President Obama's first mission upon touching down in Tokyo: a fish expedition. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe joined Obama at Sukiyabashi Jiro, the three Michelin-starred restaurant made (even more) legendary by the 2011 documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi."
Jiro Ono, the 86-year-old chef/owner, still presides over every bite of the set menu. Obama seemingly approved, telling the pool of reporters assembled outside: "That's some good sushi right there."
Japan's first state visit by an American president in decades comes as the United States works to reassure Abe and other Asian leaders that the U.S. remains committed to turning foreign policy focus on them. The weeklong tour will also take Obama to South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.
CNN's Dan Shapiro dined at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant in 2012 and shared a dish-by-dish account of his extraordinary 39-minute, $375 dinner of a lifetime:
Barbecued zebra anyone? How about warthog with peri-peri sauce?
Along with more traditional fare, these are the kinds of things you might find on a "braai," a specialized barbecue born of South Africa and over the last couple years seen around the world, thanks to a TV series.
South Africa's braai (barbecue) culture is one of the few things that truly cuts across racial and economic lines - just about every circle of friends here has its own "braai master."
In much the way cupcakes went from being a humble, if beloved, food item to the focus of TV shows, blogs and books, so too the braai has escalated in prominence and caught the imagination of the country in a new way.
(Travel + Leisure) Dim sum calls for dumplings, and about 55,000 are sold annually at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco. But not classics like shrimp-filled har gow. Chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski prefer their dumplings with guinea hen. “Dim sum service offers a slew of freedoms with our cooking,” explains Brioza, whose menu includes steak tartare in lettuce cups.
The pleasure of a dim sum meal also comes from the showmanship and ordering experience. At Seattle’s New Hong Kong, for example, carts glide past diners and attendants raise the lids off steamer baskets, bellowing out what’s inside, whether sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves or garlicky spareribs. It’s all washed down with generous cups of fragrant tea.
Read on for more of America’s best dim sum destinations, and share your favorites in the comments below.
KFC is bringing back the Double Down, a bacon and cheese sandwich that uses two fried chicken filets as a bun. But like a spring chicken, it won't be around for long.
"Yes, it's true! What is arguably the most talked-about product in KFC history is coming back, but only for a limited time," said KFC spokesman Rick Maynard, in an email to CNNMoney.
He said the Double Down will be on the menu nationwide from April 21 to May 25.
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.
The history of Jewish cooking is long. Almost as long is the history of jokes about Jewish cooking. (A bad matzo ball makes a good paperweight. Hahahahaha.)
Just about everyone—with the possible exception of Jewish food joke writers—will be glad to hear that we’re in a new era of Jewish cuisine. No offense to anyone’s grandmother, but several places are using well-sourced ingredients to make superior versions of brisket, babka, and of course, matzo balls.
World-renowned chef, author and Emmy-winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Punjab, India, in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, April 13, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.
Chances are if you've ordered from an Indian restaurant in the United States, the intensely colored and spiced dishes have been Punjabi in origin.
"Most of the good stuff we refer to simply as Indian food comes from here," host Anthony Bourdain says in the season three premiere of "Parts Unknown," where he travels to the northern region of the world's second most populated country.
In Amritsar, India's holy city of the Sikh religion, carnivorously-inclined Bourdain finds himself among a bounty of vegetables cooked in rich, spicy gravies served with freshly baked kulcha, a type of flatbread, out of clay ovens.
It's no secret that America loves its bacon. For proof, just look at the crazy success of the Perfect Bacon Bowl, As Seen on TV's newest sensation.
The Perfect Bacon Bowl resembles an upside-down plastic bowl. Wrap three strips of bacon around it, pop it in the oven, microwave or toaster oven and the bacon cooks in the shape of the container - a "bacon bowl." Then you fill it with whatever you want - scrambled eggs, dip, mac 'n cheese.
The Perfect Bacon Bowl debuted in November 2013 on As Seen on TV and almost immediately became a hit. Since then, more than two million boxes have been sold (they come two to a box and retail for $10.99).
(Travel + Leisure) Robert Flicker recently experienced a conversion—of the tortilla-wrapped variety. “I’d been a believer that a truly great taco must be served in a dive and consist of chicken, beef, or pork,” says the Nevada communications executive.
But the taco appetizer at Mandalay Bay’s Fleur—with tuna tartare, ponzu, serrano peppers, and an avocado cream—changed his mind. “It elevated the taco,” he praises, “into the realm of fine-dining legitimacy.”
For comfort-foodies who embrace the nuances of grass-fed burgers and artisan donuts, the taco is finding a new picante status. Even high-end gourmands are on board: chef René Redzepi of Copenhagen’s award-laden Noma recently tweeted his enthusiasm for the distinctly non-high-end, Queens-based Tacos Morelos.
When we looked around the nation for the best tacos, we focused primarily on taquerias where the hand-held delicacy gets top billing—and we still found more style and variety than could fit in any one Tuesday.
Under the bright lights of the waterfront Haedomari warehouse in Shimonoseki, Japan, tails twitch and bodies writhe in defiance of the onset of death.
The floor is awash with seawater as Yoshi Yanagawa moves down a line of 20 boxes, each containing about 15 puffer fish of varying values, lengths and states of coveted plumpness.
"Eeka! Eeka!" he chants, as 20 or so interested parties put their hands up to bid.
The puffer fish, or "fugu" in Japanese, gulp in more air, ballooning out their white belly sacs.