May 31st, 2013
09:00 AM ET
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“Before we begin, you must all be warned nothing here is vegetarian. Bon appétit.”

One would expect nothing less from Dr. Hannibal Lecter in NBC’s new drama “Hannibal.” After all, the serial-killer psychiatrist, made most famous by Anthony Hopkins in 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs,” cemented his love for human flesh with the iconic line, “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”

The love for the forbidden meat is front and center in the primetime series based on Thomas Harris’ novels. Lecter, played by Mads Mikkelsen, is an adept chef with a penchant for unusual ingredients.

“What he eats is what defines him,” explained Toronto-based food stylist Janice Poon who, along with chef José Andrés, creates the stunning, lush and creepy meals for “Hannibal.”

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Filed under: Television • Visual Art

December 27th, 2011
02:00 PM ET
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“What do I have to do to get on your dad’s jerky list?”

It wasn’t the first time I’d heard that entreaty; my father’s beef jerky has quite the reputation among friends, family and acquaintances.

But this is a tale of lying, thieving, hoarding and conniving by humans and four-legged creatures, all in the name of Joseph Cavalluzzi’s jerky.

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Filed under: How To • Make • Techniques & Tips

Meet the man who ate all of Los Angeles
September 27th, 2011
09:15 AM ET
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Sean Robins has a long list of foods he doesn’t eat. “No beef, no pork, no lamb, no veal, no mushrooms, no cold cheese, no white sauces. That means no sour cream, no cottage cheese, no mayonnaise, no milk, no eggs. It’s not allergies - all preferences.”

Nonetheless, a picky palate didn't impede Robins from dining at every one of the over 2,000 restaurants listed in the 2011 Los Angeles Zagat Restaurants Survey.

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Filed under: News • Restaurants

February 21st, 2011
03:30 PM ET
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Fame Bites goes inside the belly of the entertainment beast. We're dishing out where the celebrities are eating, what they're eating and who they're eating with.

The Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles is a frenzy of activity. The Grammys held last weekend, followed by the NBA All-Star Game yesterday, means staffers at Staples Center are working around the clock. Each event alone is an enormous undertaking, but coupled together you have a double-headed beast.

At the center of it all is Pilar Sanchez, the Executive Chef at Staples, lifelong Lakers fan and the ring leader of the culinary circus, so to speak. We caught up with her the Friday before the Grammys outside the executive suites. In the background, you could hear Rihanna and Drake rehearsing their current hit “What’s My Name?” for Sunday night’s performance. Sanchez had assembled some of the items her staff would be serving in the coming week.

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Filed under: Bite • Columns • Events • Fame Bites • News

Fame Bites: Back of House - Suzanne Goin
January 28th, 2011
05:30 PM ET
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Fame Bites goes inside the belly of the entertainment beast. We're dishing out where the celebrities are eating, what they're eating and who they're eating with.

A celebrity in her own right, Suzanne Goin has her hands full this weekend. The James Beard Award-winning Los Angeles chef is feeding 1200 celebrities at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Her menu includes:

Fresh baked herbed crostini with Parmesan, chopped thyme and parsley
Blood oranges with dates, arugula and Parmesan
Beluga lentils with carrots, pine nuts and feta
Slow-roasted king salmon with cucumbers, yogurt and a ginger-mint chutney
Slow-roased lamb with a chickpea purée, black olives and a feta salsa verde.

Forget the beef, there’s no fowl in sight: Goin made some interesting menu choices for a crowd that has been famously known for its food peccadilloes. We caught up with her at Lucques, one of three restaurants she co-owns in Los Angeles.

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Filed under: Bite • Columns • Fame Bites

Chefs and the (other) "F" word
January 26th, 2011
04:30 PM ET
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Jennifer Wolfe is the Supervising Producer of the CNN Entertainment Unit. She previously reported on the outing of Los Angeles Times food critic S. Irene Virbila.

A good friend of mine from Atlanta is a former pastry chef turned attorney. Clancy and I frequently talk food. We also cook together and when it comes to the culture of the restaurant kitchen, I lean on her for guidance. As a hardened veteran, Clancy doesn’t blush at colorful language, so I was a bit surprised when she blanched at the “F” word.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because chefs HATE foodies!” she said emphatically.

I thought that was a pretty strong assertion, “Really? Chefs hate foodies?”

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Filed under: Chefs • Restaurants

A critical outing
December 23rd, 2010
10:30 AM ET
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In a town obsessed with celebrity and publicity, there are a few well-known residents in Los Angeles who prefer their picture is never taken - Los Angeles Times food critic S. Irene Virbila is one. That professional anonymity ended Tuesday night when she and three others arrived at Red Medicine, a new Vietnamese restaurant in Beverly Hills. Virbila had her photo snapped and her party was turned away and refused service; a bitter pill to swallow for a restaurant critic.

Red Medicine is the latest project from Umami Burger founder Adam Fleischman, Noah Ellis, previously of Michael Mina's restaurant group, and Chef Jordan Kahn, who counts stints with chefs Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz and Michael Mina on his résumé. So why would a brand new restaurant, with three high-profile partners, risk outing and angering the LA Times food critic, a fixture on the scene for the last 16 years?

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Filed under: Critics • Critiquing Criticism • Feature • Gossip • News • Newspapers • Restaurant News • Think

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