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Hungry Magazine - All Things Tasty
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Archive for May, 2007

05.31.07

Kickin it with Kleiner

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Jerry Kleiner and his bud, Michael. Photo credit: Chicago Scene

Chicago restaurant impresario Jerry Kleiner (Marche, Red Light, Opera, Carnivale) makes PT Barnum look like a cheap sideshow hack. Every spot he opens nowadays is a multi-million dollar extravaganza outfitted with his personal design aesthetic, one which I like to characterize as Moulin Rouge on acid. Kleiner’s newest project is Room 21, a glammed up American style bistro. In our podcast we talk about how his future goal is to bring the Kleiner flare to the common man (Kleiner diner anyone), the secrets to being an urban pioneer, and his ultimate dinner party guest list.

If you have Adobe 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: Jerry Kleiner Interview

05.29.07

Crabbin in Chicago

Bites: News and Miscellany, Recipes


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You’d think the revered concubine of the Scientology movement could afford a high-level food consigliere, someone to tell her where the truly best eats are. Instead, it turns out Mrs. Tom Cruise, nee Katie Holmes, probably listens to what some second-rate concierge at a high-priced Michigan Avenue hotel told her last time she was in Chicago. You see, according to last week’s People magazine, Holmes recently brought in frozen Gino’s East deep-dish pizza for the crew of her current film “Mad Money.” More »

05.27.07

Little Five Happiness

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Mike Nagrant interviews, Dave Hammond, Michael Morowitz, Cathy Lambrecht, and Michael Gebert from LTHforum.com. Photo: Gary Wiviott

Lthforum, the Chicago food forum, is big in Sweden. How big? You’ll just have to listen to find out. During this podcast I sit down with five of Chicago’s culinary tastemakers to celebrate the three year anniversary of their internet chat site, Lthforum.com. We cover everything from the founding and naming of the forum, to journalistic ethics, to the politics of internet food chat.

It should be noted, that one of the moderaters Aaron Deacon was not present, and that there are five additional founding members who we’re not part of this podcast.

This podcast is definitely for hardcore Chicago foodies, and runs 1 hour 52 minutes. If you want to listen to particular aspects of the podcast, I’ve indexed the discussion below.

If you have Adobe 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: LTH Forum Interview

INDEX

0-18:47 Introductions and a discussion of transformative food moments of the LTH crew

18:47-47:09: Hiding behind internet anonymity, the founding of LTH, and can you eat find great regional food items outside of their region of origin?

47:09 - 1 hr 5 min: The forums effect on local media and how the forum got it’s name

1 hr 5 min - 1 hr 22 min: Food Journalism ethics and last meals on earth

05.25.07

CRUST

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Crust’s BLT flatbread

Generally I believe it’s better to do something best rather than to do it first, to get it right, rather than just to get it. And yet, sometimes you get so excited about a concept that you can’t wait to check it out. So I broke my rule and reviewed Michael Altenberg’s new spot Crust for Newcity. Full review on Wednesday, but in the meantime, I’ll say this:

Regarding the pizza, Altenberg’s got it right. It’s kind of a hybrid, airy puffy thin crust that’s crunchy and soft, with the occasional charred blister, reminiscent of Neapolitan style, but not quite. The Flammkuchen, an Alsatian specialty studded with caramelized onion, toasted caraway seeds (think great rye bread), silky béchamel, bacon, and cracked pepper is a standout. Also, trust me and stay away from the house infused cocktails, and get another flatbread for the same price.

05.25.07

Home on the Range

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Chefs discussing the importance of local and sustainably farmed seasonal ingredients at the National Restaurant Show

If you happen to cross paths with a grumpy Paul Kahan in January, don’t take it personally. It’s just that Kahan, the executive chef/partner of Chicago’s Blackbird and avec, is most likely just a little fed up with cooking with root vegetables, a natural consequence of his commitment to using seasonal and locally grown produce at his restaurants. But come spring, well, it’s a whole different story, he says. More »

05.23.07

Frontera Grilled

Bites: News and Miscellany


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What if you found out your girlfriend slept with your best friend five minutes before your first reservation at Charlie Trotters? Assuming you didn’t jump off one of Chicago’s movable-span bridges or cancel the reservation and go kick your friend’s ass instead, no matter how much caviar topped your third-course terrine, I bet it would probably be one of the worst meals of your life. More »

05.21.07

Mint: The World’s Herb

Food History


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As a kid, I loved Greek and Roman mythology. Lots of imagination, cool creatures (loved Pegasus), epic scale, adventure. I read everything I could get my hands on. I’m glad I did, because knowing mythology helps you understand about a third of what’s said in literature, and even gives you a leg up on language (procrustean, Herculean, harpy, and so on). But looking back, I am becoming increasingly aware of the fact that there are not a lot of cheerful myths. It’s pretty much an unbroken string of disappointments, deaths, kidnapping, suicide, human sacrifice, warfare, infidelity, cannibalism, evil monsters, and bloodshed. Even great heroes like Hercules die horribly. There are not a lot of happy endings. More »

05.16.07

Markets, Chai, Tomatoes, and Epicurious

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Snow peas at Green City Market - photo: Tuan Bui

Been hammered with things this week, so not a lot of new articles, but I have had a few thoughts.

