I write about food, cooking, and people. I'm an editor at Clarkson Potter, judge on Top Chef Masters, and columnist at the NYT Magazine. I take statins.

Chasing Perfection

gourmet.com — I hit it once, just once, but it was beautiful. It was exam time and I was nervous, waiting for my turn. I had the proper fire. The heat felt right. I made smooth, swirling passes with my spatula, and when I rolled my pan over the plate, I knew it.

Make a Better Grilled Cheese

mensjournal.com — How do you make a perfect sandwich even better? One word: mayonnaise. Specifically, leave the butter in the refrigerator and, instead, slather your bread with mayo before cooking. I learned this trick years ago from Gabrielle Hamilton, chef-owner of New York's beloved Prune, when we volunteered to teach a kid's cooking class, and it has never failed to deliver.

A History Lesson, Served as Coconut-Seafood Soup

nytimes.com — When Sulma Arzu-Brown's father traveled from his village in Honduras into the city, people pointed at him, at his black skin. When he spoke his language, people laughed. "They said, 'Look at that monkey, goo goo gaga,' " Arzu-Brown told me. When it was time for her mother to be promoted at her job, she stood out a little too much.

Jacques Pépin on chicken: 'It has to be done right. Otherwise, there is no recovery.'

splendidtable.org — Chef Jacques Pépin talks with guest host Francis Lam about why roast chicken is so iconic for French chefs, the importance of technique, and what he cooks at home. Francis Lam: I noticed in your new book, the very first recipe is for a simple roast chicken: no brining, no spicing, just a hot pan and a hot oven.

Osayi Endolyn meets Hoppin' John

splendidtable.org — Osayi Endolyn tells guest host Francis Lam about her introduction to Hoppin' John, and how that connected her to both her personal history and to the influence of African cuisine on the food of the American South. Francis Lam: I want to start at the beginning of your story.

What to Do with a Ripe Tomato (A Quick Recipe, of Sorts)

Francis Lam's Weapons-Grade Ratatouille

splendidtable.org — Francis originally published this recipe in a post for Salon. As with his recipe for Ginger Scallion Sauce, his exuberant and unusual approach to recipe writing makes it sing. As does the accompanying video. He is not kidding when he tells us to let the sauce cook a really, really long time after you've added the tomatoes.

A Haitian Grandmother’s Home-Cooked Porridge

nytimes.com — In the hierarchy of enjoyable social interactions, "chitchat in the dentist's chair" ranks barely higher than "unbidden office talk in the men's room." But last month, the hygienist buzzing my teeth fascinated me with her vacation stories. She had taken her first trip to Haiti, where her family is from.

Francis in France!

Brazilian Recipes for the 2016 Olympics

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Oct 25, 2016

RT @ContraNYC: Thursday 10/27, Contra welcomes Canlis (Seattle) to a one night only guest chef dinner. 120/p reservations needed! https://t.co/mGIB4yy4xI

Oct 23, 2016

@PatrickRuffini honestly the most surprising thing about this is that it means he's a living human and not a trumpkin parody

Oct 23, 2016

RT @allyzay: This has been my issue with the postcard project. No one has postcards, I will have to go to times square https://t.co/bzZpCobZu5

Oct 23, 2016

"Thursday, 6ppl, but time depends on when we can get our baby to bed." https://t.co/9yikRsVBhJ

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