5@5 - Chef Michelle Bernstein
October 21st, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

There are at least two sides to every story.

There is the story about the polished, starched-hat-wearing, perhaps even snobbish chef with a refined palate and even more refined technique.

There is the one about the stand-and-stir television chef – that may or may not be professionally trained - who smiles over their pre-measured spices while waxing nostalgic of how grandma used to make it.

Or – there is the “heavy drinking, drugs, screwing in the dry-goods area, unappetizing industry-wide practices” that Anthony Bourdain so honestly writes about in his restaurant industry memoir, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.

Akin to any industry, chef stereotypes abound - but there are some general misconceptions that Chef Michelle Bernstein wants to clear up.

Bernstein is the James Beard Award-winning chef of Michy’s and Sra. Martinez in Miami, Florida, and the author of Cuisine à Latina.

Five Misconceptions People Have About Chefs: Michelle Bernstein

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Filed under: 5@5 • Chefs • Think

You can have your designer label and eat it too
October 21st, 2010
03:30 PM ET
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So finally, at the age of 30, I get my first taste of Chanel and Gucci. As a journalist, it’s a sure sign that I’ve arrived ... at the cafe/dining section of these designer fashion labels’ flagship stores in Ginza, that is.

Tokyo lays claim to several of the world’s first, or only, dining establishments of luxury brands such as Chanel, Gucci and Bulgari, reflecting both the uniqueness and sophistication of the Japanese consumer who lives to breathe - and eat - designer labels.


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Filed under: Japan • Travel

Lunchtime poll - "maintenance food"
October 21st, 2010
12:15 PM ET
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I've always felt a fundamental disconnect with people who say if they could, they would just pop a pill in lieu of a meal. It's not a matter of food snobbery or that they're not meeting my level of food fetishism; it's that they're openly disdaining the act of eating.

In its platonic ideal, eating should be an a act of joy, a delight to the senses, a catalyst for community and nourishment for the mind, body and soul. It doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive, and I am, without a doubt, grateful for every mouthful.

Still – if I could have popped some manner of space-age meal capsule instead of bolting down cotton-crusted, elastic-topped, charm-free cheese pizza while sprinting to catch the red-eye out of Vegas the other night, I would have done so gratefully.

I call it "maintenance food" – the quick, joyless meals you eat on your way somewhere, so you don't pass out at the wheel, the grim turkey sandwich at your desk, just about any food from a hospital or airport vending machine. I curse myself for not having had the forethought to feed myself more interestingly, and due to time, locale or cash restraints must gobble down food that's just...there.

Four people died after eating contaminated celery
October 21st, 2010
12:05 PM ET
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Authorities have shut down a Texas food processing plant, saying it was contaminated by bacteria linked to the deaths of four people, state health officials said.

The Texas Department of State Health Services on Wednesday ordered Sangar Produce and Processing to immediately stop processing food and recall all products shipped from its San Antonio plant since January. This comes after state laboratory results showed Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that can cause severe illness, in chopped celery at the plant.

Four people died after contracting listeriosis after consuming celery that had been processed at the Sangar plant, said Carrie Williams, a department spokeswoman. State health authorities came to this determination while investigating 10 cases in which people with serious underlying health problems contracted listeriosis over an 8-month period.

CNN Health has the FULL STORY

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Filed under: Health News • Recalls • Tainted Food • Vegetables

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