If you are a food geek you already know this. But for those of you who don’t keep up with the fascinating world of gastronomic experimentation through biology, chemistry, neuroscience, and physics, the Taste of Science presented by The World Science Festival is a big deal. The event took place last weekend in New York. The sessions featured neuroscientists, biophysicists, food scientists, chemists, mixologists and chefs. And right there with Wylie Dufresne (WD-50), Maxime Bilet (co-author of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking) and César Vega (Food Scientist with the physical chemistry of cocoa and chocolate), was Private Social chef Najat Kaanache. For the photos, check out this gallery in the Wall Street Journal.
I don’t know what took our state legislature so long to pick a state pie for Texas, but they did so today. Their choice is a duh–the state tree is the pecan. Now the fruit (drupaceous nut) from the tree mixed with copious amounts of Karo Syrup, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla can take its place beside the bluebonnet, Mockingbird, and friendship (our state motto).6 Comments »
Sorry, I don’t have a picture of the gorgeous plate of geoduck served at Spoon Bar & Kitchen in Dallas. I only have this picture of me harvesting the wild beast near Puget Sound. Kidding aside, my first encounter with a geoduck clam was visual: Anthony Bourdain, when he was still hot, shot an episode of No Reservations, when it was hot, somewhere in the Northwest. I watched in horror as Tony and his crew stuck their heads deep in wet sand and pulled these ugly suckers out.
They certainly look different on a white Bernardaud china platter at Spoon. Chef John Tesar allows the ugly clam to shine with just a touch of chili oil and Himalayan sea salt. Truly delicious.
UPPITY DATE: Alan Russell sends a photo of Spoon’s crudo plate (geoduck front left).4 Comments »
Matt McCallister likes to eat at Mission Chinese Food when he’s in New York City, and he once found a baby snake while foraging for spring onions. He runs 6 miles on a treadmill to take the edge off when he’s had a rough day. His wife, Iris, owns a small brownie-making concern. She is picky about the soaps she uses in her bathroom, and she got an awesome new computer for Christmas. I know these things about the McCallisters because I read Facebook and pay attention to Twitter.
I find it fascinating that so much of McCallister’s success—or, at the very least, his name recognition—has been generated through social media. Certainly his bio doesn’t suggest that he has done as much “gutter time” as other local talents. I’m not saying the man isn’t talented. But I do think he is the first prestigious Dallas chef to earn his celebrity status with food blogs and social media, before he opened his first restaurant. After just seven years in the business, he stands in the kitchen of the most talked-about restaurant in Dallas, FT33.
Have you been? Let us hear about it.7 Comments »
I have never understood the popularity of chicken wings. The majority of the ones I have tried are just masses of fried dough swimming in a hot or sweet sauce. Sometimes there is even a wad of what looks like chicken meat on the inside.
This Sunday, Super Bowl watchers will consume 1.25 BILLION chicken wings. PETA reports 600 million chickens are killed just to satiate football fans for one day. I’m not a card-carrying PETA member, but of all of the animals we consume, chickens get the shaft. And it makes me crazy when people refuse to eat red meat because they consider the action unethical, but have no problem eating chicken. Especially when you can do a little research and make better choices of the meats you do choose to consume. However, there is nothing good about chicken wings.2 Comments »
FT33 and Chef Matt McCallister will welcome Chef Randy Rucker of Houston, for a guest chef dinner and a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Rucker, winner of the 2011 Houston Rising Star award will bring his classical Southern perspective infused with modern techniques to McCallister’s season-inspired modern cuisine for a one-night-only culinary event. The evening will highlight bounty from both McCallister and Rucker’s foraging expeditions throughout the Texas woods in an innovative 14-course small plates menu. The dinner is Monday, January 14 at 6PM. $125 per person; $150 with wine pairings (plus tax and gratuity), 214-741-2629. (photos by Kevin Marple)
Anybody been to Bowery for a hot dog? Todd Johnson has eaten most of them and he files this report.
It looks like gourmet burgers have moved aside to make room for hot dogs as the next comfort food to get its trendy haute cuisine moment in Dallas, as evidenced by a number of planned openings by restaurateurs such as Phil Romano (Hofmann Hots) and Sarah Lombardi of Lombardi Family Concepts (Dog House). Add Tiffanee and Richard Ellman of Oak and John Paul Valverde of the recently shuttered Campo Modern to that list. The threesome partnered to open Bowery Uptown in mid-July. The original menu was dominated by dogs of all kinds, from the Chicago style to a savory beer-braised bratwurst to a duck sausage topped with seared foie gras. That last one cost $18.
If I ever want to get a good sleep I have to turn my computer off. If I don’t, I run the risk of passing it in the middle of the night and noticing the little green light next to Teresa “Gubbshoe” Gubbins’ name on gTalk. For while I am making a middle-of-the-night bathroom run, Gubbshoe is scouring Facebook, Craig’s List, Angie’s List, and this list, and beating stories out if the internet bushes. I swear she is a vampire.
