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Welcome to Secret Breakfast

An exclusive newsletter, the best place to start your day, run to the closest Simulatte cafe and order a Cortado
Hi there!

It's the end of the year and we have a new Matrix movie, The Matrix Resurrections. A significant part of the action happens in a coffee shop called Simulatte (and we can tell it's almost our present because Carrie-Ann Moss orders a fancy Cortado).

If you don' know what I'm talking about, just know that the movie happens in a dystopian future in which humanity is unknowingly trapped inside a simulated reality, called the Matrix.

In Matrix movies, you often can tell reality from the simulation when food is involved. In the first movie of the saga, year 1999, there's this guy enjoying a glossy steak: 
I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? Ignorance is bliss.
He's into the simulation, he's not free, the meat is not real, but he doesn't give a damn because his human brain is craving for things made to wake his senses. Are they digital illusions? It's ok to him. 

Now, I will not tell you that bad food is the confirmation we're living real life. But how many times do we surrender to empty-machine-made bites just to feel some primitive satisfaction? Many times, for sure. And how many times do we deal with pure ingredients and make something really delicious? We do that, but not so often. 

Somehow I think the latter is the only way to escape any predetermined, artificial, boring food existence. Simulatte is not inevitable. And ignorance is not bliss in our kitchen.

Piero

PS: this is the last newsletter of the year and I decided not to celebrate, remember or trap our 2021 into a list. I see you all on the other side. Have a fantastic 2022!

Picture: The Matrix Resurrections 
THE QUOTE OF THE DAY
I know it doesn’t make sense. I think I have to make sense of the senselessness, or something. I have to rearrange it until I can understand it. I have to make sense of how it doesn’t make sense.
THE MISSING INGREDIENT
EMILY IN PARIS’ HOT RESTAURANT MENU
As a psychopath myself, I choose to use my powers for taking an embarrassing but popular show (Emily in Paris - Season 2), pause it at the right spot of episode 7, and share with you the menu of Chez Lavaux, the à la page restaurant run by sexy chef Gabriel. We can't see the desserts and a couple of prices, but hey, thank God, because Tripe de la Normandie runs at about 36 bucks.

MENU DÉGUSTATION  58 eur

Artichokes, Octopus and Calamari Salad

Rack of Lamb, sliced Eggplant à la Plancha and Tapenade
(★recipe)

or
Green Vegetable Gnocchi with Chanterelles Mushrooms, and Sage Butter

Assorted Cheeses (7 eur)

Paris-Brest à la myrtille
(★recipe and recipe in 🇫🇷)

 


À LA CARTE

Sliced Veal on Tomatoes, Green Beans and Pickled Mushrooms (22 eur)

Artichokes, Octopus and Calamari Salad (20 eur)

Cold Asparagus, Smoked Salmon and Mimosa (25 eur)
...
Tripe Chez Lavaux, our signature dish (32 eur)
(★recipe)

Smoked Ray served with leaves, Herbes, and Olive Oil

Chicken Fricassée with Tomatoes and Riz Pilaf.
(★recipe)

Picture: Emily in Paris, a screenshot with the real captions showing this tv serie where every scene looks like a meme.
GROCERY BOOKS

Let's show our pantries
★★★

The ingredients you have in your cupboard are probably: 1) too many; 2) indispensable. This book starts with 58 of them (yuzu, date syrup, labneh, preserved lemons) and gives us back 260 recipes and variations.

The Modern Larder. From Anchovies to Yuzu, a Guide to Artful and Attainable Home Cooking by Michelle McKenzie
→ Shortplot:  🐟🍑🍋🍶
RANDOM ACTS OF HUNGER
This is a space where I share some food (un)related stuff of my week

🥯 Pumpkin pancakes, Molletes and the 10 Most Popular Breakfast Recipes of 2021 by Bon Appétit (★recipes)⛷ The most insane ski video you'll probably see this year (via Morning Brew) 🍳 In Annihilate, the new Michel Houellebecq novel out on January 7th you'll find Œufs en meurette (★recipe) 🦞 My Octopus Teacher is so 2020, now you have to keep a grocery store lobster as a pet 📚The Best Cookbooks of the Year by Helen Rosner (33% featured on Secret Breakfast) 📖 For a more diverse selection look at the Best Cookbooks of the Year by The New York Times (20% featured on this very newsletter). 📘 Same list by The Washington Post and - maybe the best one - by Glamour
 
FOOD FOR LATER
Cathy Erway / Taste
Key Lime Pie (★recipe) and others “family recipe" dreamed up by a corporation in order to sell products.
Tim Dowling / The Guardian
An American who has lived in the UK for 30 years tries the British staples. Baked beans? "They taste like the clocks going back". Marmite? "Underneath that is what I can only describe as a taste of concern: brown and faintly automotive". Disclaimer: Secret Breakfast loves Marmite, Vegemite, and probably all the salty -mite.
Alexander Darwin / Rolling Stone
"For years, the chef and TV star posted anonymously to a martial-arts forum on Reddit", and his posts reveal something more than a Brazilian jiu-jitsu passion. 
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SEASON 2 - ISSUE 61
Secret Breakfast is a newsletter by Piero Macchioni
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