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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Cooking

New French Cooking Tools

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The October issue celebrates France. Here, the country's latest kitchen essentials.

French Cooking Tools

© Kate Mathis
French Cooking Tools

Stacking Pots
Cristel's sleek stainless steel pots have removable handles for neat storage. Saucepans from $180; gallictraditions.com.

Provençal Spool
Crafted from olive wood, Berard's kitchen-twine spool turns a utilitarian item into a pretty countertop accessory. $30; amazon.com.

Michel Bras Gear
The renowned chef has a new line of kitchen tools with supersharp Japanese blades and angular designs. From $45; williams-sonoma.com.

Related:
Jacques Pépin's Classic French Recipes
Gallic Design Imports

Recipes

Eric Ripert Innovates Through Design and Chicken

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Chicken Dance spotlights a fantastic Food & Wine chicken recipe every day.

Chicken and Okra Fricassee

© John Kernick
Chicken and Okra Fricassee.

On Friday in New York City, revered chef Eric Ripert and business partner Maguy Le Coze will debut a new interior for their epic French seafood flagship, Le Bernardin. Today, the New York Times presents a compelling slideshow of the restaurant's evolution over 25 years, with a preview of the overhauled space by architects Bentel & Bentel. In the quest for modernity, there will be fewer seats, more metal, and a new lounge — jackets not required. Ripert has always kept the NYC staple relevant by staying open to new ideas and flavors, like he did on a trip to Brazil with Food & Wine in 2006. There, Ripert came up with this Chicken and Okra Fricassee, based on a traditional recipe but lightened with lemongrass and ginger.

Wine

Chilling with Chilled Red Wine

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Beaujolais is very nice with a light chill.

It’s one of the big mysteries—up there with crop circles, the second gunman in Dallas, and why anyone on earth eats Marmite. Why don’t people drink red wine cold? It’s hot, you love red wine, so what’s the answer? A big warm glass of Zinfandel? Body-temperature Cabernet? The thing is, there are a number of red wines out there that chill down just fine. The main consideration is this: If you have a big, tannic red, serving it cold will accentuate those tannins and make it astringent and harsh. But a lighter red, not so heavy on the tannins and bright with fruit, well, chuck it in the cooler and go. Here are a few possibilities. Or you can just go on drinking that steaming glass of Syrah while you sweat in the blazing sun. Along with a big schmear of Marmite on toast.
 
Beaujolais
The perfect picnic wine, and so, unsurprisingly, nice with a light chill. The gamay grape, from which Beaujolais is made, is unprepossessing, not very tannic at all, and full of lively cherry-raspberry fruit. The 2009 Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages ($10) is a fine option. (pictured: 2009 Georges Duboeuf Domaine des Rosiers Moulin-a-Vent ($17) is also great.)

Bardolino
Italy’s answer to Beaujolais (though Frappato from Sicily is another strong contender). Bardolino comes from the hills near Lake Garda, uses the same grape varieties as Amarone (oddly enough, given that Amarone is one of the higher-octane reds around), and has a gentle wild-cherry-ish flavor. The 2010 Corte Giara Bardolino ($11) is a good one to seek out.
 
Pinot Noir
Some Pinots don’t chill well—more robust versions, for instance a good percentage of what California produces. But find a delicate, lighter style, and Pinot tastes great chilled down. Oregon’s a good place to look; among the best choices there is the floral 2010 Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir ($20).
 
Sparkling Shiraz
Freaky stuff: black-purple in color, big and hearty in character, and fizzy. But for a cookout it’s a fun option, and it tastes far better cold than regular, non-sparkling Shiraz. Plus, when your friends see you holding a glass, they’ll say entertaining things like, “What the heck is that?” The best I’ve run into recently is the NV The Chook Sparkling Shiraz ($19).
 
