Heirloom Beetroot Salad
Heirloom Beetroot Salad
Taglatelle Carbonara
Taglatelle Carbonara
Roasted Stuffed Suckling Pig
Roasted Stuffed Suckling Pig
Roasted Stuffed Suckling Pig
Roasted Stuffed Suckling Pig
Manjari Chocolate Terrine
Manjari Chocolate Terrine


One of the nice things about being a regular at a restaurant is the occasional invitation you’ll receive to a special event like, for instance, the Roasted Suckling Pig Evening hosted by the gang at Fuel last night. While Chef Rob was out making sausages all night (No, I’m serious.), Chef Ted was in the kitchen last night, running the show. And what a show it was. Six of us went to dinner – Rob, his wife Hillary, Fondy and I, and Carl and Lawren (the loveliest couple of all) – and enjoyed a wonderful four course dinner.

Following a tasty little amuse bouche made up of Albacore tuna tartare with meyer lemon, fennel, and crispy bread, we were served a surprisingly hearty Heirloom Beet Salad with romaine, organic olive oil, and crispy ricotta. While good, it was merely a prelude to a far greater culinary achievement – our next course: a heavenly Tagliatelle Carbonara with black truffle, guanciale, and pecorino romano. Apparently, it’s a kitchen favorite that Ted whips up whenever he’s feeling inspired (or, presumably, whenever his co-workers beg long enough). Rich, buttery, and redolent with truffle earthiness, Rob could only manage half a portion (in his desire to save room for the main event) but Carl was more than happy to take it off his hands (or, quite literally, his plate). Next up was Roasted Suckling Pig. It was trotted out for presentation then whisked to the back where it was carved, plated, and eventually served. Crispy-skinned and exceptionally tender, it was stuffed with foie gras, sausage and quince, and served with king oyster mushrooms. Unbelievably good. We finished the meal with a Manjari Chocolate Terrine with toasted marshmallow, mint, and salted caramel. The salted caramel, while tasty, was a tad sweet and chewy for my taste. The terrine, however, was a chocolate dream, the mint mercifully subtle.

This was one of those rare occasions where I actually enjoyed wine pairings with my meal: a lovely Herder Vineyards Pinot Gris, a Selbach-Oster Riesling I didn’t care for, a remarkable Montague Cellars ’3 barrel merlot’ (from owner Tom Doughty’s vineyard), and a nice Warre’s Otima 10 year old Tawny Port with desert.

Thumbs up all around on an incredible feast. Thanks to Tom and the gang at Fuel for a great evening, and a special thanks to Chef Ted for bringing it all together.

The five of us – Brad, Robert, Carl, Paul, and myself – spent the morning going over the show’s arcs and relationships, character motivations and developments, and the evolution of an organized social structure aboard the ship. We discussed the need to resist the temptation to wrap up every storyline with a neat little bow and, instead, look to lay the foundation for coming events. We also focused on backstory and the sometimes surprising history of some of our characters.

After lunch, we screened some auditions: Beckers, Franklins, and Wrays. The feeling is we’ll finally be pulling the trigger on Chloe early next week.

Hey, finish up City of Saints and Madmen. The discussion begins Monday and author Jeff Vandermeer will be dropping by later in the week to field your questions. This one should be veeery interesting.

Today’s entry is dedicated to Jim from Jersey (as it looks like I may have inadvertently deleted his post thinking it was spam) and Trish (Good luck on the surgery!).


Mackenzie’s Momma writes: “Hey quick question- are you going to do(or would you be willing to do) a repeat of last year’s Fan FUEL’d dinners?”

Answer: I’m afraid it’s looking doubtful for this year. New show, shifting commitments, and I lost my pork belly wingman.

Sharyl writes: “Is Lulu small for her breed?”

Answer: Nope. The males can get quite hefty however.

PG15 writes: “So the rank/medic thing for Tamara’s worked out, what about that “Sr. Sergeant” rank for Stasiak/Greer? That rank doesn’t exist. What is up with that?”

Answer: That was an oversight on the character breakdown.

Judy in SATX writes: “I’m *very* interested in your short story! Is the anthology part of the Stargate-verse or are you venturing into original fiction? Or is that the super secret part?”

