5@5 – Chef Josh Grinker
November 1st, 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.

We mentioned in our Lunchtime Poll that you'd be hearing about those fine folks at Stone Park Café again, and whaddya know? It’s 5@5 time.

Meet the man behind our managing editor’s Brussels sprouts epiphany - Josh Grinker. He’s the executive chef of the Brooklyn restaurant where he crafts the roasted marrow bones, smoked chocolate ice cream and hanger steaks that ultimately earned the restaurant two stars from the New York Times.

The old adage goes, "everybody has a secret," including chefs - and Grinker should know because, well, he is one.

Five Things Chefs Don't Want You to Know: Josh Grinker
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Filed under: 5@5 • Favorites • Think


Lunchtime poll – veggie memories
November 1st, 2010
02:00 PM ET
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I can say with utmost certainly that I will never, ever have enough Brussels sprouts to eat.

There are so many ways to make them delicious. I split them, toss them with oil and Kosher salt and stick them under the broiler until the tops brown. My husband caramelizes them with shallots and a dash of white wine. My favorite neighborhood restaurant Stone Park Cafe (you'll hear more about them later today) chops them into thin raw ribbons dressed with pecorino Toscano and grain mustard vinaigrette.

When I was growing up, you couldn't have gotten me near a Brussels sprout with a butterfly net and a garden hoe. They were slimy, mushy, utterly repellent and while I realize that tastes evolve, I can't help but wonder what other factors came into play. Yes, my mother was an unenthusiastic cook and never met a frozen vegetable she didn't want to boil and slather in Parkay, but were vegetables in the 1970s and '80s actually sub-par?

Many folks wax rhapsodic about the produce of their youth, saying that the hothouse, cross-country-schlepped veggies currently in their produce aisle just don't stack up.

So was it just crappy cooking? An actual variance in veggies? A reflection of my having become an heirloom vegetable fetishist? Share your theories below, won'tcha? It'll be like therapy - only with a lower co-pay.



November 1st, 2010
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Frank Bruni takes one for the team by imbibing in Four Loko - or as he puts it, "malt liquor in confectionary drag." - New York Times


  • Shocker of the year: The meat industry isn't very happy about antibiotic regulation. - Washington Post


  • A personal account of a restaurant owner struggling with the decision to lay off a longtime employee. - The Atlantic


  • A new study says hitting the bottle is more harmful than heroin. - BBC


  • Some food cart vendors are snoozing in their carts to get the best real estate. - NY Post


  • Press C9 for a plant. A new vending machine grows vegetables sans sun. - re-nest
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News


Come aboard the SS Plastic Dining Room
November 1st, 2010
11:15 AM ET
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Eco-friendly floating restaurants serving sustainable seafood are on the menu for marinas around the world, in a bid to tackle the crisis caused by commercial over-fishing.

The first of these fundraising rafts, the "SS Plastic Dining Room," launched earlier this year in Vancouver, Canada, and now plans are afoot for a fleet of similar floating restaurants in major world cities including Auckland, Cape Town and London.

Nestled among a cluster of luxury yachts in the exclusive False Creek Yacht Club marina in Vancouver, "SS Plastic Dining Room" has so far raised just under $100,000 in support of the School of Fish Foundation, whose goal is to get sustainable seafood programs in culinary schools worldwide.

CNN World has the FULL STORY

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Filed under: Environment • News • Sustainability


November 1st, 2010
10:15 AM ET
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John Zarrella is CNN's Miami correspondent. He has been covering space shuttle launches since 1984. This Wednesday, the Discovery shuttle will make its last mission, sending a crew of six astronauts to the International Space Station.

Shrimp cocktail, beef tips with mushrooms, mac and cheese, chocolate pudding cake and apple cider.

That's what shuttle Discovery Commander Steve Lindsey chose for his dinner meal on his second day in space.  Not bad. The astronauts eat pretty well up there.  They've got sausage links and eggs, chicken and mashed potatoes, apples and candy bars.

But there's a catch.  It's not as gourmet as you might think.  The apples and candy bars are natural but a lot of the food is freeze dried.

I was just at the Johnson Space Center in Houston and spent a little time at the Space Food Systems Laboratory. It was the first time I'd been there. Guys wearing gloves, hair nets and white suits were busy packaging containers of freeze dried strawberries.   The room, which we couldn't go inside, is nearly spotless.  The precautions are needed so nothing is contaminated.
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Filed under: Bite • Outer Space • Travel


Breakfast buffet
November 1st, 2010
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday and the most delicious finds on TV.

The month has come to delight in the simplistic beauty that is peanut butter - November is National Peanut Butter Lover's Month.

The spreadable nut butter appears in brown bags aplenty from nursery schools to nursing homes (what with its denture-friendly texture). And according to the National Peanut Board, Americans spend almost $800 million a year on PB.

In honor of this salty holiday, we here at Eatocracy shall raise a spoon to celebrate.  And yes, we *do* eat peanut butter off a spoon.

Only one question remains: crunchy or creamy?

What's on TV?
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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • Food Holidays • News


T minus 24: A laid-back guide to Thanksgiving
November 1st, 2010
02:00 AM ET
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Hi there. We're food editors. It says in our secret handbook that this is 'round about the time we're supposed to start making you paranoid that you're not doing nearly enough to prep for Thanksgiving dinner.

It is our job to induce bowel-churning panic that if you don't commence shopping, chopping, prepping, setting, fussing, mussing, trussing NOW, your friends and relatives will spend T-Day sitting cross-legged on bare cement, gnawing saltines and semi-thawed Hot Pockets, cursing the day you were born.

Eatocracy rejects that premise.
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