Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs, writers and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Michael W. Twitty is a culinary historian, living history interpreter and Jewish educator from the Washington D.C. area. He blogs at Afroculinaria.com and thecookinggene.com. As the originator of the Cooking Gene Project, he seeks to trace his ancestry through food.
Edward Booker, Hattie Bellamy and Washington Twitty didn’t know what an organic farm was, but nearly everything they ate was organic. They enjoyed wild caught, sustainable fish; they were no strangers to free range chickens, and they ate with the seasons with almost nothing originating more than a mile or two away from their cabin door. They had gardens, composted, and ate no processed foods. Their food was fairly simple, often meatless; and it was a fusion cuisine, with ingredients drawn from five continents.
They were not culinary revolutionaries living out of the foodie playbook - they were three enslaved individuals living among the over 4 million held in bondage before the Civil War, and they were my ancestors.
In the upcoming months I will return to the fields, forests and waterways of the Old South in search of my culinary version of Roots, tracing my family tree through food from Africa to America and from slavery to freedom. The project is called The Cooking Gene: Southern Discomfort Tour.
Restaurant magazine revealed its annual "World's 50 Best Restaurants" list on Monday at an awards ceremony in London's Guildhall. This year marked the tenth year for the countdown.
Audience members rose to their feet as René Redzepi and his interpretation of Nordic cuisine at Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark, made a culinary hat-trick, staying in the No. 1 spot for three years in a row.
"Being on the list means that you made a mark within gastronomy," Redzepi said.
The much-anticipated list is compiled by the World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy - a panel of more than 800 of the world's gastronomic glitterati, including celebrated chefs, food critics, restaurateurs and other influential leaders in the restaurant industry.
"It's a very good window into what's happening in the world of gastronomy. It's a snapshot of the moment," said chef Heston Blumenthal. Blumenthal operates two restaurants, The Fat Duck (No. 13) and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (the highest new entry at No. 9), on this year's list. The Fat Duck topped the list in 2005.
Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.
Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
At last count, there were wines being made in all 50 states. Now, some do face unusual difficulties - Tedeschi Vineyards in Hawaii, for instance, is the only vineyard I can think of in the U.S. located on the slopes of an active volcano - but nevertheless, there they are, wineries in every state. This fact can be easy to overlook, since California makes more than 90 percent of all U.S. wine.
But as the weather has turned nicer (or, at least, is supposed to have), why not take a spin out to a local winery or two? Not a bad activity for a balmy weekend afternoon, and you’re supporting local businesses, too, which would be rather civic-minded of you. To spur you along, here are five wineries from around the country that are worth a trip.
While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.
We heard it through the grapevine - April 30 is National Raisin Day!
When grapes spend a little too much time in the sun, they cross the border into dried fruit and become raisins. But these little beauties are chewy, sweet and a great snack to have on hand.
Because there is already so much naturally occurring fructose and glucose in grapes, the flavor amps up even more after the grapes are dried. Largely, the sugar remains - so much so that if you keep raisins for a while, the sugar begins to crystallize.
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Andreas Preuss is a Supervising Producer at CNN. He's based in Atlanta, but New Orleans is his happy place.
For the next two weekends, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is ground zero for music lovers, food enthusiasts and anyone who wants to soak up the culture of South Louisiana. There's a lot to offer on all these fronts. For me, as a native New Orleanian, it's the best two weekends on earth.
You really can't go wrong at the Jazz Fest; there are food booths setup in strategic locations around the site at the New Orleans Fairgrounds. Locals know how to navigate the field and for visitors it's a bit of delicious hide and seek.
One of the best ways to meet and eat is by sitting with some fellow festival goers. There are small tables set up around the food booths – and they can quickly become a sort of buffet of what people are eating. You hear a lot of "What's that?" and "Where did you find it?" and the inevitable "Wanna try a bite?" I tend to be nomadic in my Jazz Fest feasting. And just like exploring the city itself, there's a new food adventure around every corner.
In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and trends we're attempting to do the same.
As food writers and reporters, we toss out a lot of terms - sustainable, pescetarian, free-range - and just assume that everyone's on the same page. If they're not, the conversation suffers, and we can't have that, now can we?
Here's a round-up of concepts and words we've explained thus far.
This weekend on "Sanjay Gupta MD," Dr. Gupta takes a critical look at sugar and the impact it has on our bodies. Don't miss the in-depth investigation Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET, and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET on CNN.
Pushing her meal cart into the hospital room, a research assistant hands out tall glasses of reddish-pink liquid, along with a gentle warning: "Remember, you guys have to finish all your Kool-Aid."
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
Beer lovers, rejoice. Whiskey drinkers, celebrate. Pork fat fans, this is your moment. All the things you thought were unhealthy can actually help you lose a ton of weight.
Well, not exactly. This isn’t an ad in the back pages of a sketchy magazine. All these things are still not good for you when you eat and drink them in large quantities. And don’t stop eating your blueberries and strawberries if you want to boost your brainpower.
Still, there’s some surprising good health news for anyone who wants to wash down their lard-topped popcorn with a beer and a shot of whiskey.