Posts for November 12, 2012

White Chocolate Peppermint Pringles Exist

Limited edition.Photo: Courtesy Kellogg's

Here's the first sign that a White Chocolate Peppermint Pringles flavor does, in fact, exist. Legend says a crack team of snack researchers engineered these chips to evoke a one-night stand between a naïve Idaho potato and a semi-tragic, cocoa-buttery candy cane with an indistinguishable accent. Was that Finnish she was spoke? We'll never know. Anyhow, these chips are apparently keeping their holiday-themed brethren flavor Cinnamon Sugar in good company on grocery-store shelves across the nation. There's also a Pumpkin Pie Spice kind, but you must travel to Wal-Mart for that one.

What to Eat at Bar Pastoral, Opening Tonight

Photo: courtesy Bar Pastoral

Last week one part of Chrissy Camba's secret life was revealed when Top Chef Season 10 began; this week the other part, her new job at Bar Pastoral, will be unveiled. An extension of the much-loved Pastoral wine and cheese shops (and attached to the original one at 2945 N. Broadway), her food will be one piece of a dining and drinking experience including the beverage program (under Mark Hayes) and the cheese selections by cheesemonger Bryan Bland, stressing wine-friendly noshes like housemade charcuterie, merguez-stuffed apricots, and a pear-ricotta and Saxony grilled cheese sandwich. We've got the menus for both food and wine below; check them out.

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Poisonous Mushroom Soup Kills Two at Northern California Nursing Home

Don't even think about it.

This past weekend brought another cautionary tale for all amateur foragers out there: Two elderly women died and four other people were sickened after consuming some wild mushroom soup at an assisted living facility in Placer County, California. Barbara Lopes, 86, and Teresa Olesniewicz, 73, both died Friday, and the caregiver who harvested the mushrooms and made the soup was also hospitalized, along with three others.

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Anthony Bourdain Is Still Pretty Angry About That Whole Cadillac Thing

"Though not quite a virgin, I have tried to remain fairly pure."Photo: Sean Mathis/WireImage

The reason Anthony Bourdain tweeted a fist-full of expletives at the Travel Channel and Cadillac last week on the night of the No Reservations series finale is simply because Anthony Bourdain does not sell out. "It was clearly expressed in writing," he explains on Tumblr today, "clearly understood and agreed to that I would not use or mention any products in my show and my name and image would not be used in connection with any products in return for anything of value or any other consideration without my specific agreement." The chef and TV personality also apologizes to any of the car manufacturer's assembly line workers he may have inadvertantly offended. [Anthony Bourdain/Tumblr, Earlier]

How To Make a Pig Face at Girl & the Goat

It warrants no fewer than two "don't look at this if it's going to gross you out" warnings— and yes, the shots are Lecterishly grisly for those who don't work in kitchens. What is it? It's a slideshow at Serious Eats Chicago documenting the creation of one of modern Chicago's most iconic dishes, Girl & the Goat's famous "roasted pig face," which is a classic Italian head cheese, testa, served with an egg and a few other things. This is what whole animal cooking really means— using all the meat from every part of the animal, rather than wasting it and serving only the choice cuts— and we think everyone who's serious about eating should at least be serious about looking it in the face. The photos are by our man Huge Galdones. [SE Chicago]

Got Tamales And They're Red Hot at Tamalefest This Sunday

Gapers Block alerts us to the existence of a festival we knew nothing about, but are happy to make the acquaintance of: Tamalefest. Well, strictly speaking it's Feria del Tamale, because this is an authentic Latino festival, held at Benito Juarez Community Academy at Ashland and Cermak, complete with competition for the best tamale as well as for the best atole (a thick cornmeal-based drink). This seems to be its second year and promises 50 different varieties of tamales, a big enthusistic crowd, music and games for the whole family. It's this Sunday from 9 to 4; read more about it from the aptly-named Andie Thomalla (pronounce it aloud). [Gapers Block]

Video Feed: First Two Contestants Vie For the Chef Job at Table, Donkey & Stick, Plus: Last Chef Tickets!

Last week the first two contestants vying for the spot of chef at the upcoming Table, Donkey and Stick cooked their pop-up dinners— and now you can see for yourself how they did and what the diners thought about it. Each had to show how they'd execute the idea of an Alpine inn-inspired menu with a focus on whole animal cooking. Jon Keeley, who had been sous chef at Bonsoirée, the restaurant in the space which Table, Donkey and Stick will occupy, until it closed a few weeks ago, chose rabbit for his whole animal, using it in a squid ink pappardelle with rabbit loin and shredded rabbit meat. While Scott Manley, who's worked at Vie and EL Ideas, went with a boar from Slagel Farm, making a boar sauerbraten, sausages and more— not to mention using pine needles and pine cone syrup in his dessert ("Pine, Alpine, hey!" as he explained). So which dinner was better? Which one came closest to the concept of an Alpine inn's hearty simple food and hospitality? Judge for yourself in our 7-minute video... and in the meantime, the final chef has been announced and tickets are now available. He's Brian Flach, who comes from Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson, New York, and his dinner will be November 19. Go here for tickets, then come back and watch the first of our three chef's competition videos.

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Jean Banchet Award Nominees Announced

Last year was Next's year at the Jean Banchet Awards, with the most talked about restaurant of 2011 winning Best New Restaurant, Best Fine Dining, and Best Chef-de-Cuisine (Dave Beran). This year the annual Chicago fine dining awards, which benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation with a Grand Chef's Gala in February and are based in part on nominations from diners, are all over the map of Chicago. Especially in the Rising Chef category, which has two in Lincoln Square (Elizabeth and Goosefoot) and two on the north shore (Moderno and Market House on the Square). While that's not to say downtown and Randolph Street exactly go unrepresented, it's an interesting list for suggesting a scene that's evolving in many directions, not just focused on one or two, mostly business-dining-oriented strips. Check out the full list of nominees below; the gala and awards, which raised over half a million dollars for cystic fibrosis research last year, will be February 8.

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