December 20th, 2010
07:45 PM ET
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Our pal Chef Bryan Caswell, evangelist for Houston, friend of Waffle House, and recent Next Iron Chef contestant is a die-hard son of the Gulf and he'll do what it takes to get it cleaned up - even at the expense of his dignity.

p.s. That's him in the role of "John," rockin' the Nancy Sinatra white galoshes official White Boot Brigade-style shrimping kicks.

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Filed under: Bryan Caswell • Celebrity Chefs • Oil Spill

Comment of the day - an oldie but goodie
December 20th, 2010
05:30 PM ET
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Sometimes? Our commenters remind of something really freaking awesome that we forgot about.

Like today, when commenter "I Heart FLAMENONS!!" popped up on the 5@5 about Vegas dining, our editors nearly fell out of their chairs with glee.

For you new kids on the Eatocracy block, let's hop in the DeLorean and gun it back to September 27. On our "Last orders - death row menu requests," we asked: What would you want on your last dinner plate?

Commenter SteakAllTheWay responded:

"Man, if i could have my way my last meal would be two flamenons with garlic mashed potatoes..."

Thus, an Interwebs sensation was born. Let's just say, we shall never order plain ol' filet mignon ever again.

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Filed under: Buzz • Comment of the Day • From the Comments

5@5 - Las Vegas edition
December 20th, 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.

It only seems fitting that the Las Vegas dining revolution happened in a bet against long odds.

In 1992, when the desert city was predominantly ridden with 99-cent seafood buffets and medieval-themed restaurants, Wolfgang Puck took a chance and opened Spago in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.

It hit jackpot - enkindling a fine dining revolution in Sin City that is still on a roll.

Since then, the likes of culinary superstars like Mario Batali, Charlie Trotter, Emeril Lagasse and Thomas Keller have packed their bags (and knives) and joined the ranks of Puck in Glitter Gulch.

And when the reported $3.9 billion Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas resort opened last week, 13 more restaurants were added to the entertainment capital's gourmet roster - including eateries from Scott Conant and José Andrés.

We recently caught up with five of the Cosmopolitan's chefs and restaurateurs to find out how the new wave of locals eat.

Five Quintessential Vegas Dining Experiences

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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • 5@5 • Bite • Las Vegas • Think • Travel

Food safety bill, thought dead, passes unanimously
December 20th, 2010
03:15 PM ET
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Rumors of the Food Safety Modernization Act's demise proved premature. The Senate passed the Food Safety Bill, as amended by Senator Jon Tester, yesterday afternoon by unanimous consent.

The bill, designed to increase government inspections of the food supply in the wake of recent deadly foodborne disease outbreaks, originally passed with wide support in both chambers. However, it faced an uncertain future, requiring re-approval because it violated a Constitutional requirement that bills that raise revenue initiate in the House. On Friday, Senate leadership aides on both sides of the aisle said Republicans objected to giving it quick approval in the waning days of the congressional session.

The Senate voted on the slightly modified bill on Sunday and S.510 is now expected to receive a final vote in the House before the President signs it into law.


- Republicans block food safety bill

- Digest this: the new food safety act (and some very weird rumors)

- Senate approves long-delayed food safety bill

- Advocates: Food safety bill doesn't have teeth

- Food safety bill 'not perfect' but historic

- Op-ed: Jane Velez-Mitchell – Food safety doesn't end with S.510

- Poll: How much control should the federal government be allowed to exercise over food safety?

- S. 510: Food Safety Modernization Act – the basics

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Filed under: FDA • Food Politics • S. 510

Lunchtime poll – holiday pitfalls
December 20th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
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Maybe this is just us, but half the people we're passing in the street lately are, like, cookie drunk. The little devils are everywhere - break rooms, parties, the chiropractor's office - and folks are seemingly unable to stop jamming them into their faces at alarming rates. That's, uh, at least what we're hearing. Brushes crumbs out of hair and frosting smear out of eyebrows...

Are we alone in our Lebkuchen lust? It is more of a eggnog bog for you? Spill it in the comments below. We're here for you.

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

Box lunch
December 20th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Does the season of perpetual overeating get us high? - TIME

  • Placenta, it's what's for dinner. - Meatpaper

  • Thanks to the Word Lens iPhone App - which translates images from English to Spanish– you'll never unwillingly order offal again! - Eater
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

December 20th, 2010
11:30 AM ET
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iReporter Joshua Estrin (a.k.a. "Celebbuzzz") caught up with the former Light-Heavyweight UFC champion Tito Ortiz to talk turkey - a deep-fried one at that.

Do we dare take Eatocracy's own deep-fried indoor turkey into the ring for a head-to-head matchup? Ring the bell on round one!

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Filed under: Buzz • Holidays • iReport • It's not the holidays without • Think • Video

Breakfast buffet
December 20th, 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.

December 20 is National Fried Shrimp Day and National Sangria Day.

Though the two aren’t generally grouped together, today's the day to wrap your fried shrimp in a tortilla with some shredded cabbage and pico de gallo and call it a fiesta.

And to kick up your pitcher of sangria, add a few fresh mint leaves, per the recommendation of chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier.

What's on TV?

Coffee klatsch
December 20th, 2010
05:00 AM ET
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Pssst! Got a sec to chat?

We are utterly thrilled when readers want to hang out and talk - whether it's amongst themselves or in response to pieces we've posted. We want Eatocracy to be a cozy, spirited online home for those who find their way here.

Consider the daily Coffee klatsch post as your VIP lounge - the primary comments thread for readers who'd like to chat about topics not related to the articles we're running. That way, everyone knows where to find each other, and each post's comments section remains on topic.

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Filed under: Buzz • Coffee Klatsch

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