Every Friday morning, Bon Appétit senior staff writer Alex Beggs shares weekly highlights from the BA offices, from awesome new recipes to office drama to restaurant recs, with some weird (food!) stuff she saw on the internet thrown in. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll get this letter before everyone else.
Where is Alex Lau?
Our staff photographer and winner of a 2019 ASME Next award Alex Lau, keeps a low profile. Sometimes so low, no one can find him. He uses decoy location tags on Instagram like an international spy. We celebrated his ASME award recently and staffers recited a poem called “Where’s Lau?” that Shel Silverstein would have applauded. Then we ate piles of dumplings from Nom Wah Tea Parlor and at some point I looked around, and Lau was gone again. I caught up with the talented and elusive one, who was drinking a diet green tea Snapple in the Test Kitchen, so we could find the answer:
Where was Lau this week? Quebec.
What’s Lau reading? Shoe Dog, the memoir of Nike founder Phil Knight. Lau highly recommends this fast and fun read, even if you don’t care about sports.
What’s Lau listening to? He loves podcasts, and he can’t stop thinking about the episode of The Daily about New York’s elite public high schools.
Where’s Lau going next? Seattle, to visit his girlfriend.
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Why is Jesse sweating?
Jesse Sparks and Aliza Abarbanel were seated across a shared table in the office this week, laptop-to-laptop, and I sensed some tension. Jesse had lifted his locs from his neck and was fanning himself. He looked distraught. “Jesse, are you…okay?” I asked. “I’m really not,” replied Jesse. It turns out he and Aliza had applied caffeine patches that arrived with very little instruction or information, definitely not FDA-approved. “Overall good experience,” was Jesse’s review once he got over the initial rush and just became “fast.” Then he sent me the meme, seen above. I’m still concerned.
What’s on Chris Morocco’s station?
I know Adam wrote about Chris Morocco’s famous analytical mind this week, but he left out a crucial, character-defining detail. And that’s Chris Morocco’s Rolodex. It’s so worn that the edges are soft to the touch. Usually it remains on his desk, but on an especially hectic recipe-testing day it appeared on his work station, amidst piles of ingredients. “It was open to his LinkedIn password!” Exclaimed Molly Baz, “I was like, dad! But I love it.” Carla Lalli Music said, “It is LEGENDARY. It is for people who remember pencils and pens. It is for people who used to ‘work the phone.’” Chris’s rebuttal: “Its luster may have faded over the years but I can cram several lifetimes full of log-ins, account numbers, and VIP contacts in there.” I heard there’s one page that just says, “Kayak.com.”
Pour out a packet
Of Swiss Miss, because the inventor of the dehydrated cocoa mix, Charles Sanna, died this week at 101. In a recent interview with the The Wisconsin State Journal he said: “It’s nice to know that you’ve done something that will carry on.” If my math’s correct, the secret to a long life is drinking hot powdered milk.
Remember last week when I told you I was going to make these brussels sprout tacos and the cinnamon tamal? Well both turned out fantastic. The tacos were some of the best I’ve ever made, and INGENIOUS. There’s a layer of spicy peanut butter sauce, fried brussels tossed in a tangy fish sauce-scallion-vinegar, all topped off with white onion and avocado, lime, etc. I shoveled three into my face before I remembered what all those brussels were going to do to me. ? The tamal was super moist, barely sweet, with this deep corn-on-corn flavor, and you serve it with crème fraîche mixed with queso fresco for a creamy-sour-salty effect. What! A! Good! Idea!