This morning she shines a beacon on the big news in East Dallas: Jay “The J” Jerrier is opening a second location of Cane Rosso at 7328 Gaston Ave. at Grand Avenue, near White Rock Lake. (I know something about Jay that she doesn’t but I’m not telling!)
Anywhoo, it begs the question: Does North Oak Cliff have a hipper food scene than East Dallas? Or vice versa?
Do you like the Goodfriend-Mecca-Matt’s-Barbec’s sensibility of East Dallas or the Oddfellows-Bolsa-Boulevardier-Smoke-Hattie’s vibe of Bishop Arts District and North Oak Cliff? And WTF, Marc Cassel? Will you ever open?14 Comments »
Last week I heard there was trouble brewing at Acme F & B. My insider, Garganta Profunda de una Vaca, relayed intel: The four owners were in disagreement over the “meat allocation program and front of the house service system.” GPDUV said Acme F&B c0-owners (Team Barcadia), Brooke Humphries and Brianna Larson, bought out co-owners Colleen O’Hare and Jeana Johnson, (Team Good 2 Go Taco, Goodfriend).
I emailed Jeana Johnson last Monday and asked if the buyout scenario was true. She replied, “This is not true.” I pushed, “Are you still owners.” Johnson typed, “Yes we are.” I smelled a lawyer. I went on to bigger and better things.
Last Friday, at 6:56PM, Johnson sent me an update: “Ok NOW we are no longer owners of Acme.” (Attorney aroma again.)
Perhaps it’s as simple as the too-many-cooks syndrome. But since the restaurant opened on June 1, there have been confusing signals. Our First Look, written by Carol Shih, painted this picture:
Each table also has a front wait who brings the food to your table, and a captain who guides you through the menu. He or she is the one who explains to new guests why ACME F&B changes its menu daily, stressing the importance of what the Good To Go and Barcadia women are trying to implement: better treatment of farmers while keeping the quality of food top-notch.
A little less than four months later another picture emerged: Norm Grimm was named executive chef. Grimm’s appointment was somewhat surprising since most of us assumed O’Hare and Johnson, the names most closely associated with the food program, were in the kitchen. We called, we asked, and we were assured this was a natural progression of their business plan.
Mierda happens. It certainly has at Acme F& B. Humphries, Larson, and Grimm, all eyes are on you. Bring us your best game.
(Side note: Humphries and Larson are opening a third Barcadia location in New Orleans.)7 Comments »
Last October, Anthony “Tony” Bourdain graced Dallas with his presence when he appeared before a sellout crowd at The Majestic Theater. (Check out the pictures we snapped here.
“T” also spent a few weeks hanging out at SXSW in Austin this spring where he filmed a episode on Texas barbecue with local BBQ Snob, Daniel Vaughn. Bourdain will be back in November for a show with his super chef pal, Eric Ripert at Bass Hall on November 9.
Have you had your fill of Bourdain or are you headed west with The Brad?3 Comments »
I was excited to try Max’s Wine Dine. I love Champagne and fried chicken. Been pairing them together since college. Monday night I unofficially dined at Max’s with some dear friends. Good News: The Henri Billiot Brut Rose Champagne was a lovely way to end a day. Bad News: The pan borracho (“drunk bread) is a disgusting mess of torn sourdough bread, prosciutto, and thyme soaked in a savory white wine custard and baked with Gruyere, provolone, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. It, unlike the fried chicken, is not meant to be paired with Champagne. This dish is a culinary crime and felony charges ought to be filed. Can I get a witness.
Hey, wanna play a guessing game? Go below.6 Comments »
Last night I dropped by Tried and True, the newest bar/restaurant creation by Nick Badovinus. I don’t know how this man does it, but he has pulled together another unique and spirited concept. Badovinus has a loyal team of chefs who helped him construct yet another ingenious food menu. It’s short, but oh so cool: whiskey pate, flat top pork chop and country ham sandwich topped with smoked cheddar and house made apple butter ($13); peppered beef nachos ($11); and platters of country hams from Broadbent (Kuttawa, KY), Meacham (Sturgis, KY), and Benton (Madisonville, TN). The full menu is here!
Cocktails feature 86 Company Spirits, founded by Jason Kosmas. The beer selection is divided into Texas, American, and International. The whiskey program at TNT is vast and includes bourbon from some of Kentucky’s legendary distilleries such as Woodford Reserve’s small batch, Makers Mark ‘46’, and Four Roses’ small batch listed alongside a Old Rip Van Winkle (aged for ten years) and the 100-proof Rock Hill Farms single barrel straight bourbon.
I’ve cruised past the construction site of John Tesar’s new restaurant, Spoon in Preston Center, several times this month and noticed zero activity. The permits were not on the windows and there was no construction taking place. Yesterday I checked Tesar’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, then texted and called him, and nothing. Last night I spoke with his rep, Bev Garvin. She says all is well and construction is “back underway.” They are preparing to knock down the front of the space and, after that, “expect a six-to-eight week turnaround.”
