5@5 - The razzle dazzle of Champagne
December 30th, 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.

New Year's Eve is all about giving the ol' razzle dazzle: Sparkling garb, sparkling balls dropping, sparkling wine.

For the latter, many opt to toast to the New Year - and the subjective lyrics of "Auld Lang Syne" - with capital-C Champagne.

Daniel Lobsenz, the sommelier at Poste Moderne Brasserie in Washington DC, is one such appreciator of the razzle and dazzle of a bottle of bubbly - but it's a love-hate relationship, especially because Champagne tastes so darn exquisite.

Five Reasons To Not Like Champagne: Daniel Lobsenz
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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Bubbly • Holidays • New Year's • Sip • Think • Wine


$100 popcorn, $20,000 booze and a bougie-free New Year's Eve blowout
December 30th, 2011
02:45 PM ET
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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.

Maybe you’re part of that now infamous 1 percent. Or maybe you just feel that New Year’s Eve, like your prom, is going to be the single best time of your life. Here are some amazing opportunities for you to shine bright, including a truly epic NYE party.
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Filed under: Bite • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Holidays • Las Vegas • New Year's • Travel


How to buy Champagne (or its cheaper, just as cheery cousins)
December 30th, 2011
10:30 AM ET
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So, the New Year's Eve shindig hosting has fallen to you. Your guests will likely expect Champagne or some analogue thereof. Now is not the time to defy expectation. Here are a few tips for getting a banging bottle of bubbly without breaking the bank.

Bubbles, bubbles - no toil, no trouble

- If you wanna go big with the Dom Perignon or vintage Veuve, do that for the first glass. Raise a toast, make a fuss - then switch to the less expensive (but just as delicious stuff).

- Less expensive, you say? Oui. It needn't be capital-C Champagne, which to be labeled as such, must come from the Champagne region of France.

There's some smashing stuff out there to be sure - and a side effect of climate change may be that Champagne grapes are yielding their tastiest, earliest crops in ages. Master sommelier Richard Betts swears by Champagne Krug as the "pinnacle" and says "Their entry-level Krug M.V. Cuvée is rich, round, complex and a great partner to food, family and friends."
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Filed under: Bubbly • Holidays • HolidayShopping • New Year's • Shopping • Sip • Wine


5@5 - The post-holiday detox
December 26th, 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.

We all tend to go a little overboard during the holidays. Too much merrymaking (also known as cocktails) and a lot of overindulging in the kitchen - that second helping, that extra cookie, the second glass of spiked eggnog - we’ve all been there.

Chef Chad Sarno, the research and development chef for the Health Starts Here program at Whole Foods Market, is ready to step into the kitchen and help you get back on the healthy eating wagon that you may have barreled off of recently.

Post-holiday guilt and bloat be gone with these helpful tips for eating clean, detoxing and starting fresh for the New Year.

Five Ways to Detox Post-Holidays: Chad Sorno
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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Health News • Holidays • New Year's • News • Think


Vegetables. Eat them. Here's how.
January 10th, 2011
06:00 AM ET
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On the first day of 2011, our Facebook and Twitter feeds were glutted with friends' New Year's pledges to graze through hectares of leafy greens, ferry home wheelbarrows of winter roots and bunk down with Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

Celebrity chef and Meatless Monday booster Mario Batali publicly resolved to make and eat dinner with his kids, and "master more vegetarian dishes, like simple bruschetta, that are fun to cook as a team." By January 3rd, the Wall Street Journal aided George Ball, chairman of the W. Atlee Burpee Co. in dubbing it yea and verily to be the Year of the Vegetable.

Yet within days of the work week commencing (or the Champagne finally wearing off) that fervor wilted, giving way to an apologetic trickle of, "Yeah...I give up. Vegetables are too much work." "Too...cold...for...farmers...market..." "zOMG the organic stuff is sooooo expensive!" and "#resolutionfail Back to Lean Cuisine. I don't know what to DO with vegetables."
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Filed under: Brassicas • Brussels Sprouts • Greens • Help Desk • Holidays • How To • Make • New Year's • Recipes • Resolutions • Roasting • Squash • Techniques & Tips • Vegan • Vegetables • Vegetarian • Winter Vegetables


January 6th, 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.

