Editor's note: This week's Cook the Book feature on Serious Eats highlights The Food Life, a new book that goes inside the world of Fairway, a beloved New York grocery store that's practically an institution in the Big Apple. The author of the book, Steven Jenkins, is a legend himself, having served as a buyer for the store for more than 20 years. We talk to him in today's Meet & Eat.
Name: Steven Jenkins
Location: Fairway Market
Occupation: Cheesemonger, grocer, author
Favorite comfort food? My wife's omelets.
Guilty pleasures? I have no guilt about eating (or drinking) anything. Ever.
Food you won't eat? Wraps. Chain pizza. Olive Garden. KFC. Etc.
What would you like to try but haven't yet? Whale. Baby seal. Spotted owl.
Describe your perfect meal. In this order: Scotch or bourbon rocks to start, chilled Arneis (Piedmont-Italy) and slightly chilled Barolo; a plate covered with perfect slices of jamon Iberico bellota; foie gras of duck or goose either fresh (sautéed) or as paté, with toasts or fegato di pollo con salvia alla Toascana (chicken livers sautéed in olive oil with white wine, sage and juniper berries); whole roasted branzino with herbs; fresh peas heated with butter and tiny cubes of Iberico bellota ham; assorted cookies with chocolate ice cream, strawberry ice cream, and coconut sherbet and pineapple sherbet.
Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? Regina Schrambling, gastropoda.com.
And what's the best recommendation she's given you? Noodle Pudding.
What is your favorite meal of the day and where do you get it? Dinner; Mitchel London's Fairway Cafe & Steakhouse; roasted clams, iceberg lettuce with blue cheese dressing; rare rib-eye steak, frites, creamed spinach; rustic apple tart.
Most memorable New York City meal? Nirvana, February 8, 1982; Michelle's and my City Hall wedding day.
Best pizza in the city? Tre Restaurant.
Favorite bagel? The Fairway onion bagel.
Best late-night eats? Bombay Frankie's Roti Roll.
Undiscovered gem? Tre Restaurant.