Mark's Blog

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Child Chef

April 29, 2024

I wish I weren’t as old as I am.  I wish that politics and governance hadn’t deteriorated as much as they have during these elder years of my life.   In spite of that, I am glad to have started my life near the end of the 1930s and glad to have been able to witness, and […]

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A Generous Celebration of Himself

March 27, 2024

My son, Francois, and I went to New York for an anniversary party of Per Se, the elegant restaurant of Thomas Keller that opened 20 years ago. It’s located on the fourth floor in what used to be called the Time-Warner building that overlooks Columbus Circle and a corner of Central Park. Only New York or London, I think, could have a building in which the 78th floor penthouse was sold in 2015 by a Russian Oligarch for $51 million.

When we arrived, the restaurant was already completely filled with guests who, like us, were handed a glass of champagne as we entered, and then left to walk around, greet others we knew, and taste food.

I don’t like eating that way – nibbles of random food – but Francois doesn’t feel the same way and tasted until he had used all of his prodigious store of taste buds. For me, the visit was purely evocative.

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I Hate To Cook

January 13, 2023

Half a century ago as the women’s movement was becoming really influential, Peg Bracken, a Portlandian, published a funny, cynical book she called The I-Hate-to-Cookbook.  It contained some good recipes, some not so good, and some wisdom.   This book was published at a time when a lot of people, mostly men, still thought that a […]

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What Now?

March 26, 2021

Note: We have (finally) revised our Website. I hope you find it useful and attractive. If during the pandemic you have continued to shop at Bread Furst and to step inside the bakery, you know how much we have changed.  Not only because we have been packaging all our foods in cellophane bags. The biggest change […]

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Uptown Market

October 11, 2019

At 7 am today we got a new neighborhood food store.  Inspections were passed; staff were being trained; products delivered and recipes retested; shelves are being stocked.  It’s Uptown Market just across the street from us and I think it will be a major addition to our neighborhood. “Our neighborhood?”  What is our neighborhood? We […]

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Cokie Was Unique

September 19, 2019

I don’t remember exactly when we met.  I arrived in Washington in 1961 immediately after college and went to work for her mother’s cousin, Howard K. Smith, the radio and television commentator. Cokie’s sister, Barbara, was my friend; Cokie was Barbara’s younger sister, still in college.  I spent a lot of time that summer at the […]

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A Few Days of Bliss

September 13, 2019

From time to time during the wet summer heat of Washington I wondered why nature made summer the best time to eat.    Many days here are so hot and the air so heavy that we don’t feel like eating some of the most wonderful foods that exist like pork shoulder or roasted potatoes or desserts […]

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Happy Birthday to Us

June 8, 2019

We failed to celebrate our anniversary last month and probably I should have boasted about our being five years old.  But it’s not our style to boast.  Even so I shouldn’t allow the moment to pass without thanking you. We opened Bread Furst believing it would be successful. Of course.  It’s pretty foolish to risk so […]

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Autumnal Thoughts

October 27, 2018

From time to time I make notes for a book I will never write.  It would be called Ten Inventions That Ruined the World.  Some of them, I would have to confess, like the automobile, have redeeming qualities even though the automobile has ruined the world.  Others like television have no redeeming qualities at all. […]

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Cooking to Buff

August 19, 2018

It’s unseemly, my grandmother would have said, to be obsessed about body weight – although she certainly was obsessed with hers.  It’s true; it is unseemly, especially for someone of my age.  But I am. As I have spent much of the summer alone in Hardwick, Vermont working on a book, and as I know […]

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