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here’s a story about how fernet brought me to the hallowed halls of st. john in cheerio england.  about a year ago, i was invited to a book signing for david chang of momofuku notoriety.  life’s obligations prevented me from attending (probably for the best, as i would have been some crazed foodie groupie), but my friend graciously agreed to pick up an autographed copy on my behalf.  when david asked what to inscribe, my friend of few words replied “she likes fernet.”  the inscription that resulted was this: “we both love fernet!  fergus henderson calls it ‘the miracle.‘” research ensued, and i soon discovered that mr. henderson was none other than the godfather of offal, responsible for bringing “nose to tail eating” to the forefront of culinary vernacular.  while i may not be an offal afficiando, henderson’s st. john lured me in with its 2009 michelin star and 2010 ranking on the world’s 50 best restaurants list.  having sustained a knee injury the day before from m&s gummy worms during the royal parks foundation half marathon, i was ready to drown my pain in food, and that i did as i inhaled the signature roast bone marrow & parsley salad, crumbed veal with chicory & anchovy salad, and ginger loaf with butterscotch sauce (with a heavy emphasis on the “scotch”).  however, the superstars of the night were the baked-to-order madelines that tasted like buttery pillows stuffed with sugar angels. my simple but soul-satisfying meal at st. john proved that going back to basics can shoot you above and beyond the threshold of culinary immortality.  antiquity is the new black.

the miracle

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