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Daytime Emmy Nominations Give Props to Cooking Shows

by in Events, News, May 1st, 2014

Daytime Emmy Nominations Give Props to Cooking ShowsThis year’s Daytime Emmy Award nominations are out, and the cooking-show sector was well represented among the nominees. Food Network was honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with five nominations. Cooking Channel got four. PBS and syndicated culinary shows were also among the nominees in various categories.

Food Network’s Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction and Giada At Home, and Cooking Channel’s My Grandmother’s Ravioli were nominated for Outstanding Culinary Program, as were PBS’s A Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking, The Mind of a Chef and the syndicated Beer Geeks.

Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis were both also nominated in the category of Outstanding Culinary Host for Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction and Giada At Home, respectively, as was Rachael Ray for her Food Network show Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day. The Mind of a Chef hosts April Bloomfield and Sean Brock shared a nomination, rounding out that category.

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What Do You Feed a Hungry Hamster? How About Burritos?

by in News, May 1st, 2014

BurritosIf you have not yet had a chance to check out this crazy and ultra-viral YouTube video (it has earned nearly three million page views in two days, with no sign of stopping) in which a tiny hamster hungrily devours two tiny, painstakingly prepared burritos, you should probably just drop everything and check it out right now. I’ll wait.

I’ll make it easy for you: Click here.

Cute stuff, right? The video’s genius lies, in part, in blending some of our favorite things: lovingly prepared, artfully presented food (crayon boxes count as art, right?) and adorable animals (unless you’re afraid of scurrying creatures, in which case, don’t watch it). That it has hit a collective sweet spot is no accident; the video was produced by Hello Denizen, the comedic content arm of Los Angeles-based social media agency Denizen, who are all about using the “social Web … to its full effect.”
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Tables for One, Waffle Hybrids and a Doughnut Worker Takes Aim at Receipts

by in News, May 1st, 2014

Waffled Brownie SundaeThe Singles Scene: Solo diners need not bother to ask for a table for one at Eenmaal, a new pop-up restaurant in Amsterdam. That’s because the sparsely decorated eatery features only tables for one — the better to relieve the social stigma of the solitary eater. The restaurant has no Wi-Fi, so diners can focus on their meals (four courses, organic and locally sourced, $48, including drink), though magazine and book reading is encouraged. “I wanted to show that a moment of disconnection, by eating out alone, sitting alone, can be attractive, especially in our hyperconnected society,” owner Marina van Goor told Bloomberg Businessweek. Plans are underway to expand later this year to cities including London, Berlin and the United States. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

Hybrid Watch: Two examples may be one shy of an official trend, but sweeping that aside, the next generation of hybrid foods appears to be all about the waffle. Dominique Ansel has just unveiled his new Waffogato, a dessert he describes on Instagram as a “vanilla ice cream waffle with Belgium waffle bits, slightly salted, and topped with maple-syrup espresso poured on top.” (Watch Wendy Williams scarf it down here.) And now a Chicago spot called Waffles Cafe is offering the Wonut: a half-waffle, half-doughnut creation available in flavors such as red velvet, vanilla and chocolate, as well as more outré offerings such as green tea and Mexican chocolate. Try experimenting with your waffle iron at home with Food Network’s 12 recipes for sweet and savory waffle mash-ups. [Wendy Williams and Foodbeast]

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And the World’s Best Restaurant Is …

by in News, April 30th, 2014

World's 50 Best RestaurantsWhat’s the best restaurant in the world? In the estimation of the judges who bestow the prestigious S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards (aka fine dining’s Oscars), that distinction now belongs to the Danish restaurant Noma. Chef-owner René Redzepi’s Copenhagen dining establishment, which last year landed at No. 2 on the annual list, organized by the U.K.’s Restaurant magazine, has retaken the top honors for what the committee called “mould-breaking Nordic food that takes nature’s bounty to new levels.”

Accepting the award at a ceremony in London on Monday night, René called the accolade “too … crazy!” He said he and the staff had worked hard to make this year their best. “Thank you for believing in us.”

Rounding out the top 10 were, in order from top to bottom, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain (last year’s winner, moving down a spot to No. 2); Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy (holding steady at No. 3); Daniel Humm’s Eleven Madison Park in New York (moving up one spot to No. 4); Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London; Mugaritz in San Sebastián, Spain; D.O.M. in São Paulo, Brazil; Arzak in San Sebastián, Spain; Grant Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago (moving up to No. 9 from No. 15); and The Ledbury in London.

