Summer is officially upon us, and with that comes my favorite season for produce. Tomatoes and summer squash have started popping up at my local farmer's market, and chile peppers (my all-time favorite ingredient) are right around the corner.
Yes, these are all ingredients that you'll see in most grocery stores year-round. But the difference between a local, in-season version of these vegetables and one that's been picked, trucked, sprayed, and shelved is enormous. Seasonal produce is one of life's great joys, and I highly recommend visiting a local market this weekend to pick some up.
What I'm Reading
I'm currently reading Pasta, Pane, Vino by Matt Goulding. Goulding is, in my opinion, the most talented food writer working today. His work was discovered by Anthony Bourdain many years ago, and Bourdain went on to publish all of his books. Pasta, Pane, Vino is an incredible deep dive into Italian food and food culture from the perspective of one of the most curious, passionate, and respectful food lovers you'll ever encounter.
Goulding travels through the country eating, drinking, and talking to people involved in the growing, crafting, and cooking of food. His love for Italy shines through on every page, but it's his way with words that makes these books so special.
His previous books– Rice, Noodle, Fish and Grape, Olive, Pig (about Japan and Spain, respectively) are all-time favorites of mine. Now I can add Pasta, Pane, Vino to that list. I can't recommend his work enough.
The Meat Mafia Podcast
I recently went on an episode of the Meat Mafia Podcast, a health and food focused podcast created by some friends of mine. We covered a lot of ground in this episode, talking about everything from home cooking and community to diets, nutrition, and Bitcoin. Check it out below!
What I'm Using
I'm kind of obsessed with plating spoons. I've talked about this a lot on Twitter, but I just can't get enough of these things. They're one of those tools that are ubiquitous in professional kitchens but rarely used by home cooks, and I'm here to change that.
My favorites are Gray Kunz spoons and Mercer plating spoons. They're basically just large spoons, but you'll end up using them all the time. They're perfect for basting, saucing, plating, scooping, drizzling...you name it. I have several regular ones, as well as a perforated one.
And if you want to be as cool as Danny Bowien (one of my favorite chefs), you can pick up the limited-edition gold-plated version for extra swagger.
Amazing Olive Oil
I recently started working with a new olive oil brand called Graza. I'm kind of an olive oil snob, and this is by far my favorite brand.
There's a lot that I love about it. First and foremost, the oil is delicious. I love that it comes in squeeze bottles for easy access. Their sourcing is impeccable, and my conversations with the team have made it clear to me that they take their product extremely seriously. And it shows– myself and a bunch of other chefs I know have switched to Graza as our primary olive oil supplier. You can check out their website to read all about their process.
If you want to try it out, you can use this link (or just use the affiliate code MYLES) for $5 off your first order.
If you've watched Chef's Table on Netflix, you're probably familiar with Massimo Bottura. He's an Italian chef with one of the best restaurants in the world, known for extremely modern and whimsical takes on Italian cuisine.
But it turns out he can also do the classics. Massimo created Villa Manodori, a line of Italian olive oils and vinegars that I recently tried.
Inspired partially by reading Pasta, Pane, Vino, I've been on a bit of an Italian kick lately. This classic balsamic has blown me away, and I've been using it in everything from dressings to glazes, dips, sauces, and more.
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