5@5 - John McDonald
June 13th, 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.

Sharing is caring? Not when it's crazy delicious.

When it comes to certain foods, we all have our selfish moments. Whether it's a rustic slice of carrot cake or the slightly more refined sea urchin toast, if someone tries to extend a fork in the general direction of your plate, they might well lose a finger - and a friend - in the process.

John McDonald, the restaurateur behind New York City's Lure Fishbar, MercBar and Burger & Barrel, knows the feeling.

Now, back away slowly and no one gets forked.

Five Dishes I Won't Share with Anyone: John McDonald

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Filed under: 5@5 • Best in Life • Think

Paul Liebrandt: Portrait of the chef as a young artist
June 13th, 2011
03:00 PM ET
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"I'm not a nutcase. I'm just an artist," says Paul Liebrandt at the beginning of A Matter of Taste, director Sally Rowe's film documenting the chef's turbulent, and eventually triumphant journey through the kitchens of New York.

Liebrandt, a onetime Food and Wine Best New Chef, winner of multiple Michelin stars and now chef at New York City's Corton allowed Rowe access to his restaurant kitchens and home life over the course of ten years - a development that surprised both of them. The film, which premieres on HBO tonight at 9 E.T. presents an intimate evolution of a driven, complicated, artful and often misunderstood chef in search of an appreciative audience.

Eatocracy sat down with Liebrandt and Rowe during the SXSW festival to discuss the role of discipline, artistry, fear and the redemptive power of a little Chihuahua named Spencer.

Box lunch
June 13th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Speaking of sustainable seafood, five chefs talk overfishing. - Eater

  • Dinner hosts don't really care that they dropped your food on the floor. - Stuff.co.nz

  • The new "dirty dozen" - the twelve foods with the most traces of pesticides - has been released. - Chicago Tribune
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

Salt shakedown in Argentina
June 13th, 2011
10:30 AM ET
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Guests at restaurants in Argentina's Buenos Aires province must say good-bye to the salt shaker.

In an effort to combat hypertension, which affects some 3.7 million residents in the province – nearly a quarter of the population, the health department reached an agreement with the hotel and restaurant federation to remove salt shakers from the tables at their eateries.

"On average, each Argentinian consumes 13 grams of salt daily, while according to the World Health Organization, you should consume less than five," Health Minister Alejandro Collia said when he announced the change last month.

The measure is not as extreme as it sounds. Salt will be available by request, but only after the patrons have tasted their food.

Read - "Salt shakers disappear from Buenos Aires tables"

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Filed under: Argentina • Health News • News • Salt • Travel

Leggy and Luscious: Meet our sommelier-in-training
June 13th, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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This is the first installment of Leggy and Luscious, wherein Jill Billante, a Senior Producer at AC360°, studies at the American Sommelier Association. She's quite tall and she enjoys great wine.

I love to drink wine and I love it enough to know that I have a lot more to learn. There is an ocean of knowledge and producers beyond the mass-produced wines with clever names and flashy labels, cramming the shelves of my wine shop. I want to know how to describe the kind I like to drink, ask for it at a wine store, or a restaurant - and stay within a certain price range.

With that in mind, I signed up for the very basic foundation course at the American Sommelier Association. This seemed like the right place for me to start, since I realized a few weeks ago that I've been mispronouncing the word oenophile when describing myself. The proper pronunciation for the Greek term describing a lover of wine is EE-no-file. Kind of a phony don't you think? It's time to get legitimate.

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Filed under: Leggy and Luscious • Sip • Wine

June 13th, 2011
09:30 AM ET
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This summer, CNN's Defining America project will be traveling the country with the CNN Express bus to explore the stories behind the data and demographics that show how places are changing.

Most of the time, ordering a burrito is just trying to get lunch.

But ordering one from a food truck in Charlotte could be a political act.

After a 2008 Charlotte ordinance tightened restrictions on mobile food vendors, several went out of business or left town. But with a changing population that has tasted food truck fare in other cities, the rules are again being debated - much to the chagrin of some neighborhoods here.

Some in Charlotte said the food truck debate is a test of the city's culture and whether this Southern boomtown can support grassroots street food like residents do in Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; or Washington.

Others said it's a fight over the character of neighborhoods, over whether food trucks are a service or a dangerous signal of a place that's failing to thrive.

Read - Can a food truck change a neighborhood?

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Filed under: Cultural Identity • Culture • Food Trucks • North Carolina • Restaurants

Breakfast Buffet
June 13th, 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.

What a hot mess – June 13 is National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day!

Does your sister spill the pot of soup she’s been working on for hours?  How about that friend who ends up wearing every ingredient from dinner?  And the man in your life who doesn’t put the lid on the blender before pushing ‘start’?

Ahh yes, we can’t help but love our kitchen klutzes.  They cook wonderful things for us, but can’t make a great dish without creating a great big mess.

Raw talk - I like my veggies with a little something extra
June 13th, 2011
08:00 AM ET
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Linda Petty is an editor at CNN Living. She took issue with last Thursday's 5@5 on the appeal of raw vegetables.

A good friend of mine moans with delight when she bites into the perfect raw red pepper or green bean. She talks about the flavors of fresh vegetables the same way some women talk about good sex.

But not me. I like my veggies the same way I like my congressmen – with a little something on them.

This month I discovered the joy of asparagus fries at Marlow’s Tavern in Tucker, Georgia. They take young, thin stalks of not-my-favorite veggie, dip them into tempura batter and flash fry them just enough to crisp the batter. Add a little salt and they are ready to be dipped into the citrus aioli that accompanies them.

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Filed under: Dishes • Obsessions • Vegetables

Coffee klatsch
June 13th, 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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