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.
The other day, I felt the time had come to Vitamix some Bordeaux. Any reasonably sane person, of course, might wonder why. After all, the Vitamix (or at least the Vitamix Professional Series 750) whizzes its razor-sharp steel blades around at 24,000 rpm, which is fast enough to liquify pretty much anything. You could toss a license plate and some pool balls in there and end up with a smoothie; a weird one, but a smoothie nonetheless.
If you're concerned about the ethics of livestock production but don't want to become a vegetarian, consider this: It may be possible to grow meat in a petri dish.
Dr. Mark Post, professor of vascular physiology at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, is working on creating meat from bovine stem cells. And he's planning to unveil a burger created this way in October, he said Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver.
Croplands and pastures occupy about 35% of the planet's ice-free land surface, according to a 2007 study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
"Meat consumption is going to double in the next 40 years or so, so we need to come up with alternatives to solve the land issue," Post said.
For dining devotees and fans of innovative cuisine, a reservation at chef Ferran Adria's elBulli restaurant in Roses, Spain is something of a Holy Grail. It's said that there are several million requests annually for the restaurant's 8,000 seats during their dining season - and even those are no longer available.
On July 30th 2011 elBulli - often cited as one of the world's best restaurants - will cease to serve the dining public and instead begin a transformation into a "creativity center" and "think-tank for creative cuisine and gastronomy" which will open in 2014.
For her book The Sorcerer's Apprentices, journalist Lisa Abend spent a season in the kitchen with Adria and his team of chefs and stagiaires to explore and document the dedication, innovation, bravado, sweat and tears it takes to craft the meal of a lifetime.
We spoke with Adria and Abend about process, creativity, fear and what's coming up next.
Anyone who follows food has likely heard of "molecular gastronomy," a term that’s been floated around for the two last decades to describe a scientific exploration of food and the cooking process.
Some of the best restaurants in the world, such as Chicago’s Alinea and Spain’s El Bulli, have become famous for their out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to mixing food, science and technology in this way.
Chocolate? Champagne? That's soooooo last century. Our favorite (shhhh!) Top Chef All Stars contestant Richard Blais is working his wizardry on V-Day. In the second installment of his weekly segment on our Senior Junk Food Correspondent Ali Velshi's show - hosted today by the always dapper Don Lemon, he shared his method for maximum romance.
Here's a cheat sheet with the recipes which, in the words of a colleague who shall remain nameless, "Serving that on Valentine's Day would likely get a guy laid."
FYI – this is what he means by iSi.
3 cups bottled red beet juice
A 3D food printer sounds like something out of Star Trek, but it's not out of this world. It's up and running at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan - and in five years, it could be in your home.
As part of a project at Cornell University, a group of scientists and students built a 3D printer and began testing it out with food. The device attaches to a computer, which works as the "brain" behind the technology.
It doesn't look like a traditional printer; it's more like an industrial fabrication machine. Users load up the printer's syringes with raw food - anything with a liquid consistency, like soft chocolate, will work. The ingredient-filled syringes will then "print" icing on a cupcake. Or it'll print something more novel (i.e., terrifying) - like domes of turkey on a cutting board.
Around this time last year, a colleague who was long on culinary passion and short on storage space offered me a brand new Butterball Digital Electric Turkey Fryer, that claimed to be suitable for use indoors. I am, if nothing else, not the least bit risk-averse when it comes to big cooking projects and somewhat of a glutton for peril.
And, quite frankly, I've gotten a tad fed up with some media's seeming obsession with making people panic that if shopping benchmarks aren't achieved by a certain point, all will be lost, family will disown you and your dog will regard you with a mixture of pity and disdain.
I set out to prove that one can indeed be birdless, mid-afternoon and have a company-worthy turkey by early evening, and that deep-frying doesn't have to spell disaster - if you exercise appropriate caution.
Shawna Shepherd is a producer at CNN.
There’s got to be a better way. That’s what I thought when I was standing in the supermarket aisle staring at pricey bottles of vanilla extract. This was around the holidays, when I typically bake a lot, and I was going through it quickly. I wanted quality vanilla at a reasonable price and since I couldn’t get that at the store, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
Vanilla extract, a staple ingredient in most cookie and baking recipes, can be made inexpensively from home with just two ingredients.
Anyone who has a busy job or a family might scoff at the notion of making something from scratch because who has the time? As a young professional who travels a lot, I won’t take on anything that requires a lot of upkeep. But trust me, making vanilla extract requires very little time and maintenance. You will impress both baking novices and do-it-yourself enthusiasts.