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3,300-year-old beer, DNA-coded olive oil and DIY food porn

by in News, April 28th, 2014

Olive OilA Well-Aged Brew: Psst. Want to try some 3,300-year-old beer found in the bottom of a coffin? That might not sound so appetizing, but a little context may help. The drink is inspired by an ancient fermented liquid — made of wheat grains, pollen, malt, honey, bog myrtle and cranberries — found in a bark bucket next to the remains of a well-preserved Bronze Age teen known as Egtved Girl. The National Museum of Denmark has teamed up with Skands Brewery to re-create the beverage, marketing it as Egtved Girl’s Brew (Egtvedpigens Bryg — 5.5% ABV). Guess there was no minimum drinking age back in the Bronze Age. [Past Horizons]

An Olive Oil Breakthrough: Wild. In order to ensure that expensive olive oils are genuine and not counterfeit, scientists in Zurich, Switzerland, have come up with ways to “tag” oils using teensy magnetic DNA particles that are encapsulated in silica and mixed into the oil. The tags contain information about the oil, such as its source and quality, and can be analyzed with the help of these particles if counterfeiting (apparently a big business) is suspected. “The method is equivalent to a label that cannot be removed,” Robert Grass, lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences at ETH Zurich, told R&D Magazine. The tags are inexpensive, easy to make and safe to eat. [R&D Magazine via Popular Science]

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High-Tech Coffee Mug, Alcohol-Related Eating and the Best Gas Grills

by in News, April 26th, 2014

High-Tech Coffee MugsThe Humble Mug-Side Message Goes High-Tech: It may be time to retire your old “Hang in There” or “World’s Best Boss” coffee mugs. Finnish coffee company Paulig has come up with a creative way for you to mix things up a little, mugwise. Its new Muki mug features a heat-powered epaper screen connected to a special app that not only indicates when your coffee is the right temperature to drink, but also allows you to upload and display different photos, comic strips, inspirational quotes or messages sent by friends. Watch a video showing the mug in action here. Cool … or, er, hot! [YouTube via Business Insider]

“Bottoms Up!” = Bigger Bottoms? The key to losing weight may be not only eating less, but drinking less too. Drinking more than three large glasses of wine may spur people to consume about 6,300 extra calories over the next 24 hours, according to a new British report. A little more than half of the 2,042 people surveyed said they tended to binge on fast food after drinking — not just while they were feeling the effects of the alcohol, but the next day as well. Dr. Jacquie Lavin, head of nutrition and research at the U.K.-based weight-loss organization Slimming World, which commissioned the survey, blames the loosening effect of alcohol on self-control. Plus, she said, “Alcohol makes the food even more rewarding. It tastes good and feels even better than it would do normally.” [BBC News]

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America’s First Cat Cafe, a Titanic Menu and Chicken Pot Pie in a Cone

by in News, April 25th, 2014

America's First Cat CafeA Purrfect Cup: Considering the fact that it combines two of our nation’s collective obsessions — cats and coffee — under one (temporary) roof, it’s probably no surprise to read reports that a pop-up shop that’s being billed as America’s first cat cafe, which brings to the U.S. a concept that’s already a hit in other countries, has had lines out the door since opening in New York’s East Village on Thursday morning. (Watch a Livestream from inside the cafe here.) Patrons of the Purina-sponsored cafe will not only be able to drink their Cat’achinos — cappuccinos customized with kitty faces — and fraternize with a bunch of felines, they will also be able to adopt cats from a local animal shelter and get expert advice about cat health and behavior. It’s open only until Sunday, April 27, though, so if you want to check it out, don’t pussyfoot around. [Business Insider]

Going Once, Going Twice: An artifact both sad and rare — a second-class menu from the Titanic — will be offered for auction on Saturday by British auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son. Written on a 3-by-5-inch postcard dated April 11, 1812, and featuring a prophetic note (“Good voyage up to now”) written by one of the oldest crew members to have survived when the ship went down, Jacob Gibbons, the menu reveals that passengers traveling aboard the ill-fated ship dined on foods including potato hash, ham, eggs and oatmeal. Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge told ABC News that he’s sold several first-class Titanic menus during his 20 years in the business, but second-class menus are far more rare. It is expected to fetch $150,000 on the block. [ABC News]