I asked her Tesar’s whereabouts and she giggled a bit. “I can’t tell you,” she said. “I only get to talk to him when they allow him access to phones or when they let him have phones.”
After I lifted my jaw off my desk, I asked, “Well, should I check the roster at Betty Ford Clinic or San Quentin?” She giggled again, nervously. “No, it’s all good I can’t tell you. If you poke around you might find out more.” She did say he would be back in Dallas on July 31.
I don’t feel like poking, so let’s play “Where’s John Tesar?” Prize worth $100 to the winner. (Some people, and you know who you are, are not eligible to play.)
I am going out on a long white oak limb here: Meditating in India.
Okay, your turn, GO!34 Comments »
Kobayashi, excuse me, Kobi (小林尊), is the “Japanese eating sensation” who has claimed “dozens of competitive eating titles, including downing a world record 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes in July 2011.” That is not a typo. SIXTY NINE. (He also inhaled 337 chicken wings in 37 minutes.)
This morning Hofmann Sausage Company of Syracuse and the Zaccanelli Food Group of Dallas signed Kobi (please don’t confuse him with this loser) “as a business partner and brand ambassador.” Kobi joins, wait for it, the “Dream Team of Hofmann ownership which includes Roger Staubach, Frank Zaccanelli, Phil Romano, and Jim Boeheim and drives the creation of a new business division designed to expand the U.S. and international reach of Hofmann Hot Dogs.”
In other words, Hofmann Hot Dogs, the oldest hot dog company in America, are now posed to become the new hamburger. If Dallas restaurateur Phil Romano has his way, every child in America will eat 2,000 pounds of Hofmann hot dogs a year. Romano plans to roll out hundreds (thousands?) of Hofmann hot dog restaurants across the country. First one is set to open in Trinity Groves.
If you don’t believe me, you can just jump.
If you don’t want to jump, you can watch Kobayashi eat…6 Comments »
Recently Applebee’s launched a new ad campaign. (It has Don Draper written all over it!) The tagline is “See You Tomorrow.” According to ADWEEK, it “positions Applebee’s as the champion of a sort of anti-foodie backlash, pitching fare that purports to be tasty, and simple, but still somewhat classy—for example, new summer dishes like Lemon Shrimp Fettucine and Florentine House Sirloin.” The TV commercials feature “chefs” with names like “Carl” who wax poetic over their ingredients only to be stopped by a voice from above: “Carl, you’re doing it again. You’re talking about tomatoes like they’re your children.”
The money quote from the piece: “It’s classic food porn with a faux-haute twist—a dinner bell for the happily apathetic.”
Fascinating stuff. Check out how many people it took to pull this campaign together: four Content Managers, three Cognitive Anthropologists, seven Creative Directors, and scads of “Peggys,” “Rogers,” and “Petes.”
One question. What is classic food porn? No, make that two. Are you happily apathetic?12 Comments »
Check out this vintage sign that was shipped to Dallas. It’s currently getting hooked up inside a local restaurant. Guess the name of the place and you will win a Godiva Chocolate black-almond-truffle-scented candle.36 Comments »
Jay Jerrier is either the smartest restaurateur when it comes to using social media effectively or a total social media whore. The distinction doesn’t matter. He has 5,000 “likes” on his Facebook page and, to celebrate, he “doing $1 pizzas tonight at Cane Rosso from 6pm – 9pm.” His goal is to real 10,000 “likes” and do it again. Rules:
Tonight only at our Deep Ellum restaurant
- $1 Marinara, Margherita, or Focaccia…no additions or substitutions
- Dine In ONLY
- 6pm – 9pm…we open at 6pm!!
- Be nice to your servers (i.e. please tip them like you paid full price…a $0.25 tip is not cool)
- It is NOT BYOB tonight
Who knows what will happen if Facebook adds a “love” button. Let’s get this party started.3 Comments »
See the picture of the nice man? His name is Bob Derian and he is a chef. His official title is Director of Food & Beverage Innovation at RaceTrac Petroleum. His job is to create a delightful food experience in a gas station convenience store. We love good food in gas stations, especially tacos. But a chef-driven gas station is unique.
Brace yourself, Bertha. On June 21, Little Elm will debut the first RaceTrac’s RT6K store in our area. The 6,000-square foot gasoline convenience store will feature a 24-hour Swirl World Yogurt frozen yogurt shop with more than 40 toppings to choose from, a walk-in beer cooler, free Wi-Fi, tasty breakfast items, premium coffee, and outdoor seating. I can’t wait until John Tesar gets his hands on this concept. A free sous-vide burger with every fill-up. Oh, the possibilities are endless. (2100 FM 423. Little Elm, TX 75068)2 Comments »