Food Republic Where Food, Drink & Culture Unite Fri, 27 May 2016 18:00:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Vegas Dining, Filipino Cuisine, Omakase: 10 Hot Topics On Food Republic Fri, 27 May 2016 18:00:40 +0000
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Glitzy cocktails in Vegas? Hidden speakeasies in Hong Kong? Freshly baked focaccia in Genoa? We certainly traveled the globe this week at Food Republic. On the home front, we grilled steaks and chops in preparation for Memorial Day weekend, tested out five of the culinary world’s newest products and debated issues like the proposed $15 minimum-wage plan at restaurants in NYC and how best to talk to others about your food intolerance. Want to learn the basics of Filipino cuisine? We’ve got you covered. All that and more on this week’s Hot Topics on Food Republic.

  1. Heading to Vegas? Don’t miss these dishes and drinks!
  2. Restaurateurs reacted to New York’s $15 minimum wage.
  3. Shh! Learn the secrets of Hong Kong’s hidden speakeasies.
  4. These are the 11 essential Filipino dishes and ingredients to know.
  5. Pasta, focaccia and gelato! Genoa, Italy, knows how to eat well.
  6. It’s Memorial Day weekend! Celebrate by making these steaks and chops.
  7. NYC is in the midst of an omakase craze. But why?
  8. We tested five of the culinary world’s newest products.
  9. How (and why) to avoid talking about your food intolerance.
  10. Surf ‘n turf: Make these scallop skewers with chorizo!
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A Green-Juice Cocktail With Fresh Kale And Mezcal Fri, 27 May 2016 17:00:54 +0000 DevilsMusic
Now you can enjoy your kale juicing…along with tequila and mezcal.

It’s hard to ignore the proliferation of juicing and its effects on our culture. While cocktails are not technically in line with that lifestyle, spirited drinks have historically kept people healthy over the past few centuries; see the cinchona bark found in a gin & tonic being used to ward off malaria, or limes preventing scurvy for sailors. Fresh ginger is likely the ingredient most often found in both pressed juices and cocktails today, with kale quickly catching up.

At Belle Shoals in Brooklyn, beverage director Pamela Wiznitzer (of Seamstress) and head bartender James Palumbo (formerly of Up & Up) experimented with “wet shaking” kale with various cocktails, similar to the way one would add mint to a drink and then shake to pull out the flavor. Juicing the plant gives it much more color, intensity and consistency in the glass, which is the key feature in the bar’s popular Devil’s Music cocktail, a spicy mezcal drink that harkens back to Palumbo’s southern upbringing and always having a garden on hand.

With Ancho Reyes adding a bit of chili spice in the glass, the Devil Music’s garnish of an Old Bay rim gives it a distinct Maryland feel. Though this is a mezcal drink, the Ilegal Joven has almost no smoke to it, allowing the fresh vegetal flavors and bright citrus to stand out, as well as the cooling properties from the blanco tequila base. With old school blues pumping from the bar’s jukebox and a relaxed country atmosphere, it’s all too easy to be tempted to another by this flavorful green devil. Enjoy.

Devil’s Music

Servings: 1 cocktail

¾ ounce Roca Patron silver tequila
¾ ounce Ilegal Mezcal Joven
¼ ounce Ancho Reyes chili liqueur
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
¼ ounce fresh kale juice
½ ounce honey syrup


  1. Wet the rim of a chilled rocks glass with Old Bay seasoning.
  2. Combine ingredients into shaker tins with ice.
  3. Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice in the rocks glass.

Prep Time: 3 minutes, not including juicing
Difficulty: Easy

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This Cooking-Show Parody Says “Food Doesn’t Have To Be Interesting…Just Edible” Fri, 27 May 2016 15:00:33 +0000 “Fast, reliable, cheap” is how cook (don’t mistake him for a chef) Trev Daley describes his masterpieces, like frozen chicken fingers and nachos with fake cheese and salsa.

In the “Cooks” edition of “This Is That,” a series created by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, preparations of barbecue wings, burgers, and crudité are paired with classical music and slow-motion shots. Chicken fingers thrown in a fryer never looked so good.

