Real Time Web Analytics Foodie Gossip: March 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Brewer Makes 'Walking Dead' Themed Beer with Real Brains

Dock Street Brewing Co., in Pennsylvania, is introducing a a new Zombie-themed ale, called Dock Street Walker, in honor of AMC's "The Walking Dead" finale, airing this Sunday.

Following in the footsteps of Brewery Ommegang (Game of Thrones’ Fire & Blood Red Ale) and Marble Brewery (Breaking Bad’s Heisenberg’s Dark Indian Black Ale and Walt’s White Lie Indian White Ale), Dock Street Brewing Company has created the "Dock Street Walker": a 7.2 percent ABV American pale stout, brewed with wheat, oats, flaked barley, organic cranberry, and (of course) Smoked Goat Brains!.

Dock Street used smoked goat brains to give the ale a subtle smoky flavor. Fuggle hops provide delicate, earthy notes, but what we love the most is the use of the cranberries to add a slight tartness and create a sinister, bloody hue.

If only they had a mass market for this so that all us "out of towners" could give it a try.

Are you adventurous enough to give it a try?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Starbucks Serves Wine & Beer, But is this a Good Thing?

Starbucks has just announced Starbucks Evenings, a new concept for America's most beloved coffee house. Currently in select US cities, this special menu featuring small plates, beer, and wine will be available only after 4pm.

Finally, a good reason not to feel guilty about visiting your local coffee shop twice daily, but...

How will Starbucks regulate the consumption of their wine and beer by the 20 yrs and under baristas that they employ? Starbucks Baristas are free to consume as much caffeine as they can handle during work hours. One that I met recently had even confided that he had taken in over 14 espresso shots that day, and it was only 11am.

See where I'm going with this?

And what about those under aged kids serving their friends. Will they be carding? And are the Starbucks baristas ready to handle someone who has more than a glass or two? Moving from coffee to booze may come at a steeper price than they're planning for.

But then again, none of these things could happen. And with the new Starbucks tipping system in place, our friendly Starbucks baristas could really profit from the new liquid additions to the menu.

What do you think?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Not the otter box you were expecting?

An otter in Norway struck fear in the hearts of diners when it broke into a local fast-food restaurant & promptly went on the attack last week.

Thought to have been injured by a boat propeller moments before, the distraught animal made its way into Skippy's Fast Food in Alesund where he then attacked the owner attempting a rescue.

Sadly, the little guy didn't survive his injuries & was put to rest later at a nearby animal hospital. RIP Mr Otter. You certainly made your mark on the world.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pinkberry Founder Gets 7 Years Without Sprinkles

Back in 2011, Young Lee was one of the co-founders of the fastest-growing chain of fro-yo in America. But then he decided to beat a homeless man with a tire iron...yeah, you read that right.

According to reports the victim apparently flashed a less-than-tasteful tattoo at the car Lee was driving, which happened to also be carrying his fiance' and other friends. After initially driving off, Lee returned with a tire iron which he used to break the man's arm, among other injuries. To make sure he didn't get a reprieve for good behavior while serving his sentence, during the trial Lee threatened a witness with, "I'm going to cut the throat of your mother, your wife, your daughter and you."  Lock him up Judge.

Heading to prison with the nickname "Pinkberry" might be the greatest justice of all....

Friday, March 14, 2014

Who's really in the kitchen at your favorite chains?

Chain restaurants often get a bad rap in the foodie world for being too processed and too generic. But several big name chains have partnered with big name chefs to liven up menus across America. Read on to learn who's really in the kitchen at your favorite chain.


Ever tried anything off the Cantina menu?  Yep, thank Top Chef alum Lorena Garcia for bringing fresh & authentic Mexican flavors to what used to be a menu geared only towards late-night, booze-filled diners.


In what has come to be one of the more controversial partnerships in the foodie world, Tyler Florence was offered $3 million for "10 days & 10 recipes" worth of work back in 2006.  Not bad, right?  While he admits the partnership was headed in the right direction - think roasted chicken instead of fried & organic options - he ultimately ended his deal with Applebee's shortly after all the "sell out" press hit the fan.


A few years ago someone in the KFC family "discovered" never-before-seen recipes from The Colonel himself, written in his own hand.  Planning to turn this manuscript into a biography about "the original celebrity chef", they hired Top Chef Texas Chef-testant Edward Lee to drum up buzz about the project.  He's been all over YouTube whipping up the recipes with his own "modern twist".  Will any of them appear on the menu?  Probably not, but you can always give the recipes a go in your own kitchen.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sick of Juan Pablo? Jimmy Kimmel Presents: The BBQ Bachelor!

Jimmy Kimmel is known for his hilarious reality show spoofs, and he didn't disappoint this week during his live show from Austin's SXSW festival with "The Barbecue Bachelor".

On the hunt for the best barbecue in Austin, Kimmel theorized that once said deliciousness was found "who wouldn't want to marry it"? Hitting up well-known favorites Franklin Barbecue, Mickelthwait Craft Meats, John Mueller Meat Co, and La Barbecue, each chef-owner was judged as a potential "rib bone winner". In the end, Kimmel couldn't choose just one, awarding all 4 a rib bone.


Have you been to Austin & tried any of these restaurants?  Do you agree with The Barbecue Bachelor's decision??

Bravo’s Top Chef Winners: Where Are They Now??

Already suffering a little Bravo TV Top Chef withdrawal?  While you anxiously await the premier of Top Chef Season 12, read up on where these Top Chef Winners are now.

Season 1 winner Harold Dieterle is now the owner of three NYC restaurants, Perilla, Kin Shop, and The Marrow. He spent part of his prize money to attend the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, where he met his fellow-foodie wife Meredith.

