Special Sauce: Kenji and Daniel Talk About Smashing Stuff

Special Sauce: Kenji and Daniel Talk About Smashing Stuff


Overhead view of bowl of shrimp and grits

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

On this episode of Special Sauce, I asked Daniel Gritzer, our managing culinary director, to come on and talk about the work he’s been doing recently, and about where he thinks the site is headed from a culinary point of view (I hope to have Daniel and other members of the culinary team on the podcast more regularly in the future). And just to spice it up a little, I had Kenji López-Alt, on, too.

We spent a fair amount of time talking about a magical and ancient cooking implement: the mortar and pestle. Daniel has done a lot of research into mortars and pestles, and Kenji has frequently extolled their virtues on the site. (If you follow Kenji on Instagram, you’ll have seen photos of Alicia, his adorable daughter, pounding away on her own mini mortar and pestle alongside her dad.)

The first thing I wanted to find out was what Daniel found so interesting about them. “It’s a kitchen tool that we take for granted,” Daniel said. “Mortars and pestles predate knives, right? Mortars and pestles go back to when we were still cutting things with chipped stone tools, they’re that old.”

Part of what Daniel was trying to figure out was whether his long-held suspicion that some of the mortars and pestles sold in kitchenware stores were just terrible at doing what they were supposed to. “I collected as many mortars and pestles as I could reasonably get my hands on,” Daniel said, and he put them through their paces. “Making things like pesto, Thai chili pastes, grinding spices, mashing garlic to a paste.” And he discovered, just as he suspected, that not all mortars and pestles are created equal. “This ceramic one that I picked up at a store that will not be named was just horrible, it didn’t work for anything.” Although Daniel did soften that criticism after noting that a reader had observed that it was a science lab mortar and pestle, one that’s not intended for culinary purposes. “That thing is good if you’re mashing up mouse brains to do some sort of experiment.”

And a good mortar and pestle is necessary, according to both Daniel and Kenji, since it will lead to superior results. “If you taste a pesto mae in a mortar and pestle side by side with a pesto made in a food processor,” Kenji observed, “it’s a pretty significant difference.” Kenji also noted that in his sequel to the Food Lab, which he’s now writing, “there’s an entire chapter on the mortar and pestle and what you can do with it.” Kenji even claims he’d put it in his top five pieces of necessary kitchen equipment.

Once Kenji left the line I asked Daniel to reflect on the way he sees the culinary content on Serious Eats evolving in the future, and he had a typically thoughtful answer, but to hear him talk about that, you’ll just have to listen. For now, suffice it to say that it was a pleasure to have Daniel Gritzer and Kenji López-Alt together again, if only on Special Sauce.

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Transcript

Ed Levine: Welcome to Special Sauce, Serious Eats’ podcast about food and life. This week, more with Mr. Food Lab himself, current Serious Eats Chief Culinary Consultant, Kenji López-Alt, author of The Food Lab, new restaurateur, and children’s book author. With us as well is Serious Eats’ current Managing Culinary Director, Daniel Gritzer, who I always called DJ Gritzer for absolutely no reason, who used to spend endless hours cooking with Kenji right in the middle of our old offices in a totally illegal kitchen, but now does it as our irreplaceable creative culinary manager.

Daniel Gritzer: Clearly Kenji, he’s the science guy. I have a piece of that, I’m half the time trying to understand the science of something, the other half the time I’m digging into my antique Provençal cookbook that’s written in Occitan to try to understand how bouillabaisse was cooked 150 years ago.

EL: Daniel Gritzer is in the house. How’s it going?

DG: It’s going well. How’s your kid?

J. Kenji López-Alt: Good, good.

EL: And now they both have kids that they talk about nonstop, it’s kind of boring really.

DG: Yeah. Once you have a kid, you forget how boring and annoying first time parents were before you had the kid.

EL: Both Gritzer and I noticed Alicia using her mortar and pestle right next to you.

JKLA: Yeah.

EL: And Gritzer, as you know, has done a serious deep dive into mortar and pestles.

JKLA: Yeah, and I’m glad that his recommendations were pretty similar to what mine would be at the end.

EL: Which makes sense because you’re both the same obsessively talented cooks and experimenters, but I don’t know that Adrian, who was not quite as old … that’s Daniel’s son, is ready for mortar and pestle action yet.

DG: Yeah, maybe not. He’d try to eat it probably.

JKLA: How old is he now?

DG: 10 months, almost 11.

