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Why Is Your Home Town A Culinary Paradise?

Alan Richman, a writer for GQ, recently wrote:

"Alice Waters and sourdough bread aside, the Bay Area has contributed surprisingly little to the culinary ripening of America."

What? Is he crazy? Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle thought so and offered up a 25 point rebuttal on his blog today.

Included in his list are:

  • Chuck Williams - founder of Williams-Sonoma
  • Robert Mondavi - he brought French modern techniques in winemaking
  • Ceclia Chiang - whom Alice Waters calls "The Julia Child of Chinese Food
  • Thomas Keller - only American to have top ratings for both his NY and Bay Area restaurants
  • Wine bars - The London Wine Bar is credited with starting the wine bar genre
  • The Mai Tai, Martini & Lemon Drop - while there's some debate, both are usually credited to the Bay Area
  • Laura Chenel - made the first artisan goat cheese in America (which makes her my hero)

The whole list is pretty interesting (although, admittedly, there are a few things that you've never heard of), but I'm glad he threw it together. This place is a tasty slice of food heaven.

However, even if it didn't have any of the history or famous people behind it, there are currently so many different cultures and great produce that it's definitely a food lover's dream come true.

So tell me, why is your hometown a culinary paradise?

Join The Conversation
onesong onesong 10 years
new york city pizza and bagels, y'all. can't be beat.
SU3 SU3 10 years
I'm with misogi - Miami is a melting pot of different cultures.
mireille mireille 10 years
Psh, this "Alan Richman" IS crazy. Berkeley & SF both have amazing vegan restaurants, that's my favorite thing.
scooterbrown scooterbrown 10 years
I live in New Orleans. Need I say more? Food from cultures all over the world converging into one glorious melting pot. Some of the freshest seafood you'll ever find, and restaurants that cater to the whims of real foodies. On a side note, Alan Richman is a fool. This is the same man who wrote about New Orleans recently .. "New Orleans shouldn't exist. Let's start with that premise. New Orleans has no business existing, certainly not as it is now." And one of our better restaurants here, he called it "fine dining for people who have no idea what fine dining should be." He's not welcome in my city anymore.
sugar_magnolia sugar_magnolia 10 years
P.S. Alfred Peet of the original Peet's coffee (where I go every morning for my eye-opener) is #1 on that list. Who knew that they poured Peet's coffee in the first Starbucks?!
sugar_magnolia sugar_magnolia 10 years
Hey Kaciegrrl, I'm also from Louisiana! Baton Rouge to be precise, and although this is not so much a contribution specific to my hometown as much as a local favorite, I've got one word....CRAWFISH!!!!
amyfinke amyfinke 10 years
Kansas City BBQ, baby! And although KC isn't exactly a stone's throw from the border, we have a surprisingly substantial number of authentic Mexican restaurants.
Kaciegrrl Kaciegrrl 10 years
I'm from Louisiana and live less than 30 minutes from New Orleans. Enough said. :) Return the shoes? I can't talk to you when you're hysterical.
misogi misogi 10 years
Miami is probably the only place in the United States where you can eat authentic Cuban food, as well as food from other Hispanic cultures. To me, that's a culinary experience by itself! :D
Advah Advah 10 years
It's close to the Cévennes (French mountains) so it has "pélardons", the best goat cheese EVER. It has plenty of various olive preparations, including "tapenade" (pasta made of anchois and olives, let me know if you want the recipe). It also has the "pissaladière" (traditional pizza from Nice). And since it's in the middle of fields and close to the Mediterranean Sea, it has plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, and fresh fish. They have the "brandade", this dish made of dry haddock (although the version from Nice, with potatoes and parsley is better). And of course, charcuterie! Living in Scotland is fun, but I miss good food so much! :(
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