Brighton Beach Foodoirs
September 7th, 2010
10:30 AM ET
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Kira Kleaveland is an Associate Producer with AC360°

This past weekend I went to the beach to eat.

I'm the only person I know who goes to a beach not for the sand and sun but for the food, but I'm good with that. As far as I'm concerned, sand is kind of icky. It gets everywhere - your hair, your ears, your socks - and it's usually too hot to walk on.

So, when I announced my intention to visit Brighton Beach to friends last week, I made sure to specify, I'm not going to the actual beach - I'm going for the Russian and Ukrainian food.

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Filed under: Bite • Cuisines • New York • Russian • Travel

Molecular gastronomy - aerated ice cream, freeze-dried polenta and me
August 10th, 2010
11:00 AM ET
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Molecular gastronomy is a cooking practice that explores the application of scientific principles and techniques to food, often with weird, wild and wonderful results. AC360° Associate Producer Kira Kleaveland pursued her passion for new food experiences at chef Wylie Dufresne's wd~50 restaurant.

Sometimes food can take you on an adventure. The journey can be daunting and strange - an experience that challenges and changes your notions of the foods you've loved all your life.

I had a defining food experience recently. Not because it was the best meal I've ever eaten, or because I was celebrating a major milestone. It was because I had my very first experience in molecular gastronomy. This meeting of science and cuisine has been around for a little while, and I have had a foam or two in my fairly short life, I hadn't delved in deeply - until now.

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Filed under: Bite • Cuisines • Molecular Gastronomy • Wylie Dufresne

Competitive ordering – battle at the brunch table
July 14th, 2010
08:00 AM ET
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Kira Kleaveland is an Associate Producer with AC360°

In my family, anything can be made into a competition. So surely in a clan full of gourmands, good eaters, and amateur foodies, ordering at a restaurant has become especially high stakes. Declarations of "I definitely win," or "I guess Dad wins," abound.

I always scan the menu first, looking for things that pop out and say, "Order me. I'll definitely bag you the top spot."

For me that would be scallops, duck, chestnuts, lardons, frisee, creme fraiche and my favorite seasonal restaurant ingredient, rhubarb. If any of these items appear together in a dish, forget about everything else on the menu. My mind is made up.

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Filed under: Bite • Menu • Restaurants

Who taught you to love food?: Kira Kleaveland
July 8th, 2010
01:30 PM ET
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A couple of weeks ago, we asked via iReport for your stories of that person, place, book, restaurant or dish that made you sit up and start to see food as more than just a three times a day chore. You eat every day, and you've got a story to share.

Every so often, we're sharing the most hunger-inducing and heartfelt ones right 'chere.

AC360° Associate Producer Kira Kleaveland producer has deep roots with memoirist and former Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl's tales of intrepid eating. Here's how a woman she's never met became a source of culinary courage.

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Filed under: Books • Buzz • Food Love • Think

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