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Mike McJunkin

Holding a shot of Thai rum inches from my nose, my new Chinese friend grinned and shouted, “Gan bei! Gan bei” into my ear, trying to make himself heard above the Thai metal band’s screaming guitar ... more »

Sep 21, 2016 11:59 AM Cover Story

Condiments were the last thing on my mind when I sat down at one of Kedai Kat Jat’s rickety plastic tables. I had taken a taxi over to the open air restaurant in the Brickfields neighborhood of Kuala Lumpur, specifically to try their ikan pari ... more »

Sep 14, 2016 12:54 PM Sushi & Biscuits

Imagine if you could taste the sea in one bite—a net full of fish fresh off the boat, a pot of abalones cooking over a wood fire on the beach after a heavy rain, the sweet perfume of Queen Anne’s lace as you bask under an island beach sun ... more »

Aug 24, 2016 2:32 PM Sushi & Biscuits

Peek inside the pantry or fridge of any home cook and you’re bound to find certain staples such as eggs, milk, butter, olive oil, garlic, and onions. But every home cook’s larder also holds at least one secret, at least one ingredient that is ... more »

Aug 3, 2016 11:29 AM Sushi & Biscuits 1 Comments

There is something visceral and primordial that happens in the homo sapiens brain when animal flesh meets hot coals. Odor molecules find their way to our noses on an evangelical mission to beat at the door of our brain’s limbic system and ... more »

Jul 13, 2016 10:07 AM Sushi & Biscuits

People travel for many reasons. Some travel to find the sublime beauty in the world’s endless grandeur while others seek out those sublime moments that serve as signposts on life’s winding path. Travel allows us to encounter the familiar within ... more »

Jun 22, 2016 11:49 AM Sushi & Biscuits 1 Comments

As the sun positions itself higher and higher in the sky, an age old ritual plays out in backyards, cul-de-sacs, and sun cracked decks across the city. Backyard cooks emerge from their winter slumber and perform the ... more »

Jun 1, 2016 11:59 AM Sushi & Biscuits

As we sped down Cầu Chương Dương highway just outside Hanoi, Vietnam, I stared blankly out the taxi window and thought about Nag and Nagina, the cobra villains in Kipling’s short story “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”. more »

May 11, 2016 2:27 PM Sushi & Biscuits

It took me almost twenty years to recover from my first encounter with Spam. Wandering innocently into a friend’s kitchen I witnessed a glistening, vaguely meat-like cube of Spam emerge from its canned womb ... more »

Apr 20, 2016 12:03 PM Sushi & Biscuits

Spring has officially arrived and Chattanoogans are beginning to emerge from the honey-glazed ham and sweet potato induced food comas that blanketed us through the cold, gray Tennessee winter. more »

Mar 30, 2016 12:23 PM Sushi & Biscuits

For most of my life, I had a love/hate relationship with chicken eggs. My childhood and teen years were spent believing that eggs were only to be eaten hard scrambled, deviled, or fried over well and anyone who ate ... more »

Mar 9, 2016 12:10 PM Sushi & Biscuits

I assume it must have been some terribly egregious act I committed in a past life that led to me working as a line cook in the culinary equivalent of Dante’s third circle of Hell—a corporate, casual-dining Italian restaurant. more »

Feb 17, 2016 10:41 AM Sushi & Biscuits

When I stop and think about it, a sack of bones probably shouldn’t have elicited squeals of excitement out of a fifty-year-old man, but these weren’t just any bones—these were veal shank bones. more »

Jan 27, 2016 12:39 PM Sushi & Biscuits

“What is a ham, anyway?” a voice asked me with a casual tone that belied the gravity of the question. A bearded, 20-something stranger stood beside me in the grocery store meat aisle clutching a gold foil-wrapped ham ... more »

Jan 6, 2016 12:32 PM Sushi & Biscuits

It’s almost New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai, Thailand. As I stare upward at the crumbling bricks of Thapae Gate—bricks that have seen traders, diplomats and monks pass for over 700 ... more »

Dec 30, 2015 12:14 PM Cover Story

It’s 6:13 a.m. on Dec. 23 and a combination of terror, regret and anxiety just jolted you out of your much-needed holiday slumber. Like the fever of an approaching flu, the realization washes over you that you agreed ... more »

Dec 23, 2015 12:14 PM Spirits Within

Three years ago, I walked into a nondescript restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, in search of a dish that is virtually unheard of in the U.S.—boat noodles, or guai dtiaw in Thai. There were no tourists or Westerners in sight ... more »

Dec 9, 2015 11:44 AM Sushi & Biscuits

The only thing I like more than Thanksgiving, is the day after Thanksgiving. The Friday after America unhinges its collective jaw and swallows 45 million turkeys whole is a day of reflection and reckoning. more »

Nov 25, 2015 1:12 PM Sushi & Biscuits

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) sought to crush the soul of every meat-lover in the world by releasing a statement linking cancer to the consumption of processed meats. The internet predictably exploded ... more »

Nov 11, 2015 1:38 PM Sushi & Biscuits

Every Halloween, the food world becomes a homogeneous, orange-and-black landscape dominated by “fun” and “scary” recipe ideas like jack-o-lantern cupcakes and deviled eggs decorated like eyeballs. more »

Oct 28, 2015 4:02 PM Sushi & Biscuits