February 24th, 2011
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.

When it comes to pig, it ain't all about bacon. There ... we said it. Holy sow, do we feel better.

Just ask Chris Lusk, the executive chef of Café Adelaide in New Orleans, Louisiana.  He thinks you should quit your swining, praise the lard and embrace the porker from the rooter to the tooter.

Five Pig Parts You Should Be Eating: Chris Lusk


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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Cuisines • New Orleans • New Orleans • Think • Travel • Video

SPAM spam SPAM spam SPAM spam SPAM spam
February 24th, 2011
03:00 PM ET
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Katherine Dorsett is an editor and producer at CNN. She reeeaaaaalllly loves SPAM.

I admit it. I love SPAM. It's delicious.

I know it's the butt of many jokes, but I don't care. It tastes good to me and I'm clearly not alone, since it has been around since 1937.

The winners of the "Great American SPAM Championship" have been announced, bringing joy to SPAM fans the world over. The competition (an annual event since 1991) this year called for creative macaroni and cheese-inspired SPAM dishes. More than 800 people participated in the contest, with the finals bringing all the winning recipes from state and county fairs across the United States together in a head-to-head battle.

58 year old Linda Graft of Floweree, Montana, won this year's challenge with her "SPAMaroni & Cheese Swaddlers" recipe.

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Filed under: Contests • Events • News

Lunchtime poll – restaurant regular
February 24th, 2011
12:15 PM ET
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The Perkins restaurant in Highland Heights, Kentucky is closing its doors. This will likely not make news on anyone's restaurant blog or cause a mass wail and gnash in the chef community. I, however, am deeply saddened. It's the first place I was ever a regular.

As a high school senior in the Northern Kentucky suburbs in late 1989 and early 1990, not especially interested in schnapps-chugging and having ditched the cheerleading squad so I could focus on being a seeeeerious aaaaaaartist, I needed someplace (other than my parents' basement) to bide my time before my grand escape to college. Perkins fit the bill. It was 1. cheap, 2. boasted free coffee refills, 3. open 24/7 and 4. didn't seem to mind well-behaved teenagers camping out, nursing endless cups of java until the wee small hours.

Box lunch
February 24th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • You scream. I scream. We all scream for breast milk ice cream. Cup (heh) or cone? - Daily Mail

  • Qdoba vs. Chipotle: Whose burrito reigns supreme?. - Salon

  • "Gasland," the documentary about hydraulic fracturing, is one fracking good movie. - Gourmet Live

  • Cooking with Chef Google. - Wired
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

Breakfast buffet
February 24th, 2011
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.

Break out the salsa and heat up the queso! February 24 is National Tortilla Chip Day.

Seemingly simple yet crushingly complicated, tortilla chips are a snacking staple. You can chow down straight from the bag while lounging at home, dip away while dining at a Mexican restaurant, or munch while mingling at a simple soiree.

The Texas Monthly article “Why Are Tortilla Chips So Damn Good?" said it quite eloquently:

The casual snacker remains blessedly unaware of all that is occurring in her mouth and brain as she bites and then chews that heterogeneous matrix of starch and fat and air pockets, sensing it not only with teeth and tongue but ear and jaw and somehow judging from all sorts of varying information - about how it deforms and how it sounds and what vibrations it causes in the jaw - how crispy it is.

Crispy, crunchy, salty and simply put: perfect.

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