New York Times comes to T.O., Wolfgang Puck’s latest, farmer’s market secrets

New York Times comes to T.O., Wolfgang Puck’s latest, farmer’s market secrets

Critical condition: The Times's Sam Sifton hits 13 cities (including Toronto) before taking up his new post as restaurant critic (Photo by Peter Dutton) 

Sam Sifton, who takes over as New York Times restaurant critic in October, is already proving to be a funny guy. Blogging about his pre-job eating tour, he mentions that he’s booked hotel rooms in Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Brussels, Shanghai, Barcelona, Riga, Los Angeles, Seattle, Mexico City, Stellenbosch, South Africa, and, yes, Toronto. With our hometown on his dining marathon, we think we’ll get along with Mr. Sifton just fine. [New York Times]

Wolfgang Puck has opened a bar and grill in the new L.A. Live Square (think Yonge-Dundas Square’s pimped-out cousin). The menu is “user-friendly,” says the L.A. Times, with So-Cal versions of burgers, steaks and pasta, along with simple gourmet fare like tuna tartare. When and where the Puck drops in Toronto has kept local bloggers busy for years, but we hope that it will be somewhere neon-light free. [L.A. Times]

• The limping economy means no more $10,000 stainless steel stoves for amateur chefs. Instead, chic housewives (and househusbands) are opting for enamel and chrome workhorses from the 1940s and ’50s. Unlike mass produced Vikings, these stoves have plenty of space, ample heat and can be fixed by the owner with parts that can be easily ordered on-line. [Slate]

• Foodies are speculating about what Kim Jong Il served to Bill Clinton on his diplomatic mission to rescue two American journalists. The lonely dictator is known to be an eccentric eater (he enjoys fish so fresh that the tail is still moving). While many North Koreans starved to death in the 1990s, Kim Jong Il sent his chef shopping for papayas in Thailand, caviar from Iran and beer from the Czech Republic. Both he and Clinton are fans of American food, so they may have just had hamburgers. [The Atlantic]

Time Out Chicago has compiled a list of fresh food that’s kept under the counter at farmer’s markets. From cellar-aged cheeses to specialty lettuce to beef cheek, some ingredients are only there for those who ask. We wonder if the same applies to Dufferin Grove Park. [Time Out Chicago]