Posts for May 19th 2009
Life as a Food Critic Isn't All Edible Roses Well-known New York Times food critic Frank Bruni has announced his retirement, and 63 percent of you wouldn't mind stepping in to fill his shoes. Many of you said it would be awesome to get paid for eating and would love the opportunity to try so many different types of food.
While it's unlikely that there'll be any shortage of food at Memorial Day grill-outs across the country this weekend, National Geographic has released a special report on the global food crisis that's occurring at the same time.
In "The End of Plenty," writer Joel K. Bourne, Jr., and photojournalist John Stanmeyer address the fact that agricultural productivity isn't keeping up with population growth, and humanity's looked the other way. "For most of the past decade, the world has been consuming more food than it has been producing," Bourne writes. Consequently, the cost of wheat, corn, rice, and other basic commodities has skyrocketed worldwide, hitting the world's poorest billion people the hardest. And the situation will only get worse: based on the world's booming population, we'll need to double our current food production by 2030 in order to keep up with demand. Simply stated: there isn't going to be enough food to go around.
Predictably, the root of the problem lies with agribusiness, and the synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation, and genetic engineering that come along with it. Overconsumption of meat is a problem, too: it takes up to 10 times more grain to get the same amount of calories from eating US grain-fed beef as it does from eating the grain itself. This alone is reason enough for a city to go meatless!
Check out the stunning photo slideshow, which profiles the world's interdependent food system. Do you feel the same urgency to address the world's food crisis?
From the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience to St. Louis's Rib America Festival, take advantage of the three-day weekend with tons of events across the nation. Since I'm a huge fan of deep Southern cuisine, I'm dreaming of teleporting to Mudbug Madness, the Jambalaya Festival, and the Fredericksburg Crawfish Fest and Gumbo Cookoff. Crawfish season is definitely upon us!
What events will you be attending this week? Feel free to chime in below!
- New York, NY: The Cuisine of Queens & Beyond — May 19
- New Orleans, LA: New Orleans Wine & Food Experience — May 19-23
- San Francisco, CA: SF Strawberry Week — May 19-24
- New York, NY: Tel Aviv's 100th Anniversary Dinner — May 20
- New York, NY: Taste of the Nation New York — May 20
- San Francisco, CA: Boudin & Buena Vista Carneros Wine Dinner — May 21
- Shreveport, LA: Mudbug Madness — May 21-24
- Kodiak, AK: Kodiak Crab Festival — May 21-25
- Fredericksburg, TX: Crawfish Festival & Gumbo Cookoff — May 22-23
- Garden Grove, CA: Garden Grove Strawberry Festival — May 22-25
- St. Louis, MO: Rib America Festival — May 22-25
- Cleveland, OH: Marc's Great American Rib Cookoff & Music Festival — May 22-25
To see the rest, read more
Today over on the Atlantic's food blog, there's an interesting article about giving anchovies a second chance. In it, Ari Weinzweig points out that "so many people's first experience with these little fish was by being offered outstandingly bad versions of them that they form their entire opinion from that understandably negative impression." I agree with his point of view and feel that certain polarizing ingredients should be given a second chance. For example, my father hates asparagus, but I'm certain it's because when he was younger he was served a gross preparation of asparagus. I've been begging him to give it another try, but he won't budge. How about you?
It was a big week on The Hills — in a good way for some, and not so much for others. After getting permission from Heidi's real dad to marry her, Spencer decides it's time to seal the deal. But across town, things aren't so great for Lauren, who has to break some difficult news to Stephanie at work. Were you present to account for the episode's palatable parts? Find out when you take our quiz.
To get all the fashion from last night's episode, check out CelebStyle!
Photo Courtesy of MTVTake the Quiz
Last week it was Cocktail Week here in San Francisco and I was lucky enough to attend a bunch of the events. The highlight was Thursday's bar school — a day of education. Since I'm an avid home mixologist, I checked out the House-Made Ingredients How-To taught by Jeff Hollinger, general manager at Absinthe, and Neyah White, bartender extraordinaire at Nopa.
In the drinks industry, both Jeff and Neyah are pioneers when it comes to creating bitters, cordials, tinctures, syrups, etc. The duo has made it its mission to bring back the craft of cocktail making one bottle of bitters at a time. To check out their tips for making bar ingredients at home and see a gallery of images from the class, read more
Memorial Day is the unofficial start of Summer, so to celebrate, round up a group of friends and host a casual but cozy barbecue.
Begin the fun with fingerlicking good grilled clams and garlic butter. Next move on to an easy dinner menu of the American favorite — steak and potatoes — made sophisticated by the smoky flavor of the grill.
Mexican spice-rubbed steak with lime butter is an eye catching entree. Pair with crisp-charred sweet-hot fries and romaine, avocado, and corn salad. Take a look at the recipes to these backyard favorites when you read more
- Why there will never be a "new cupcake." — Eat Me Daily
- Ten tips for successful grilling. — Chow
- Brides-to-be: get to know this fun software that makes setting your table a snap. — Hostess With the Mostess
- Is it OK to serve white wine with steak? — The Epi-Log
- The restaurant industry reacts to the news about Frank Bruni. — Eater
- Everything you need to know about the food and drink of Star Trek. — Serious Eats