Let’s get caught up with the latest food news and other culinary related items. Think of it as a menu of Monday reading material:
* Kurt Spataro of the Paragary Restaurant Group (pictured above in his home kitchen) shares some of his prized Thanksgiving turkey techniques. Among them: “Brining your turkey has become trendy but not necessary if you have a good bird. Seasoning the turkey with salt and freshly ground pepper a day or two in advance (very important!) is simpler and will produce a tasty, succulent turkey.”
* The hot conversation in the food writing world is the purported end of the San Francisco Chronicle’s stand-alone food and wine section, which would reportedly be folded into a single lifestyle section with the working title of “Artisan.” In a bit of social media protest, there’s now a Facebook page called “Save the San Francisco Chronicle Food Section,” with 2,553 “likes” and counting.
* The Onion skewers the locavore movement with “Factory-Farm-To-Table Restaurant Proudly Serves Locally Tortured Animals.” Among the choice lines: “What makes our restaurant different is that we’re actually on a first-name basis with the guys on the assembly line who electrocute the chickens and slash their throats.” (Relax folks, it’s just satire! :)
* Wine Spectator releases its Top 100 wines of 2013. Spain’s Rioja region takes the top spot with the 2004 Cune Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva. Three California wines make the Top 10: 2010 Kongsgaard Chardonnay, 2010 Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford and 2010 Lewis Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve.
* In case you didn’t know, the Pisco Sour is the new margarita. Here’s a great recipe and some background on this classic South American cocktail from Organic Authority.