The episode is an obvious parody of stuffy food shows like Chef’s Table and is definitely not in any way poking fun at high-quality programs like Mind of a Chef (which is produced by Food Republic parent company Zero Point Zero).

Daley gets down to the nitty-gritty of his food philosophy when he says, “If you’re not getting a dish out in eight minutes for under $14, you’re not doing a good job as a cook.” He also says, “Good food should always be served with a side of fries, or for an extra 50 cents, a Caesar salad.” He also lets viewers in on a little secret about making profits in the restaurant business.

Check out the hilarity below.

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How To Buy Fresh Scallops Like You Know What You’re Doing Fri, 27 May 2016 14:00:59 +0000 maxresdefault
Firm, dry, U/10, saltwater smell — words to live by when buying fresh scallops!

It’s easy to whip up tender scallops in a matter of minutes. Pair ’em with a glass of white wine and you’ve got the perfect start to a summer evening. First, however, you’ve got to make sure you score the very best bivalves on offer at your local fishmonger. Just remember these four terms: firm, dry, U/10, saltwater smell.

So what exactly do these terms mean? You’ll want to look for firm and dry scallops, with a texture almost like pork chops, for one. Avoid shiny, wet and/or soft ones, just like when buying any other fish. Secondly, you should be buying fewer than ten scallops per pound (“U/10” is a kicky way of saying “under 10”) — each should weigh around 1½ or 1¾ ounces. Finally, you don’t want to buy scallops that smell like, well, scallops. A saltwater and/or seaweed smell indicates that they were recently caught, so keep your nose peeled for these.

Check out the brief instructional video below — courtesy of our friends at ChefSteps — and get to searing up an impressive meal tonight!

ChefSteps comprises a team of award-winning chefs, filmmakers, scientists, designers and engineers focused on revolutionizing the way people cook by inspiring creativity and encouraging expertise in the kitchen. You can also get access to all of ChefSteps’ Premium content — including paid classes and dozens of recipes available only to Premium members for a onetime fee — for the special price of $24 (regularly $39). Classes include Sous Vide: Beyond the BasicsFluid GelsFrench Macarons and more!

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Steven Satterfield Went To D.C. To Talk Food Waste With Senators Fri, 27 May 2016 13:30:36 +0000 On Wednesday, as we reported earlier this week, the Food Policy Action Network and its cofounder, Tom Colicchio, visited Congress in Washington, D.C., to discuss the growing problem of food waste in America — estimated to be a $200 billion scourge on our economy, according to Colicchio. One of the chefs in Colicchio’s delegation was Steven Satterfield, who talked to Food Republic shortly after returning to his restaurant, Miller Union, in Atlanta. Satterfield repeated the FPAN’s statistic suggesting that Americans throw out 40 percent of their food; if chefs did that, he points out, “We wouldn’t have a business.” Thus, they headed to DC to share their insights. Here are key takeaways via Satterfield’s firsthand experience:

On what went down in D.C.:
“Several chefs gathered on Capitol Hill to meet with Senate and House members. It was in tandem with a full Agriculture Committee hearing on food waste. It was unprecedented. They split us into groups and we lobbied for consideration of a bill coming down the pipeline to make some progress with this huge problem we have in America.”

On the problem with labeling of packaged goods (one of the topics discussed):
“Packaged foods that have date labels on them are often discarded. We addressed that with the government officials. Date labeling is handled by the manufacturers and not the government, so it’s kind of all over the place in terms of standards. [Labeling] often represents what the manufacturer thinks would be best for food quality but not always food safety. So it prohibits stores from donating because of the perceived lack of safety when in fact the food could be perfectly fine.”

What chefs and food activists hoped to achieve on Capitol Hill:
“Just making [government officials] stop and think about it is a good first step. They understand that we’re business owners and chefs and we took time out of our busy schedules to talk about this. Nobody wants to see food go in the trash, and nobody thinks it’s okay to not feed hungry people. It’s a bipartisan problem that I think we’ll see some unanimous decisions on. The biggest issue is how we get there.”

