Posts for April 17, 2012

Pops Celebrates 30th Anniversary By Looking for New Home


Pops for Champagne is celebrating 30 years in the business, and in an interview with Eater Chicago, owner Tom Verhey recalls "We were a pioneer back in Lakeview and there were few nightlife places back then; it was a tough neighborhood." We happened to be living about a block away from Pops when it opened and can confirm that when Pops moved in, it made it a little easier to live among the chop shops and the storefront strip joints that were our neighbors on Southport. Pops has moved a few times since then, and now they're looking outside the state for a new home.

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This Ridiculously Huge Yellow Truck Belongs to Guy Fieri

We didn't realize, as we were collecting and captioning the photos from Pebble Beach Food & Wine yesterday, that the gargantuan, tricked-out, yellow SUV/truck thing that Elizabeth Falkner posed in front of belonged to none other than Guy Fieri. In retrospect, we should have known. As many of you may recall, his other car used to be a yellow Lamborghini, but that got stolen. Way to stay true to your brand, Fieri! [Earlier]

Why Are Canada’s McNuggets Saltier Than America’s?

Canadian McNuggets, eh.

Fast food is basically one giant salt bomb, which you've probably gathered from years of empirical research at the fringes of a greased-stained bag. But according to a new study conducted by World Action on Salt and Health, not all fast food gets salted equally. For example, researchers found varying levels of sodium while studying an international spread of Chicken McNuggets. The sample from the U.S. contained 1.5 grams of salt per serving, while the sample from typically safe-and-sane Canada contained 1.7 grams, and England's packed less than half of that, with just 0.6 grams of salt per serving. Elsewhere, the McNugget researchers found wavering salt content in samples procured in France, New Zealand, and Australia. So what does the research prove exactly (besides reminding us Yanks that we're still hopelessly unhealthy)?

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Is Martha Stewart to Blame for the Scarcity of Ramps?

This looks like it's more than half a peck.Photo: Courtesy of Amis

The only thing that gets those with locavore leanings frothing at the mouth more than the arrival of ramps each spring is their appearance on restaurants’ menus. But who can we blame for the dwindling populations of the precious and most elusive wild spring onion? Smithsonian is pointing fingers at Martha Stewart. In a piece today about the growing scarcity of ramps, and no signs of their popularity or the practice of foraging them from their native habitats letting up, it says that a recipe that appeared in Martha Stewart Living Magazine back in the nineties is a sort of patient zero for the growing problem.

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Home Cooks Seem to Get a Break... But Not Really

According to Illinois Statehouse News, "A new state law makes it easier for home cooks to sell their breads, pies, jellies and other goods at farmers markets, as long as they register with the local government and label their food uncertified." Sounds like a good deal for home-based cooks, right? Well, as you might imagine, it's not as simple as it sounds.

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Baconfest: Pictures from an Exhibition of Excess

This past weekend at the University of Illinois, 3,000 lovers of bacon — and over 100 chefs who cater to their pork belly-sized appetites — gathered to celebrate the tastiest of all gifts bestowed by the world of animals upon the world of humans. Anyone who did not leave the event in a pork coma could not have fully appreciated the immensity of this experience, which challenged even the most compendious of appetites. Check out all the action in our slideshow, straight ahead.

Watch the Country's Best Chefs Pay Tribute to Thomas Keller

The tribute dinners at Pebble Beach Food & Wine are always star-studded affairs, where the country's best chefs cook for each other (and a room full of people who dropped over a grand to rub elbows). Years past have seen Tom Colicchio, Daniel Boulud, and Jacques Pepin taking turns as honorees; this year the spotlight was on Thomas Keller. And as part of the ceremony, a 16-minute video honoring Keller debuted. World-famous chefs like Eric Ripert, Tom Colicchio, and Daniel Humm all pop up to sing Keller's praises, and Boulud lets slip that he wanted to open a bistro called Bouchon before Keller did. (Keller's response, during a thank-you speech: "Bouchon is mine. Get over it.") We're not 100 percent sure Bouchon Beverly Hills chef Rory Herrmann is kidding when he says Keller makes his chefs caddy for him at least once a month, but the line certainly got the biggest laugh of the night. Watch the whole thing, straight ahead.

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Deadliest Catch: 59,000 Pounds of Tuna Recalled After Salmonella Outbreak

Watch out.

You’ve seen the small print on many menus, warning you about the dangers of eating raw fish or meat. Those dangers become greater when the fish or meat is ground up (which increases the chances of bad stuff getting into the food). Granted, ground fish seems like it might be a rare occurrence, but as Monica Eng warns in the Chicago Tribune, Salmonella has sickened many who have eaten scrape, the tuna back meat scraped off the bones and used in “certain sushi, sashimi, or ceviche preparations that call for a chopped or ground tuna product, most commonly spicy tuna rolls.” And now the California supplier of the tuna, which came from India, has recalled nearly 60,000 pounds of funky fish.

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