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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Recipes

David Beckham, Foodie?

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One of these things is not like the others: sports hero, fashion icon, glitterati mainstay, culinary student.

David Beckham, one of the world’s most recognizable athletes, seems increasingly set on mastering all things gastronomic. Since launching his healthy food line from GO3 back in 2008, Beckham has shuttled between Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy and AC Milan, and it seems his most recent spell in Milan has inspired Beckham to enroll in a 120-hour cooking class concentrating on the finer points of Italian cuisine (as Eater reported yesterday from The Daily Mirror). While Beckham already mastered fresh pasta, ragù and carbonara, he has stated that the ever-tricky risotto looms. To help him avoid embarrassment in the kitchen classroom, we suggest a recipe from a pro: a version of the classic Milanese Risotto from F&W's Grace Parisi.

Cocktails

Big Star in Chicago

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When I vacationed in Chicago last weekend, my first stop was star chef Paul Kahan’s latest bar and taqueria, Big Star. The large rectangular bar that dominates the space holds two of Big Star’s three specialties: some 50-odd bourbons and a couple dozen tequilas. The other specialty comes from the kitchen: tacos—hundreds of tacos.

Tapping along to a Loretta Lynn record, I elbowed my way to the bar to order a drink, from a list conceived by the team from the adjacent cocktail haven The Violet Hour. I started with a San Antonio Sling, a bracing combination of tequila, St-Germain and grapefruit. I followed that with the Hud, an Old Fashioned–like lowball heavy on the bourbon and light on the citrus—tangerine, in this case. Then I turned to food. First up was a fondue-like casserole of rajas chiles, house-made chorizo and cheese. A quartet of tacos followed: lamb, al pastor (marinated pork) and my two favorites, poblano with queso (cheese) and pork belly. The food was delicious, and with nothing exceeding five dollars, also a bargain.

When the weather gets warmer, Big Star will offer a huge alfresco dining area. As long as the music remains louder than the nearby El train, Big Star will be a party few will want to leave.

Recipes

The (Food) Situation on MTV’s Jersey Shore: Pickles & Haterade

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© Tina Rupp

Bored with their intense daily routine of G.T.L. (Gym. Tan. Laundry.), Mike “The Situation” and DJ Pauly D from MTV’s Jersey Shore decided to play practical jokes on their sleeping roommates, Nicole “Snooki” and Vinny, by hiding smelly foods in their bedrooms.

Since pickles are Snooki’s favorite food (“Pickles is my thing,” she says), The Situation figures that she’ll probably like “the nice aroma” of the pickle slices he scatters around her room. “Yeah, she likes pickles in her mouth, but pickles in her nose is just as good,” he says.

Under Vinny’s bed, The Situation places a bowl with a special concoction he calls “Haterade.” “Vinny's been hating on me, and he always talks about me behind my back like a rat, so I decided to get some parmesan cheese, add a little milk, a little Caesar dressing, a tiny bit of mayo and a little bit of Snooki's pickle juice,” he says.

Here are some recipes for pickles and creamy dressings that are too good to hide:
Garlicky Chile Pickles
Winey Briny Quick Pickles
Spicy Dill Quick Pickles (pictured)

Creamy Feta Vinaigrette
Tangy Ranch Dressing
Creamy Herb Dressing

Cocktails

Cocktails for a Cause

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benefit

© Citymeals-on-Wheels
All-star food-and-cocktail pairings for a good cause.

 

In NYC, the Surrey Hotel’s awesome new Bar Pleiades is hosting a spectacular pairing event tomorrow (Wednesday, January 20). Here are three great reasons to stop by:

1)   Mixologist extraordinaire Cameron Bogue, formerly the bar genius at Daniel Boulud’s Vancouver outpost of DB Bistro Moderne, will be making excellent winter cocktails, including a warming brandy shaken with roasted butternut squash puree and Meyer lemon juice.
2)    Look for bar snacks from Café Boulud’s ultratalented chef Gavin Kaysen and guest chefs George Mendes of NYC’s Aldea, Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook of L.A.’s meat-centric Animal and Nate Appleman of the forthcoming Pulino's Bar and Pizzeria.
3)    Ticket proceeds benefit Citymeals-on-Wheels. Click here to eat and drink well, while contributing to a good cause.

News

Fact/Fiction About Rusty Knot’s Party Bus Tonight

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As Eater reported yesterday, tonight a party bus is headed to the Rusty Knot, the dressed-up dive bar in NYC's West Village, where Andrew Kuo will dj. So, let’s separate some of the facts from some of the potential falsehoods.

Can anyone get on the bus? Yes (anyone who can legally drink, anyway).

Will the bus stop in Williamsburg? Yes, at North Seventh Street and Bedford Avenue.

Will the bus stop in the East Village? Yes, at First Avenue and First Street.

Is there only one shot to get on the bus? No, it’s making two trips, at 8 p.m. and again at 10, starting in Williamsburg (there’s more info at therustyknot.com).

Is there free beer, smoking and dancing on the bus? Apparently so.

And costumes? Yes.

Is Ken Friedman (co-owner of the Rusty Knot and the Spotted Pig) really going to dress up like Tiger Woods? Let’s hope not.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Run with chefs and wine experts in the Celebrity Chef 5K and dance all night at Gail Simmons’ Last Bite Dessert Party during the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.