01:00 AM ET, March 11th, 2014
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.
News last week that the powers that be in Tuscany’s Chianti Classico region have created a new, super-duper designation for the region’s wines - Chianti Classico "Gran Selezione" - got me thinking. I’ve got no problem at all with a special category of top-end Chianti Classico (about 10 percent of the region’s wines will qualify); in fact, I think life would be excellent if various of my relatives and friends took it upon themselves to buy me cases of high-end Chianti. Why not? But I do have to admit: My real affection for Chianti has more to do with the fact that so many of the region’s affordable wines are so appealing.
06:30 PM ET, March 10th, 2014
Take one big, bad, legendary computer, a social network and a team of adventurous chefs, then mix them up inside a food truck. Serve up the results to a line of curious, hungry festival-goers eager to sample the world’s first man-machine fusion food.
It's called "cognitive cooking" and here is how it works: Twitter users employing the hashtag #ibmfoodtruck and voters on IBM's website pick a familiar dish like kebabs or fish and chips. Then IBM's Watson supercomputer (best known to non-techies for its appearance on the TV show "Jeopardy") creates a long list of eight or more ingredients based upon a chemical analysis of their flavor compounds. Finally, the dish is conceived, prepared and served from a food truck by a team of cooks led by Michael Laiskonis of New York City's Institute of Culinary Education.
01:45 PM ET, March 10th, 2014
When it comes to food movements, the word “local” is a rarity in Okinawa. That's because restaurants in Japan's southernmost prefecture have been doing the local thing long before it was trending - or even just trendy.
World-renowned for promoting health and longevity, traditional Okinawan cuisine uses primarily local ingredients. What's more, it's easy to find.
09:02 AM ET, March 10th, 2014
U.S. banana producer Chiquita Brands International and Ireland's Fyffes have agreed to merge and create the world's largest banana company.
The combined company, to be known as ChiquitaFyffes, is set to displace privately-held Dole from the No. 1 spot.
07:05 AM ET, March 10th, 2014
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.
You’ve read about them before: the $750 cupcake and $5,000 burger you can find in Las Vegas; the $10,000 martini on sale in West Hollywood. Some people must be ordering them and feeling like it was money well spent. Lots of others will file those dishes under the Ripped-off-at-a-Restaurant category.
05:00 AM ET, March 10th, 2014
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.
05:00 PM ET, March 7th, 2014
Two women's beer organizations, the Pink Boots Society from the United States and Project Venus from the United Kingdom, have teamed up to create a global, all-female brew day on March 8 in order to raise awareness of women in the industry.
International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day will allow women from more than 60 breweries around the world to create their own version of the collaborative, girl-powered recipe called Unite Pale Ale.
“The beauty of the recipe is that it still leaves room for creativity and uniqueness to the individual brewsters,” says Denise Ratfield, of the Pink Boots Society and San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co. (Industry jargon uses brewster as the feminine form of brewer.)
Sophie de Ronde, head brewer of Brentwood Brewing Company in Chelmsford, England, came up with the idea that has since spread stateside with the help of Ratfield and the Pink Boots Society.
“Our goal is to continue to empower women, educate them so that the future of craft beer will see a host of talented, capable women that will bring innovation to the industry,” Ratfield says. "We are passionate and feel the need to take charge of our own professional destiny."
08:00 AM ET, March 7th, 2014
America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen fulltime cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook's Illustrated magazine, and on our two public television cooking shows.
Roasting beef makes for elegant entrees and, if you’re lucky, leftovers that practically beg to be turned into sandwiches. But making roast beef can be tricky; it’s easy to overcook the meat or to insufficiently brown the exterior, a key step if you’re trying to develop the deepest flavor possible (which you should be).
Here at America’s Test Kitchen, we’ve developed dozens of roast beef recipes, so we know exactly what can go wrong and, more importantly, how to ensure that everything goes right. Here’s all the knowledge we’ve gained after spending years creating roast beef recipes for everything from inexpensive sirloin roasts to pricey beef tenderloins.
01:00 PM ET, March 6th, 2014
Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Josh Grinker is the executive chef at Stone Park restaurant in Brooklyn, New York. He has previously written about five things chefs don't want you to know.
The New York City Department of Health has outdone itself by giving a "C" health inspection grade to Per Se, one of the finest - and most expensive - restaurants in the world, because of violations of the department's arbitrary and punitive letter-grading program.
The grading system and presence of grade cards in the window, required since July 2010, “provides diners with easily interpretable information" and "gives restaurants the incentive to maintain the highest food safety practices," according to Thomas Farley, the former Commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
While clarity and food safety are certainly laudable goals, consumers should realize that these "A," "B" and "C" letters are poor indicators of a restaurant’s cleanliness and the quality of its operation.