Bradley Cooper and the office cake
March 25th, 2011
06:30 PM ET
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When you work in an office, sometimes cake just happens.

It's never especially bad or especially memorable (unless it's actually made by a co-worker in which case, it's by necessity all "WOW! Can I get the recipe? You should totally open a bakery..."). It's never going to make anyone's last supper request list ("I cannot shuffle off this mortal coil until I have...cough...wheeze...but one more sweet forkful of that ShopRite sheet cake...").

It is, almost by definition, just fine. It can be to no one person's particular tastes (unless the nominal honoree has a food allergy), because it must please the masses. It oughtn't be too elaborate, because it must be schlepped to work and may be deemed "too pretty to eat" (spoiler alert - it'll get eaten) and shouldn't be especially pricey because dude - it's office cake. People will eat it because it is there and it is free.
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Filed under: Celebrities • Culture • Office • Rituals


March 25th, 2011
06:15 PM ET
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Comedian Amber Tozer likes dancing near vegetables. She is liberal with her gifts of potatoes to the elderly.

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Filed under: Video • Weird News


5@5 - Salvatore Rizzo
March 25th, 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.'

Salvatore Rizzo is the owner of De Gustibus Cooking School, a recreational cooking school in New York City.

Since it opened its doors in 1980 - and before many of these chefs were household names - the likes of Tom Colicchio, Paul Liebrandt, Wolfgang Puck, Daniel Boulud, Julia Child, Mario Batali have hosted classes at De Gustibus. There's always a new crop of rising toques coming through - and here are some that, according to Sal, you should be keeping your eyes peeled for.

Five Chefs to Watch: Salvatore Rizzo
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Filed under: 5@5 • Chefs • Think


March 25th, 2011
03:30 PM ET
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Erika Dimmler is a producer for CNN's American Morning.

Carolina Garcia was searching for the perfect French baguette. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Garcia had spent two years in France enjoying some of the best breads and pastries the country had to offer, and now, as a resident of Arlington, Virginia, she was having trouble finding a baguette that met her expectations.

Even worse, she had just been offered a job she knew she would hate. An economist by trade, Garcia was contemplating a position as an assistant in a firm where she was told point-blank that there was very little room for growth above her current position. After years of studying economics, and then earning her masters in international business, she would be booking flights and organizing breakfasts.

In order to de-stress after searching high and low for other opportunities, Garcia turned to baking. It was her "relaxing therapy." Despite her baking prowess, she studiously stayed away from baking bread. After all, Garcia had tried it once before and the results were disastrous. According to family legend, her grandmother had to leave her "bread" in water for a week so the birds could eat it. Her brother makes fun of her to this day.
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Lunchtime poll – sniffing out food danger
March 25th, 2011
01:45 PM ET
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"We have seen Japanese people in grocery stores paying close attention to where their produce is coming from, and we think this is a wise practice." - World Health Organization spokesman Peter Cordingley

"Most of the food that most Americans are exposed to most of the time is pretty good – and particularly when there is reason to focus on it like this. The regulatory agencies are good about responding to a threat."

"If you think about Japanese imports from a safety point of view, given the fact that there was this bright spotlight of concern because of nuclear radiation, the FDA is going to be very concerned that the food coming in is safe." - Supply chain expert Gene Tanski, CEO of Demand Foresight

It's been an fairly scary year in food, from oil and Corexit threats in seafood and salmonella-tainted eggs to e. coli-related lettuce recalls and radiation-laden water.

The upshot is that food is now more closely scrutinized than at any time in history, and the Food Safety Modernization Act has been signed into law, but is that quieting the butterflies in your stomach?
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Filed under: Buzz • FDA • Food Politics • Health News • Lunchtime Poll • Radiation • S. 510 • Tainted Food


March 25th, 2011
12:15 PM ET
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It's not new or anything. It just makes me happy. And yes, Vincent Price wrote a couple of cookbooks. We'll get to that later.

Previously – Elizabeth Taylor – movie star, chili lover and The false hunger of Jim Backus



Box lunch
March 25th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • A couple of decades ago, Italian food was essentially thought of as peasant or immigrant food. Now, everyone's living la dolce vita. - NPR



  • Why be a locavore when you can be a super locavore? - The Atlantic


  • What's in a name? At "Fat Ho Burgers" in Texas, lots of controversy. - Daily Mail


  • "Modernist Cuisine" author Nathan Myhrvold hopes home cooks can learn from his book. "30 Minute Meals" meet "Caramelized carrot soup, pressure cooked with baking soda." - The Feast
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News


March 25th, 2011
10:15 AM ET
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In the shadows of Disneyland, often referred to as the "happiest place on Earth," many children are living a reality that's far from carefree.

They are living in cheap motels more commonly associated with drug dealers, prostitutes and illicit affairs.

It's the only option for many families that are struggling financially and can't scrape together a deposit for an apartment. By living week to week in these cramped quarters, they stay one step ahead of homelessness.

"Some people are stuck, they have no money. They need to live in that room," said Bruno Serato, a local chef and restaurateur. "They've lost everything they have. They have no other chance. No choice."

While "motel kids" are found across the United States, the situation is very common in Orange County, California, a wealthy community with high rents and a large number of old motels. In 2009, local authorities estimated that more than 1,000 families lived in these conditions.

When Serato learned that these children often go hungry, he began serving up assistance, one plate at a time. To date, he's served more than 270,000 pasta dinners - for free - to those in need.

Read Making sure 'motel kids' don't go hungry

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Filed under: Hunger • Local Heroes


Breakfast buffet
March 25th, 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.

March 25 is a momentous occasion. It not only is the day Sauron's evil reign ended in Middle Earth, it is more importantly both National Waffle Day and National Pecan Day.

Today is the day to add pecans TO your waffle batter. It's Friday - what's living if you don't do something a little nutty every now and then?

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


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