.  This blog will be what the world needs now…or at least what the world needs on a day when the egg yolks dribble into the whites, the milk turns rancid,  and the neighbor slams the door in your face when you ask to borrow sugar.  And it will make you faster, smarter, and more attractive to the opposite sex. Because I know you can choose to read anything and everything on the Web, my small hope is that there’s something about this blog you’ll come to look forward to with each post.  Perhaps it’s a helpful cooking tip.  Maybe it’s a fun, new recipe to add to your repertoire.  Or it could be a great story to tell at a party you’re going to later.  Whatever it is, feel free to stay in touch and send me your input, feedback, and ideas.  I’m new at this and can use all the help I can get!  Bon appétit!

Why The World Doesn’t Need Another Food Blog

Last night I had a nightmare brought on, I’m fairly certain, by reading too much Amanda Hesser earlier that day.  I won’t go into the gory details, in case you’re reading this over your morning scone.  But suffice it to say it involved a spindly, doe-eyed child in a classroom for which I was the substitute teacher whose persistent fainting — due it appeared to lack of nourishment — led me on a desperate search for her wealthy French (in the dream) parents, who sounded positively nonplussed upon my informing them that their daughter was dangerously ill.  Relieved to have at least reached le pere et la mere by phone, I subsequently looked down to see, not an enervated but by all accounts, deceased girl draped across my lap.  It wasn’t pretty, dear readers, not pretty at all.  And her name? Amanda.

What does this nightmare have to do with the Couchsurfing Cook?  Well, yesterday, in order to gird my loins for the daunting task of food blogging, I decided to spend a few too many hours reading other food blogs and watching food-related YouTube videos to, you know, check out the competition.  And what I found pretty much freaked me the f-k out.  You see the unpleasant truth is this:  THE WORLD DOESN’T NEED ANOTHER FOOD BLOG.   That’s right.  THERE’S MORE THAN ENOUGH INFORMATION OUT THERE PEOPLE.  If you meet someone at a dinner party who claims s/he doesn’t know how to cook, sorry, the chick/dude’s lying.  S/he’s just not trying hard enough.

In fact, not only does the world not need another food blogger/critic/TV star but one could easily divide the current characters peopling the food blogger/critic/TV star universe into the all-too-horribly-familiar categories one would find at your typical large suburban high school in the U.S. of A.,  further proof of how depressing it is out there. To wit:  Smart Kids a.k.a. Brown Nosers; Sluts; Mister/Miss Popularity; Class Clowns: Hip Kids; Rebels; Jocks; Model U.N.ers; and Nerds.

In the Smart Kid/Brown Noser Category we have Amanda Hesser and Jeffrey Steingarten.  These two are far more intelligent than you or I and have no trouble rubbing our faces in it like so much herbs de Provence.  Having done time at Harvard (Steingarten) or the obligatory cooking stint in Gay Paree (Hesser) they blithely discuss food they know you or I will never eat, often partaken in restaurants they know we can’t afford, and then flaunt (discreetly of course) their oh-so-fabulous lives.  In truth, I admire their encyclopedic knowledge and am perhaps a tad jealous of their exemplary taste and perfectly pedigreed kitchens but, unfortunately, like most WASPs and WASP-wanna-bes I’ve known, they’re just not that much fun to be around, let alone have to sit through an entire meal with.  Oh, and for God’s sake Amanda, get some meat on your bones!

Next we’ve got the Sluts.  That’s right, I’m talking to you Nigella Lawson and Padma Lakshmi!  Sure you’re sexy and sophisticated and act older than your peers, but why do I always feel dirty after I’ve eaten with you?  I know you’ve been around the food block a few times and have the air of having licked and sucked it all.   And, yes, I get it, food isn’t just an intellectual or nutritional exercise for you, it’s sensual and pleasurable too, I’m down with that.  But is there a reason I have to feel guilty after every meal you prepare?  Can’t we just eat and go to sleep?  Does making one of your recipes always have to end up with someone smearing whip cream or olive oil over everything?

