Mark's Blog

Welcome to


The Joy of Cooking

March 20, 2018

I am in Carmel, California working on a book that’s in part about the romance of cooking.   I don’t mean the romance of food. I mean of cooking. I began learning how to cook at approximately the same time as my mother began learning how to cook. My mother hadn’t learn it as a child […]

read more

The Weathermen

February 24, 2018

When I grow up I want to be a weatherman. I don’t mean a “Weatherman,” one of those young radicals who took their rage to the streets of Chicago in 1969. I mean those whose prognostications I read each day in the Post and hear on NPR. The weather predictors were right last Saturday. They […]

read more

‘Tis the Season — Already

November 17, 2017

I am sure you know how important the end-of-year holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve and Day – are to food businesses.   Our customers celebrate the holidays in restaurants; they buy special foods from retail businesses like ours and from mail order. They particularly reward bakeries with appetites for special confections like stollen […]

read more

The Hospitality Business

October 3, 2017

People in the restaurant business here in Washington nearly all of whom read the weekly “chat” of Tom Sietsema, the Post’s restaurant critic, have been abuzz with an exchange from last Wednesday’s “Ask Tom.” A woman (I presume) wrote to Sietsema as follows: Q: Pineapple & Pearls – Cancellation Policy – They REALLY mean it!  Hi […]

read more


June 4, 2017

My grandmother was in love with the English language. She abhorred pretension and embraced simplicity. She respected English too much to use many modifiers in speech or writing. Good language didn’t need them. I adored my grandmother and adopted her attention to language. These days it is all I can do to contain myself when […]

read more

Guest Rant

May 19, 2017

My friend David Hagedorn is a food expert.  He talks about it, writes about it, cooks it, even eats it.  He was a pioneer in the city, the chef-owner of Trumpets, a Nineties restaurant and nightclub near Dupont Circle.  Now he writes. He is co-author of several books, one of which is the Rasika cookbook […]

read more

The Subjectivity of Praise

May 11, 2017

Tom Sietsema’s spring dining guide, an annual restaurant listing of the Washington Post, appeared when some of us at Bread Furst were still in Chicago for the awards of the James Beard Foundation. Those honors are conferred in the first weekend of May each year in an extravaganza, a weekend of parties and restaurant dinners followed […]

read more

It’s Not Nice to Defy Mother Nature

April 28, 2017

Eating locally and seasonally is important to me.   I believe it is good for the environment but I also think it’s more fun to eat seasonally than to eat un-seasonally. I know that lots of people like to eat corn on the cob in December. Why not? If they like it there it is – […]

read more

Dining at the Heights

April 18, 2017

I have been thinking about the jambon beurre at Mirabelle, the wonderful looking new restaurant near Lafayette Square where the Christian Science church used to be. Frank Ruta is a friend whose meticulous food I love. You may recall he cooked dinners at Bread Furst after his restaurant Palena closed and before he went to […]

read more

Cookie Roberts

March 19, 2017

             I don’t write these little essays as advertisements for Bread Furst. I rarely beat the drums in this blog for our breads or tell you about new foods on the shelves. But this time I can’t resist telling about our new Cookie Roberts. When I was young and in college […]

read more