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Hungry Magazine - All Things Tasty
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Archive for June, 2008

06.30.08

Just Ducky

Restaurant Reviews


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When you see a gaggle of glistening glazed ducks hanging sentry over hotel pans full of steaming tripe and bell jars filled with fried chicken skin, you know you’ve found a good Chinese BBQ spot. Actually, I know I’m probably in the minority on this one. It’s more likely most folks, who’ve come to believe their meat is born in Cryovac plastic or waxed-butcher-paper-wrapped bundles, would more likely see this scene at Sun Wah BBQ as an outtake from a Wes Craven horror flick. More »

06.27.08

Trib Live Blogs the Taste of Chicago

Bites: News and Miscellany


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The header says it all.

06.24.08

Snapper in the City

Bites: News and Miscellany, Recipes


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While I abhor Cosmopolitans, the one thing I do love about those ladies from “Sex and the City” is their camaraderie. I suspect their daily meetings, however, are nothing but TV mythology. There’s no way anyone with a real job and life has time to meet with their friends so often. Still, their gatherings duly represent my aspirations of whiling away endless afternoons over drinks, food and banter to celebrate life. And so I do. Since I moved to Chicago, my best friend Aamir and I have made it a pretty regular habit to decompress at various downtown establishments after work. More »

06.22.08

Tracing the Taste of Chiles Rellenos

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Once upon a time, in a land not so far away (a little place called Mexico), the world came to taste a soon-to-be classic meal. Otherwise translated as “stuffed peppers” to the English linguist, chile rellenos are a damn fine creation born and bred in Mexico. Spoken by the god of Mexican cookery himself in his book, Mexico One Plate at a Time, Rick Bayless exalts chile rellenos as the ultimate special occasion meal. More »

06.17.08

Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper

Bartender, Pour me a Drink: Alcohol and Spirits


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If Jose Cuervo is the patron saint of bad judgment and horrid hangovers, then Ron Cooper, purveyor of Del Maguey Mezcal, is the angel of discretion and good taste. Though sometimes his is a case of “Do as say, not as I do.” On the morning I interview Cooper, he chain-smokes and squints in the morning light falling over Oak Street near the Newberry Library, his eyes rimmed by puffy bags. As a spirits professional, Cooper has no shortage of drinking buddies, and a few of them kept him out late after a tasting at Binny’s South Loop the night before. More »

06.17.08

Throwdown at the Drawing Room

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Enjoy your victory dude. I’ve got $100,000 dollars and international fame.

Stephanie Izard might be Top Chef America, but is she Top Chef Chicago?

On Sunday night, Executive Chef of The Drawing Room(937 N. Rush) Nick Lacasse edged out Stephanie Izard in a cooking throwdown battle. More »

06.16.08

Commander of the Kitchen

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Founded in 1880, Commander’s Palace in New Orleans is one of the most celebrated and revered restaurants in the United States. Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Legasse, and Jamie Shannon are just a few of the chefs to helm its storied kitchen. Chef Tory McPhail is the current captain of the ship. He was in Chicago last month for the National Restaurant Show and we caught up with him to talk about being a steward of such a culinary legacy, what it was like living on Bourbon Street as a 19 year old line cook with an endless supply of Abita beer, the impact of Hurricane Katrina and the untimely death of his mentor Shannon, and the house moonshine at Commander’s.

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: Tory McPhail Interview

06.12.08

Sammy Sosa’s Alleged Wine Partnership

Bites: News and Miscellany


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This might be the funniest thing I read all week. Of course, I’m a Sox fan. Then again Kerry Wood, aka Kid 401K, who allegedly smashed Sosa’s boombox with a bat back in the day, would also probably enjoy this.

06.12.08

On Savannah and Shrimp

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Somewhere between the Harry Truman Parkway and an arm of the intercoastal waterway in Savannah, Georgia, there’s a billboard on Victory Avenue that says “You didn’t come to Savannah to eat pond-raised shrimp from China.” Georgia, thanks for the reminder. I guess. Just past that stoplight, the Spanish moss-shaded mansions and gnarled boulevard trees on Victory take over, and I almost forgot about this odd but dryly charming message from the Georgia Wild Shrimp association. But in a place where shrimp is ever-present on local menus and the smell of the salt-marsh hangs heavy in the humid air, it’s a hard thought to completely dislodge. More »

06.11.08

30 Seconds on Top Chef: Finale Edition

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Evian, the breakfast of champions.

1 - If this is Top Chef Chicago, why are there three New York chefs representing the final challenge? Typical coastal bias. Though all three of those chefs are dope.

2 - Dude, they totally hate Lisa, giving the chef with the most elimination wins the first choice of their partner chef.

3 - Scylla micromanages Le Bernadin. Nice.

4 - I doubt Richard’s right about the use of liquid nitrogen being that rare anymore.

5 - On the other hand, it blows my mind that Ripert et al are amazed by what he’s doing. You’d think that these top open minded smart chefs, even if they don’t cook that way, would be up on modern technique.

6 - Lisa says her food is going to represent her personality. Apparently it’s going to taste entirely like sour lemons.

7 - Richard says he’s the only artist/craftsman…not yet dude. You only become an artist as a chef when you redefine paradigms. Right now you’re stealing from Achatz, Adria, Wylie et al…

8 - Yep, so Ted Allen is the lone chicago representative on the judging panel. NYC bias.

9 - Why’s everything being served in Royal Doulton coffee cups?

10 - Steph looks like she’s winning.

11 - Dude, everything needs foie gras.

