On Culture, Caraway, and a Computer

One of the featured examples of innovation in Frans Johansson book The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation is the work of Marcus Samuelsson at Aquavit. Johansson explains the idea of Associative Barriers, the associations our brains naturally make between certain ideas. Some of these ideas are culturally bound. When we hear [...]

Red Cabbage – Rotkohl-Style

My grandmother on my mother’s side was German, and my great grandmother was really German, Bavarian royalty somewhere in the lineage. I think that may explain why we served the sweet and sour red cabbage dish known as Rotkohl with our Thanksgiving turkey. I have taken up the tradition and modified it a bit over [...]

In Praise of Smørrebrød

Nordic cuisine has ascended in recent years to join the culinary pantheon of fine dining, a welcome broadening of the traditional European references for modern American experimentation. Such a re-emergence of Nordic influences generates an interesting confluence in the Midwest, particularly in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where immigrants settled a few generations ago.  They brought with [...]