On how his involvement in the food-waste issue has increased since publishing his cookbook, Root to Leaf, last year:
“It’s a natural progression, and I like that it’s gone in this direction because when you can get behind something and make change, it makes your work matter a lot more. Instead of just going to work and feeding people who pay for the experience, you’re able to shape the whole future of food in America, and that’s something that feels powerful to me.”

For more information on the food-waste issue and a report on how to find solutions to the problem, visit

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This Week In Crimes Against Mexican Food Fri, 27 May 2016 13:00:35 +0000
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All Mexican food ever did to you was satisfy and delight you, with its delicious meats, crunchy vegetables, flavor-packed sauces, multitasking tortillas and all manner of cheese, sour cream, cilantro and lime, ensuring that no moment of your experience is bland. So why are we being such unabashed jerks to a cuisine that never did us wrong? Share our outrage over this week’s crimes against Mexican food, then hold your burrito close and whisper lovingly that you’ll never hurt it.

Taco Bell Forces Fried Chicken Into Taco Shape

Taco Bell’s Naked Crispy Chicken Taco, tested in select markets over the last year and gearing up to launch nationwide, is so much more than your run-of-the-mill pantsless fast-food binge. See, the “naked” doesn’t refer to you (unless it does, which is fine) but to the absence of a taco shell. This latest play on KFC’s world-renowned Double Down swaps out the hard shell for a chicken cutlet. Why? Cause a deep-fried tortilla is no match for a deep-fried chicken circle, and that’s just science talking. What wild creation will come out of Taco Bell’s Innovations Lab next?

12407615_477031892504378_1688751993_nBurrito Fever: Rock Out With Your Guac Out

Disclaimer: NSFW unless you work at a food website. Instagrammer Charlie Q sure is happy to see you…wait, no — that’s a burrito! How one maintains any semblance of rockin’ bod while consuming burritos daily is a welcome mystery to us. Now, some of these shots are a little less appropriate than others, depending on how you feel about sex play with an overstuffed tortilla (judgment-free zone), so peruse with caution and maybe go with pasta for dinner tonight. Definitely beats PETA’s lettuce bras, though.

Nacho PresidentScreen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.00.22 PM

When he’s not eating off-menu taco bowls on Cinco de Mayo, Republican
presidential candidate and noted nacho cheese descendant Donald Trump poses for portraits by artists like Nathan Wyburn. Okay, maybe he doesn’t pose, but he doesn’t have to. Going off one of the Donald’s many documented angry faces — though as some have pointed out, this could also portray an expression of joyfulness at the expense of another — Wyburn re-created his likeness using Old El Paso salsa in a squeeze bottle, flour tortillas and chips. And since those things aren’t exactly our idea of Mexican food, we’re going to go ahead and label this a crime against American food as well.

Un Burrito Con Mucho Hielo, Por Favor

If you’re going to smuggle meth, why not form it into an elongated shape and wrap it in a tortilla? Oh, you don’t want dogs at the border to sniff it out immediately? You should probably find another way. Your fantasy of a customs officer chuckling “Oh, Sparky, your love for carne asada truly knows no bounds — please, miss, welcome to the U.S. and enjoy your lunch” is a little optimistic.

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The Oklahoma City Thunder Is America’s Best Hope For Free Tacos Thu, 26 May 2016 20:00:22 +0000 Back on May 16, when the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder rolled into Oakland, California, and defeated the heavily favored Golden State Warriors, 108-102, in the home team’s own building, the victorious visitors had no idea of the hope they would bring to countless Americans.

Not just Thunder fans, mind you, but fans of free tacos all across the country.

On Thursday, fast-food titan Taco Bell announced it would be giving away free Doritos Loco tacos to customers nationwide if a visiting team manages to win a game on its opponent’s home turf during the NBA finals.

It’s called the “Steal a Game, Steal a Taco” promotion, and it’s a tantalizing offer — albeit one with pretty slim odds.

So far, during this year’s NBA conference finals, home-court advantage has proven very advantageous, with the host team winning all but one of nine total contests.

The Thunder, with its May 16 win in Oakland, is the only team thus far to manage such a feat on the road, making the OKC boys an early favorite to fulfill the free-taco promise.*

*Provided, of course, the Thunder first manages to finish off the intimidating 73-win Warriors; Oklahoma City currently leads the series 3-1. Game 5 is tonight in Oakland. Another road win by the Thunder and the odds of free tacos improve dramatically.

