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NYWFF: Prohibition Cocktails

by in View All Posts, October 12th, 2010
Prohibition Cocktails
Pouring drinks at Prohibition Cocktails, a New York Wine and Food Festival Event, Photograph by Tom Censani

At this New York Wine and Food Festival event, Southern wine and spirits expert Allen Katz poured a few classic cocktails and shared recipes, so you can try these old gems at home.

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NYC Wine & Food Festival: Alton After Dark

by in View All Posts, October 8th, 2010
The crowd at Chelsea Market After Dark is psyched to party with Alton

A star-studded, food-filled weekend of festivities officially kicked off last night with numerous events around New York City. Along with hundreds of fans, we noshed, sipped and chatted with Alton Brown after hours at Chelsea Market—which happens to be Food Network’s headquarters.

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Michelin Stars

by in View All Posts, October 7th, 2010
Michelin Guide 2011
The Michelin Guide, 2011

Highly coveted Michelin Stars for 2011 were recently awarded to a group of amazing New York City restaurants, including the highest three-star rating for Daniel, Le Bernardin, Masa, Per Se, and Jean-Georges. Originally started in France in 1900, the Michelin Guide sets the worldwide restaurant standards. The 2011 Michelin Guides covers U.S. restaurants in New York, San Francisco and, for the first time, Chicago.

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Cooks Care: Aria Kagan’s Marathon Run

by in View All Posts, October 6th, 2010

Next Food Network Star finalist Aria Kagan and her dad

Two years ago I lost my father—my best friend and someone who represented all that is good in the world—to cancer. Since then I’ve set out to celebrate his life however I can. When I came upon Fred’s Team and the New York City Marathon, I knew it was a perfect fit! Fred’s Team and its dedicated runners raise money for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. With the money that is raised, MSKCC continues to work on finding better treatments, research and hope for a world without cancer.

I had never run a marathon before, but I felt it was an amazing challenge with a fabulous purpose. Training for a marathon takes a lot of dedication. I figured if my father could endure three years of chemo, radiation and multiple surgeries, I could totally run 26.2 miles. And so I did.

This year, I will be running in the 2010 NYC Marathon again with Fred’s Team (check out my Fred’s Team Page). I decided this year instead of just asking people to donate money, I wanted to do something to bring everyone together and celebrate the beauty of life.

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Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, October 5th, 2010
Bacon-Wrapped Everything: So Last Year?

Bye Bye Bacon? The Wall Street Journal traces the popularity of bacon from an everyday breakfast food to a cooking super-trend, and one that’s about to sizzle out fast. “It’s been overplayed so much and my taste buds are tired of it,” Boston chef Ken Oringer tells the WSJ. So he, alongside a growing number of other cooks, has started replacing beloved cured pork for new flavor boosters, like smoked salt, Indian spices and shitake mushrooms. Just how seriously are some taking the self-imposed bacon ban? Oringer reportedly ordered a pastry chef to melt down her bacon bon bons into mole sauce for the staff only.  [Wall Street Journal via]

Gardens are the New Bacon: According to a survey by the National Restaurant Association, the latest trend in the food industry is restaurant gardens. NPR reports that more and more spots are growing their own goodies in an attempt to control the quality of food and what ends up on the menu. And as for patrons? “It’s a benefit knowing the food you’re eating is grown 20 feet from the kitchen without pesticides or artificial fertilizers,” one Michigan restaurant-goer told NPR. “The scene, the beautiful colors when everything is ripe, and the way the gardens are laid out — [there’s] a beauty [to] it.” [NPR via]

New Blog Favorite: Who doesn’t love a good illustrated book? And what about cookbooks? The best! So here’s where things get awesome: combines recipes and imaginative artwork into one culinary fairytale. From a mojito infographic to an apple cider comic to a cartoony Yorkshire pudding, the recipes are as varied as their accompanying illustrations, and you can even submit your own pretty recipe renderings. []

The Way We Eat Now: lists the 10 monumental things that account for Americans’ eating habits, tracking the evolution from early immigration through organic farming. Sandwiched in between are Julia Child, 750-pound microwaves, food-focused television programming (hey, that’s us!), and a spoonful of other easy-to-digest nuggets from history. Anything missing? []

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

Fall Fest: Pick The Perfect Apple

by in View All Posts, September 29th, 2010
The Neelys' Apple Crisp
The Neelys' Apple Crisp

We’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Fall Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out

Bring on the apple crisp, baked apples and applesauce-d pork chops  — apple season is here! From popular supermarket varieties to the thousands of heirloom types you can pick up at a local farmers’ market, each apple has its own personality.

Some apples stand up to baking, while others fall flat in the oven. Some are too tart to munch on, but perfect for pies. So, how do you choose? Here’s a primer on picking the best apples for the job.

