"I live tired. Afraid. Anxious. Weary. Years, I feel it in the veins, the pulsing of ruptured hope. But this morning, I wake wildly wanting to live."
– Ann Voskamp


It is not a journalist’s job to protect us from the ugly facts. Neither is it his job to protect the sensitive from the painful truth or anyone, really, from anything.

In fact, speaking more broadly, it is not a journalist’s job to make the world a better place, to ensure our right thinking, or to defend the virtuous politicians that sophisticates like himself voted for while excoriating the evildoers elected by those country rubes on the other side. It is not his job to do good or be kind or be wise. The idea that any of this is a journalist’s job is a fallacy that seems to have infected the trade in the 1970s, when idealistic highbrows began to replace the Janes and Joes who knew a good story when they heard one.

Because that’s the journalist’s job: the story. His only job: to tell the whole story straight.


Monocle / Global Briefing: MUMBAI

Messy, comical, unpredictable, dramatic, impossible, beautiful. It’s the city where people lie in the gutters and dream of the stars. From slumdogs to millionaires, fashion to finance, Bollywood to beggars, it serves as a microcosm of the unwieldy, dichotomous country it exists in. Look past the dirty streets and the bright lights and you’ll see a city that’s warm and welcoming.

The guesting game

I am still trying to understand too.

Desk Grovemade

Singapore's Business Times has the best coverage on the food beat IMHO.

Offering both a less costly platform for first time F&B entrepreneurs to tinker with new ideas and a refreshing twist for jaded diners, the dual concept eatery is taking off in Singapore in a bigger way here than ever before. BT Weekend rounds up six new eating spots where opposites attract.
Don’t mind me using Tumblr as a personal bookmark.

"From the cold lakes of the Himalayas to the sand dunes of western Rajasthan to the tropical rain forests in the south, India hosts a dizzying variety of birds, like a dizzying variety of everything else."

"If it is true that in India a traveler is often tested by the tumult, the hustle, the dirt, the pollution, the first-world prices and sometimes second-rate service, the inevitable upturned palms and the overall din, it is also the case that as the advertising campaigns promise, India is in fact incredible."

"From the placid vantage of a laptop, the world looks manageable. In real time, the degree of travel difficulty unfolds in agonizing increments. Did I really think I could fit all that into a week? I did."

Narcissa - Vegetable alchemy comes to the fore. By Daniel S. Meyer

It’s hard to believe that a few short years ago, meathead chefs ruled the day, pushing gout-baiting, nose-to-tail tests and plundering pork-belly reserves into short supply. In those go-go times of beast worship, the seasonal-vegetable gospel played more humming background note than rip-roaring solo. That is, until a worldwide foraging craze made field pickings cool again and signature vegetable dishes became the new reputation makers. John Fraser — chef-owner of Michelin-starred Dovetail — is the latest adopter of the vegetable high altar, and his carrots Wellington at Narcissa sends up a fittingly sublime hymn. 

For a dish that sounds like the token vegetarian option at a bad 1980s wedding, this Wellington is entirely novel. The sweet, brined carrots are tinged hauntingly bitter by a coffee-cocoa rub, their juicy flesh downright pampered by buttery puff pastry and silky sunchoke puree ($20). 

The restaurant space itself is less than transcendent, about as navigable as the Bermuda Triangle, with a basement bathroom two zip codes away and a main dining area chopped up by wooden masts and zigzag banquettes. This carpeted room would look like a Marriott breakfast buffet were it not filled with black-clad art directors and Coen brothers lookalikes.

But a card-carrying locavore chef couldn’t ask for a better home than the Standard East Village hotel, whose proprietor Andre Balazs owns an upstate farm that funnels produce directly to the kitchen. And John Fraser proves to be one of this cites most captivating preachers of produce. The beef-less Wellington is nearly equaled by root vegetables spun on the open-kitchen rotisserie as if it were meat. Lush beets ($12) are dressed up as steak, sporting crackling char and creamy horseradish, while tender, smoky sweet potatoes ($12) wear jerk spices better than most chickens.

It would be noteworthy if Fraser were simply a vegetable sorcerer, but he’s also got a Midas touch with meat. Lamb two ways ($26) yields succulent rounds of loin rosy from edge to edge, and a crisp brick of belly drenched in musky fat. Charred rotisserie rib eye ($48) tastes so rich, you’d think the cow had been taking daily marrow supplements. 

It used to be that chefs wanted to let the vegetables speak for themselves, turning out rabbit food incapable of stirring diners less than militant in locavorism. John Fraser smartly whispers through them instead, and it’s worth hanging onto everything he has to say.