JKLA: 10 months? Yeah, probably not quite yet. Yeah, they’ve got to be at least I think on their feet.

EL: You know what’s cool about Serious Eats is that we now … there are all these, I call them Serious Eats kids, kids from people who either still work at Serious Eats or have worked at Serious Eats, they’re like 10 of them now. I always used to call Serious Eats my extended family but now it’s truly an extended family.

JKLA: Generations deep.

EL: Which is pretty cool.

JKLA: Yeah, and then in like 18 years from now there’s a whole new generation of potential employees here.

EL: It’s true. Actually, do you know that your wife, Kenji, sent me an application for Alicia to be an intern at Serious Eats in I think 2036.

JKLA: Oh cool, cool, cool.

EL: So you know enough about kids. Okay. I like kids, you know I love my son to death, but there are other things to talk about like mortar and pestle stuff and this is where Gritzer went way deep on every kind of mortar and pestle, right, Gritzer?

DG: Every kind is a big statement.

EL: Many kinds. Talk about the process.

DG: Well first I mean just mortars and pestles in general, there’s something so profound about them because it’s a kitchen tool that we take for granted and I feel like most often in the United States it’s more of a decorative item like, “I like to cook, here’s my mortar and pestle on the shelf.” More than a functional tool that people are using day in and day out. Mortars and pestles predate knives, right? Mortars and pestles go back to when we were still cutting things with chipped stone tools, they’re that old. Like this is some serious-

EL: We’re talking BC.

DG: Way BC, we’re talking pre agriculture.

EL: Before pesto, yes.

JKLA: That’s one of the problems with it, really. I think because a lot of people see it as an anachronism and they’re like, “How good does a couple of pieces of stone perform a functional duty in a modern kitchen?”

DG: Right, absolutely. And yet they were so useful for so long that it encourages the question of what do these things do and why are we using them less? When I say we I am talking from our cultural and national position. I think in other countries mortars and pestles are still frequently used today. So I collected … to Ed’s original question … I collected as many mortars and pestles as I could reasonably get my hands on that represented a variety of sizes and materials and shapes and kind of put them through the paces of some of the more common tasks that I think of when I think of using a mortar and pestle. Making things like pesto, making Thai chili pastes, grinding spices, mashing garlic to a paste, these kinds of things. And really trying to answer this question of, “okay, let’s say we’re interested in mortars and pestles, how much does the tool itself matter?” Because that’s the other thing, we have the one that we bought at the kitchenware store that yes, now I own a mortar and pestle. Is it any good, or is it good for the tasks that I even want to do? I feel like we’re so disconnected from this tool that the ones that frequently get sold at the common kitchenware stores are usually pretty poor tools for the job. Which I kind of suspected for a long time but doing these tests really opened my eyes to it.

EL: And so what you did was you took mortar and pestle techniques and recipes from different cultures and tried to use each mortar and pestle for the same task to come up with … right am I?

DG: Yeah, that’s precisely … obviously picking among the vast number of things one could do with a mortar and pestle, I picked a couple of things that are that are quite common here. Obviously pesto sauce is a prime candidate and I special ordered a marble mortar with this olive wood pestle from Italy to get my hands on this Mediterranean style … they’re almost impossible to find here in the United States … I ordered it through Etsy. The thing’s a work of art, it’s not cheap, the shipping is not cheap because it’s heavy. It was beautiful.

And I then took a Thai granite mortar and pestle where the mortar bowl is made of granite and the pestle’s made of granite. And that’s one that Kenji has recommended a lot and I’ve recommended a lot as well, and I tried that for pesto.

Then I did a Thai curry paste and tried that in the Italian one. I also had one that was this ceramic one that I picked up at a store that will not be named that was just horrible, it didn’t work for anything. Actually one reader pointed out that’s a science lab mortar and pestle that they’re selling. That’s not even intended for culinary purposes. That thing is good if you’re mashing up mouse brains to do some sort of experiment and then you can put in the autoclave and sterilize it.

EL: So you mean that the subtitle could have been worst home cooking through science.

DG: Sometimes that’s what happens.

EL: It’s such a crazy, obsessive Serious Eats Gritzer Kenji thing to do because … we’re talking hours of work, right?

DG: Yeah. And the effort. There’s no denying that using a mortar and pestle is work. I did back to back pestos and Thai curry paste in three … That’s nine batches, three by three … sorry, three by two, plus in smaller ones, so six batches. Plus in the smaller mortars and pestles I was grinding spices and garlic and stuff like that and so my arm …

JKLA: We did a video and I actually thought you’d be able to see it more, but if you look you could see him getting increasingly clammy and pasty and sweaty as the video goes on because it’s like, “Okay, I gotta do another one of these Thai curry pastes, this is killing me, man.”

