We indulged a little this week. We got down to the science of naturally lactose-free cheeses for the lactose intolerant (yes, whey!), geeked out over the Big Green Egg festival, found the world’s first public wine fountain and went big in the Valley of the Sun. We also spoke to chefs about cooking with blood. Halloween is only weeks away, after all. All that and more in this week’s Hot Topics.

  1. You must visit these 14 restaurants and bars the next time you’re in Phoenix, Arizona.
  2. Eggtoberfest is the Comic-Con for all Big Green Egg heads.
  3. Good hospitality in bars is key, but does it rely on bartenders or guests?
  4. Need a satisfying lunch? Look no further than this steak, green peppers and blue cheese sandwich.
  5. The world’s first public wine fountain was installed in Italy. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  6. Do naturally lactose-free cheeses exist?
  7. Cooking with blood adds richness to a dish. It’s versatile. These top chefs tell us how to do it at home.
  8. We perfected the classic poached salmon and dill sauce in our Test Kitchen. Here’s the recipe.
  9. Joe Beef’s empire in Montreal is all about anti-chefiness and that bon vivant spirit.
  10. Are you familiar with crosnes? They’re like sunchokes, and they’re in season now.