Critiques, Cravings and Conundrums From the Madison Food and Dining Scene
Small Dishes

October 2009

Dueling Chefs 2009


Dueling Chefs 2009

This year's Culinary Conqueror is Daniel Smith from Liliana's.  This was the 5th year for the competition, held as part of the Madison Food & Wine Show.  Chef Smith defeated Justin Carlisle of Restaurant Muramoto in the final round, Sunday, October 25.  Once again, Robert Von Rutenberg of the Nau-ti-gal and Patrick O'Halloran of Lombardino's were the co-emcees for the event.  The mystery ingredient for the final cook off was live lobster.  Each chef prepared two dishes (pictured below)   Lobster  Dish 1: Justin Carlisle Lobster Dish 2: Daniel Smith Lobster Dish 3: Jusin  Carlisle Lobster Dish 4: Daniel SmithDaniel Smith     Jusin Carlisle    Robert Von Rutenberg and Patrick...

Posted at 04:52 PM | Permalink | Comments

Pie Palooza


Pie Palooza

I’m a big fan of pie and next month two local events—both fundraisers for worthy causes—pay it homage. The fifth annual Pie Palooza, an unconventional Sunday brunch, takes place on November 8 at the Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa Street, between 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Pie Palooza has more than doubled in size since its inception; this year at least 20 local businesses will donate pies. This event is a fundraiser for REAP (Research, Action and Policy) Food Group, a local organization that promotes a sustainable and healthy food system. REAP connects producers, consumers, policy makers, educators, businesses and organizations to nourish links between land and table. Its mission is “committed to projects that shorten the distance from farm to table,...

Posted at 11:16 AM | Permalink | Comments

The Passing of an Old Friend


The Passing of an Old Friend

Last week began with rumors that Condé Nast would soon dump at least three of its magazines.  A popular gossip blog held a contest for its readers to predict which publications would get the ax. I was taken aback that one of the most popular nominees for extinction was Gourmet. Surely, not, I thought.  When the news came, I was dumbfounded. How could a magazine I’ve literally been reading all my life—subscribed to since the early 70’s—just cease to exist overnight?  Most dispiriting of all was seeing pictures the next day of the Gourmet offices, already empty cubicles with packed boxes waiting to be taken away.I soon received an email from an old friend, someone I hadn’t heard from in over a decade. He wrote,...

Posted at 01:44 PM | Permalink | Comments

Bittersweet Disposition


Bittersweet Disposition

I love aperitifs. Punt E Mes, Lillet, Byrrh, Campari—the list is a long one. Oddly for me, it all began with vermouth, something most of identify as a minor ingredient in a martini or Manhattan.  As with so many things I discover that I like, it was by accident. As a college student, I drank a lot of beer while in Belgium.  It is a small place, but it claims to drink more of the stuff per person than any other country in the world. For the most part, laws that regulate the consumption of alcoholic beverages tend to be more lax in Europe. Contrarily, when I was Belgium, only beer and wine could be consumed at a public restaurant or bar. This practice dated from a previous king who was a stanch teetotaler.   One night, out carousing with my...

Posted at 12:36 PM | Permalink | Comments

About This Blog

Dan CurdI found my interest in writing by accident. My training and first job was as a graphic designer. Unemployed, the only employment I could find in advertising at that time was as a copywriter. Somehow, I convinced Richard Newman & Associates to hire me. Later I learned they were desperate. Madison has been my home off and on since 1957 (nonstop for the past 31 years). I write about food, which I love. – Dan Curd

Recent Posts



Atom Feed Subscribe to the Small Dishes Feed »