EL: That’s funny, but it’s true. It’s also true, what Kenji said, that people think of mortars and pestles as anachronisms, as cooking anachronisms as if they’re the anti food processor and I would argue they’re just a different kind of food processor.

DG: Yeah, there’s a task overlap in that what you would traditionally use a mortar and pestle for, you might very well choose to use a food processor for instead in the modern kitchen. But they work differently. The food processor has a spinning blade and it chops everything up, and a mortar and pestle is using shearing and grinding power to bust open cells and crush and pulverized things. The effects are different, the textures of sauces are different, the flavors that are released are different.

DG: The experience as a cook also is different. There’s something to be said … we don’t all have the time to stand around pounding a mortar and pestle all day long and I get that, and the convenience of a food processor cannot be denied.

JKLA: But if you taste a pesto made in a mortar and pestle side by side with a pesto made in a food processor, it’s a pretty significant difference, no matter how much you grind it down.

DG: Yeah. And there’s an experience thing too, of just standing there working your food and standing over it as the aromas are wafting up into your face. And we can wax poetic about it and stuff, I don’t want to oversell that aspect of it, but there’s something to that too.

JKLA: I would put a mortar and pestle on my top five pieces … Actually in my second book there’s an entire chapter on the mortar and pestle and what you can do with it. I put it in my top five pieces of kitchen equipment these days.

EL: That’s pretty high up.

JKLA: That’s high up.

EL: Well here’s a good question for you both: Give us your top five. Gritzer?

DG: A chef’s knife or something like that, you need a skillet, you need a pot … We’re not including ovens, right?

EL: No, no, we’re not including any heating elements.

DG: Some kind of a blender. So Kenji, you’re saying you …

JKLA: You haven’t seen those old lithographs of French royal kitchens where the guys are pounding stuff to make a puree … I don’t know why you need a blender for, you just have to pound really hard and push through cloth.

My list, I would put a knife and a cutting board, I feel like those are so obvious, but knife and a cutting board. I would put a cast iron skillet, a wok, and a mortar and pestle. Maybe even a pressure cooker instead of a cast iron skillet. Damn five is not a lot if you have to take up two slots with a knife and a cutting board.

EL: Yeah.

DG: And if you’re trying, like you said, if you have to hit the essentials you run out of slots really quickly.

JKLA: Yeah.

DG: Yeah, you need a knife, that’s pretty basic.

JKLA: Let’s stick with non-basics, just like gadgets, whether that means electronic or anachronistic. In that case I would do, I would do … Yeah, electric pressure cooker, like countertop pressure cooker, which I use way more than my stovetop. I think Daniel is probably the opposite. I would use a mortar and pestle. I would put on a cast iron skillet, a wok, and … Hmm, maybe a toaster oven probably, which I use more than my regular oven these days.

DG: That’s funny. I don’t own a toaster oven.

EL: You don’t own a toaster oven?

DG: That’s a New York City thing.

JKLA: Yeah.

DG: My kitchen is so small, I have to make some decisions. And a toaster is a lot of counter space. I appreciate what a toaster can do. It’s small, heats up quickly.

JKLA: Yeah, it heats up without heating up your kitchen, which is-

DG: But man, yeah.

JKLA: At least not as much as a regular oven, which is nice.

EL: But Kenji lives in California now, so he’s got a lot of room.

DG: Yeah, he’s got all the space. He could have three toaster ovens. Can I get a stacked wall toaster oven?

EL: That’s really funny. Thanks, Kenji. I know you’ve got to go, but I have so many questions for Daniel Gritzer, Serious Eats Managing Culinary Director. I’m delighted he can stick around with us a little bit longer. Thank you so much for checking in with your old crew on Special Sauce.

JKLA: Yeah, it’s great to be here. It was a nice surprise to talk to Daniel.

EL: This has been so much fun.

DG: Send us some sausages, eh?

EL: I told him to send us some pretzels.

JKLA: Yeah, actually just last night I went into the restaurant to taste a bunch of sausages we’re working on. We have a really awesome sort of Thai, it’s like sai oua, so it’s flavored with lemongrass and lime leaf and garlic, and it’s pretty delicious. All right.

EL: All right, so please send that with the pretzels, and that’s all we have time for.