Answer: It’s an original short story intended for an upcoming anthology (provided I finish it, am happy with the finished product and, most importantly, my editor is happy with the finished product).

Pilota writes: “I will say that while I had many favorites and was indifferent to negative on a couple others – the one that I just couldn’t get out of my head (and still can’t) was This Year’s Class Picture. I loved the way it progressed (nice pace and great visual description) and developed the Ms. Geiss character. Not only was it a good gory read but it somehow had heart.”

Answer: Couldn’t agree more. I loved this story. A real gem.

Selphiealmasy9 writes: “Terribly adorable dogs. I know a friend who is simply mad about pugs. Do I have your permission to offer up these pics for her love and affection?”

Answer: Sure.

GenericWhiteGuy writes: “Did the writers ever discuss how ZPMs were manufactured or recharged?”

Answer: Carl had written an alternate ending to Identity in which our characters deplete the communication device by each picking up a stone and allowing themselves to be randomly transported into some distant “other” bodies. One of the possible jumps we discussed had McKay finding himself in some mysterious processing plant, turning around and discovering a veritable treasure trove of wall to wall, floor to ceiling ZPMS – before being transported back into his proper body.

47 thoughts on “January 23, 2009: Pigging Out At Fuel

  1. Mackenzie’s Momma writes: “Hey quick question- are you going to do(or would you be willing to do) a repeat of last year’s Fan FUEL’d dinners?”

    Answer: I’m afraid it’s looking doubtful for this year. New show, shifting commitments, and I lost my pork belly wingman.

    Drat, and here I was looking forward to a fun and lovely repeat of last year with Trish(as she *is* returning for the con), and whoever we could convince to join our merry little table.

    BTW- Spoke with Trish earlier and she came through the surgery just fine, and has just a soft cast on the wrist to keep it immobilized. She will hopefully be returning at some point in the very near future.

  2. Joe wrote:

    The five of us – Brad, Robert, Carl, Paul, and myself – spent the morning going over the show’s arcs and relationships, character motivations and developments…

    And then there were five… So that’s it, then? Those are the five writers you were hinting would remain?

    No more Alan McCollough? “Outsiders” was one of my favorite episodes this season… 🙁

    No more Marty Gero? The “bad boy” mischief maker who gave us Bill Nye on Atlantis, with a speaking part? 😕 (Bill Nye is a cool guy to talk to, btw.) Was MG your “pork belly wingman?”

    I’m afraid there’s not much that can “amuse” ma “bouche” right now.

    Bonne chance (good luck) and Godspeed, guys. You gave us some great stories.

  3. Sounds like a fantastic meal. I’m starting to study your Fuel reviews in great detail, as it’s looking likely I’ll have the chance to stop over in Vancouver long enough to try dinner there later in the year. You mention losing your “pork belly wingman”. How is Mr. Gero doing? Please pass onto himi that there are a number of us out here hoping to keep track of his future projects. Thanks for the latest (too slow) progress reports on Universe. The Stargate withdrawal symptoms are starting to get unpleasant. And while the final episodes of Battlestar Galactica are filling some sci fi void, it’s just not the same as getting a weekly dose of “kawhoosh”.

  4. @ pg15 – Yeah…we worry about Joe way too much as, obviously, he doesn’t fret over us at all. 😉

    @ suziesbluefeather – Feeling a tad better tonight (the reason I’m still awake). My fever has gone down, just about 1 degree above normal now, but that’s better than what it was. Still have a wicked throat tickle, and some congestion that now may be bronchitis, I don’t know…but I am feeling a bit better. Wednesday night I made this yummy Japanese congee (shoga gayu) – watery rice with chicken and lot of ginger, and I add a little carrot and celery just to make it complete. I make it whenever I’m sick, and it’s delicious, and makes me feel all better! So did the bottle of Jager ‘cough medicine’ I drank… (NOT all at once, mind you).

    And then tonight was the US premiere of Wolverine and the X-Men on Nicktoons, which more than made up for the loss of SGA on Friday nights. Still…I miss Todd and his buddies…but it’s probably better this way…I was too attached.

