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Sophie Brickman
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Entries by Sophie Brickman

Stuffing Sausage In Public

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2009 | 10:46 AM

"Laws are like sausages: it is better not to see them being made."

I only came to appreciate this sentiment, attributed to the German statesman Otto von Bismarck, when I found myself in charcuterie class, faced with a quart container full of intestine and a bowl of ground meat, fat,...

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My Moveable Feast: Bringing Home the Bacon

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2009 | 11:09 AM

Enrolling in culinary school turned out to be a prescient kind of life-style insurance. When the economy tanked, my friends and I started cooking. We found that, for a fraction of the price and with a little creativity, we could cook a three-course meal that would cost $45 per person...

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The Problem With Online Job Boards

(19) Comments | Posted January 18, 2009 | 10:36 PM

Madness, they say, is doing the same thing twice and expecting different results. I think of this every morning when I boot up my computer and scan a number of websites, in search of a job that will utilize the soft skills of the liberal arts grad. Consider the positions...

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Seeing Through the New York Times

(3) Comments | Posted January 4, 2009 | 2:57 PM

Like many others the world over, amidst the reality that physical, get-the-print-on-your-fingers newspapers are folding, I take a deep pleasure in receiving the Sunday New York Times each week, and reading it, cover to cover. Born in the mid-80s, I have grown up witnessing the rapid change of media consumption,...

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How to Fake a Distinguished Wine Palate

(6) Comments | Posted December 27, 2008 | 10:51 PM

I recently finished the second of two wine tasting seminars required of all culinary students, and came away with a startling realization: my taste buds are challenged. While other students detected notes of green apple and oak, warm vanilla and mango, all I could taste, from sip one, were hints...

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On the Absurdity of Turning Vegetables

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2008 | 6:01 PM

According to French chefs, and articulated by Jacques Pépin in his classic cook book written with Julia Child, there are three reasons chefs turn (excuse me, tourne) vegetables: "The purpose of 'turning' vegetables is more than just aesthetic," explains Jacques in the margin of Cooking At Home. "This technique produces...

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The U.S. Military: Molecular Gastronomist?

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2008 | 7:47 PM

Before the molecular gastronomical wonders of Ferran Adria and El Bulli, before Grant Achatz and Alinea, before Wylie Dufresne and WD-50, there was Alex Redniss of Stamford, Connecticut, my very own first cousin, once-removed: the inventor of the powdered egg.

Years ago, perhaps during a discussion about the merits...

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Why Is It Easier To Buy A Gun Than High-Fructose Corn Syrup?

(25) Comments | Posted November 19, 2008 | 11:22 AM

Full disclosure: I am neither a scientist nor a health freak. My primary sources of energy through most of college, where I studied esoteric social thinkers like Jurgen Habermas, were Haribo Gummy Bears and animal crackers from the vending machine. I leave it to others to lecture you on why...

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Eats, Shoots, and Leaves? More like Shoots, Kills, and Seasons.

(4) Comments | Posted November 10, 2008 | 1:15 PM

Ever had the problem of biting into a piece of shot along with your Thanksgiving turkey?

Me neither.

Ever had the problem of ordering meat at a restaurant and having it come to you under seasoned?

Now we're talkin'.

The topic of hunting came up the...

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Alert! Evidence of Flying Insects at Les Halles!

(6) Comments | Posted October 21, 2008 | 1:22 PM

To those (like myself) who spend the better part of their online time surfing the internet to find meaningless sources of entertainment, I recommend the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website, a virtual cornucopia of the bizarre that may interest New Yorkers. It includes "Death...

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What is a Foodie? Am I One? Are You?

(1) Comments | Posted October 15, 2008 | 12:48 PM

At dinner with friends this weekend, the conversation turned, inevitably, to food and food lovers. I had spent the first half of my meal slyly inspecting the vegetables in my salad to see if they were cut into perfect macedoine, and, now on my second drink, was simultaneously trying to...

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Oh, yeah? Shove a Beer Can Up Your Butt.

(2) Comments | Posted October 6, 2008 | 6:41 PM

No, this is not politics related, people. (You want some of that, get off the style page.) It's directed at all the cold, lifeless chickens sitting in grocery stores, nationwide.

This past weekend, I took my northern ass down to the south to attend Austin City Limits, a...

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How to Get the Smell of Garlic Off Your Hands

(9) Comments | Posted September 22, 2008 | 4:35 PM


As I near the end of my first month of culinary school, I find myself facing a new hygiene problem: my hands constantly smell of garlic.

I emailed a Harvard-educated chemist-cum-consultant, and asked him why garlic makes your hands smell,...

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The First Five Things You Learn at Culinary School

(3) Comments | Posted September 15, 2008 | 6:29 PM

1) A chef's uniform may not be the most flattering attire, but it's practical: Black-and-white checked pants with an elastic waistband make me look like a pear dressed up for Halloween as a picnic table, but they're durable. I wear a skull-cap, of sorts (one more thing Snoop and this...

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One Millenial Speaks Out: Why I'm Enrolling in Culinary School

(4) Comments | Posted August 27, 2008 | 1:22 AM

I am a Millennial, born between 1980 and 1994, and therefore, according to a conspiracy of journalists, sociologists and assorted pundits, a spoiled, overachieving, techno-centric brat.

So to fly in the face of all that, I'm enrolling in culinary school.

Let's pull back a moment. I've been trying...

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