JKLA: See you later, Ed. All right, see you later, Daniel.

EL: All right, we’ll see you later, man.

DG: Bye, Kenji.

EL: So, D. Gritzer. Now that we’ve gotten much of the mortar and pestle conversation out of the way, I want to talk about your crew. Your crew at Serious Eats. You’re the first one on Kenji’s crew, right-

DG: Right.

EL: … in terms of the culinary crew. Of course when I started Serious Eats, I had never developed a recipe in my life. Actually I did, for a tuna fish sandwich from Eisenberg’s. Here’s the recipe. Take a can of Bumblebee tuna. Add some mayonnaise. Mash it with the back of a spoon. That’s it.

DG: That’s it?

EL: That’s it. Ferran Adria, eat your heart out. But let’s talk about that. I mean first of all even, how you got there. And I remember the day you cooked for Kenji as if it was yesterday.

DG: Yeah, me too.

EL: We were in our tiny little office of 900 square feet, maybe 1,000. This L-shaped former cannoli bakery next to Ferrara’s in Little Italy. And you came in, and you were the last one, and we were really tired. And Kenji was like, “I don’t know about any of these people, man. I don’t know about any of these people.” And then you show up after a full day of work at Food & Wine, and you start cooking. And I forgot what the assignment was. Was it to break down a chicken, or …

DG: There was a chicken. There was a chicken recipe that I was cooking. So yeah, it was pretty straightforward.

EL: And all of a sudden I’m getting these texts like, “This dude can cook.” And then the greatest thing was, you and Kenji and I hung out and just talked about food for two and a half hours.

DG: Yeah.

EL: We left the office at like 10:30. You were the first person other than Kenji who was cooking at Serious Eats, at the office. And now, look at what you … Now you have a full-blown crew, or more of a full-blown crew.

DG: Yeah. It’s, you know what … We used to do those sort of Behind the Scenes at Serious Eats, or This Week at Serious Eats posts with photos, so long-time readers definitely got a look into that old office space. But I feel like probably no one can ever quite grasp how … what’s the word … macabre that office was.

EL: Bizarre, surreal.

DG: I mean, let’s put it this way. If you were to walk into that office, and it was almost definitely an illegal kitchen setup in there-

EL: Definitely. Yeah, if you remember-

DG: … We can say that now.

EL: … Kenji bought a cooktop on Amazon, then bought an Ikea workstation, and then the wires were exposed.

DG: Oh, yeah. Holes in the ceiling, wires … what’s it called, the BX electrical cable conduit running across the floor with … And this is the kind of place where, certainly if you were just to walk into it on your own, you’d probably check the freezer to see if there were human heads in there, right? It just had that vibe. And it’s no accident that it was known affectionately among all the staff as the murder kitchen.

EL: I didn’t even know that. You kept that from me.

DG: It’s because we suspected you, Ed.

EL: And yet, magic happened in that kitchen.

DG: Yeah, you know, the stuff that we were able to pull off in there, and also some of the backbends you had to do to make it work. I remember when I was working on the French omelet story, and we didn’t have gas; it was all on induction. And a French omelet, the classic method is actually pretty hard to do on an electric or induction cooktop. You need the gas, because you want to kind of tip the pan and move the pan, and induction really requires that you just kind of stay on the pan in the same place. But then I was using this aluminum skillet to do it, and aluminum doesn’t work on induction. And I ended up taking the baking steel out of the oven, putting it on top of the induction cooktop, heating the baking steel, and using that as a middle layer between the induction and the pan. Now if you look at the photos, you will never know this.

EL: So there were so many jury-rigged things, right? Because we didn’t have the equipment, the money. All we had was the love. That’s all that fueled Serious Eats’ growth, was the love and the passion we all had for doing what we were doing, and doing it together. And now we have this big, beautiful office with fancy kitchens, and yet-

DG: We have two kitchens.

EL: … yeah, and now … It’s weird. I was talking to someone the other day, and I realized, I miss the energy that came with you guys cooking in that little office.

DG: It’s hard to recreate, because it was … The upside of the murder kitchen was that it was literally in the middle of the office. It was not a separate … Part of why it was illegal, probably, is because of how it was set up. But it did put the kitchen right into the heart of the office. And obviously now we’re doing videos, and we’re doing more photos, and we have more people cooking at any given time. And so the kitchen has to be a separate space; it has to be walled off. It has to be sort of sequestered from the rest of the workspace, and that does … Yeah, I agree. It has an impact on the vibe a little bit. Sort of, I guess, the growing pains of professionalizing on a certain level.