Green City Market opens today, I co-wrote an article and interviewed market vendors Mick Klug and Chris Covelli as well as took a few photos for this Timeout piece.

Stopped in at Red Hen (1623 N. Milwaukee) for a baguette for a po-boy I was making this week. I hadn’t eaten much all day, except a pack of gummi worms from Carniceria Jimenez (who says food writers eat well), so I needed a pick me up and ordered a chai tea. Well lo and behold, the same place that hand molds their dough, also uses pre-made Oregon Chai Tea concentrate. It was cloyingly sweet and low on spice. So I ask, why doesn’t a craft bread bakery put in the same effort to find a great chai? Of course what do I know, I love the chai mix at Panera…

I also came upon some really great early season heirloom tomatoes from McWethy farms in Three Oaks, Michigan at the Fish Guy Market (4423 N. Elston). They’re hydroponically grown and are available as early as mid-March. While I’m all about the seasons, these bad boys we’re really tasty, and ten times better than anything you could get at the super-marts. Check in with the Fish Guy if you need some.

Epicurious.com announces their second annual Wine. Dine. Donate restaurant series to mark National Hunger Awareness Day–-Tuesday, June 5, 2007–-with a weeklong series of benefit dinners held at five of the country’s top restaurants. The third dinner in the series is with Chicago’s celebrated Chef Michael Kornick at his restaurant MK on Wednesday, June 6. The dinner will feature prix-fixe menu that includes dishes such as Maine lobster with green and white asparagus, braised and roasted rabbit, and a strawberry-rhubarb crumble. To purchase tickets, which are $100 per person (plus tax and gratuity), visit Epicurious.

05.11.07

Food for Thought: Fancy Food Show in Review

Bites: News and Miscellany


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The floor of the Fancy Food Show

After wandering around the Food Marketing Institute’s “Power of Five” convention held recently at McCormick Place, we were confused. Not because the show features some 1,000 exhibitors and combines five food-industry segments under one roof (Food Marketing Institute, National Association of State Department of Agriculture, United Fresh Marketplace, All Things Organic and the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade). We also had no problem with the mass of 30,000-plus attendees that were supposedly there. More »

05.08.07

Glamour Shots

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Grant Achatz is the culinary Barack Obama. If you stacked all the press that positively chronicles his rise, you’d have a glossy skyscraper of Sears Tower proportions. Where his peers, evolutionary gastronomists like Homaro Cantu at Moto, have endured scathing criticism, Achatz has been a Teflon Don. The worst thing anyone has written was when GQ’s Alan Richman said Achatz’s food was “a little too safe.” More »

05.07.07

Shavin’ Off a Beard

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Rick and Deann Bayless of Frontera Grill - image courtesy Beard Foundation

Winners were announced for the James Beard Awards and Chicago represented:

Humanitarian of the Year: Art Smith (Common Threads)

Best Chef Great Lakes: Grant Achatz (Alinea)

Outstanding Restaurant: Rick and Deann Bayless (Frontera Grill)

Outstanding Service: Rick Tramonto, Gale Gand, and Richard Melman (Tru)

We’ve done podcast interviews with three of the four, listen for an inside look on the success of these local chefs:

  • Grant Achatz - Alinea
  • Rick Bayless - Frontera Grill
  • Rick Tramonto - Tru
  • 05.07.07

    Yes, Sir, Cheese my baby.

    Food History


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    Clifton Fadiman described cheese as “Milk’s leap to immortality.” In a way, cheese has in turn immortalized other things—how many towns are known primarily because of the famous cheeses that come from them (Cheddar, England, for example, or Gouda, Holland)? More »

    05.04.07

    World Markets: A photographic tour

    Travel


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    One thing all humans have in common is the need to eat. While there are people who are able to meet all their needs on their own land, in most places around the world, particularly when people group together in towns or villages, they rely on markets. Fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, grains, sugar, salt, spices, and more are piled in stalls, spread on blankets, carried in boats or baskets, displayed in rows or crates or bags in markets worldwide, offering both a culinary and a visual feast. Enjoy this photographic tour from Hungry food historian and photographer Cynthia Clampitt.

    05.02.07

    Brunching in Brazil

    Food Memoir, Restaurant Reviews


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    Deep fried stuffed olives and rhubarb caipirinhas

    It’s often said that loose women are trying to replace the memory of their absent fathers by sleeping with a trove of men. This might explain some things. More »


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