    Eh, don’t need to go back there again. So, Joe…I guess – judging by your comment above – that it is Marty and Alan who are no longer with the ‘team’, right? Shame…

    Your dinner sounds delicious! As always, thanks for sharing, and making me jealous! 😉


  5. @ Mackenzie’s Momma – If you talk to Trish again, give her my love. I’m kinda out of the loop lately – been posting, but not reading too much because I don’t have much patience for looking at this bright white screen with my eyes all watery and stuff. The glare kills me. So I missed some things along the way.

    And in case I missed anyone who wished me well, thanks! I wish me well, too! 🙂 I’ve pretty much been sick now for 6-8 weeks, with this past one being the worst. Not sure what I caught, but it’s a sneaky li’l devil in making you think you’re not THAT sick, so you don’t take it easy, and end up worse than you started. Last time I had something like this was back in ’92 – the doc at that time told me it was just a bad virus that people had trouble shaking. THAT one lasted – on and off – for 6 months. If ever I wanted to kill myself, it was then…nothing more depressing than constantly being knocked down the second you start to feel better. Usually not sick but – maybe – twice a year with some snotty thing. So this one has me being extra careful now, for fear of yet another relapse.


  6. Yeah, no offense, but that pig just grossed me the hell out. It violates my cardinal rule of meat: that it should not still look like the animal it came from. In other words, most importantly, it should not have a face. Which is why I don’t buy fish unless it’s in nice clean fillets, and why when I order crab legs I hate it when they give it to me with half the body still attached. Does this make me a hypocritical non-vegetarian? Perhaps, but there it is. Also, the whole idea of slaughtering an animal just after it’s born is a bit off-putting.

  7. Oh, that’s awesome…I was right about why you’re “late, so we think you’re dead” today: your “dinner at Fuel ran long”. I’m psychic.

    I think you’re going to win that lottery Joe. I’m seeing the number “33” over and over again in my head.

    That’s right, I prophesize that you’ll win…33 dollars. OHHHH YEAH BIG SPENDER. Now remember, don’t spend it all on something frivolis, like a Dalek, or 2-ply toilet paper. Buy a Golden Globe instead, I hear they’re cheap, and a good paper weight.

    I’m intrigued by the things you guys are discussing about Universe, notably the “not-wrapping-up-everything” and “backstory” parts. I hope you guys figure it out beforehand this time instead of…well, you know…Sheppard. Yeah.


    And on a more sombre note…it seems official, sorta: Alan and Martin have left the building. Maybe.

    So, questions:

    1. Is Martin and Alan leaving the writing staff?

    2. Is there more of a solid backstory for the characters this time than there were for Atlantis and SG1 characters?

    3. How’s episode 9 doing now?

    4. Do you guys have an idea for the season finale yet?

    5. Will there be a military advisor for Stargate Universe? If so, who is he/she?

    6. The secondary characters on this show seems a lot more plenty, and a lot more developed than in the past (they already have names!). Will they play a more active role than secondary characters of the past (i.e. Lorne, Zelenka, Dr. Lee), even maybe getting their own storylines and showcase episodes?

    I ask because the secondary characters on SG1 and SGA were more foils for the mains rather than as well-developed characters in their own right IMHO (though I still loved most of them).

    Oh, and thank you for answering my previous question! It’s good to know that it was a simple mistake; some of the military/ex-military fans at Gateworld were beginning to grumble about it. 😉

    Good luck, Trish, on the wrist surgery! Let’s hope it goes over well, and heal quick! We need you here, typing! 😉

  8. @ Das, since your still up maybe you can give me some advice. My closest friend of 10 years and I went out to a movie and dinner. We do this once a month as we live about an hour apart. Well we had a REALLY nice night and at the end he drove me to my truck. I was about to get out of his car when he leaned into me and said that this had to of been the best date he’s been on and he wished he could give me a kiss. I instinctively kissed his check and said good night. Now I’m wigging as I have no idea what brought this on or what to do? I didn’t even know it was a date. We have been doing dinner and a movie once a month for the past 5 years. I didn’t even know he liked me.

    He is starting a new job with the government on Monday and will be moving even further away in about a month. We talked some about a week ago about me heading out there with him once he buys a place, but now?

    I can’t sleep with this going thru my head!

