We visited with Nelson at the opening of her first New York City outpost to discuss the Oprah effect, what's next and how to beat the "just another cupcake shop" rap.
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.
About the same time dandelions and bluebells start to bloom, so do the first cries of "zOMG ramps!" in the culinary world.
Spring has sprung, and for Every Day with Rachael Ray editor-in-chief Liz Vaccariello - whose new issue hits newsstands April 12 - that means in the kitchen too.
Spring Eats Cooks Can’t Wait to Get Their Hands On: Liz Vaccariello
It's not enough to fizz with carbonation and taste sweet.
For years, drinks have been infused with promises of electrolytes, caffeine and instant energy. But now, some sodas and other concoctions are offering the opposite of Red Bulls and Four Lokos - they slow things down.
As more sedating sodas enter the market, some beverage makers have taken relaxation to another level by producing sodas laced with marijuana or ingredients to mimic that drug.
"Everyone is looking for some effect somewhere," said Dr. Matthew Seamon, assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy at Nova Southeastern University.
Beverages such as Malava Novocaine, Drank, Unwind, Mary Jane's Relaxing Soda and Slow Cow (sold in Canada) are marketed as helping people unwind.
Read the rest of "Anti-energy drinks: Relaxation in a can""on CNN Health.
Call it the Mad Men effect: retro fashions, debonair dinner parties and especially classic drinks - like bourbon - are back with a vengeance.
"Despite the recession, consumers decided they wanted to drink better," says Frank Coleman, senior vice president of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
Last year, sales of super premium bourbon (the highest price category) were up 17.7% from 2009, according to the council, while total bourbon sales grew at a rate of just 4%.
So what makes a bourbon "super premium"? Well, better often means older. Older whiskeys spend more time aging in an oak barrel, which is how they get their caramel color and much of the flavor.
Read "Great bourbons at a bargain" on CNNMoney.
If you Tweet from any of your cooking appliances, Team Eatocracy will personally come to your home and pour some manner of liquid all over your circuit breakers.
All sane people, everywhere
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To ensure a happy hotel guest, offer excellent service, provide a comfortable bed and never, ever underestimate the power of a free bagel: After a good night's sleep, many travelers these days are expecting - and receiving - a good breakfast.
You know the kind, included in the price of your stay and often served in a room just off the lobby of a Best Western or a Hampton Inn - the quiet space that suddenly becomes the center of attention for several hours in the morning.
There's just something very comforting about waking up in a strange city and knowing your first meal is ready and waiting for you as you start your day - no searching around required.
CNN Travel has the FULL STORY
Previously - Tray Cool: Why I love room service breakfast
There’s a hidden trend driving the food world – and (for once) we’re not talking food trucks.
In September, Chef Thomas Keller announced a new partnership with BMW of North America and his storied flagship restaurant, The French Laundry, in Yountville, California.
The partnership enlists a fleet of BMW ActiveHybrid 7’s, valued at more than $100,000 each, that will be offered to select diners as part of the restaurant's concierge service.
Editor's note: all week, CNN Newsroom, Rick's List and Eatocracy are teaming up to take a look the effects our dining choices have on our minds, bodies and wallets. Tune into CNN Newsroom daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET for on-air coverage and join in the discussion here on Eatocracy. ALL COVERAGE
A little while ago, we told you something was abloom 18 stories above the streets of Manhattan. That something included the likes of patty pan squash, green tomatoes, purple okra and chioggia beets - all grown on the rooftop of the Gramercy Park Hotel for the in-house restaurant, Maialino, to utilize on its menu a few floors down.
This past weekend, 15 of New York City's finest street food vendors battled it out at The Vendy Awards - an annual cooking competition that crowns the "Best Street Food Vendor" in all the five boroughs.
Related - Catch up on all Eatocracy's food truck coverage. It's the trend that keeps on trucking.