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The Early History Of Ketchup Has Nothing To Do With Tomato Thu, 26 May 2016 18:00:52 +0000 We’re hard-pressed to think of something more American than a hot dog slathered in copious amounts of ketchup. Heck, our Independence Day is practically linked to the foodstuff. But what if we told you that the tomato-based concoction that we all know and love actually originated in the 17th century in China…as a mixture of pickled fish guts and spices? Believe it. From there, ketchup found its way to the United Kingdom, where it was traditionally prepared with mushrooms as a primary ingredient.

While many variations of ketchup soon popped up, it wasn’t until around the early 19th century that a tomato-based version found its way into people’s homes. Still, anchovies were a main ingredient in most recipes. It was quite the long journey before those iconic bottles and packets of Heinz would be commonly found at restaurants. Take a look at the video below — courtesy of Great Big Story — to learn about the complete history of our country’s national condiment, fish guts and all.

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We Tested 5 Of The Culinary World’s Newest Products Thu, 26 May 2016 17:00:24 +0000 So you’ve been saving up and want to stock your kitchen with some state-of-the-art appliances. First, allow us to compliment you on having your priorities in order. But where to begin? Our Tested column series is a pretty good place to start. Basically, we get the equipment and test it for quality and value so you don’t have to. Then we put together a review of sorts so you can decide whether or not to splurge. Like we said — pretty good deal. Here are five culinary products we’ve tested recently, along with summaries of our reactions and links to our full thoughts.


Cuisinart Fruit Scoop
Any machine that claims to turn humble fruit into a fully formed ice cream analog in just under 20 minutes is treading dangerously close to “water into wine” territory. But this produces the kind of ice cream that dairy-free dreams are made of. $100


Philips Pasta Maker
Philips recognized that there is a large faction of home cooks more sensible than myself who want a faster, less cumbersome method for creating fresh pasta at home. Enter the Philips Pasta Maker. Once I figured it out, the machine performed admirably. $350 


Cuisinart Vertical Waffle Maker
The next time you sit down at the counter of a breakfast spot during the weekend rush, take a look at the waffle maker. Chances are, the sides are going to be caked with countless drips of batter from hours’ worth of waffles pressed to order. Wasteful? Sure. Unsightly? Absolutely. And this waffle conundrum is where the Cuisinart’s Vertical Waffle Maker comes into play. The waffle that emerged from the Cuisinart was a thing of beauty. $80 


LooseLeaf And Zipstrip Herb Strippers
Both products come in at around $8 and aim to alleviate the monotony of stripping herbs of their inedible stems and relieving kale, collards and other leafy greens of their unpalatable ribs. One of the two products impressed mightily. $8


Magical Butter Maker
The idea is that the machine is able to extract nutrients and essential oils from aromatics and infuse them into fats better than traditional stovetop methods because of its unique design and precise temperature control settings. It promises to deliver more flavorful infused butters and oils with higher potency and less waste. $175

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An Ice Cream Company Wants You To Stop Netflix Cheating On Your Significant Other Thu, 26 May 2016 15:00:10 +0000 You’ve done it, your significant other has done it, and you know your friends have done it. We’re talking about Netflix adultery, a crime more heinous than spilling spoilers that could break any relationship. One U.K.-based ice cream company is here to end the betrayal.

Cornetto, also known as the muse for director Edgar Wright’s so-called Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End), is dipping its cones — er, toes — into the technological fashion realm with “Commitment Rings” that are programmed to keep your partner from Netflix-and-chilling (literal version) without you.

According to Fast Co. Create, the rings are linked to a mobile app that is connected to a streaming engine and allows you to pick the shows you want to watch with your significant other, placing a lock on said shows. The rings are made with Near Field Communication technology that sends a signal to a mobile app when the rings are near each other; only then will the ban be lifted, allowing you to binge on “your” shows.

There’s no word yet about how to take the next step and get a pair of these Commitment Rings or official streaming partners.

Check out the video below if you’re thinking of proposing to your loved one.

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