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December 09, 2007


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You rock! We love watching you at work. My son is in culinary school and wants one of the *LIVE TO COOK* t-shirts your sous chefs wear. If you're not selling them yet, you should!!! If you are selling them, tell me how to order some!!


nice tour de cali. was it good to see traci and chris from ye olde iron chef competition?

happy holidays.


Tom Johnston

Congrats on a huge year for you. I am very proud of the Iron Chef from Cleveland! Always a fan, love Lola's. You cooked for a large group I brought to Tremont about 7 years ago, will never forget the Keylime martini.

Watched every show, you stood out as a real guy, actually a nice guy, you made everyone from Cleveland feel great, thank you.

I also own a Bull Mastiff. My second one. He is a great beast and is actually a top show dog and will be competing in Westminister in NYC in a few weeks. I need a little help with this. How much of a dog fan are you?


You rock! I can't wait to make the trek from Chicago to Cleveland just to eat your food!


Sounds like a good time. I love the San Francisco/Northern Califorina area.

I am looking forward to this blog. It looks like it will contain a lot of good infomation for a novice like me!

Thanks Michael and I look forward to your next post.


The Browns are the team this year....enough of the Patriots....

I also want to say I enjoy coming to your site and reading what you have to say.


What a great entry, seeing the whole tour through your eyes. You got it... keep doing that and you'll be set! I second the notion of getting back at Bourdain and Ruhlman.

How bout dem Browns... I can't say anything else lest I jinx them. ;)


Great blog! It's so interesting to read what a professional chef eats when other skilled professionals are preparing the meal (added bonus: "out west" = "my backyard". I can't wait to try some of the things you mentioned.)

Re: constructive blog suggestions. I used to teach about web design, and readability is the #1 problem.

I always reminded people that an "online paragraph" HAS to be much shorter than in a book, to help with readability. About 5-6 lines per paragraph is plenty (and "paragraphs" of 1-2 lines are even good, too, to break it up, unlike in print).

Trust me, it will really help.

Thanks again!


You kind of lost me there with the cod sperm crostini, though I'm sure somehow it must have culinary or a machismo virility-type appeal. Wondering if Liz has an equally adventurous palate or strong stomach.


Even as a Jets fan, I congratulate your Browns. It's good to see a team that has suffered so long win some, especially when it was totally unexpected.

BTW, I will never forgive Mark Gastineau for that late hit on Kosar in 1987!!


hi everyone....here are a couple answers to the above questions...the tshirts should be available on this site in about a week. Along with the live to cook we will have a host of other shirts. I am a huge dog lover and Liz and I have 2 bullmastiffs, both girls, rouxby and mable. Yes, it was great to catch up with both Chris and Traci and enjoy their fabulous food. Lastly, Liz is every bit as adventurous as I am. We were luckliy both raised to try different things and have never really stopped doing this. I've always felt that if you dont try new things you are really just cheating yourself. Never stop tasting...you'll never no if u like it until u taste it...be brave!!!..live to cook..ms


The Browns have got nothing on the OSU Buckeyes, Chef (sorry). What is with cod sperm??? That is a new one on me---what on earth does it taste like? Please describe :)




I'm definitely getting a t-shirt or two! Yeah! Also, I wanted to let you know that my boyfriend just took me to Lola last weekend for my birthday (by the grace of God we got a table for 2 at 10pm!) and it was EXCELLENT. I had the duck breast/confit and he had the char. That was the first time I had ever had duck confit and it was just one of the best things I've ever tasted. I would love it if you could post the recipe - I'd really like to learn that technique. You rock Michael! Thank you and GO BROWNS!!!


