Friday, November 21, 2008

Million Dollar Baby

Yo, check it out: my friend Chris Volinsky is in the New York Times! He's quoted in an article about Netflix, which is holding a contest to see who can come up with the most accurate "recommendation engine" (the program that determines which movies to recommend to a customer). The winner will recieve $1 million, and Chris' team is one of the top participants so far. I've seen my fair share of fame and fortune (um, I won an ice cream-making contest at work), so I know exactly what Chris is going through right now. Stay focused, Chris, and don't let the pressure get to you. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

Hello! Mr. and Mrs. Concord have been busy lately. Since my last post, we spent some time in St. Thomas and St. John vacationing and attending a friend's wedding. The beaches were nice, the weather was hot, and the iguanas were friendly. And congratulations to Jen and Aaron, the happy newlyweds! Anyway, it's good to be back in Seattle. Sure, it's nice to hang out in a tropical paradise, but there's nothing quite like the comforts of your own hometown. Last weekend we went out for brunch at the Volunteer Park Cafe. It was our second visit to the place, and it reinforced my opinion that it is the best breakfast joint in Seattle. I've long complained that too many restaurants serve the same stuff for breakfast: pancakes, omelettes (or "scrambles", or "rumbles", or's all the same, really), french toast, eggs benny, etc. There's a huge variety of cuisines available for dinner, but people are pretty narrow-minded when it comes to their breakfasts. There are exceptions: I'm thinking specifically of Senor Moose in Ballard, which serves Mexican-style breakfasts, and Silence-Heart-Nest in Fremont, with it's Hare Krishna-inspired vegetarian offerings. But what if you want something that's not too far out, yet a step above your average American breakfast? Volunteer Park Cafe is your answer. As the name implies, it's a cafe, i.e. you order at the counter and seat yourself, but they offer a decent variety of breakfast dishes in addition to their coffee and pastries. And man, oh man, is their food delicious. I've tried both the breakfast panini (proscuitto, poached eggs, and gruyere cheese) and the carmelized, custardy brioche french toast. Sweet Jesus, they were amazing. Add to that the cool, laid-back vibe and the fact that it's tucked away in a residential neighborhood (always a plus in my book) near Volunteer Park and you've got yourself a winner.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Here he is, your new president. That one. This is the dawn of a new era in American politics, and I can't tell you how happy I am. Just imagine: a president who can speak in complete sentences, who can inspire the American public, who can make logical decisions, and who will improve the international reputation of this country. After eight years of stupidity, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's a good time to be an American, my friends.

Radio Concord is proud to present a special election day tribute to our new president, Barack Obama. I don't mean to reinforce any tired stereotypes, but this one is just too good to pass up:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Sweet Taste of Victory

Hey there,

Before I get started, I want to thank the fine folks at PhinneyWood for mentioning my blog on their website a few days ago. This is the sort of thing that really boosts my fragile ego. Check it out here.

Speaking of ego-boosting, I want to mention something else that happened to me last week. As you know, I've recently become obsessed with ice cream-making, and last month I wrote about an amazing Concord grape sorbet that I made. Let me tell you how it all started. Last summer, Cindy and I went out to dinner with some of my co-workers at the Boat Street Cafe. The dinner was great, but the dessert was even better: creme fraiche ice cream drizzled with cassis vinegar. It was so good that people were raving about it the next day. Since we all knew that the ice cream was home-made, we naturally thought about trying to make it ourselves. I then suggested that we have a competition to see who could come up with the best-tasting ice cream. Thus, the first annual Freeze-Off was born. Three of my co-workers agreed to enter the competition, and I immediately put an ice cream maker on my wedding registry so that I could participate as well. Eleven other co-workers would judge the event. Well, we finally had the Freeze-Off last week. My entry was Cash-n-Carry: cashew ice cream with caramel swirl. I don't mean to brag, but it tasted pretty freaking incredible. My competition was stiff: coconut ice cream with chocolate pieces, creme fraiche ice cream with mixed berries, and chocolate ice cream spiked with hot pepper. After the judges tasted all of the entries, a winner was announced: Cash-n-Carry! That's a picture of my trophy, above. So with my ass-kicking performance at the Freeze-Off, as well as my newfound fame on PhinneyWood, my ego's been running at an all-time high for the past few days. It's a good feeling, my friends.