From senators to soufflis

The New York Times' R.W. Apple is more than just a political correspondent.

By Kevin Carey
October 2, 2000 11:53PM (UTC)
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What exactly does it mean to be the chief correspondent at the New York Times, anyway? The current holder of the title, R.W. "Johnny" Apple, has turned it into a dream job, weaving back and forth between political and food journalism. Nowadays, readers are as likely to see Apple writing about cassoulet as political conventions; pot de crhme as pundits and pollsters. Weeks before the two major parties' political conventions in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, Apple was laying the groundwork, scoping out Wolfgang Puck eateries and cheese steak stands. A brief list of Apple's food musings follows.

Place Date Published Food Activity
Seattle August 18, 2000 Eight restaurants, including one nine course, six wine extravaganza.
Special mention for unctuous braised pork cheeks and Betsey's equally tasty seafood boudin at Campagne
Nashville July 28, 2000 Six restaurants. Loves the chicken and biscuits, gravy, mussels, quail.
Also a big fan of a local delicacy, Goo-Goo clusters.
Paris July 12, 2000 Ten restaurants, bistro-themed trip.
Cassoulet, raspberry/strawberry charlotte, snails, etc.
What he doesnt want: "asparagus ice cream or foie gras with rhubarb"
Los Angeles June 23, 2000 Eight restaurants; touts the $400-a-head blow-fish special at sushi restaurant.
Fails to recognize Gwyneth Paltrow or Brad Pitt at Chinois
Worcester, UK June 21, 2000 Visits Worcestershire sauce factory.
Amazingly, no mention of any meals.
London June 14, 2000 Dover sole at Wiltons; For once, surprised by prices. Not on expense account?
Rowde, UK June 7, 2000 Theme is "gastro-pubs": pubs serving gourmet food. Gets in a jab at the "gastronomic philistinism of the royal family".
Bray, UK May 31, 2000 Visits the Fat Duck, where a chef and physicist collaborate on new recipes.
Low-heat lamb fillet recipe got Celsius and Fahrenheit mixed up, leading to correction next week (or very rare lamb)
Philadelphia May 26, 2000 Seven restaurants. The cheesesteak at Pats is "in its own way, sublime"
Austin/San Antonio April 28, 2000 Nine restaurants, lots of calories and fat chicken fried steak, cue.
Better at spotting old CIA hands than movie stars (see June 23 L.A. trip)
Charleston April 26, 2000 Breakfast, many times. Meatloaf sandwich is consumed with "an alacrity unbecoming in someone who gets paid to taste carefully"
Latrobe, PA April 19, 2000 Visit to a lamb farm. No meal, but references to lamb dishes at various restaurants elsewhere.
Reveals friendship with Morley Safer.
Chicago March 31, 2000 Nine restaurants, plus more in hotels. General theme: "Hot Dogs and Fancy Stuff"
Mickleton, UK March 22, 2000 In search of English puddings. Unable to finish all on offer at the Pudding Club buffet. Admits to an "effete" preference for crhme anglaise with his pudding.
Atlanta February 25, 2000 Six restaurants. A note of humility at Seegers "you will wonder whether you deserve such refinement."
Minneapolis January 28, 2000 Six restaurants, plus more in the hotels. Unusually harsh about the staff at various places "dim", "klutzy"
Rome December 29, 1999 At least nine restaurants.
Highlight is six-course meal from chef Heinz Beck, hence "I have joined the Beck fan club".

Kevin Carey

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