chef symon - thanks for the update on chris & traci. loved NIC so much i recorded it all to dvd, hope i can meet them someday. i think you should also sell "symon says" shirts like the one you wore in munich :) i'd love one! and with christmas coming up maybe i'll get some $...great idea! thanks so much for being so inspiring to me! (i visit chris's blog quite often too just to see what crazy things he's trying. sounds weird especially coming from a 13-year-old girl, but i already consider myself a pretty respectable "aspiring chef" and i'd love to see a little diversity) you ROCK man! and my family is made up of dog lovers, my sister who's 11 i believe she wants to be a vet (wasn't traci des jardins in vet school before becoming a chef?), we have a dog too although she is a chihuahua, not quite a bullmastiff but she probably thinks she's one :)g2g for now but thanks for the hot blog! reading it always makes my day. ~catherine

p.s. some pictures would be awesome. i have found all the NIC pix i can and you do not really want to see my room, you'd think our TV blew up!!!!!!! :)


December 23rd ... Paul Brown Stadium ..... Browns are in trouble. Hmm ....

Sorry for the F-ball post. All this Browns talk gets me fired up. :)


Live to Cook t-shirts, hmm? My 9-year-old daughter would be so pleased to have one! Hoping they'll be ready in time for Christmas...


hi michael,

small coincidence...i mentioned in a previous comment on your last post about the barbara lynch restaurants i visited in boston, while there i also stumbled across stir
which is a demonstration kitchen and cookbook library where you can also purchase cookbooks...
we stopped in and barbara was prepping for a class; as i browsed her books i mentioned that i’ve been looking for a similar book to "sunday suppers at lucques" by suzanne goin (one of my favorite cookbooks) and she recommended "a twist of the wrist" by nancy silverton...so i purchased it and just started reading it...very excited that i just read your latest post and thought it was ironic that you were at her and mario's new restaurant in la...twice within a week i've learned about nancy and her work!

thanks for writing about restaurant's you visit while traveling and sharing your experience, my husband and i are always seeking out these amazing places! just looked at bar jules website….wow, that place looks fabulous….can’t wait to try it!
would love to know other restaurant recommendations in other cities as you travel!

i took my dad to lolita for his birthday this evening....he had the yummie polenta for his side...when he finished he leaned over and asked me if it would be ok if he licked the bowl. i just smiled!


chris neill

Re: Calphalon..

I have had the same set for almost 10 years, and I beat the ever-loving heck out of them. Its the adonized aluminum set. Cost me about $400 in total to get all the pieces, and its well worth the money.

There's my shameless plug: I love Calphalon stuff!


I think the Browns D-Line needs a little more red meat. Anything you can do about it?


I think the Browns D-Line needs a little more red meat. Anything you can do about it?


what's the price range for the live to cook t-shirts? just wanted to know so i can start saving up now and make sure if i have some money left over from christmas...~catherine, i live to cook too


Chef Symon and Juliette,

Thanks for your synopsis of your trip to SF. All this time I thought pig's trotter's were hardcore, but I know nought from hardcore after hearing this menu from Chef Chris.

I took a class with the late Chef Jean Louis Palladín, and he wasted NOTHING! I loved how he renamed animals testicles as "White Kidneys".

Juliette, your point about readability is correct.
If anyone remembers the guys that did "Web Pages That Suck", the main rule is that one's web site has to be easy to read and to navigate.

Not to rag on you Chef Symon, but Juliette has a good point about paragraph breaks making the text easier to follow; especially if one makes an 800x600 or larger web entry.

Oh well, looking forward to visiting Oberlin soon and Cleveland. Hopefully you should be at Lola or Lolita!

Red Beans and Ricely Yours,


Jim Ellison

Michael -

If you are still in the Bay area try to hit Bette's Oceanview Diner, Zachary's Pizza, The Cheeseboard, and Bay Wolf.... all are in the same league as what you have mentioned so far.


And when you come to Columbus... there are many places for you to explore.

Connie Mayse

Thank you for all you do, Michael. Way to have fun with your food...and your work! You're my new hero...cj in Lorain County OH


I am so glad you had a great experience here in San Francisco. You know we love our food and can't imagine that anyone/place here wouldn't welcome you with open arms.

I don't get to Cleveland much so I'm pretty jazzed that I get to check out your work and your energy on TV every once in a Sunday or so! I'm also excited to see what you do with this here blog!

An Urban Girl Cooks!

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