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Veggie Ice Cream, Dining-Room Rug Rules and a Problem-Solving 3D-Printed Ketchup Cap

by in News, April 24th, 2014

Dining-Room Rug RulesI Scream, You Scream: Vegetable-flavored ice cream? Could be terrible or terrific. Ice cream eaters in Japan will get to decide for themselves on May 12 when Haagen-Dazs Japan plans to release two new flavors — Tomato Cherry and Carrot Orange — as part of a new “Spoon Vege” series. The new varieties will contain 8.5 percent milk-fat, a little over half the usual content in Haagen-Dazs ice creams — so if you ever get the chance to try them, you can convince yourself they’re a healthy dessert choice. Just so long as they don’t try, like, broccoli-lime or spinach-kiwi next. Or, well, actually … [Rocket News 24 via UPI]

Banish Dining-Room Floor Bareness: To rug or not to rug? That is the question we all face when we decorate our dining rooms. On the one hand, rugs are warm and homey and inviting, all things you want when you gather friends and family around a table; on the other, crumbs and spills. Apartment Therapy has entered the debate and come down solidly on the side of rugs, which, the site says, “don’t have to be an impractical choice” if you follow a few rules when making your selection. For instance? Choose something that has a low pile (it will soften dish clinks so you can better hear conversation) and a pattern (the better to hide stains), as well as something that is big enough for all the chairs to fit on and is cheap. Sounds like solid advice. [Apartment Therapy]

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Backfiring Food Rules, a $2,000 Tasting Menu and the Question McDonald’s No Longer Asks

by in News, April 23rd, 2014

Backfiring Food RulesThe Pitfalls of Family Food Rules: Most of the time, a graham cracker is just a graham cracker, but when children are asked to click a computer mouse like mad to get one, as in a recent series of experiments, or decide how many of them to eat when they are given restricted access to them, it becomes the marker of a “reactive eater” and a clue that, while genetics and biology may play a role in children who are strongly motivated by food, food rules imposed at home may also factor in. “The message is that restriction is counterproductive — it just doesn’t work very well,” Brandi Rollins, the Penn State postdoctoral researcher who led the studies, told the New York Times. “Restriction just increases a child’s focus and intake of the food that the parent is trying to restrict.” Bottom line: It’s better not to put junk food out of reach on a high shelf, but rather not have it in the house at all. [The New York Times]

The Planet’s Priciest Eatery? Considering all the things you could do with $2,078, even hard-core foodies might pause before paying that much per person for a meal. Even for a 20-course tasting menu that promises to combine food, art and technology to create a “complete and unprecedented emotional experience.” Regardless, that’s apparently what Sublimotion, a restaurant opening on May 18 at the new five-star Hard Rock Hotel in Playa d’en Bossa, on Ibiza, under the supervision of Michelin-starred chef Paco Roncero, is charging, making it what the Daily Mail is calling “the most expensive restaurant on the planet.” Enjoyed by only 12 guests each night, the meal “will cause a stir among the most-neglected senses,” a spokesman told the tabloid. “From moments of humor, pleasure, fear, reflection and nostalgia, diners will be wandering through a world of sensations from the North Pole where they will enjoy a cold snack that they carve on their own iceberg or to the baroque Versailles where the elegance of a rose is sure to melt in their palate.” At those prices, you’d think they’d get someone to carve your cold snack for you. [Daily Mail]

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Earth Day Dinners, Powdered Alcohol and a Couple of Costly Tacos

by in News, April 22nd, 2014

Earth Day DinnersHappy Earth Day: Today, in case you were unaware, is Earth Day. And if you’re looking for a way to celebrate it, you might consider hosting an Earth Dinner. Plan a meal that focuses on local, seasonal and organic ingredients, then learn as much as you can about your food — where it comes from, who farmed it, the history of the ingredients and the dishes you’re making from those ingredients. Then try to engage your guests — or your family — in a conversation about food and sustainability. You can download a booklet containing great discussion questions — “What’s your earliest food memory?” or “Describe your spiciest food experience,” for instance — an “Earth Dinner Toolkit” and other information here. [EarthDinner.org via Living Green Magazine]

Hard Facts About Food Texture: Texture may play a bigger role in how we consume food — and mess up our diets — than many of us realize. The authors of a new study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, examined “the link between how a food feels in your mouth and the amount we eat, the types of food we choose, and how many calories we think we are consuming.” Participants in five studies were given foods to taste that were hard, soft, rough or smooth. Then the participants were asked to estimate the calorie content. One study found that people who were not asked about calorie count who were given soft brownies ate more of them than those given hard brownies, but people who were asked about calorie content ate more hard brownies than soft ones. “Understanding how the texture of food can influence calorie perceptions, food choice, and consumption amount can help nudge consumers towards making healthier choices,” the authors conclude. [EurekAlert via Tech Times]

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