Destinations Magazine

Craig Claiborne – Another Memory.

By Johntalbott

Yesterday the New York Times had a once-in-a-lifetime tribute to Craig Claiborne, who should have been alive to read the pieces by Pete Wells, Brian Miller and Jacques Pepin (and a month ago Frank Bruni). 

Except for reading his reviews, my first contact with the great man, albeit second-hand, was when Colette and I decided to hold a Chinese New Year’s banquet with several of our friends.  I called my then best source for restaurants, be they in Keocuk or Chinatown, Johnny Apple, and he said in his growly voice “I’ll have to get back to you.”  I was puzzled; Apple knew everything about anything, especially when it came to politics or food and he knew it instantly – “get back to me” sounded serious. 

But sure enough, a few hours later Apple’s on the phone; “Craig says go to xxxxxx, but you have to go down there to plan the menu yourself because they don’t speak English and you order the stuff that’s on the red ribbons hanging from the molding.  OK?” 

I did, we did, it was memorable and I called Apple and thanked him.  A day after that the growly voice says (without a hello) “Talbott, Craig is tickled pink, but don’t tell anyone where you were because he’s never written it up and wants to keep it ‘his’.” 

So the greatest source of information on quality dining in Manhattan for those of us interested in all that was good in New York kept some treasures in pectorum.  Interesting, eh?

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog