Briefings: Snooker, Fishing, Reading, Cooking, and the James Beard Awards

Briefings By Photo by Gear Patrol

In a perfect world we’d spend every week playing snooker, fishing, drinking cocktails, reading children’s books, and eating a meal with mom. We’re allowed approximately two of these weeks in America. Make the most of them.

It’s a big and complicated world. We’re at tips [at] if you think there’s something we should know about.

1. What to Play | In Favor of Snooker

On a recent trip to Scotland to learn about The Glenlivet and Speyside whiskies, we had the chance to play a few frames of snooker. In a castle. Now the castle bit is fairly important because snooker tables measure 12’x6’, significantly larger than a regular pool table and harder for us regular folks to accommodate. But the game is worth seeking out: It uses 22 balls and is scored with points, earned by potting balls in a specific order or when the opponent fouls by hitting the incorrect ball first. The real fun is snookering the opponent, roughly equivalent to playing a safety shot in eight-ball but much more personal. Especially after a few drams of whisky.

2. Where to Fish | America’s Best Fishing Towns

GQ has a guide to three fishing towns that have the recreation and the hospitality for an ace vacation: Charleston, SC; San Diego, CA; and Detroit, MI. Wait, Detroit? We’ve heard it’s a city on the mend, but apparently nearby Lake St. Clair is a top spot for freshwater fishing. “St. Clair’s embarrassment of scaly riches is owed to its peculiar geography: Its shallow, sandy bottoms act like smallmouth pastures, because new water is constantly flushed in from Lake Huron, replenishing nutrients for the tinier fish that bass nosh on.” The story also has a quick guide to filleting fish from Justo Thomas of Le Bernardin, one of America’s best seafood restaurants.

3. What to Read | An Interview with Maurice Sendak

Certain events remind us of our own age and mortality: backaches that don’t go away, friends getting married, and familiar cultural icons passing. Maurice Sendak’s books are so timeless that every generation of kids who read Where The Wild Things Are thinks it was written just for them. In fact, it was published in 1963, and Sendak was 83 when he died this week. The Paris Review interviewed him in 2011 about his last book, Bumble-Ardy.

4. Who to Cook For | Mom

Although Dad’s going to send you a text message reminder on Friday, let’s get right to the point and plan for Mother’s Day now. Flowers are easy: peonies, obviously. But if you want … then a meal is in order. Esquire has an interview with Mississippi native, Iron Chef, and major babe Cat Cora, on what it takes to cook a fine Mom’s Day meal. “She may say she wants a nice, big juicy steak. Whatever she wants.” Let this be a lesson in all your relationships with women.

5. Where to Dine + Imbibe | The JBA Are In

We joined our friends from Mercedes-Benz, who presented the Best New Restaurant award, at the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards. In a general way, the winner that evening was the man wearing a bow tie made of two small whisks attached at the handle and covered in glitter. More specifically, Grant Achatz nabbed the best new resto award for Next (Chicago), Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park (NYC) won for Outstanding Chef, and PDT (NYC) grabbed Outstanding Bar Program. “In the bar business you’re only as good as the last person you served or the last drink you made,” Jim Meehan, the owner, told us. “It’s a process, and always refining that process to make it more enjoyable for the customer is our approach. We’re always tinkering with it and seeing how we can improve it.”