November 22nd, 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.

As of last night, there's a new Iron Chef in town - or better yet, in Kitchen Stadium. And being the new kid on the block can be scary, even if you did beat out nine other chefs while wielding sharp knives.

For those who haven't yet watched the final episode of "The Next Iron Chef," keep reading at your own risk of spoilage. For those who have, an Iron Chef's fears are about to be realized.

...Don't say we didn't warn you.

...Oh, you didn't watch it? Why are you still reading?

...Here we go. Stop now or forever hold your peas. (Har har!)

Five Fears I Have About Being an Iron Chef

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Filed under: 5@5 • Iron Chef • Television • Think

November 22nd, 2010
03:00 PM ET
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Fame Bites - Dean McDermott
November 22nd, 2010
02:30 PM ET
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Fame Bites goes inside the belly of the entertainment beast. We're dishing out where the celebrities are eating, what they're eating and who they're eating with.

Dean McDermott and his wife Tori Spelling are the stars and executive producers of Oxygen's "Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood," which is currently in its sixth season. Along with being a reality star, turns out McDermott is a budding culinary star in his own right.

We recently caught up with the film and television actor for some food for talk - and came away craving steak, homemade ice cream and wanting to hug Jamie Oliver more than we already did to begin with.


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Filed under: Bite • Columns • Fame Bites

It's checkmate for chess pie
November 22nd, 2010
02:00 PM ET
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In a recent patriotic-and-Thanksgiving-themed lunchtime poll - brought to you by the Party of (D)eliciousness - one of the questions we posed was: what's your pie preference for the Turkey Day spread?

When a few folks declared their allegiance to the chess pie, many were confounded. What is this pie you speak of, and does it involve knights, pawns and bishops?

Chess pie is a particularly Southern creation - a rich custard-based pie with a filling made of eggs, butter and sugar. Some variations call for the addition of cornmeal, buttermilk or vinegar - and as the pie recipe migrated, as noted in our managing editor’s (semi) native Kentucky family recipe, dried fruits and nuts were added to the mix.

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Filed under: Baked Goods • Bite • Cuisines • Dishes • Holiday • Holidays • Make • Pie • Recipes • Southern • Thanksgiving • Thanksgiving

Mislabel food for U.S. troops? That's gonna cost you big-time.
November 22nd, 2010
01:00 PM ET
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A Texas businessman has reached a settlement with the U.S. government over allegations that his company, a food services contractor, falsified expiration dates on food products and sold them to the U.S. military during the Iraq war.

Samir Mahmoud Itani and his company, American Grocers Ltd., were ordered to pay $15 million, according to a statement released Friday by the Department of Justice.

Federal prosecutors alleged Itani, his wife and American Grocers bought heavily discounted food from leading food product manufacturers, then altered the dates on the packages and shipped them to the Middle East at a marked-up price.

Read $15M penalty for alleged sale of mislabeled food for troops on CNN Wires

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Filed under: Military • News

Lunchtime poll – festively freaked out
November 22nd, 2010
12:30 PM ET
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Inhale pink...exhale blue...

And again, deeeeeep breaths and repeat to yourself over and over, "It's only a meal. It's only a meal. It's only a meal."

Even some of the most experienced and skillful hosts we know are showing signs of pre-Thanksgiving stress, posting Facebook status updates detailing obsessive preparation, and calling guests to confirm, re-confirm, then re-re-confirm the dishes they're bringing - almost down to the ounce.

We've been doing our darndest to make folks less stressed about holiday hosting, but are beginning to suspect that some folks delight in the drama.

And remember – we'll be live-blogging from Wednesday evening through Thursday mealtime, offering kitchen and hosting advice or offering a supportive shoulder and a laugh if you need it. Just leave a note in the comments or reach out on Twitter @eatocracy and we'll do our best to help you keep calm and carry on.

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Filed under: Buzz • Holidays • HolidayShopping • Lunchtime Poll • Thanksgiving

Box lunch
November 22nd, 2010
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Next year's restaurant forecast is cloudy with a chance of noodles. - Crain's New York

  • Meet the Vegetable Orchestra of Vienna. Is it just us or does the eggplant sound a little sharp? - Village Voice

  • What being named an "intangible heritage" by UNESCO means to French gastronomy. - TIME
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

This just in: your fellow travelers suck
November 22nd, 2010
11:45 AM ET
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We may have griped about the lack of meals, paying for snacks and trying to get some decent eats during a layover, but we'll shut up now.

CNN Travel writer Jessica Ravitz logged 5,900 airline miles last week to get a first-hand look at just how dire the nation's flying circumstances have become. Yes, she encountered a pat-down and a snappish flight attendant, but the most grievous offenses came from fellow travelers.

Think undergarment-flashing airport bar patrons, a woman muling 14 pound of ganja into Jamaica and a family re-enacting 'Weekend at Bernie's,' wheeling a dead relative through security to avoid security fees.

Happy traveling! Read: Airport odyssey reveals how awful and annoying we are and follow @CNNTravel on Twitter

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Filed under: Airlines • Travel

November 22nd, 2010
09:30 AM ET
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The 'Medium Raw' author and host of 'No Reservations' is genuinely grateful for his opportunities to wander the world and eat with strangers. The exotic eats of many lands delight him, palate and soul (though he's gone out of his way to avoid being offered cat or dog), but there is one thing that makes him "physically ill."

It may have something to do with Guy Fieri.

Read our Q&A with Anthony Bourdain

November 2010
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