Josh Modell is Editor In Chief of The A.V. Club.
What was the food highlight of your year?
This is a damn hard question, but I think it's gotta be incredible meals at Next and Alinea that were four days apart. The Next menu (it changes three times a year) was "best of Trio," which is the restaurant Grant Achatz cooked at before he started Alinea. The preparations were considerably simpler than what he's doing at Alinea now, but just so incredibly tasty and balanced. But then going to Alinea four days later... I hadn't been in five years, and the menu was completely different and fun and slightly less stuffy than I remembered it. Highlight I think was this corn preparation that was basically like the best elotes you've ever had x1000, served in a husk whose silk had just been on fire. The aroma and the taste together were amazing.
What was the music highlight of your year?
I can't even remember what happened last month, man! Let's see... This sounds like a cop out, but we put on a really fun festival this year, so I got to see Death Cab For Cutie with Chris Walla one last time, along with other oldies like The Dismemberment Plan. Oh, and Jack White--who I haven't been all that interested in in recent years--put on a blazing live show.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
There's this guy who makes Ćevapčići, which are these crazy amazing Serbian kebabs, and basically only sells them at music festivals (as far as I know)... I was sad that he wasn't at Pitchfork Fest this year, but he was at Riot Fest, which was honestly kind of a highlight. (I'm getting too old for hanging around 50k 15-year-olds.) So I popped in for one afternoon, saw Superchunk, Naked Raygun, and Hot Snakes, got a yummy sausage and went home!