  9. Today was Black Friday at work. Unexpected layoffs that thankfully didn’t affect our little group, but left many friends without jobs. Some Disney friends also getting laid off. I hope industry folks in you neck of the woods are fairing better.

    And I hope the meeting tonight means that you’ll be heavily involved with SGU. Will you be producing the episodes you’re writing, and the Atlantis movie?

  10. Hi ya Mr. M.,
    Awe…the pic’s of the pups are just adorable! Thanks for sharing. How are Jelly’s hips doing? Has the extreme cold been more of a problem this winter?
    Yummy – Suckling pig, crispy skin… my mouth is watering, a lot!
    Sad to hear that Marty and Alan are gone! Can you give us some details on where they are now? What have they moved onto? Please and Thanks!

    @ shiningwit
    Hey dude, you’re slacking! anyways I just wanted to share this with you, good old Eric Idle!

    Thanks Shiningwit… that was great!!

    @ Trish (aka whovian)
    Ok. I’m off to surgery. We’ll see if they can fix my wrist. Wish me luck! I hear there is a cast and stitches invovled. Oh joy! If I’m MIA it’s because I don’t want to type with just my left hand.

    Good luck with the surgery, I’m sure you’ll be fine! As far as not being able to type…ask Jemery to activate the voice mode on your laptop so you can speak your posts… it way cool! Glad it is just a soft cast. Take care of you!!!

    @anneteldy… Glad to hear that you’re on the mend! Keep up the good vibes! We need our Major Teldy back on duty when Destiny flies away!

    Ditto…. LOL!!! @ Generic White Guy
    Patricia Lee

  11. Hello Mr. Mallozzi,

    I am a huge fan of stargate and i’ve grown up with it.
    Actually , the casting of Stargate Universe is in progress, and i don’t know if you have found an actress for the character of Chloe Walker, but i would like to propose you one. She is named “Sarah Carter”, and as far as i know she is not under a contract at the moment.

    Recently she has played in the TV show “Shark” which last a year ago. She is in my humble opinion a very good actress and will be a good asset for the cast of SGU.

    Thank you for reading me and good evening to you.

  12. Juste un petit coucou avant que l’éléctricité ne coupe.

    Je n’ai pas dormi de la nuit, il y’a toujout beaucoup de vent et l’eau rentré dans la maison snif.

    Je revient surment ce soir si ça va mieux

  13. I had leftovers……..I need to get out more!

    McKay in a room of ZedPMs….that would have made for an entire episode!

    It’s cold…it’s dark….& I need to make cheesecakes. Yes, plural.

  14. Have to disagree with PG-15. I think some of the secondary characters had great development and backstories compared to some of the main ones.

  15. Oh it’s too bad you didn’t do the ZPM’s treasure trove thing. I’ve always imagined that there’s some Ancient (literally) ruins somewhere deep underground, buried, like Herculanum and Pompeii, with a giant stack of ZPM’s comfortably resting there for our team to find.

  16. Good luck Trish, hope you’ll soon be back in the saddle so to speak.

    I’m just off to look at a leather sofa someone is giving away, its probably minging* but worth a look as its only up the road.

    *minging-manky, hanging, ‘orrible, shite!

  17. Would the anthology editor happen to be one Mr. Scalzi? And would it happen to be the sequel to a certain Anthology editted by Mr. Scalzi?

  18. Just read this about the greenlight for the BSG prequel:

    ” ‘Battlestar Galactica’ was absolutely our flagship show. It put us on the map and helped transform the perception of the network,” said Sci Fi prexy Dave Howe, noting that the cabler hopes to draw a broader audience to a series it sees as more compelling family drama than “space opera.”

    Boy. Kinda tells you what they think of the Stargate franchise, eh? 😉


  19. Hi all,

    Due, in part, to this blog I have been looking to start reading sci-fi fiction and I wondered where I start! I don’t suppose anyone (including Mr Mallozzi) has any suggestions. I’m up for most stuff as long as it’s not mortally depressing. There seems to be so much out there but I want to start with good quality, not just the one at the top of the ‘sci-fi chart’.



  20. Hey Joe!

    I’m typing left-handed & it sucks. Jeremy & the girls are @ soccer which means no one is here to open my meds for me. 🙄 Turns out I’m useless without my right hand.