Mister and Miss Popularity.  Well, Martha Stewart takes the crown for the women and Mario Batali’s wearing it for the guys.  These two are loved, loved, loved by everyone, everyone, everyone.  They want nothing more than to please, and please they do.  And because they so want to please, they’re everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.  Not content to simply cook, they also sell bath towels, open restaurants, and create magazines — all before breakfast.  They’re like that annoying girl in high school who, not satisfied enough being elected class president, insists on also starring on the girls’ soccer team, playing the lead in “Oklahoma,” and volunteering at the local soup kitchen in her free time.  You want to kill her every time she enters the cafeteria.  Same with Martha and Mario.  Can you two chill every now and then instead of constantly making the rest of us feel inadequate in the kitchen?  *Note:  It was a toss-up between Mario and Mark Bittman.  What is it with people whose name starts with “M”?

Onto the Class Clown.  Here we’ve got a three-way competition between Paula Dean, Rachael Ray, and Emeril Lagasse.  These food stars are determined to be FUNNY!  Heck Paula and Emeril even have the fat Southern thing going on.  But sometimes you just want to yell at them, “What did you do with the money?”  “What money?”  “The money for comedy lessons?” It makes me wonder whether, under their buoyant exteriors, these kids aren’t just sating their insatiable need for attention with fistfuls of food.  Watching them makes me wonder whether to eat, laugh, or cry.  And, no, I’m not going to have a second helping just because you made it.  I’ve read the research.  If your friends are fat, you’re likely to be too.

Ah, the Hip Kids, clearly a growing category these days.  I’m going to put Cathy Erdway down here along with Jamie Oliver.  Erdway, who decided to lock herself in her Brooklyn apartment for a year and abstain from all restaurant food,  has become the latest hip chick doyenne in the food blogging world, while Oliver’s wildly tousled hair and plaid shirts make him look as if he was dragged off the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn after an all-night bender  to cook for his hung over mates.   These food writers are the ones I’d most like to throw back a beer with, but I think I may not be cool enough for them.  And anyway, they’re probably too busy with their book tours and radio programs to have time to hang in the kitchen with their “friends” anymore.  Oh well, I was always too square for the Hip Kids and too hip for the Squares back in high school anyway.

My Rebel Yell goes out to Anthony Bourdain.  You, my friend, are definitely too cool for school.  Anthony of course will eat foods most of us wouldn’t dream of touching with a ten-foot pole, let alone stick in our mouths.  Is he a risk-taker?  Definitely.  Reckless? Well, it depends on whether you don’t mind taking an anti-diarrheal with your pho.  From a high school perspective, Anthony is the bad boy you can’t take home to your parents who nonetheless makes your thighs turn to jello whenever he pulls out his garlic press when the teacher’s not looking.  If only he weren’t traveling the world so much, I know we’d be together…in the kitchen.

The Mr. Jock Award goes to Bobby Flay.  Let’s face it, the man likes nothing better than a throwdown.  He’ll even fight girls, no questions asked.  No sissy chef he, Bobby treats cooking like an athletic competition, making it hardly surprising that his audience is made up of wildly impressed female fans along with adoring (albeit non-homoerotic) male ones.  Bobby is here to reassure America that real men do cook, although not necessarily quiche.  And they definitely don’t cry when they lose on Iron Chef…they just hurl their cutting boards across the room.

You have to admire and respect the kids who join Model U.N.  Clearly these students care deeply about the world and want to make it a better place, yadda, yadda.  Rick Bayless from Topolobampo is such a well-meaning chef.  Determined not to kowtow to the hoi polloi who deem Mexican food about as worthy of their attention as the Mexican dishwashing staff hidden in the back room far from their immigrant-fearing eyes, Bayless doggedly and determinedly keeps begging America to TAKE MEXICAN FOOD SERIOUSLY.  I appreciate his ardor and certainly the food that comes out of his Chicago kitchen is worthy of respect.  But do I really need to eat goat cheese tortillas and black bean soup EVERY DAY?  God, Rick, have a burger, will ya?  Or are you one of those self-hating Americans who thinks our country isn’t THE GREATEST IN THE WORLD?  I guess, if you like Mexico so much, maybe you should marry it?  That’s what we’d say in high school anyway…

