Posts for January 7, 2013

Canadian Chef Jonathan Gushue Is Missing

Gushue, at the restaurant.Photo: Courtesy Langdon Hall

The 41-year-old executive chef of the Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa in Cambridge, Ontario, has been missing for more than a week, police say, and they're turning to the public for help in locating him. Jonathan Gushue was last seen on New Year's Eve in downtown Toronto. Authorities tell the Waterloo Record that the chef, who is five foot ten and 180 pounds with short, dark hair and blue eyes, may be using the surname Herder, which is actually his middle name.

Last seen one week ago. »

Massive Bluefin Tuna Sells for $1.76 Million at Tokyo Auction

Saturday was the first tuna auction of the year at Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, and a single, 489-pound bluefin tuna sold to a sushi restaurant magnate for a staggering 155 million yen — that would be $1.76 million, or $3,600 per pound. The buyer, as multiple outlets have reported, was Kiyoshi Kimura, owner of the Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain; and some customers at one of his restaurants Saturday night got to sample slices of the prized, gargantuan fish.

Read more »

Join Avec's Erling Wu-Bower at Leopold February 4

Erling Wu-Bower of Avec.

Leopold, under new chef Michael Dean Reynolds, is doing its part to solve the eternal what-to-do-on-Monday question by kicking off a series of Monday night collaborative pop-up dinners. The first one, February 4, is called The Old Farm at Leopold and the guest chef will be Erling Wu-Bower of Avec; he'll be collaborating on a five-course dinner for $65, plus beverages from Leopold's celebrated beer list, wine or cocktails. It begins with cocktails at 6:30 and dinner at 7:30; there are only 30 seats, sold by ticket, so call Lizzie at 312-348-1028 to get yours today.

Singer of Chili’s Baby Back Ribs Jingle Remembered on Best Funeral Ever

TLC's new reality show Best Funeral Ever chronicles extravagant services for the dearly departed. They're more like grotesque celebrations of death (did nobody take The Hunger Games seriously?). One of the episodes features the barbecue-themed funeral of Willie McCoy, the voice of the catchiest jingle ever. There's a fountain of sauce, ribs to feed the mourners, and live pigs. And his coffin looks like a smoker.

A sneak peek ahead, if you can stomach it. »

Slideshow: See Christina Tosi and Other Top Pastry Chefs at the Trenchermen

It wasn't billed as an international pastry-chef summit, but that's what we'd call it when a place that doesn't even have a pastry chef, per se, manages to attract stars such as Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York, Rosio Sanchez of Noma in Copenhagen, and Dana Cree of Blackbird in Chicago to hang out for a night. The event was called Killing Me Sweetly, held for charity at the Trenchermen. In keeping with chef-owners' Mike and Pat Sheerin's own inclinations to blur the lines between savory and sweet, each of the star pastry chefs (plus an up-and-comer of their choice to assist) was invited to collaborate on both a sweet and a savory course. Which means this is your chance to see what dessert stars like Tosi do with something better suited to a dash of mustard than a dollop of whipped cream. Our man Huge Galdones was there last Thursday night; here's what he saw.

Queen Elizabeth Needs a New Dishwasher

Dust off your résumé: The Queen of England is advertising for a catering assistant. Sounds like a cool gig at first blush. Posh surroundings! Face time with Kate Middleton! Maybe a few pints with Harry! Really, the only down side is that the palace pays rather hideously. According to an ad placed by the Official Website of the British Monarchy, the royals need someone to "maintain the cleanliness of the staff restaurant." The General Catering Assistant must possess the usual qualifications — punctuality, reliability, willingness to travel to various other palaces across the rolling British countryside — and the chosen applicant mustn't require much money. LondonNet points out that the £14,200 salary (about $23,000) for what basically appears to be a dishwashing job works out to a meager £6.83 an hour, which is less than the London living wage of £8.55 an hour. Of course, the palace does throw in "accommodation," which softens the blow a little. And who can blame the Queen for budgeting a bit? She has to pay someone to pre-wear her shoes, after all. [Telegraph UK, British Monarchy Official Site, LondonNet, Earlier]

