Since I graduated college twenty-two years ago there have been three major food quests in my life and countless minor ones.
The three majors were quests for.
1. The perfect Bloody Mary. That one was solved by an internet search, but it took me ten years and I’m still working to make it better.
2. The perfect Barbeque Sauce modeled after the sauce used by a joint called QL’s in Muncie, Indiana. That one was solved by dumb luck and a cookbook. That one took me 15 years and I’m still working on BQ proper.
3. The perfect Lobster Bisque modeled after the bisque served by the Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans back in ‘83. I literally dreamed about that dish for ten years before I called the Fairmont and their chef gave me the recipe. I still remember my meat and potato self Indiana boy so not looking forward to that dish. We were a group of about a dozen rowdy folks, during an office Christmas party, but when that soup got served all conversation stopped and all I could hear were spoons clicking off china.
What are you folks working on?
The perfect scone.
The greatest ever was an iced maple walnut I got at a small independent cafe in La Jolla that has since gone out of business. The search goes on.
While I was living in New York a friend and I went on a quest for the perfect cupcake. We started with Magnolias having heard all of the rave reviews. Once tasted we agreed that it was good but that there had to be better out there. And so the quest began - once or twice a week for over a year we would try something new. In the end, Magnolia's was truly the best NYC cupcake we tried!
re: Boston Foodie
I live in NYC and have yet to actually go to Magnolia. Instead I use their vanilla cupcake recipe and make my own. Hopefully Santa will put their cookbook under my tree this year. In the meantime I just use the one recipe I downloaded from FN.
Actually, what I've been searching for is the perfect cannoli, there used to be a bakery in Coney Island that made the most wonderful cannoli I've ever had. Unfortunately it doesn't exist anymore.