Steven Shaw, founder of egullet and a serious food-world heavyweight, was in town this month for the International Association of Culinary Professionals conference, and he somehow found time to take a spin up to Westminster to check out Ian Kleinman's molecular gastronomy menu at O's Steak and Seafood.
I've been infatuated with the place since day one, and have long held up Kleinman as one of the true innovators in the field. But for the longest time, no one else (or at least no one with an expense account and a byline) seemed to be paying much attention.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
It was actually one of my pieces on Kleinman and O's that convinced Shaw and a couple of his friends to make the trek (forty minutes, by cab) up to the Westin Westminster where O's lives -- my original, sprawling review of the joint that first appeared in October 2007 and was later chosen for the Best Food Writing, 2008 anthology. And though I wouldn't have thought it possible, I believe that Shaw managed to write an even more glowing account of his time under Kleinman's care than I did. And he was so excited that he wrote his entire egullet post-slash-review with his thumbs, on the keyboard of his smartphone, while flying back to New York from Denver, simply because he couldn't wait to get it all down.
Anyone who cares a damn for this brave new world of cuisine ought to immediately read Shaw's piece. If you've got time, give mine a look-see as well. And if you're really interested (or really some kind of masochist), you could also peruse some of the other pieces that I've written about Kleinman over the years -- everything from his days at Indigo to the New Year's party he catered for me and a bunch of my friends to the day he brought a bunch of produce and Miracle Fruit pills to the office and blew my mind like he'd spiked my whiskey with LSD.
It's been a wild ride, following Kleinman all these years. And with any luck, now that the guy is getting a little bit of the national attention he so richly deserves, things are only gonna get weirder...