    The doc says all went well & I should heal fine. He also qanted Jeremy to know I could get Starbucks on the way home. 😯 I guess that’s all I talked about during my surgery. Awkward.

    Thanks for the well wishes everyone! Feel better das & Anne Teldy! 🙂

    Gonna go laydown now.


  21. sara_d….give the blog a search for John Scalzi, Old Man’s War, Androids Dream..these are just two books by the same author, BUT…people have asked this question a bunch, including myself and Joe has always include those two books in his SciFi 101 list of fiction.

  22. Hahahahaha..the idea of McKay being briefly so close to that many ZPMs and then losing them again would have been hilarious to watch! 😀

  23. It wasn’t half as bad as it could’ve been and I’m picking it up tomorrow, nice and comfy and what I like to call pre-worn.

  24. @ suziesbluefeather – Wait. Me…advice for the lovelorn??! Not sure that’s my area of expertise. 😛 If you are on GW, drop me a pm (my username’s the same – you can always find me via the Wraith Defenders Club thread – my true area of expertise – though I haven’t been there much lately).

    But, mostly…my advice would be to #1. make an honest assessment about how you feel, #2. next time you chat, tell him how you enjoyed the evening, too, but avoid prying about his feelings for you…if he has any, he should be forthcoming, and prying will make you seem pushy, and #3 – MOST IMPORTANT – Never jump in bed with a guy who’s about to move away. (Not that anything like that would happen…but I figured it’s good to throw the warning out there anyway. 😉 )

    Take your time, see how things play out. And drop me a line at GW if you wish!

    @ Trish – Hey! What’s wrong with being left-handed for a change??! 😡 Lefties are the besties! 😀

    I had a surgical procedure – once. Seems when they put me under, I beat up the nurses. 😛 I remember as I was coming out of it I was hitting ’em pretty good. 😀 Doctor told my husband, ‘you know – your wife has a very strong and violent subconscious…’ Oh, greeeeaat. And me…such a pacifist. God, I dread having any surgical procedure done ever again…it’s like I turn into the Hulk, or something. “Das SMASH puny humans!!” Ugh. 😛


  25. Hey, who got the brain of the suckling pig? And what about the eyes and tongue? I only ask because these are supposed to be some of the best bits and I was wondering if they actually served them.

  26. Hey Joe.

    If I ever come visit Vancouver, can you take me with you when you eat out 🙂

    I was wondering if the first season of Universe will have 20 episodes like SGA’s first season, or 23 lke SG-1?

    Thanks Joe!

  27. Its tomorrow now here in *checks weather* wet and windy Cornwall. Definitely a batten down the hatches/splice the mainbrace kinda night, I’m just making myself a cup of hot chocolate and I’m sure I’ve got some marshmallows around here somewhere, I’ve got a book to read and music on my MP3 player, throw in some melt-in-the-mouth shortbread and I think I could hibernate till the spring.
    Send in a search party when the sun comes out…..make them bring chocolate.

    G’night all

  28. Joe,

    It seems like SGU is taking up a lot of your time lately. Is the Atlantis movie taking a back seat until the new series starts? Not a criticism – I’m just curious.



  29. Crap, crapity, crap, CRAP!

    Just got back from the doc (again)…and weeee! I have PA-MONIA! Yup. Pneumonia. I really need one’a Todd’s bugs suckin’ on me right about now… 😛

    Never had this before, so wish me luck. And Joe…can you at least humor me a little, and tell me whatcha think Wraith smell like? I’m sure you can come up with something good. 😉


  30. Oh damn.

    I’m so sorry to hear that, das! Get lots of rest, drink plenty of water, and just take it easy! Do you take meds for Pneumonia? I don’t know anything about it except it’s like a lung infection or something. More knowledgable people can correct me.

    Rest assured, positive vibes are on your way. Also, this is the time to go through all those Wraith episodes again. I hope your DVD player is up to the task!

    Get better soon!

  31. Damn Das, that’s bad news.
    They just send you home or are you off to hospital?
    Take it easy either way.
    Heres hoping for a quick recovery.

