I think a special bravery award should go to Salma Abdelnour, who yesterday gave notice to her bosses at O magazine, where she’s food editor, that she’s quitting to be a freelancer.
That’s right, she’s leaving a job in publishing of her own free will.
So, congratulations to her and best wishes; sometimes you just have to stare right in the face of danger and leap into the chasm.
Salma was at the Beard House last night along with the rest of an A-list of food writers that included Kate Krader from Food & Wine and The Great Melissa Clark, who was there armed with pictures of her adorable five-month-old daughter, Dahlia Beatrix.
Pat Cobe from Restaurant Business was there too.
It really was an impressive gathering for the Beard House, orchestrated by the Hall Company, who represent Zaré at Fly Trap, a restaurant in San Francisco that bills itself as serving Mediterranean cuisine with Persian influence.
But some of the Persians at the Beard House last night said a lot of the food was straight-up Persian, though I'm sure the grilled Alaska king salmon with toasted fregola, chermoula and raita was not.
That fish was served with a Tempranillo wine from Rioja (a 2000 Lopez Heredia “vina bosconia.”)
We were celebrating Norooz, or Persian New Year, which is on the first day of spring.
What else I ate:
Marinated chickpeas with eggplant, Italian parsley and baby grapes
Roasted Italian eggplant with sundried yogurt and walnuts on toast
Pistachio meatballs with harissa-honey-pomegranate glaze
2000 Yarden blanc de blanc sparkling wine from the Galilee, Israel
Smoked trout with Persian cucumber “linguine”, trout roe and dill crème fraîche
2008 Sigalas Asyrtiko from Santorini, Greece
Ash é Reshteh — a stew of winter greens, beans and root vegetables
2006 Darioush Russian River Chardonnay
Kufteh Tabrizi: A double Niman Ranch lamb chop, preserved lime and turmeric broth, all encased in a giant kufteh-style casing, like a giant meatball, but with bones sticking out of it, served with an Iranian version of chutney and pickled string beans
1999 Château Musar Cabernet-Cinsault-Carignan, Lebanon
Maast é Keysehe — Yogurt panna cotta with white truffle honey and olive oil biscotti
2003 Clos du Papillon Savennierres