Sites We Love: Nose to Tail at Home
Gorgeous photos? Check. Engaging writing? Check. Seriously inspiring recipes, tips, and culinary curiosity? Check, check, and check. The best food blogs all seem to have a lot in common — but what separates them out are the strong personalities behind them. In our Sites We Love series, we sit down with some of our favorite bloggers to find out how they do it — and why it's as much fun for them as it is for us.
We love all sorts of food blogs here at SAVEUR, but there’s a special place in our heart for the cook-through sites, in which a singularly focused individual systematically works through an entire cookbook. On his blog Nose to Tail at Home, Ryan Adams (no, not that one) started out with a particularly challenging volume, Fergus Henderson’s ode to offal The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating. He also branches out into other ambitious culinary projects, developing his own recipes for dishes that run the gamut from s’mores fudge to a braised pork belly riff on a McRib that we featured on Saveur.com.
We love Nose to Tail at Home because, thanks to a combination of candid writing and truly beautiful photography, Ryan takes what might be otherwise seriously intimidating recipes (rolled pig’s spleen, anyone?) and makes them look not only mouth-wateringly flavorful, but easy to tackle at home. Here’s what Ryan had to tell us about his site:
Proprietor: Ryan Adams
Live since: November 2007
Posting rate: I strive for once a week, but this is a hobby for me right now. “When I can” would be more accurate.
Geographic location: A suburb of Austin, TX.
Why’s the site called Nose to Tail at Home? The point of my website is to cook and post step by step accounts of every recipe written in Fergus Henderson’s opus: The whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating. Inspired by French Laundry at Home and Alinea at Home badass Carol Blymire, I adopted the not-terribly-original name Nose to Tail at Home.
What’s been your most popular post? A few months before the release of the Julie and Julia movie, Sony Pictures contacted me about being about writing a Julia Child inspired post that they could feature on the movie’s website. I decided to add my own twist to one of Julia’s more iconic recipes, boeuf bourguignon, by using beef cheek meat instead of the more traditional beef chuck.
What’s your favorite post? Probably one of my all time favorite posts is my recap of a birthday dinner I had at Alinea. My wife made miracles happen to get us dinner reservations, then Achatz and crew just blew us away. There was a post where a bunch of local food bloggers came to my house and we made pig trotter and pheasant pie with a suet crust and everyone had a blast! Austin bloggers party hard. The eggs and celery salt post brought light to the fact that recipes didn’t have to be overly complicated to have big flavors and impact.
What’s something great that you’ve learned or that’s happened to you since starting your blog? I’ve been working on my food photography the most and it’s finally starting to show. The proper techniques and equipment make for huge differences in picture quality, and I’m proud to say I’ve learned a lot since I started the website. I’ve also been tapped to write for a few food-related websites that I hold in high regard, which is just mind-blowing.
What’s the usual process for developing one of your posts? I randomly pick a recipe that I’ve not completed from Mr. Henderson’s cookbook and start sourcing ingredients. From there, it’s a few hours working in the kitchen and taking pictures, to me eventually sitting down and detailing the entire process. Sometimes life and work steal my attention but I’m determined to see every recipe completed by my hands.
What are your favorite ingredients and tools?
Ingredients: duck fat (the tastiest thing on the planet), pork belly, pig trotter, tripe
Tools: microplane grater, a good sharp Murray Carter knife, quality pots, cast iron skillets
What are your favorite food and cooking resources? The blog Hunter Angler Gatherer Cook is a daily stop. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s books on game and meat are highly regarded and referenced often. Occasionally I’ll go look over my grandmother’s personal cookbook for inspiration and clarity on certain techniques, and of course Mr. Henderson’s books are my personal cooking bibles.
Photos by Ryan Adams
Do you know a blog or blogger who deserves to be featured in this space? Email a nomination — including a link to the site and a few sentences on why they’re worthy of love — to firstname.lastname@example.org.