We're in the camp of thought that you should be drinking the sparkling stuff all year long, not just on New Year's. Lucky for us, Gary Vaynerchuk, the host of Wine Library TV, New York Times best-selling author and overall wine guru, gives his bubbly blessing.

Five "Under The Radar" Sparkling Wines: Gary Vaynerchuk
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January 3rd, 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.

While many of us were cramming our gullets on January 1 with Hoppin' John and collard greens for wealth in the New Year, many folks of Chinese descent like Chris Yeo, the chef/owner from XINO|SINO and The Straits, will be waiting to get lucky until the first day of the Chinese New Year celebration.

Lunar New Year is a special time of year for many. "Chi fan le mei you?" or "Have you eaten yet?" is the most common greeting heard during the celebration of the Spring Festival, also known as the Lunar New Year throughout the West. Many of the traditions of Lunar New Year center around food either being cooked or eaten. To people who trace their roots back to China, the most important date in the lunar calendar is New Year - it’s a traditional time for feasting with family and friends that dates back thousands of years.

"Lucky" foods are served through the two weeks of the Lunar New Year celebration. The Chinese like playing with words and symbols so often homonyms, or words that share the same pronunciation but have different meanings, are used. Names of dishes and/or ingredients that are served usually sound similar to words and phrases referring to wishes expressed during the Lunar New Year. Almost every dish has a symbolic meaning or name that sounds like a Chinese characters for fortune, happiness, longevity and prosperity.

The offering of food serves to bring ancestors and other beings in the other world closer to oneself. The food offerings serve as a bonding tool to bring both worlds together. To ensure good luck throughout the year, the Chinese also give a special name to each dish. For example, a dish made up of five elements of the same kind (meat or vegetables) might be called "the five blessings of the new year," referring to longevity, riches, peace, wisdom and virtue.

Five Lucky Foods for Lunar New Year: Chris Yeo
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Filed under: 5@5 • Asian • Bite • Chinese New Year • Cuisines • Holidays • New Year's • Tailgating • Think


Lunchtime poll – food resolutions
January 3rd, 2011
12:15 PM ET
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We mentioned earlier today that we've resolved to pop the cork, lid and casing on the edibles we'd been saving for a special occasion - especially if they are in peril of perishing. It's not about living luxe or overindulging, but rather appreciating what we have and honoring those who produced it.

Over at Salon.com, our friend Francis Lam has vowed to eschew cheap chicken. Chef and author Michael Ruhlman has dedicated the month to breadmaking, cookbook author and Meatless Monday advocate Kim O'Donnel calls our attention to a Wall Street Journal plea for 2011 to be The Year of the Vegetable and Epicurious Associate Editor Esther Sung has made a vow to live more simply, including making better choices at the market.

Read – Resolution 2011: Eat the good stuff

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Filed under: Buzz • Lunchtime Poll • New Year's • Resolutions


Resolved – eating well in 2011
January 3rd, 2011
03:45 AM ET
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Per author and former New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni, via Twitter, "Resolutions go in2 effect 2MORROW, yes? Since Jan. 1 and 2 fall on a weekend, Jan. 3d is the good-behavior starting point, RIGHT?"

I agree with the stave-off sentiment, but in 2011, I've got a particular "good behavior" mandate for myself that has nothing to do with incorporating more vegetables into my diet (if I do even more of that, I will actually become kale, and that'd make it hard to type), upping the cardio (that's a plan for a lifetime, not just a year) or cutting down on coffee (which would just make life suck for the people around me). It's not about self-deprivation - rather the opposite.

Call it carpe diem, gathering ye rosebuds or an ode to Erma Bombeck - I'm going to open some Amarone or olio novello on a random Tuesday, bust out the fancy Fortnum & Mason marmalade for a solo breakfast and eat that stunning tomato before it rots on the countertop. Good food and wine were meant to be consumed, it's a crime to waste them, and sorry to get all Stuart Smalley on you, but we're all worth it.
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