Michael Simon Leaves Carriage House/The Bedford

Michael Simon's Southern-tinged cocktails were a big part of the acclaim for Mark Steuer's lowcountry restaurant Carriage House when it opened in the middle of last year. But then, Michael Simon's cocktails were a big part of the acclaim for Acadia when it opened toward the end of the previous year. The peripatetic mixologist is up for a Jean Banchet Award for Carriage House this year, but he won't be in the House if it happens— he resigned from the restaurant on Saturday, according to 312 Dining Diva. Chef Mark Steuer told 312DD "Call it creative differences. We appreciate everything he did for us pre- and post-opening and wish him nothing but the best wherever he lands next." [312 Dining Diva]

New Study: Binge Eaters Combine Strange Foods, Then Hate Themselves

Okay, so maybe Taco Bell is onto something with those Doritos tacos. According to a new study from the University of Alabama, the growing practice of secretive "food concocting" — that is, mixing gross shit with other gross shit and eating it — is common among binge eaters. The study, soon to appear in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, states that bingers often secretly create "concoctions" like frozen vegetables mixed with mayonnaise and mashed potatoes layered with Oreo cookies, then feel shame and "disgust."

Read more »

A Brief History of Milkshake-Related Mayhem

Not always as delicious as you might think.Photo: Lew Robertson/Corbis

The other week, after her parents imposed a like, totally life-ruining 10 p.m. Internet curfew, a Sacramento teen decided there was only one thing left to do: Drug her parents by slipping a friend's prescription sleep medicine into milkshakes. Chocolate and vanilla, to be exact, though the parents only drank about half of each because the drinks tasted crunchy and bad. These unassuming folks weren’t the first, however, to be duped by the seemingly sweet treats. Here’s a look at other frozen-dairy-product-related crime throughout the century, broken down by flavor.

It's actually really sad. »

Patricia Yeo Joining Big Bowl And New Asian Barbecue Concept

Six months ago our Boston editor ran a story announcing that Patricia Yeo, then at Moksa in Boston and best known for season four of Top Chef Masters, where she was one of the final four, was leaving that restaurant (and that city) to take "a really good offer in Chicago, a corporate position. I'm getting too old to work in a kitchen. It's more development, more creative." It took many more months but the announcement finally came out last week— Yeo has joined Lettuce Entertain You's Big Bowl in a corporate chef position under Executive Chef Mark Bernard, where she'll work on recipe development and expansion for the pan-Asian chain, as well as for a new Asian barbecue concept which the company is working on. As The Braiser notes, this comes somewhat ironically after Yeo was one of the detractors of fellow cheftestant Lorena Garcia, best known for her work for KFC.

Man Arrested After Revisiting McDonald’s He Had Robbed

"They always return to the scene of the crime."

Somewhere, the Hamburglar is taking a short break from dollar menu reverie to face-palm: A man who robbed a McDonald's restaurant in Pontiac, Michigan, last October 5 returned to the same restaurant this past Saturday, three months after the crime was committed. An employee recognized him while he was in the drive-through and called the cops, who arrested him. It's one thing that the guy was stupid enough to return to the scene, but another that employees at the suburban Detroit McDonald's recognized him. Who says fast-food workers don't pay enough attention on the job? [AP]

Mayan Prophecies Come True: Great Lake Pizza To Close (But For How Long?)

It sent shivers last night through the Chicago food twitterverse, especially as most of it seemed to be bathing in the historical comforts of Downton Abbey at that moment. Crain's reported that universally-acclaimed Great Lake Pizza in Andersonville would be closing at the end of January. The tiny pizzeria, acclaimed for its uncompromising commitment to artisanal pizza, natural ingredients, and doing things exactly how owners Nick Lessins and Lydia Esparza want to do them with no concessions to how every other pizza place in town does them, has declined to renew its lease at 1477 W. Balmoral. This led to much gnashing of teeth that one of the city's most artfully-crafted pizzas, and one that had earned Chicago rare respect from New York media who love mocking Chicago deep dish, would shortly be gone for good. But that's not what the report, by Ari Bendersky, said.

Read more »

Grubstreet Sweeps

Recent reader reviews on MenuPages


NY Mag