Top of the Food Chain: Foreshank

Foreshank

Illustration by Laura Williams

Welcome to Top Of The Food Chain, a column from Eat Me Daily's meatiest columnist, Ryan Adams. Every week we'll attempt to demystify the options available in your supermarket, breaking animals down piece by piece so that the next time you find yourself staring at endless Styrofoam containers, you'll be able to make an informed purchase. This week: Foreshank.

The front legs of the cow house some of the greatest flavor you can find on the beast thanks to their constant usage. Unfortunately, that superior taste doesn't come without more than a few catches; it can be a tough cut, but with a little TLC it can taste amazing. I point out the pitfalls, guide you to flavor nirvana, and maybe stir up a little chili-related controversy below.

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2010 James Beard Foundation Awards, Part 2 [food porn]

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Andy Nusser's beets with goat cheese and black truffles. Photograph: Adam Robb / Eat Me Daily

The more time spent honoring Keith McNally, Tom Colicchio and Luke Skywalker on stage Monday night, the longer new and old food media could press flesh over Perrier Jouet and lap bacon and bourbon-infused caviar off their bare hands once all the blini ran out. Even if the acceptance speeches on screen were audible over shaken cocktails and shared business cards, all the winners' names and choice lines had been tweeted to ubiquity before honorees found their ways through the scrum for a second celebratory glass of champagne.

Throughout the evening the tributes of food and drink piled two stories high in the narrow aisles and corner nooks of Avery Fisher Hall, in spaces impossible to pass through without patting a new or past nominee on the back or squeezing between fans and flacks, were where the night truly came to life. Serpentine swaths of vitello tonnato panini and Eleven Madison Park's tins of salmon mousse sheltering fish and dressed with roe served as synapses for connecting the entire industry. Below, take a gander at how the restaurant world eats when they pull out all the stops. [Warning: Image heavy post.]

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World Record in Pickled Jalapeño Eating Broken [videos]

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Bertoletti and Thomas duke it out. Photograph via akamediainc.com

How many whole pickled jalapeños do you think you could eat in a row? 7? 10? Try 275; that's how many chiles Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti ate to become the 2010 La Costeña Jalapeño Eating Champion last weekend in San Antonio, Texas. He beat runner-up Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas by 1 jalapeño in a special double overtime individual challenge after they tied in the first round, with both of them beating the world record. Thomas and Bertoletti, as well as third place winner Erik "The Red" Denmark, are all professional eating competitors; fourth place went to Gary Klucken of Waco, who had the highest amateur standing with 73 jalapeños.

A few things: one, who knew eating champions had nicknames like professional wrestlers? Two, what kind of practice regimen do you have to have that enables you to eat 200 jalapeños more that your average bear? Three, WTF? Ponder these mysteries and more while you watch the video, below.

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Interview With Camper English of Alcademics

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Photograph: will_hybrid.

Camper English is a San Francisco-based freelance writer who is also the voice behind the cocktail blog Alcademics. Aside from writing about booze for magazines such as Every Day With Rachael Ray and Fine Cooking, English is a "cocktail and spirits trend consultant." He was nice enough to answer some of our burning questions. Everything you ever wanted to know about hooch-writing, English' favorite types of liquor and the smartest hangover cures below.

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Red, on Rothko and The Four Seasons, Nominated for Tony Awards

Britain Rothko Show

Photograph via MSNBC.

This morning, the 2010 Tony Awards nominees were announced, and John Logan's Red received seven nominations, including Best Play. Starring Alfred Molina as the painter Mark Rothko, the story centers around the artist's struggle over the creation of a series of murals for New York's Four Seasons restaurant which the artist once described as "something that will ruin the appetite of every son-of-a-bitch who ever eats in that room. If the restaurant would refuse to put up my murals, that would be the ultimate compliment." Rothko ultimately completed the series of murals but refunded his commission rejecting the restaurant's indulgent atmosphere and clientele. The Tate Modern offers an online gallery of the murals.

Red is also nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for Molina's portrayal of Rothko, Best Performance of a Featured Actor in a Play for Eddie Redmayne, Best Direction of a Play for Michael Grandage, in addition to four design nominations. Below, the official montage for the play.

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Natural History of the Kitchen: The Barbecue

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Photograph: David Robert Wright

Welcome to Natural History of the Kitchen, by EMD's Stephanie Butler. Each week, Stephanie explores the background of an appliance, gadget or product that helped to make cooking what it is today. This week: Barbecues.

It's a noun, a verb, and an adjective. There are multiple ways to spell it. There are competitions devoted to it, whole shelves in bookstores focusing on it, and famous chefs who have dedicated careers to perfecting it. It's barbecue, of course, and it's our focus this week in Natural History of the Kitchen. So just in time for cookout weather, here's a primer on everything 'cue-related. Throw another prawn on the barbie and settle in for a spell.

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2010 James Beard Foundation Awards, Part 1

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Andrew Zimmern and friends. Photograph: Adam Robb / Eat Me Daily

After hours of passing thunderstorms, the sun finally joined the chefs for their arrival on the red carpet at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall for the James Beard Foundation's annual awards ceremony. Not everyone was keen to pose for the cameras, so we shunned our spot on the press line to catch some impromptu arrivals.

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Inside, as the Star Wars soundtrack played on small fixed monitors around the press room, two things were obvious. The Beard Awards were Star Wars themed, particularly inspired by the medal ceremony at the end of A New Hope, and the accompanying music within was an imperial march to the open bar.

The restaurant industry's shining stars break out their nattiest duds, below.

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The EMD Guide to the 1950s: Drinks

1950s Drinks

Photographs via Stumpjack Coffee Co. and Vintage Ad Browser

If you're imagining smoky boardrooms filled with well-suited men drinking martinis and cheating on their wives, well, that's Mad Men, and that's the '60s, so you're gonna have to wait. The '50s were more about the post-WWII upheaval in culture and technology, and what America drank also reflected these shifts. Here are some of the drinks that were popular during the 1950s:

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