5@5 - Marisa May
November 2nd, 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.

So class, what did we learn yesterday? Repeat after your trusty editors: “Don't be a martyr, be a host.”

The impending holiday season means brining, basting, boozing and baking our way into the hearts of family and friends until they’re stuffed to the gills crying “Uncle!” - all the while making them believe, "mi casa es tu casa." Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right? Uh, yeah, we'll get back to you about that.

Lucky you, we've enlisted professionals to help you through the process. Meet Marisa May: she's one-half of the father-daughter team behind SD26 restaurant in New York City.

Of the hospitality of Marisa and her father Tony May, New York Times dining critic Sam Sifton writes: “They greet customers with handshakes, hugs, smiles. They pull out chairs in this vast theatrical space across the street from Madison Square Park and say: Of course the giant raviolo with soft-cooked egg and truffled butter is on the menu.”

Time to put that storied hospitality to work.

Five Ways to Make Every Guest Feel Welcome: Marisa May
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Winning hearts and minds (just not Ali Velshi's) with boar bacon brownies
November 2nd, 2010
04:30 PM ET
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Ali Velshi

UPDATE: We achieved Gergening. He ate a brownie and could not have been lovelier. Our work here is done.

Well we NEVER! And Ali Velshi just stopped by Eatocracy HQ to register his disgust at the notion IN PERSON. We're chalking it up to, as we mentioned before, his being Canadian and thus perhaps more receptive to, say, moose meat.

Nonetheless, we figured our pals at CNN Politics are in it for the long haul tonight and might need a treat. We've tweaked our managing editor's signature bacon bourbon brownie recipe to ditch the booze soaked pecans to lower the alcohol content (these folks have gotta talk all smart on air and whatnot) and minimize allergy issues, as well as swapping the standard hog bacon for uncured, smoked wild boar bacon - for fanciness' sake.

Early indications from colleagues who have sampled indicate that we will indeed be winning hearts and minds tonight through the sheer force of sugar, butter and the fat of feral swine, but we won't know for certain until we manage to coax a grin from David Gergen. Wish us luck, won't you?

Here's the recipe.
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Filed under: Ali Velshi • Bacon • Baked Goods • Make • Recipes


Lunchtime poll – elect for an excellent Thanksgiving
November 2nd, 2010
12:45 PM ET
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Okay – David Gergen has walked by our desks like, eight times, Roland Martin is sporting an extra-festive ascot and Ali Velshi has cruelly rebuffed our festive wild boar bacon bourbon brownies (we're chalking it up to his being Canadian - we shoulda gone with moose).

It's unmistakably Election Day here at Eatocracy HQ and while we must remain politically neutral (though we're very entertained that Sandra Lee just might end up wreaking her tablescapes all up in the NY State Gov's mansion if longtime beau Andrew Cuomo emerges victorious), we are, above all, for the Party of Deliciousness.

Cast your vote for truth, justice and...uh...Tryptophan and we'll scare up recipes for crowd faves as Thanksgiving impends.
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Filed under: Buzz • Holidays • Lunchtime Poll • Pie • Thanksgiving


Box lunch
November 2nd, 2010
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • If a man cooks the same dish as a woman, would it taste any different? The role of gender in food. - The Atlantic


  • A friend's prenatal struggle inspires a post on why restaurants give us hope. "Restaurants coddle us, they comfort us. They make us feel special. They make life better." - ulterior epicure


  • The most popular course at Harvard this fall is titled "Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science." - The Boston Globe



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Filed under: Box Lunch • News


T minus 23: A laid-back guide to Thanksgiving
November 2nd, 2010
09:30 AM ET
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Over the next 24 days – including yes, the very day of – we'll be sharing our time-tested hosting tips and recipes, as well as plenty from chefs, hospitality experts, celebrities (that's always fun, right?), hosts and home cooks we love. Our goal – sending you into Thanksgiving with a confident smile on your face, and seeing you emerge on the other side with your sanity intact.

Previously: T minus 24 - Don't be a martyr, be a host.

And a little bit about that. Reader "I State Your Name" wrote:

"I completely disagree that, as a host, you should allow someone who offers, to bring one of the same dishes you're making. If they can't stand the thought of a Thanksgiving dinner without THEIR sweet potato casserole, stuffing, or whatever, then they can stay home and eat it. Hosts probably should take guests up on their offers to help or to bring something in order to make everyone feel that they're contributing to the event, but guests should also be respectful of what the host is making. Why are we becoming so accepting of rudeness?"

We'd agree with you on that for a regular dinner party, but when it comes to Thanksgiving, tradition trumps the host's ego. So many people come along as "strays" to other people's Thanksgiving meals. It's nice for them to have some sort of continuity with their own traditions – and even share them with a new bunch of people. Where's the harm?

Today's lesson:

Pitcher drinks and Prosecco are a host's best friend.
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Breakfast buffet
November 2nd, 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.

Chicago chef Graham Elliot took to Twitter this morning for encouragement on this day of civic duty. "Happy Election Day! Vote, watch returns, cry or rejoice," he tweeted.

At the end of November 2, there will be winners and there will be losers, but alas, there is something for all to rejoice - it's National Deviled Egg Day.

That's not to say the holiday buffet staple doesn't encounter politics of its own. While most can agree that a deviled egg is indeed a hard-boiled egg whose shell is re-stuffed with a mixture of yolks, mayonnaise and spices, the general consensus stops there. Some finish theirs with paprika, some stir in pickle relish or a spot of mustard, and still others top 'em with pimento-stuffed olives. Porcine patrons can even throw a little ham or bacon into the yolk-y mix.

Whatever your devilish persuasion, it's time to get cracking.

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


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