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Hungry Magazine - All Things Tasty
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Archive for May, 2006

05.30.06

Vegetarianism: A 12 Step Program

Food Memoir


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vegetarian

As a rule of thumb I usually mock anyone’s attempt to severely change their lifestyle, especially in regards to diets. I’ve too often been the hapless victim of my own vain attempts to establish a healthy lifestyle. My latest foray into the self-help realm was a halfhearted attempt to experience, first hand, the ebb and flow of vegetarianism.

Mind you, I’m an unapologetic carnivore. My body needs meat to operate properly and if I abstained from all things good and porky, how would I keep up my lovely figure? (More Drew Carey than Carey Grant). This experiment would be more of a battle of will and a challenge to my self-determination than another fruitless attempt to regain the svelte figure of my not so distant youth. More »

05.25.06

Sweet Induction

Do I Need a Pastry Torch?: Kitchen Gadget Reviews


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induction range

I’m a chef groupie. It’s not quite the same as being a rock star groupie. I’m not waiting near dumpsters in rat infested back alleys waiting for an opportunity to trade my body for a moment with culinary greatness. Instead it’s more of a tableside admiration and exploration of today’s best chefs plying their craft. It’s not a mindless adulation, which breeds mediocrity. I can watch TV celebrity chefs when I’m in the mood for that, rather, I’m interested in becoming a better home cook, and watching pros makes a difference.

Chefs like Grant Achatz of Alinea or Thomas Keller of the French Laundry are modern day secular monks, dedicating the majority of the waking portion of their life toward the pursuit of perfect technique and sublime ingredients. They have something to teach and I’m intrigued by the techniques they’re using, especially induction cooking. More »

05.23.06

Intelligentsia Roasting Works

Food Production


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Go inside the Intelligentsia coffee roasting process with the documentary below (2:00 min)

In order to view the video, you need Macromedia Flash installed. If you do not want to install it, you can watch a regular slideshow of the Intelligentsia Roasting Works.

05.22.06

Cool Beans

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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beans

Throw away the Folgers.

If your coffee comes from metal cans or has been sitting in the icebox for months next to that freezer burned box of Fudgsicles, throw it out, and then listen to this week’s podcast.

This week I sit down with Thomas Meinl, the fourth generation from Vienna’s Julius Meinl coffee roasting family, and Doug Zell, the founder and CEO of Chicago’s craft coffee roaster, Intelligentsia. We talk about issues of fair trade, the economics of coffee, the best way to brew coffee, the story of how coffee came to Vienna, and eating mole and drinking Mezcal in Oaxaca.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Thomas Meinl and Doug Zell Interview

Go inside Intelligentsia’s newest cafe with a photo slide show from Hungry photographer Tuan Bui.

Go inside Chicago’s Julius Meinl Cafe with a photo slide show from Hungry photographer Tuan Bui.

05.19.06

Ham on Wry

Restaurant Reviews


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This article first appeared in the Chicago Journal

markyb

The Marky B from Jerry’s

If a bunch of drunken Mardi Gras interior designers broke into a timber loft and performed an extreme home makeover in the style of French country chateau, the result would be Jerry’s Sandwiches. Gilded antique lamps cast light on shiny tangles of colored beads, the yellow faux plaster paint job, and distressed wooden tables. Feather-bedizened Mardi Gras masks hang above the entrance to the dining room. More »

05.17.06

This Little Piggy Went to Market

Food History


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pork

If you said “Wall Street” and “pigs” in the same sentence, people might think you were talking about greed and dirty dealing, or perhaps they would assume it was a socialist comment about capitalism. However, Wall Street has an older association with pigs than these metaphorical ones. In the 1600s, semi-wild pigs were wreaking such havoc in the grain fields and gardens of colonial New Yorkers that a long wall was built on the northern edge of the colony on Manhattan Island, to control the roaming herds. The road that ran along the inside of the wall became, of course, Wall Street. This search for solutions to the “we want pigs, we don’t want pigs” conflict has gone on for a long time. More »

05.15.06

A Walk Down Queens Blvd

Restaurant Reviews


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knish

Queens is changing. Or so I’ve read. I know little about Queens outside of Hollywood’s occasional treatments (Coming to America, Queens Logic). But now, with a fresh set of in-laws who hail from Queens, it seemed prudent to take a day in my recent NYC visit to delve a little into Queens culture. It’s daunting for certain; Queens is enormous. With luck, I could glean at least a morsel of insight into the behemoth of culture and diversity residing in the borough. The itinerary? Explore a little, and of course, eat as much as I could stand in one day. More »