Season 2 saw the talented Ilan D. Hal take home the prize. Since then he has opened his first restaurant, The Gorbals, in downtown LA.  And his proudest achievement since winning Top Chef?  Becoming a father!  You can catch him on Esquire Network’s Knife Fight, Tuesdays at 9p & 9:30p EST.

In Top Chef Season 3, Hung Huynh set a whole new culinary standard for future winners. His gastronomic creativity and flawless execution made it pretty much impossible for anyone to compete against him. What we loved the most: he managed to stay “somewhat” humble throughout the competition (hint hint, Marcel). He’s known for his Vietnamese-American cookery and is now the executive chef of Catch, The General, and Catch Miami restaurants.

In Season 4, Stephanie Izard became the first woman to win Top Chef. She has since opened her second restaurant based out of Chicago called Little Goat. She also published her first cookbook, “Girl in the Kitchen”. She currently lives in Chicago with her dog Burt.

Hosea Rosenberg took home the Top Chef title in Season 5.  He lives in Boulder, CO and is the owner of Blackbelly Catering. Little known fact: He actually has a degree in Engineering Physics! Brains, beauty and creativity? Damn.

In season 6, the tattoo-clad Michael Voltaggio, Chef at Ink in LA, came out the Top Chef winner against his own brother, Brian Voltaggio! When asked about his dining pet peeves he responded by saying: “When servers ask the guest, ‘How are we enjoying things tonight?’” when they're not sitting at the table. Really, Michael? That’s your BIGGEST pet peeve? Smile, Mikey. You’re the big winner.

Kevin Sbraga was the winner of Top Chef Season 7. Kevin was the dark horse in the running, but had the audience cheering when he was announced as a Top Chef Winner. Originally from New Jersey , Kevin is now the proud owner of Sbraga, a modern American restaurant in Philadelphia. Looks like Sbraga thrives on competition, having won “Best Meat Presentation” in the Bocuse d’Or USA Culinary Competition before winning Top Chef.

Richard Blais has had a busy couple of years after winning the title of ‘Top Chef’ on Season 8 of The Bravo TV hit series.  Blais currently hosts the TASTED YouTube show BurgerLab. He also just came out with a cookbook titled "Try this at Home: Recipes from My Head to Your Plate”. He runs two Atlanta-based restaurants: FLIP Burger Boutique and The Spence. But what we miss most? His bromance with the fabulous Fabio Viviani.

Season 9 saw Paul Qui the title of ‘Top Chef’. At the time, he was in the kitchen of his flagship restaurant, Uchi, and was recently named James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef, Southwest”.  Since his time in front of the Top Chef Judges’ Table he has opened 2 additional restaurants, Uchi Houston & Uchiko, which was named one of the “Best New  Restaurants in America” by GQ Magazine.

Kristen Kish is the Season 10 winner and only the second woman to win the title of ‘Top Chef’. She was recently promoted to Chef de Cuisine at Menton in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston, MA. During her tenure at Menton, the restaurant was named “Best New Restaurant” by both Bon App├ętit & Esquire Magazines, and was nominated for “Best New Restaurant” by the James Beard Foundation.

Unlike many TV-based culinary competitions, winning the title of “Top Chef” is one of the most prestigious accomplishments in the culinary industry and has proven to lead to gastronomic stardom. With the wrap up of Bravo TV’s Top Chef Season 11, we can’t wait to see what follows Top Chef: New Orleans winner, Nicholas Elmi. But we know it will be great.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Top Chefs Cruise to Ports Near You!

Celebrity Cruises has announced four upcoming Top Chef-themed cruises for the die-hard foodie in you!  With sailings around the Caribbean, Alaska, and Europe with some of your favorite cheftestants, you're sure to enjoy the destination as much as the fabulous food-filled trip.

Think you have what it takes to be a cheftestant?  Test your chops when you face-off against fellow cruisers in a Quickfire challenge.  And eat at the Judge's Table with dishes pulled straight from your favorite episodes!

With the first sailing as early as July 2014 you'll want to book now!  Visit Celebrity Cruises website for all the details!

Fake Chef Wins Big Against Morning TV

Nick Prueher isn't a chef, but he sure did convince several local news anchors that he was!  Posing as "Chef Keith", author of the soon-to-be-released "cookbook", Leftovers Right: Making a Winner of Last Night's Dinner, Nick was able to pull off this hilarious prank on several different networks in the Midwest.

See highlights of him in action in this video from his website Found Footage Fest:


If the confusing recipes and cooking methods didn't reek of a jokster, somebody should have known something was up when he canceled his book signing later that day on live television.  Luckily for us, no one did and the internet has one more awesome video to help us waste some time....

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pizza Delivery at the Oscars

Sunday night's Academy Awards saw lots of big Hollywood winners, but the real star of the show turned out to be the pizza party that happened in the middle of it!

Host & funny gal Ellen DeGeneres joked early on that maybe she should have pizza delivered to her A-list audience....and then she actually did!

Brad Pitt assisted in doling out plates & napkins to the high-fashion diners before noshing on a slice himself (pepperoni).

Kudos to the pizza delivery guy from LA local spot Big Mama's & Papa's pizza for gamely marching on stage during the live broadcast to deliver the order of several pies. (And yes, he did get a very nice tip!)

Lesson here?  Pizza always wins.

Giant Wave Crashes Santa Barbara's Moby Dick Restaurant

Diners at Santa Barbara's Moby Dick Restaurant might think twice the next time they ask for a table with a view.... 

A recent winter storm along California's southern coast brought the sea to the table - literally.  Check out this video shot by a patron in the restaurant:


Luckily no one was hurt, and the restaurant didn't even suffer much damage - but the diners at this seaside spot certainly won't forget their dining experience any time soon!  We wonder how much longer the owners will hang on to the "million dollar view at every table" tagline?