The latest rounds of buyouts and departures at the Best Newspaper on Q Street has been all over the news, with R.E. Graswich milking his swan song for all it’s worth on every media outlet that’ll let him talk about his departure.
But the fact is The Bee has been a great place to be from for a long, long time, with a list of folks who’ve gone on to win journalism Pulitzers (including medical reporter Diana Sugg at the Baltimore Sun, photographers Caroline Cole and Michael Williamson, at the L.A. Times and Washington Post, respectively)Â National Book Award writer Pete Dexter,Â Letters and DramaÂ Pulitzer winner and Friend of Springsteen Dale Maharidge, Tour de France expert James Raia and many, many more.
On any list of notable Bee alums would have to be Elaine Corn, former Bee food editor, top-selling cookbook writer, teacher and current Capital Public Radio (and NPR) food reporter. Elaine is married to top chef David SooHoo, and together they have run restaurants like the late and still much missed Bamboo in Midtown. They’ve a 17-year-old son who hardly knows what fast food is, but can certainly talk knowledgeably on any gourmet subject. Poor kid.
Sunday found me slurping noodles with Elaine at Saigon Pha (Stockton Boulevard, just north of Fruitridge, next to the Burger King; try the avocado shake, no kidding!), listening in while she interviewed an adventurous foodie and ethnic market fan for a little piece for Sac Mag.
As someone who cooks exactly one full meal a year — at Christmas — I was totally out of my league conversationally with these two, but Elaine was determined to fix that. She all but demanded I enroll for her Basic Cooking Series blitz through the Learning Exchange,Â this upcomingÂ Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. (Sorry, no can do that week; maybe next time.) And then she followed me home to dictate a “modest” $40,000 investment that would make my kitchen a showplace. (Yeah, because one does need a showplace kitchen in which to prepare food for the pets.)
Elaine is a force of nature who isn’t all about the gourmet; she also has a pretty nifty mac and cheese recipe. It’s the time of year when comfort food needs to be on the menu, so I found it listed here. I’ve had it, although I did not cook it. It’s delish.
Personally, I’m hoping the power-cooking couple get another restaurant going someday, because much asÂ I love good food, I’m never going to care much about cooking it myself.