All the kitchen's a stage
May 3rd, 2011
06:00 PM ET
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In some of the world's most esteemed restaurants, there's a silent workforce unseen to those outside the industry.

The hours are long, the temperatures – and often tempers – are sweltering and the pay is nonexistent.

Meet the stagiaire: an apprentice in the craft of cooking.

“Staging is integral for young or old cooks in training so they can continue learning and expanding their knowledge of a certain cuisine,” says George Mendes, Executive Chef of Michelin-starred Aldea Restaurant in New York City.

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Filed under: Bite • Chefs • Culture • News • Restaurants

5@5 - Jason Berry
May 3rd, 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.

With a little help from Jason Berry of Rosa Mexicano Restaurants, we want you to rock the guac out this Cinco de Mayo.

And we can think of no better way to celebrate Mexico's military victory over Napoleon III than with tequila.

Cinco Ways To Spice Up Your Cinco de Mayo Fiesta: Jason Berry

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Cinco de Mayo • Cocktail Recipes • Holidays • Sip • Spirits • Think

The food desert in your own backyard
May 3rd, 2011
11:45 AM ET
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America's national image may be one of waving wheat fields and overflowing platters, but the reality for many communities is much less plentiful. A new interactive map built by the United States Department of Agriculture allows users to locate the food deserts in their neighborhood and across the country, simply by typing in an address or zip code.

Here's how the USDA explains the term:

The HFFI working group defines a food desert as a low-income census tract where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store:

To qualify as a “low-income community,” a census tract must have either: 1) a poverty rate of 20 percent or higher, OR 2) a median family income at or below 80 percent of the census tract's median family income;
To qualify as a “low-access community,” at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the census tract's population must reside more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store (for rural census tracts, the distance is more than 10 miles).


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Filed under: Food Deserts • Food Politics • Hunger • Michelle Obama • News

Tomato recall! Tomato recall! Tomato recall!
May 3rd, 2011
09:30 AM ET
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Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc., a California-based food supplier for six retail chain stores, has announced the recall of grape tomatoes produced by a grower who said the vegetables might be contaminated with salmonella.

The recall applies to 29 brand-packaged salads sold at Albertson's, Raley's, Sam's Club, Savemart, Signature Cafe and Wal-Mart, the company said in a statement Monday. The affected products have expiration dates ranging from April 27 to May 9, according to the news release.

Get more details at Calif. company announces grape tomato recall and keep track of recall news on Eatocracy

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Filed under: Health News • Recalls • Salmonella • Tainted Food • Vegetables

Breakfast Buffet
May 3rd, 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.

It may not be Mother's Day quite yet, but show Mom some love by surprising her on National Raspberry Tart Day on May 3.

You can dress this beautiful dessert up or down, but the fact remains that combining pastry cream or lemon curd with tartly sweet raspberries means you're into something good.

Want Mama to know how much you appreciate putting up with your 2 a.m. phone calls for that engagement chicken recipe?  Make Jacque Pépin's traditional tart to share with her and the whole family - it's a jewel.

If you want to spread the love a little farther, individual berry-studded chocolate tarts are an instant party-starter.  And no one will blow a raspberry at you for that.

Coffee klatsch
May 3rd, 2011
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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