12 - Wow, nice. Richard is honest. Though they could be playing producer roulette to make you think he sucked.

13 - Stephanie wins! Chi-town represent. And Michigan. Go Blue!

06.11.08

Top Chef for the Dakota Fanning Set

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Stage moms and precocious children everywhere rejoice as Top Chef has just announced “Top Chef Junior”, a cooking competition for teens. Apparently Go-Gurt and Lunchables advertising didn’t fit into the regular “Top Chef” product placement opportunities. First quickfire challenge: send a Twitter and text message your Fave 5 via a T-Mobil Sidekick while using your free-hand to make a chopped salad with a child-friendly plastic chef’s knife.

06.10.08

Bowles Breaks Out

Bites: News and Miscellany


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With his fierce tattoos, imposing frame and black lacquer glasses, chef Graham Elliot Bowles looks like the lovechild of Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo and a bouncer from a death-metal bar. However, the aggressive-looking “innocence” tattoo on his left forearm is more a reflection of the artist who also did ink for Pantera than of Bowles’ true personality. As Bowles says, “I look like I’m ready to hurt someone, when I really just want to cry on their shoulder.” More »

06.09.08

An Ode to Eggplant Parmesan (and where to find some damn good versions in Chicago)

Bites: News and Miscellany


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When Jesus and his apostles broke bread at their ceremonial “Last Supper,” I notice that there was one course blatantly missing: eggplant Parmesan. I’m admittedly not a food historian of ancient Israel, nor am I well-versed on the availability of produce in biblical times, but I do know that this cheesy, gooey, and fried casserole of Italian deliciousness is heavenly.

When the time comes to toast my own last meal, you can be sure it won’t skimpy on the eggplant. A steaming bed of spaghetti, buttery garlic bread, a full shaker of grated Parmesan for extra sprinkling; this is the supporting cast for what makes up the greatest eggplant Parmesan dinner a kitchen can muster. If I at least go down with a full stomach and a satisfied palate, it will have been one fine last supper. More »

06.08.08

James Beard Results

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Grant Achatz took home Best Chef honors overall, while Carrie Nahabedian took home Best Chef Great Lakes honors. Congrats, guys.

06.05.08

Huston, We’ve Got No Problems When You Have Tripe and Blood Sausage Gratin on the Menu

Bites: News and Miscellany


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My name is Brian Huston and I will be your purveyor of pork.

Here’s the new menu from Executive Chef Paul Kahan and Chef de Cuisine Brian Huston’s Beer and Pork focused gastropub at 845 W. Fulton Market (no opening date yet). They may not have a name for their new place, but who really cares. Whatever’s remaining in my bank account is now apportioned for the pork part of the menu.

Oysters

6/12/24 $12/$24/$48

Kumamoto
Puget Sound, Washington: rich, buttery, fruity, mineral

Hog Island
Tomales Bay, California: plump, salty, smoky and sweet

Paradise Cove
Desolation Sound, British Columbia: salty, sweet, watermelon

Strangers Bay
Baynes Sound, British Columbia: plump, sweet, fruity

Malpeque
Prince Edward Island, Canada: firm, bitter lettuce, clean

Rappahannock
Wake, Virginia: sweet, buttery, crisp, clean More »

06.04.08

Top Chef: Detroit Red Wings Win the Stanley Cup Edition

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Yo, Dale you forgot to wear your grillz.

Yes, that’s right, my hometown Detroit Red Wings just won the Stanley Cup and since I write about food, I’m being self-indulgent and celebrating on this blog. Now, on to Top Chef…

1 - I thought deep fry oil represents Puerto Rican food more than any other ingredient.

2 – Richard almost loses his faux hawk, which is clearly an OSHA violation, to a gas fire.

3 – In case you didn’t see it, Stephanie loves Tahoe boys.

4- - Lisa basically had a problem with everyone.

5 – I wonder if Spike is going to stuff Richard’s pig with frozen pork.

6 – Spike should offer Lisa a joint to take the edge off…not that I’m saying he smokes pot or anything.

7 – Yea, Stephanie makes a good decision and avoids mass Trichinosis. Dude if Spike had left Lisa’s pork belly out, she would have cut off his left nostril.

8 – Dude, I miss Hung going all hardcore. These contestants are too friendly to one another.

9 – Wow, Antonia’s daughter is willing to be an orphan unless her mom wins. Maybe she should be on Top Chef instead.

10 – How come Colicchio hasn’t visited the kitchen in his pristine blue chef’s coat?

11 – Did anyone tell Padma this wasn’t a Toga party?

12 – Are Colichhio and Wilo Benet brothers from different mothers?

13 – I’m starting to get the feeling that much like Sampson, Lisa’s strength was in her hair.

14 – Richard is really thinking, yo, when I win this I’ll be driving a Mercedes.

15 - Antonia, she gone.

06.01.08

Hot Links

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Ave Maria Capitanini, the matriarch of Italian Village dies.

Raymond Sokolov was in town eating duck liver for the WSJ.

Chuck Sudo grills Stephanie Izard

06.01.08

Welsh Eggs

Recipes


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If you say “Welsh” when speaking of food, probably the first thing to come to mind is Welsh rabbit, a tasty treat that usually consists of toast topped with a cheddar sauce flavored with Worcestershire sauce and dried mustard. Of course, a few of you will have thought “Welsh rarebit.” But interestingly, “rabbit” is the older name of the dish. There are also Scottish, English, and Irish rabbits, all featuring in some way cheese on toast. More »


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