5@5 - Chef Tony Conte's Five Tips on Cooking Fall Squash
October 27th, 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.

Despite this week’s climatic tomfoolery, we are indeed in the midst of autumn - and if the fall season means anything for food, it’s squash, and lots of it.

Chef Tony Conte is the executive chef of The Oval Room in Washington, D.C. Conte arrived on the capital city’s dining scene after a stint as executive sous chef at Jean-Georges Vongrichten's critically acclaimed, three-Michelin-starred Jean Georges restaurant in New York City. Since then, he’s been cranking out Mediterranean-influenced modern American cuisine to the District's power players and food lovers alike.

For Conte, the best way to celebrate autumn's most ubiquitous gourd is by squashing it into your usual culinary repertoire - and here's how.

Five Tips on Cooking Fall Squash: Tony Conte

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Filed under: 5@5 • Fall Vegetables • Squash • Think • Vegetables

Blogger Spotlight: Blank Palate
October 27th, 2010
02:30 PM ET
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Every so often, we're highlighting a local or regional blogger we think you ought to know about. We can’t be everywhere at once, so we look to these passionate eaters, cooks and writers to keep us tapped into every facet of the food world. Consider this a way to get to know a blog’s taste buds, because, well, you should.

Who: Marti Buckley Kilpatrick, of Blank Palate
Where: San Sebastián, Spain
Twitter: @martibk

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Filed under: Blog Spotlight • Blogs • Think • Uncategorized

October 27th, 2010
02:10 PM ET
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We asked via iReport for your stories of that person, place, book, restaurant or dish that made you sit up and start to see food as more than just a three times a day chore. You eat every day, and you've got a story to share.

Every so often, we're sharing the most hunger-inducing and heartfelt ones right 'chere.

iReporter ChrisMorrow caught up with Buddy Valastro, better known as TLC's "Cake Boss," on the red carpet of the Women's Conference in Long Beach, California. Turns out, his dear ol’ dad deserves all the credit for his mad baking skills, that he can whip up a mean truffle risotto and that baking isn't for the unscientific.

Watch the video on iReport

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Filed under: Buzz • Food Love • iReport

Lunchtime poll – favorite flavor
October 27th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
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Every stitch of clothing in my suitcase reeks of wood smoke, and I can't say I mind all that much.

I've recently returned from the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium in Oxford, Mississippi, where the preferred method for transubstantiation from whole animal (namely pigs and goats) and nasty bits (41 cow heads and a choir's worth of tongues) to sumptuous, silken barbecue was a good long linger in a pit full of ashed-over wood and coals. Or, as speaker Dr. James Peacock of the University of North Carolina's Department of Anthropology termed it, "Profane spheres like barbecue - good old boys doing stuff outside...with pigs."

I couldn't get enough of that heady scent and luscious flesh and I'm sure I made a pest of myself at the pit where Chef Kelly English of Memphis's Restaurant Iris was holding vigil over the barbacoa de cabeza all night. But, as the SFA's director John T. Edge told me, "Your Twitter feed, more than anyone else's out there, reflects your love of smoke." He wasn't wrong.

Heck - some ladies love a sugar-slathered Magnolia cupcake. I'm a slave to the smolder.

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