Last but not least, the Nerds.  I love Adam Roberts.  He may be laughable in his role as the Amateur Gourmet, but in Adam’s case, as in the case of every successful Nerd, he’s laughing all the way to the bank.  Catapulted to fame after his Janet Jackson breast cupcake went viral, he has parlayed his unhappy law school imprisonment and subsequent discovery of the joys of cooking into a wildly successful brand a la Bill Gates.  These Nerds are clearly onto something.  Heck, Adam doesn’t even write his own recipes for the most part, he uses other people’s creative efforts then just documents himself making them.  Wait a second, I think I see a connection here.   Didn’t Bill Gates do the…  Hmm…  Damn those Nerds!  I am totally stealing their lunches later.

In the end, where does this high school nostalgia leave me vis-a-vis this blog?  And what’s a girl to do if, after starting a food blog she’s unfortunately discovered that there may be no need for one?  Well, the answer’s obvious: this blog can’t be like the other kids.  It has to be different.  Luckily for me, I never fit in in high school.

: )

Next Episode:  The Ten Commandments of this Blog or Why I’m Going to Make Every Effort to Make This More Than Just Another Food Blog.  Stay tuned!

When the Pie was Opened


One of the great things about biking in the city is how you wind up randomly discovering places you might otherwise miss while rushing past in a subway or car.  Today on my bike home from Prospect Park to Carroll Gardens, I stumbled on a new restaurant in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn.  The outside facade was done in whitewashed brick and the Ye Olde English lettering used for the name above the door made me feel as if I’d arrived in a small British village by way of the Gowanus Canal.   Appropriately the cafe’s name was similarly quaint “Four and Twenty Blackbirds.”  And the blackboard out front said it all:  this restaurant specialized in pie with a capital P.  But what amazing flavors of pie! Strawberry/Balsamic…Chess…Lavender/Blueberry.   Having only a dollar in my pocket and needing to get to the optometrist by 6:00 p.m. to pick up my new funky glasses, I couldn’t stop to eat.  But I’m definitely returning soon to see what dainty pies they set before this queen.  (Sorry, bad joke.)  This could become my new favorite writing locale.

Address:  439 Third Avenue at 8th Street
LINK:  http://birdsblack.com/

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Au Revoir Elsa

Elsa left yesterday.  She was my “first.”  Not in the way you think (minds out of the garbage disposal dear readers!).  No, Elsa was the first couchsurfer who agreed to cook with me.  And for your “first” it doesn’t get much better than making tarte au pomme and beef bourguignon with a cool urban-planning professor from Paris!

Elsa stayed for a week, and from the moment she walked up to me on Atlantic Avenue with her short choppy hair, thin jeans and t-shirt, and those black, rectangular glasses all the architects wear,  I knew we would get along famously in the kitchen.  Elsa was clearly way cool.

Almost immediately after arriving though, I sent her to Fairway, one of the best and biggest grocery stores in New York City, to stock up on food.  When people from other countries — even other cities — stay with me, they nearly all enter a state of shock upon entering Fairway.  It’s as if they’ve never seen so much food — and good food — together in one place.

But when nearly two hours passed with Elsa still gone, I began to worry.  Had she’d gotten lost in the frozen food aisle?  Or been trapped beneath a fallen pile of tomatoes?  Just then the door opened and Elsa walked in, her face glowing beatifically — as if she’d gone to food heaven and then fallen back to earth from the weight of her now-laden, reusable shopping bags.  “That was incredible,” she said.

I recognized most of what Elsa bought, except for one package I had no idea Fairway carried:  pre-boiled and peeled beets sealed in vacuum-packed plastic.  Now in Brooklyn — where we’ve all become holier-than-thou locavores — admitting to buying pre-packaged, pre-cooked anything could easily get you tossed out of your favorite dinner party.  But Elsa assured me that in Paris these pre-done beets are all the rage.   It certainly did make life easier not having to wait an hour for the suckers to carmelize in the oven, and given how nutritious beets are (calcium, phosphorous, potassium, Vitamin C, to name a few) it was nice knowing there was a simpler way to add them to meals.   In the end, we made a salad of beets and spring lettuce drizzled with orange vinaigrette that easily matched the more-complicated version.