  32. Thanks pg15 & BlueJay…

    They gave me antibiotics, steroids (like I need more chin whiskers 🙄 ), and other crap. If I feel worse tomorrow, I go to the hospital. Blech. We only got back home a bit ago (all the pharmacies in town closed shop at 6, so we had to drive 10 miles to the nearest 24-hr deal. I swear, this is such a hick town at times), and just now eating something. I actually feel better today than a couple days ago, but I guess my lungs say otherwise.

    pg15 – not sure Wraith will make me feel better – you know how upset I get when they’re mistreated and murdered! Poor, hungry fellas… 🙁 I can’t even watch Toddisodes right now, trying to distance myself so that I don’t implode when they kill him off…which I have a good feeling Joe will do in the movie, just to get me back for being so damn annoying.

    So, instead, I just watched Road Warrior. 😀 I just love the end of that movie – best action sequence, ever! I SO wanna be Max, driving that badass tanker – my shoulder ripped open, my eye swollen shut – running down all the tourists in the middle of the summ…ah…er…yeah. Nevermind. 😳 That really should be put in my ‘secret fantasies file’. 😛


  33. Das you be super careful and get super well. I had walking pneumonia last year and my immune system still isn’t back to where it used to be. Is there as graphic novel/comicbook fund being set up for your recovery?

  34. Das, Being a nurse, if they let you go home ,it’s not that bad. Just remember to finish ALL THE MEDICINE , and make sure you do a follow up with the Doc. Drink alot of fluids to thin lung secreations, you may do alot of coughing. Ask for something if you need it! If you are not better in 3 days or get worse, go back to the Dr. ASAP! Did he give you cough meds or a puffer, are you wheezing? The stuff you cough up may be discolored, thats normal. It will clear up. – Sorry for grossing everyone out.- feel better, stay warm, Sheryl

  35. Is it too late for Mike Dopud questions? If not I’d love to know if he’ll be sparring with Tess Mercer again on Smallville this season, and I wonder if he got to keep the cool leather strappy shirtlet from his awesome Conanesue wardrobe in “Tracker”. And I’d love any tidbits he can offer about his work in the episodesof Battlestar Gallactica airing later this month. Battlestar, Smallville and SGA in one season? This dude rocks!

  36. Sheryl – they gave me a z-pack, cough meds, an inhaler, and steroids.

    They said not to use the inhaler tonight as I’m a tad high-strung and it may keep me awake, and the cough meds is optional (it has codeine in it, so gonna only take it if I can’t sleep, or something). I took the antibiotics, and steroid…and now feel sick. It may be the meds (I’ve taken both before without a problem, though), or Chinese food. Not sure which. 😛

    Thanks, everyone. This is a totally new experience for me…I don’t like being sick like this…at. all.

    suziebluefeather – ya know – I could really use a comic book fund! The prices are going up to $3.99 an issue! Ack! I’m discovering that this is one very expensive habit… I think I have 8 short boxes full of books, not to mention about 120, maybe more, trades/graphic novels. I should have just saved the money and bought myself an Aston Martin! 😉


  37. Hey Joe,
    I’m baaaack
    Weekend off for a change and I’m in the Big Apple. I went to a place that serves foie gras for breakfast!!!! It’s called Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien. It’s on 56th between 6th and 7th. Back to the foie gras. It was Foie Gras Brioche French Toast with Asparagus and Mushrooms. Good lord it was good and plenty of both french toast and foie gras. Not your average morning fare, but it was great for a change. Give it a go next time you are in NY.

  38. @ das: I’m so sorry to hear that your creeping crud has morphed into pneumonia! Get lots of rest and fluids and take your meds like a good girl. Make sure you eat something when you take the steroids: they are really tough on your stomach. And like Sheryl said, if you are not at least a little better after 4 days, go back to the doctor because you may need a change in antibiotic. But don’t expect miracles and DON’T PUSH YOURSELF. It takes a while to get over pneumonia. I speak from experience. On the upside, you now have a great excuse to lie home in bed or on the couch to read that backlog of comics and the Elric book. 😉

    Take care of yourself, luv!

    Oh, and hi Joe! Your Fuel dinner looked great. Personally, I’d had asked them to hold the mint sauce on the chocolate terrine, though.

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