05.11.06

The Kitchen Economist

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Bruce Sherman

In this week’s podcast interview we sit down with Bruce Sherman of Chicago’s North Pond Restaurant. Bruce Sherman was named Food and Wine Best New Chef in 2003. He’s a graduate of Penn, the London School of Economics, and spent years living in India learning to cook seasonally from what was available each day at the local produce vendor or “wallah”. Chef Sherman is one of the most socially conscious chefs in Chicago. He’s been a huge proponent of the small family farmer, instrumental in growing Chicago’s Green City Market, and a member of the Chef’s collaborative, an organization that that teaches about local, artisanal, and sustainable cuisine. In this week’s conversation we talk about Chicago’s foie gras ban, the economics of running a restaurant, his time in India, and what it’s like cooking for Julia Child.

Also, listen for details on how you can score some free Julius Meinl coffee and Tea.

If you have Macromedia Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Bruce Sherman Interview

Go inside North Pond’s kitchen with a photo slide show from Hungry photographer Tuan Bui.

05.09.06

Operation Kabob, AKA: Food on Deployment in Iraq

Food Memoir


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Taji Dining

A U.S. Army soldier eats a Meal, Ready to Eat on the tarmac at Camp Taji, Iraq, before taking part in an air assault mission on April 28, 2006. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Larson, U.S. Navy.

When I came back from Iraq in January, everyone I knew had questions about the political and military situation. What was it like? Are we ever going to leave? Did you ever get blown up? Then I talked to my friend, Hungry Editor, Michael Nagrant, who after hearing that I was OK, wanted to know what the food situation was like while I was on deployment. Here’s the breakdown. More »

05.08.06

McClain Cooks Up a Beard

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Shawn McClain

On Monday May 8th, 2006, Chef Shawn McClain of Green Zebra, Custom House, and Spring restaurants was named Best Chef Midwest by the James Beard Foundation. We interviewed Shawn a few months ago at Custom House. Check out the podcast interview and our photo slideshow of Chef McClain working in the Custom House kitchen. Congratulations Shawn.

Congratulations also to Steve Dolinsky of ABC7 for his broadcast James Beard. There may be more journalism winners from Chicago, but they haven’t been posted yet.

05.08.06

The Cosmopolitan Fruit: A History of the Banana

Food History


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plantain cart india

A cartload of plantains in southern India

Bananas do not grow on trees.

I learned this while touring a banana plantation in Western Australia about 20 years ago. They grow on tall herbs. In fact, the banana plant is the world’s largest herb. Mostly water held together with a bit of greenery, bananas are herbs and distant relatives of spices like ginger, turmeric, and cardamom. More »

05.04.06

The Best Milkshake in New Jersey

Bites: News and Miscellany


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mccool's ice cream

When New Jersey Monthly magazine released their “Best Of” issue last month, I knew it was time to do a few short-distance road trips in the name of intrepid reporting. First stop, the Best Milkshake in New Jersey. More »

05.03.06

A Real Slice of Life

Food History


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mexican bread market

Mercado de los Abastos in Oaxaca, Mexico

Bread seems like a pretty basic food, sort of an irreducible minimum on which one builds. But bread is actually quite complex, and it was not the first thing people did with cereal grains. For a big chunk of early human history, grains were simply parched on hot stones or pounded to a rough powder and boiled into gruel or paste. (In fact, in many regions, these food forms are still important, from the foofoo of West Africa to the tsampa of Tibet.) Scholars believe that the first time people realized they could put the paste on the hot stones, producing a simple flatbread, was likely the late Stone Age. And just as gruel and paste persist to the present day, so do classic, stone-cooked flatbreads, from Mexican tortillas to Scottish oatcakes to Chinese pancakes. More »

05.01.06

Without Immigration, There is no Emeril

Bites: News and Miscellany


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immigrant chef

A chef marches in Chicago’s immigration rally

A brigade of Hispanic men in chef whites and paper toques walk arm in arm in downtown Chicago. Waving American, Mexican, Colombian, Polish, and Brazilian flags, surrounded by fellow marchers out to support immigrant rights, the chefs are backdropped by cardboard signs, saying “We Work Hard for this Country” and “We are not criminals, we are workers.” More »


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