Reading the Fish Wrap: Philosopher Trotter’s Evil Genius

There’s a lot to read in the food and dining sections this week. Candy Sagon’s piece in the Washington Post about what you should and shouldn’t cook when your home is on the market is eye-opening. Not about the foods–no fish, no popcorn, no Indian spices–but about just how restricted people are when they are trying to sell their home. Even in a recession-proof market like D.C., it sounds like a miserable process. At least you can still cook up this good-smelling lemon and honey chicken to pick up your spirits.

And some promising food news for the District: The new Rasika in the West End has arrived, and in Petworth, Fish in the Hood sounds like a destination for an excellent fish sandwich. These reviews made me incredibly hungry, but I was pushed to the limit with Pete Wells’ 3-star review (that is: not a funny, but a tasty read) of Kyo Ya in the New York Times. I had to take a break to make a reservation at Sushi Taro.

Also in the Times, Jodi Rudoren has a lovely tribute to Charlie Trotter, whose schmancy restaurant in Chicago will be closing after 25 years. Clearly–there are dozens of articles that argue it–Trotter can be…unpleasant, but he’s also an institution in Chicago and in the philanthropic scene. He gives back a lot and it’s nice to read about that side of him. (Although his regular auctioning off of a slot for a cook for the day in his kitchen turns out to just be a way to avoid giving up any covers in the dining room. There’s an evil genius to that switcheroo.) Oddly, he’s leaving the biz to get a graduate degree in philosophy–another side it seems.

Finally, Damon Darlin’s meal out with Tyler Cowin–economist food blogger–is fodder for a nice article. Cowin’s economic “reasons” for good food truisms, a la Freakonomics, makes for a fun read in the short form, but no need to buy his new book. In the Times review, Dwight Garner describes the experience as being “like pushing a shopping cart through Whole Foods with Rush Limbaugh. The patter is nonstop and bracing.”

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