EL: Yeah, it’s weird. I mean there are obviously lots of advantages that come with having more resources, but you also miss something. You know, an editor at the site, Sho Spaeth, talks about how he loved the early days of Serious Eats because it … He called it the punk rock days.

DG: Yeah, that’s accurate. I’m not a punk person, but it sure felt like that. I mean I was a late-

EL: Arrival.

DG: … arrival on the Serious Eats history. But it’s still, I feel like I did have, I got to experience a good chunk of that era.

EL: So now, how do you go about doing your work? Your crew is serious now.

DG: Yeah, I think it sort of feels like the A-Team. You have, there’s like B.A. Baracus, who’s, he’s kind of the muscle. And then there’s Murdock, who’s crazy but also is the bomb expert. I haven’t seen the A-Team in too long, I’m probably messing this up. But I do feel like we’re really nicely well-rounded and bring different things to the table, sort of different specialists. But still there’s this fundamental overlap that stays true, I hope, to the spirit of the site and a lot of what Kenji really started when he really ramped up the recipe and cooking content on the site from the get-go, which is an intellectual rigor, a healthy skepticism, a desire to understand why things work the way they do, and to put things to the test, and show our work when we communicate it to the readers.

Whether they agree with the conclusions we’ve come to or not, we put it out there so that we’re really giving people a chance to understand how we’ve arrived at the conclusions we’ve had. But then within that, we each are different. And so clearly Kenji was like, he’s the science guy. And I have a piece of that, but not quite as much as Kenji. I’m half the time trying to understand the science of something, the other half the time, I’m digging into my antique Provençal cookbook that’s written in Occitan to try to understand how bouillabaisse was cooked 150 years ago. That’s sort of something that speaks to me and that I want to dig into. Not that Kenji didn’t do that too, but we’re sort of different volume levels on different fronts. And then Stella is someone who like casually whips out this-

EL: Stella, we should say Stella Parks.

DG: Stella Parks, Brave Tart, our baking-

EL: Pastry wizard.

DG: … pastry wizard. Who, yeah, she just like casually whips out this profound science knowledge as if it’s like, sort of, “Yeah, no. Everybody knows that.” And then she also is someone who goes deep into the original source material of Americana and American baking, and has busted a lot of, sort of-

EL: Doing a lot of myth-busting.

DG: … a lot of myth-busting, and rewriting the history of how certain desserts have come to be, and how they … fantastic stuff. So we’re each firing on different fronts.

DG: And then Sohla, who’s our most recent member of the team. Sohla El-Waylly, she’s the one who … First of all, she’s the freshest, I think, from the restaurant world. She and her husband Ham ran a restaurant in Brooklyn up until she joined Serious Eats, basically. And so she’s bringing, I think … The degree to which my cooking is influenced by my restaurant experience has faded and is a little bit dated because I’ve been out of restaurants for so long, and I’m thinking more like a home cook. And I think Sohla’s sort of reinvigorating some of that kind of restaurant technique and approach, and how to kind of put a twist on something that’s a little bit outside of what you might get on the dinner table of someone’s home if you’re talking about a classic dish. But in a really interesting way. It’s a little bit of that restaurant touch, but not too much. Not in a way that feels heavy-handed and out of touch with the home cook. So I really appreciate that.

EL: As well as, she comes from a different culture than we … in terms of ethnicity, and that really brings something totally fresh to the Serious Eats team as well, right?

DG: Yeah, I mean I think we each have our own backgrounds and childhoods, and the foods that we grew up with, and that we ate, and also that we cooked professionally. And so for Sohla, her family’s from Bangladesh, and so she has this tremendous knowledge of South Asian cooking, which is really a wealth of knowledge to bring to the table. And she’s got others. She knows a lot about Spanish cooking; she spent a lot of time in Spain. We haven’t even seen that much of that from her yet. But that’s something she can write on with expertise. Yeah, so we each have our thing. And I think that’s a really healthy balance and mix, to try to, yeah, just have as many perspectives as we can get while keeping that core-

EL: Right. Serious Eats-ness.

DG: … alive, yeah.

EL: You’ve mentioned a couple of qualities, but the people you hire, they have to check off a lot of boxes. Let’s just briefly mention each box that they have to check off.

