With Relish: 5 questions, mucho answers
Adam Lehrman is head foodie and founder of Tucson Foodie, an online food magazine with 50,000 unique visitors per month.
What’s your favorite dish to cook on a personal level and why?
I don’t cook much these days as I’m usually too busy running two businesses or hanging out with our 16-month old son, but I used to cook quite a bit.
One of my favorite dishes to make was a traditional Italian dish of polenta with homemade tomato sauce and Italian sausage. Homemade tomato sauce is such a fantastic thing to make. It takes a while to do it right as the tomatoes need to cook down quite a bit, and you can really have fun with what’s added to the sauce.
What’s the best or most memorable meal you have eaten lately? Why?
I was really impressed with El Berraco which took over the old El Mezon del Cobre space. It’s a unique concept for Tucson being Latin American seafood, as opposed to something like Mariscos Chihuahua – which we’re all used to and that I love – that’s primarily a Sonoran seafood joint.
What’s your favorite food city? Why?
Well, I’ve said this a number of times and will continue to say it: San Francisco. The proximity to local produce, the passion of the culinary scene – while many other cities have that, it’s super concentrated in San Francisco. I’m overdue for a visit.
A good meal is not complete without ___ ?
Wow, that’s a tough question. You really have to ask yourself what makes up a “good meal.” Personally, I’d prefer a “great meal.” If it’s a multi-course dining event, I’d have to say it’s probably an ideal dessert that’s paired well with some kind of dessert wine. I say ideal in the sense that it can’t be too large. Balance is crucial. Typically, I’m good with just a few bites of dessert.
On that note, I suppose wine pairings make a meal complete. And pairings are so common these days and so hard to get right. There are okay pairings, which you just kind of push through; good pairings which you think nothing much of it other than ‘it works’; and great pairings, in which each sip requires another bite, which in turn requires another sip. It’s rare that a multi-course dinner will nail this on every course. But, when it happens, it’s lovely.
What are you 3 favorite restaurants?
I really can’t answer this for number of reasons. Restaurants that have had some of the biggest impact and influence on me, however are Chez Panisse, Delfina, and Tartine Bakery.
Locally, I’m always impressed with Primo at Starr Pass. The cabeza at Taqueria Juanitos will always be a favorite. And, I’ve been really into ramen for a while. I think OBON, Yamato, and K Japanese do a phenomenal job with it. For an overall killer experience, no one can touch Core at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain.
“It’s an interesting time to be involved with food in Tucson with the recent UNESCO designation,” says Adam. “It’ll be interesting to see what this does for us on a local, national, and international level.”
Karyn Zoldan: Adam/Tucson Foodie raised the bar on local restaurant reporting. Check out his website for the most comprehensive listicles and events around town.