monday, november 10, 2008
An Interview with Mitch EasterBack in the halcyon days of the mid-1980s I sat down behind the console at the University of Alabama's radio station WVUA and stumbled into a musical movement that would go on to shape my preferences from there on out. And no single song reached out and slapped me upside the head harder than Let's Active's "Fell" from the stellar Big Plans for Everybody album.
The brainchild of one Mitch Easter of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Let's Active boasted a spot-on pop sensibility and their songs bubbled over with sharp songwriting and restrained studio experimentation. But Easter's influence extended a lot further than as the front man of a college-scene trio.
In the late '70s he built a recording studio in his mom's garage and dubbed it the Drive-In. That local became a nexus for the strange southern alt-rock uprising of the era (R.E.M.'s, Chronic Town was famously recorded there). While the scene in Athens, GA has become synonymous to this movement, but there was a formidable NC presence on the music and Easter had a lot to do with that. read more
wednesday, may 07, 2008
An Interview with Alfred C. Glassell Jr.On a clear spring day off the coast of Peru in 1953 Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. didn't let the big one get away. The Texas oilman reeled in a black marlin that weighed 1,560 pounds that remains the largest bony fish ever caught with a rod and reel.
Originally from Louisiana, Glassell served in World War II in North Africa and then settled in Houston, Texas afterward. He founded Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp., and was instrumental in the construction the first gas transmission system from Texas to New York. Active in both the oil and gas industry he saved his valuable leisure time for big-game fishing.
In the early 1950s he and famed sportswriter and fellow sport fisherman S. Kip Farrington founded the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club that became legendary for sheer quantity and size of the fish caught there during a decade-long spread. Glassell, now 95, was kind enough to talk to me a while back about his life as a sport fisherman and the famous Cabo Blanco Fishing Club: read more
wednesday, may 30, 2007
An Interview with Guillermo CockIn 1999, an international team of researchers led by Peruvian archeologist Guillermo Cock began the excavation of an Incan graveyard in the eastern section of Lima. It was a race against time to save the remains buried there before the influx of thousands of people built their homes over the site.
Three years later his team had recovered more than 2,300 mummies and tens of thousands of artifacts at the Puruchuco-Huaquerones site interred sometime between 1438 to 1532 – the largest such site ever discovered in the Americas. It was an incredible find that garnered quite a bit of attention due to the coverage of National Geographic who helped finance the effort. read more
monday, april 09, 2007
An Interview with Jaime RazuriOn New Years Day, a Peruvian photojournalist for Agency France-Presse, Jaime Razuri, was kidnapped at gunpoint in the Gaza Strip. For six days his whereabouts were unknown as journalists and diplomats from around the globe demanded his release. He was freed, unharmed, on Jan. 7.
The incident made him a minor international celebrity and a major one in his home country. But it also overshadows a more than 20-year career that has included covering some of the most turbulent conflicts in our times.
Jaime studied photography at the University of Lima and then journeyed to Spain to hone his skills further. By the end of the 1980s he was working as a photojournalist in Lima during the devastating conflict led by communist insurgents that included the infamous Shining Path. read more
monday, november 06, 2006
An Interview with Gaston Acurio: Part IIEarlier this year, I had the opportunity to sit down with famed Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio and talk about food. Peruvian food, in particular.
Acurio insists that Peruvian food is on the verge of international acceptance and he has specific plans to be on the forefront of that wave.
In this portion of my interview (Part I interview can be found here), Acurio discusses how he has exported his different restaurants from Peru, how he comes up with a concept and how he intends to bring his businesses - and Peruvian cusine - to the United States.
What is the underlying philosophy behind the Astrid y Gaston chain?
You don’t want to set too many rules. You want to have the same philosophy but every place has different rules. Every Astrid y Gaston has to have a different atmosphere. They keep some Peruvian aspects like ahi’s and different traditions but then fuse them with local ingredients and dishes and traditions as well. All the restaurants have a point in common but they each need to be inspired by their own place. read more
monday, october 30, 2006
An Interview with Gaston Acurio, Part IGaston Acurio is the leading light of Peruvian cuisine. And, as this distinctive style of cooking grows in popularity beyond the country’s borders, he is more and more, the face of the culinary revolution.
The 38-year-old is a bona fide celebrity in Peru where his cooking show is a hit and his cookbooks are in high demand. But his reputation is cemented by the continuing popularity of his ever-expanding number of restaurants in Lima – particularly his flagship Astrid y Gaston in Miraflores.
His reputation beyond Perus border’s is growing as well. He was named Latin American Entrepreneur of 2005 by American Economia magazine was a guest speaker at Gastronomia Madrid Fusion conference in Spain this year. read more