The best apples for favorite recipes »

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, September 28th, 2010
Ina, Thrilled About Pumpkins

The Great Pumpkin Famine Declared Over: Were you among the masses that raided store shelves this time last year to build a bunker filled with canned pumpkin? Or did you shell out $6-$7 a pop on eBay for a coveted can of the orange stuff? This fall, there’s no need to ration your pumpkin goop. Nestle, who sells the cans under its popular Libby’s label, has declared the great pumpkin shortage that began in 2009 officially over. They’ve planted more of this “super food” and they’ve planted it earlier, meaning you now have every right to ask for extra pies, bars, soufflés, trifles, cheesecakes, cookies and, well, we have lots of ideas. [Boston Herald]

Arrested Development-Style Banana Stand Opens In Austin: So much for keeping Austin weird – the wily Texans behind the city’s latest pop-up dessert spot are making it bananas. Fans of the hilariously awkward comedy Arrested Development will appreciate names for Banarchy’s chocolate-dipped frozen bananas like the Afternoon Delight and the Job. Let’s just hope no one burns it down, because remember, there just might be money in that banana stand. []

Peaches Make Room for Olives in Georgia: In an attempt to enter the olive oil industry dominated by overseas countries, 95 acres of olive groves will be planted in the Peach State over the next three years. Olives grew in abundance in Georgia from the 1600s through the Civil War, when rice and cotton crops supplanted them. But now, because the United States is the third-largest consumer of olive oil in the world and demand for the staple here continues to grow, Georgia farmers seek to turn this liquid gold into real profit. [Washington Post]

Boston to Put a Cap on Soda Consumption? Government buildings in San Francisco have banned it. City facilities in New York City have restricted it. Now, Boston public officials, concerned about the health of fellow employees, may make it harder to find soda in city vending machines. Bostonians are considering limiting the availability of the sugar-laden drinks on city-owned property because, as Bill Walczak, head of a community health center and a member of the city’s panel, told the Boston Globe, “Somebody has to take a stand, and if it isn’t the government and health care institutions leading the way to a healthier lifestyle, who’s going to do it?’’ [Boston Globe via]

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

Free Association: Meat and (Lots of) Potatoes

by in View All Posts, September 23rd, 2010
Can you tell this is Rahm Fama's dream job?

Rahm Fama, host of the new Food Network series Meat & Potatoes, is a self-proclaimed meat nerd. “If you’re a car nerd, you know as much as you can about cars, but you’ll never know everything. You’re always willing to learn more,” the enthusiastic carnivore explains. “I am consistently and always excited to learn about new meat.”

On Meat & Potatoes, Rahm travels the country, checking out (and, naturally, tasting) the best and most interesting meat and potatoes America has to offer. It’s a dream job for a guy who grew up working on his family’s cattle ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico and then became an established restaurant chef.

To get everyone in a meaty mood for Friday’s premiere of his new show (10pm/9c), we played a little meat-and-potatoes word association with Rahm. His pairings will undoubtedly induce cravings, so try them out at home with some top Food Network recipes…

Let’s start with a classic. French fries and ________?
You know, I’m actually not going to go with a burger. I’d do steak au poivre with pommes frites.

Braised short ribs and _________?
Short ribs go great with pureed potatoes.

Potato gratin and _________?
I’d do a grilled filet mignon—gotta have those char marks.

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Spinach: Giada’s Great Italian Takes

by in View All Posts, September 22nd, 2010
Penne with Spinach Sauce
Giada's Penne with Spinach Sauce

Fall FestWe’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Fall Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out

In honor of the first day of fall, whip up some comforting everyday Italian dishes from Giada, featuring the earthy goodness of still-fresh spinach. As part of a cheesy topping or pasta mix-in, spinach goes from dreaded health food to savory treat.

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Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, September 21st, 2010
Bobby Flay: Your Salad Soul Mate?

Salad Serendipity: Just Salad, a restaurant in Hong Kong and New York City, wants you to find love over lunchtime. The salad purveyor has created a free online dating site for customers, using an algorithm much like the one employed by traditional dating sites. Your soul mate is selected based on “which Just Salad location you frequent, when you frequent it, and what ingredients you love in your salad.” [The Independent via]

Some Like It Hot, But Why? The New York Times takes a look at why people find pleasure in eating the spiciest stuff they can stand. “Chili pungency is not technically a taste; it is the sensation of burning, mediated by the same mechanism that would let you know that someone had set your tongue on fire,” the Times reports. If that sounds fantastic to you, read on: “[Psychologist Dr. Paul Rozen] tested chili eaters by gradually increasing the pain, or, as the pros call it, the pungency, of the food, right up to the point at which the subjects said they just could not go further. When asked after the test what level of heat they liked the best, they chose the highest level they could stand, ‘just below the level of unbearable pain.’” [New York Times]

Punk’s Not Dead, It’s Pasta: Marky Ramone, drummer for the seminal punk foursome the Ramones, has unveiled a line of spaghetti sauce under his Brooklyn’s Own label. “I made it with my grandpa; he was a chef at 21 Club,” Ramone tells “I watched him as a little boy, and then when I got older, I lived alone at 18, and so pasta sauce and spaghetti was the cheapest thing around. I got really good at making it, and so I am excited I get to share my recipe with others.” [ via]

Wine Vending Machines? Mais Oui: Vending machines filled with wine are the new fill-up stations across France. For oenophiles appreciating convenience, just bring your own bottle (or barrel), choose among red, white or rosé, and fill ‘er up. An added bonus of this fuel is that the price is a little cheaper at the pump than from a bottle and any kind of large-scale spill might just benefit surrounding communities. [Dr. Vino]

Opening Bottles Like MacGuyver: Not in France where you can choose what bottle to guzzle wine from? Better bring your bottle opener. Actually, the fine folks at have compiled 31 untraditional ways to open beers, and your bike tires, napkins, hockey sticks and scrambled eggs are just some of the random things doing double duty. []

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.