Related Links:
Summer Drinks
More Great Summer Wines

News

Crazy Pizzas

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© James Baigrie

I just came back from Chicago and when locals there talked about food, guess what they talked about: Pizza. I live in New York City and guess where food conversations invariably go: to pizza. I won’t get involved in debating the top places around the country (although I will always vote for Chris Bianco’s Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, Arizona as Number #1). But I am obsessed with all the wacky pizzas that people are calling out now. Are they crazy delicious, or just crazy crazy? You decide.
 
Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco.
At this very serious new pizza spot in the Bay Area, they have pizza ovens ranging from 1000° coal fired to 550° gas. Likewise, Tony’s offers a range of pizzas. They’ll only sell 73 Margherita pies a day. There seems to be no such limit on the Fear & Loathing pie, which is topped with slow-cooked pork in tamarind and fresh cactus and agave nectar salsa. Likewise the Campari, with pancetta and goat cheese, has another ingredient I’ve never associated with pizza—Campari-blood orange sauce.
 
Al's Gourmet Pizza, Washington, DC.
This pizza spot is 14 blocks from the Capitol and reportedly got crazy business during the endless debt-ceiling debates. Who knows what the congressmen were ordering, but their choices include the Triple Cheese Steak Pizza (marinated sirloin steak, crunchy onion rings, mushrooms, cherry peppers) and the Triple Cheese Burger Pizza that you can get with ground beef or sausage—on a whole wheat crust for those in congress looking for a healthier diet.
 
Ian’s, Chicago.

Where to start with the menu at Ian’s, which has branches in Madison, Milwaukee and at Chicago’s Wrigleyville. Their all-time best-selling slice at Wrigleyville is the mac & cheese, made with crème fraiche, mozzarella and Cheddar (yay for Wisconsin, the dairy state). That starts to sound reasonable, when you consider that they offer plain noodles like penne and lasagna as an add-on topping. Or that a recent special was biscuits-and-gravy pizza. (Also to note about Ian’s – their Wrigleyville site looks ahead to November 2012 when they’re celebrating the Cubs recent World Series victory.)
 
Mulberry Street Pizza, Manchester, CT.
New Haven, Connecticut, is home to some of the country’s epic pizza places, like Pepe’s. Not far from there is Manchester, home of Mulberry Street Pizza, where they like to employ the names of cult movies, people and places for their pies. The M*A*S*H is a white pizza with ham, jack cheese and mashed potatoes (on top, not in the dough). White Castle is a cheeseburger pizza with lite sauce, meatballs, bacon, lettuce, tomato and ketchup. And the Peter Pan pizza boasts provolone, bacon and, you guessed it, a peanut butter base.
 
Stevi B's, Georgia.
Franchised across the south, and mostly in Georgia, Stevi B’s has a guiding principle: Everything tastes better on top of a Stevi B’s pizza. For the BLT pizza, the garlic-butter-brushed crust is topped with mozzarella, bacon, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, and that key BLT ingredient, mayo. Cheeseburger pizza? Check (it’s finished with crisp dill pickles “to create a burger-lovers dream”). Chicken Fajita pizza? Check. Macaroni and Cheese pizza? You know it. It’s when we get to the Loaded Baked Potato pizza that my stomach starts to hurt: creamy ranch sauce on the crust, baked potato on top, Jack and cheddar cheeses covering the whole thing.

Related:
Best Pizza Places in the U.S.
Awesome Pizza Recipes

(Pictured: Perfect Pizza Margherita)

Recipes

Black Widow Tops Chicken Wing Eating Record

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Chicken Dance spotlights a fantastic Food & Wine chicken recipe every day.

baked buffalo wings

© Melanie Acevedo
Baked Buffalo Wings

This past Sunday, Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas broke her own world record in competitive wing eating at the 10th annual National Buffalo Wings Festival in Buffalo. According to the Huffington Post, the 100-pound power eater triumphed over hot dog-eating champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut by consuming 183 chicken wings in 12 minutes. It takes much less chicken (and fewer calories) to make an awesome meal from our hot-and-spicy Baked Buffalo Wings, with classic blue cheese dressing and celery.

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