DG: Right. So first they need to be a great cook. Really a great cook. And I think for what we … There are a lot of great home cooks and people in the food writing and recipe development world who come strictly from a home cooking background, who do wonderful work. There’s something about what we do at Serious Eats where I feel like having some kind of that professional insight rewards what we’re doing and the questions we are asking. And so someone who can really cook and who’s got something of, kind of like a professional edge, but not someone who’s just a chef head who is completely out of touch with how people cook at home, because that’s not helpful for anybody.

Then the person needs to be able to write, which is an entirely different skill set from being able to cook. I mean there are a lot of good cooks out there. Most of them, I don’t know … Maybe there are many hidden excellent writers out there-

EL: I doubt it.

DG: … but it’s hard to find. And certainly a great cook who also can put the words on the page, that’s a extra-hard skill to find. Now we’re doing more video, and it’s certainly not my strong point, but it’s been amazing to see. Sohla and Stella are really doing great stuff on-

EL: I think all of you, actually, are doing really amazing videos. And particularly in Sohla’s case, it’s surprising, because she’s pretty shy in person. And I asked her, I said, “You seem so comfortable in front of the camera.” She said, “It’s much easier for me to talk to the camera than it is to talk to other people.”

DG: That is amazing.

EL: And now you’ve just hired someone else, so it’s becoming this big A-Team, and so your role is now as much a managerial role as it is a creative role, right?

DG: Yes, which is challenging. I have a unique and really, in a lot of ways, enviable role, but also very difficult role of being a content creator. Developing recipes, writing articles about those recipes, all of these things, and also trying to somehow keep an eye on how the trains are running. Which is probably where I let things slide the most, when I let things slide, to be honest.

EL: Well, it’s only because you probably had the least amount of experience. I’m always asking people to stretch, I guess.

DG: I will say one of the great things at Serious Eats, and another quality that’s critical to someone on the team, is independence. I don’t have the time; even though I’m technically, I guess, managing the team, I don’t have the time to truly manage the team in the way that that probably happens at other publications. So everyone needs to really have a strong independent streak, self-motivated, know what they want to work on, be able to devise their plan of attack. Of course, we can always talk anything out if … you know, talk through how things are being approached and all that. But at the end of the day, we really need someone who can just handle their stuff.

EL: Yeah, and Kenji and I talked about that. Because that was always the way I hired at Serious Eats, and it’s now the way you’re hiring at Serious Eats, which is, you find the smartest people you can that check off the most boxes, and then you let them do their thing.

DG: That is the goal. And yeah, I feel really good right now about who we have and what they’re doing. So I feel really quite fortunate. It would be impossible to do what we do with our scrappy little team if I had to hand-hold every step of the way. Yeah.

EL: And so how do you see things evolving at Serious Eats?

DG: Ooh, that’s really a hard one. I think it’s really important to keep our eye on the original mission, which is the empiricism, the skepticism, the putting things to the test, not just passing along inherited kitchen wisdom as if it’s true, and without some level of scrutiny. Showing our work, explaining the why behind the how, all of that I think we really, it has to be our North Star.

I, personally, am trying to work in that other side of things, which is the more intuitive side. I do music analogies. You can’t be a great musician if all you do is shred on a technical level. Technique is important, but technique is not the whole picture, because you know what? A computer can shred a hell of a lot better than most people if you just reduce it to that, in terms of-

EL: Yeah. I’m a huge Thelonious Monk fan. He always said, “It’s not the notes you play; it’s the notes you don’t play.”

DG: Right, exactly. And so how do we start to introduce these, really, more intangible and difficult in a lot of ways I think, questions to the conversation about, yeah, let’s keep thinking about the technique and working the technique, but how do we also think about just being a cook?

EL: Yeah, and also the human side. I’m always encouraging all of you to remember the human side of Serious Eats. So that means humor, and connecting on a visceral level with our readers.

DG: Right. Right, absolutely. And that’s an important point too, right? In terms of the voice, and how we write about things, keeping it fun, keeping it human, keeping it personal. And then also on the cooking side, how do we introduce that … not introduce, but grow that side of the conversation in a way that’s valuable?

EL: Yeah. Well, Daniel Gritzer, we are going to keep doing this. We’re going to do this a lot, now.

DG: Fun.

EL: You’re going to keep everyone up-to-date on what’s happening at Serious Eats, because that’s what we should do on Special Sauce. That should be part of what we do on Special Sauce. So thank you for coming, and give Adrian a kiss for me, because he’s the cutest.

DG: I’ll give him a hundred.

EL: And we’ll see you next time, Serious Eaters.

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