Our Meet Up – Food With Legs
The young’uns on the foodie scene got it going on! Surprise and delight greeted me upon virtually meeting David Ort of Food With Legs…yes it did! My initial browse through David’s site happened because of a referral from one of my fave bloggers, Kim Manley Ort (psst! David is her nephew) and I continue going back because I truly enough what David has to share. So it is with great pleasure that I get to introduce you to my new fave food blogger…David the writer behind “The Legs”.
I’ve noticed a real connection between you and your friends as I have read through your blog.
What does “good friends and food mean to you”?
Comfort and balance. When I’m having a really good time the company and the food are sharing the spotlight.
Please tell us about your wood-fired oven. (Recipes, upcoming inspirations, etc.)
Last summer my Dad and I built a Tuscan-style brick oven from scratch. Neither of us had any real brick-laying experience but we had lots of help and, I think, did a great job of building an oven that puts out more than just the best pizza. It’s been over five months since I cooked in it…I’m looking forward to spring.
The really fascinating angle of cooking in a wood oven are applications that capture the residual, more gentle heat that can last for days after it has been fired. I’ve dried peppers and cooked lentils overnight but I’m really looking forward to pushing the envelope with ideas like one Paul Pender (winemaker at Tawse Winery) mentioned to me: making homemade yogurt.
Feast your eyes upon one of the first big meals cooked in our wood oven…a six-course feast in honor of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope.
Would you consider yourself a wine expert or enthusiast? Give us some insight about your thoughts on wine and food.
Does anyone really say “no” to being a wine enthusiast? Writing about food comes more easily to me but when writing about wine I think I bring a more common and general perspective; I can name dozens of types of sausages but would be hard-pressed to come up with a list of grape varieties longer than fifteen or so. Wine has history and ceremony on its side but to tell you truth I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how beer pairs with food.
Why the name Food With Legs for your blog?
I’m not very good at writing concluding paragraphs or picking titles so I was happy to have a friend suggest this name when I started the blog more than two years ago. I think the inspiration was like saying that a wine has legs, so saying the same for really good food was a catchphrase of mine. Also, I try to write about the background of a particular food concept so I like to think I’m providing the legs that go with the table. And of course the literal connection is that a lot of my posts are about meat so I suppose that reason fits too.
You mentioned Serious Eats as a place that you have good luck in finding recipes in a recent blog post…please let us know at least three other places or cookbooks that you refer to when cooking. What makes each of them special to you?
I find that Google search results are clogged with the mundane (and often ill-tested) recipes from the giant sites, so my default go-to for a quick online recipe search is the Cook’s Illustrated online library. The magazine is great but with the whole back library of recipes and product reviews an online subscription is indispensable. Mark Bittman–whether by his books, app, or podcasts–is another great general reference. If I’m not looking to make a specific dish I’m more interested in the longer format food essays from writers like Jeffrey Steingarten and John Thorne that only sometimes end with what might be considered a recipe. Along with the other masters like Jane Grigson and Paula Wolfert when they do get around to writing recipes they read more like good writing than a numbered list of steps. There is a particular attraction to writing that works just as well as bed time reading or as kitchen instruction.
As a native Torontonian David is passionate about the city and its food scene. He cooks, grows heirloom vegetables, eats out and writes about all of it Food With Legs. When not cooking esoteric animal parts he feeds his Scrabble and trivia addictions, cycles, and relaxes on the dock at the cottage.