There are thousands of cooking blogs -- each week, we bring you highlights from the best. This week, a reprieve from homey in favor of a festive night out.
It is true: we love our home cooks. But every now and again, even we yearn for the pomp and circumstance of a restaurant meal. Zen Can Cook, a refreshing shift of gears, definitely indulges our secret (or not-so-secret) desire to eat out and know what happens behind the scenes.
Zenchef, as he calls himself, is an alum of many a Michelin-star in France, London, and New York, but moved briefly to Hawaii to "research beach barbecuing and skinny-dipping." However, "despite promising abilities as a beach bum, I decided to move back to New York," writes Zenchef. "Cooking a private dinner party at the home of JFK Jr. inspired me to become a private chef." Zen Can Cook, however, is a testament to this blogger's restaurant past.
Well, Zen can write and take photographs too. In his Behind the Line series, Zen takes his readers into the fire of the kitchens of a number of wonderful restaurants. We're impressed by his ability to be a fly on the wall (which is perhaps not the best analogy to a restaurant). Take Le Bernardin, where he spent two days in the kitchen and emerged with fantastic photos of service, which feel a bit like never-before-seen footage on the classiest of reality shows.
The recipe index reads like an international restaurant menu and hitches to the notion that anyone can cook: "Zen can cook, so can you!" is an old proverb from which the blog title takes its name. A surprisingly simple menu of Sea Scallops with Fennel, Blood Orange and Sauce Maltaise followed by Chocolate and Pistachio Crêpes Suzette would be beautiful and impressive. Thanks to Zen Can Cook, any night can be an exquisite restaurant experience (and the only trip you made was to the market).