Opening our Kitchen Cabinet

Obama may not have a Secretary of the Tasty yet, but we do. A bunch of them

Topics: Kitchen Cabinet, Food,

Introducing the Salon Kitchen Cabinet: an esteemed group of brilliant chefs, cooks, wine and beer experts, explorers, historians, and at least one dude who cuts up cows and pigs for a living.

They are some of the most thoughtful, creative, smart and skilled people I know, and they’re here to help us answer your questions, whether you want to know how to fix your shoe-tough pie crust or you want to know about the philosophical implications of butter versus Crisco. (Send us your questions here!)

But, in the spirit of Salon, I also envision this group as more than that. I see it as a gathering of minds giving critical perspectives on larger questions of how food and drink work in the creative, social, political and environmental realms. We’ll be chatting with them frequently, and I hope you’ll join in.

So put your hands together and please welcome:

Amanda Cohen, chef-owner, Dirt Candy

Anna Lappe, co-founder, Small Planet Institute

Ann Cashion, chef-owner, Johnny’s Half Shell

Brooks Hamaker, founding brewmaster, Abita Brewing Co.

Bryant Terry, chef and Food Justice activist

Clark Wolf, food and restaurant consultant

Grant Achatz, chef-owner, Alinea

Greg Higgins, chef-owner, Higgins

Jessica Harris, professor, Queens College

John T. Edge, director, Southern Foodways Alliance

Michael Laiskonis, executive pastry chef, Le Bernardin

Peter Jacobsen, grower-owner, Jacobsen Orchards

Shelby Kibler, principal, Bake! Zingerman’s Teaching Bakery

Steven Kolpan, chairman of wine studies, Culinary Institute of America

Tara Thomas, senior editor, Wine & Spirits magazine

Tom Mylan, butcher-owner, the Meat Hook

Wylie Dufresne, chef-owner, wd-50

Francis Lam is Features Editor at Gilt Taste, provides color commentary for the Cooking Channel show Food(ography), and tweets at @francis_lam.

Featured Slide Shows

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    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

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