But Elsa’s real gift (not counting the yummy chestnut paste she brought that I’m still dreaming up ways to use) was her recipe for beef bourguignon.  Now I have to confess that before embarking on this Couchsurfing Cooking project I never cooked meat at home.  In fact, I’m what you’d call a hypocritical vegetarian:  I never cook meat myself, but if I crave it at a restaurant, I’ll cave.  If that’s not hypocritical, I don’t know what is.

This is all to say that Elsa preparing meat in my kitchen was another “first” along my downward (or upward as the case may be) spiral to becoming a Couchsurfing Cook.   Thankfully she was an excellent teacher, aided I should add by the distant assistance of her brother, a culinary school teacher whose secret ingredient clearly catapulted the dish to a higher gastronomic realm.

And what was that secret ingredient?  Now you’re not going to tell anyone, are you?   Well it’s…shh…CHOCOLATE!   Who knew?  Turns out if you stir in a speck (and I mean a speck) of semisweet chocolate at the end of cooking along with the burbling red wine and beef fat juice/stew for some amazing reason — perhaps that extra bit of fat/sugar in the chocolate  — the sauce becomes infinitely smoother.

Here then I present Beef Bourguignon a la Elsa.  Thank you Elsa for being my “first.”   I won’t ever forget you.  :  )

Preparation Time:  15-20 minutes
Cooking Time:  Approximately 2 hours
Cooking Supplies:  Cast Iron Pot; Knife; Wooden Spoon; Measuring Implements

Serves 3:

17.5 ounces stewing beef
1/8 to 1/4 cup flour
1 bottle (750 ml) red table wine (make sure it’s wine you’d drink, although it doesn’t have to be top shelf)
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground whole nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon semisweet chocolate

1.  Cut stewing beef into 2” chunks.
2.  Place meat in a heavy cast iron pot.  In French they call it a casserole en fonte.
3.  Cook over medium to high heat until meat is browned.  The French term to describe the meat when done is “saisir” to be seized.
4.  Sprinkle meat with flour and stir with a wooden spoon until meat is thoroughly coated.
5.  Pour ¾ of wine over meat.
6.  Lower heat to simmer and add spices along with salt and pepper to taste.
7.  Allow meat to cook over low heat for two hours adding the last ¼ of wine as needed to ensure meat remains covered.
8.  After two hours meat should be tender and wine reduced.
9.  Just before serving, stir in dark chocolate.  A tiny piece is all that’s needed; add too much and it will taste like chocolate.
10.  Serve with a side of potatoes or over pasta to absorb sauce.

Cooking Like a Couchsurfer

My Brooklyn Kitchen

Where the Magic Happens

I don’t own a TV so therefore I don’t watch cooking shows.   I guess it’s ironic then that I’m about to start one.  A cooking show that is.  I mean, I do cook.  I like to cook.  Sometimes.  But other times I’m lazy and the idea of washing dishes sends me straight to my phone to order in Chinese.  So why would I want to start a cooking show? Online? Because I’m also a couchsurfer.  And I love hosting people from all over the world.  And when they’re here, I like to cook with them!

That’s right, starting May 12th.  I’ll be hosting couchsurfers in my one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn and cooking with them.  Dishes they like and make at home — or ones their mother or grandmother or uncle makes — specialties from around the globe.  And I’ll be interviewing them.  About their home country, what they eat for breakfast.  Anything really. And you can send in questions too.  I’m game for anything.

What’s different about the show?  Well, for starters, there are no star chefs here.  Just real people.  So you’re likely to see mishaps.  Maybe lots of them.  Stuff may spill.  Things could burn.  But that’s reality.  In the kitchen.  My kitchen anyway. Stay tuned!