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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Travel

The Next Noma

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Critics weigh in on which restaurant will join the famed Danish spot, and reigning number one restaurant in the world, Noma, on the pilgrimage circuit.

Benu, San Francisco

© Justin Lewis

Benu, San Francisco (left)
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Michael Bauer praises Corey Lee’s breathtaking East meets West modernist cuisine (Lee makes a mock shark’s-fin soup using thin strands of hydrocolloids).

Attica, Australia
Melbourne’s Ben Shewry serves “emo” cuisine, built on personal memories and foraged foods. “It’s the best expression of Oz’s terroir,” says The Age’s Matt Preston.

Aponiente, Spain
Ángel León’s umami-packed risotto with plankton makes him “the René Redzepi of the sea,” says F&W correspondent Gisela Williams.

 

Noma, Denmark

© Ditte Isager

Fäviken Magasinet, Sweden
A modern primitive dining experience—aged meats hanging in the dining room, fried lichen on the plate. Time’s Lisa Abend calls Magnus Nilsson’s food “intensely perfect.”

Noma, Denmark (left)
“Noma’s the next Noma, isn’t it?” says the L.A. Times’s Jonathan Gold. “Redzepi is writing symphonies while everyone else is playing chopsticks.”

 

 

Read more from the May issue.

Restaurants

And the Winner of the World's 50 Best Restaurants Is...

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The World's 50 Best Restaurants

 

World’s 50 Best Restaurants, which will be announced Monday, April 30th at London’s prestigious Guildhall.

Here is the buzz on who’s going to be #1 on the list of World’s 50 Best Restaurants>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kitchen Trash

Gene Simmons's Favorite Restaurants

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Gene Simmons of KISS displays his legendary tongue.

Courtesy of Rock & Brews

"Portions are important because I’m a man, and even though women have been lying to us since we crawled out of caves, size does count,” says Gene Simmons of KISS who has ventured into the restaurant business with his new Rock & Brews franchise.

Here, Gene Simmons reveals his favorite restaurants.

 

 

 

 

 

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Travel

L.A.'s Best Sushi

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N Naka Sushi

© Zen Sekizawa

Tony Maws of Craigie on Main, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was last in L.A. as a kid. Now he wants to go back and eat sushi and sashimi around the city. See his picks >

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Restaurants

Introducing a Food & Wine Restaurant in Aspen

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Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the 30th Anniversary of the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this June, the newly redesigned St. Regis Resort will debut a blockbuster concept we’re excited to announce called Chefs Club by Food & Wine, a restaurant that will serve seasonal dishes created by F&W Best New Chef alums. The super-talented line-up for the first menu includes George Mendes (2011) of Aldea in New York, Alex Seidel (2010) of Fruition in Denver, Sue Zemanick (2008) of Gautreau's in New Orleans and James Lewis (2011) of Bettola in Birmingham, Alabama. The beverage program will be curated by two of our own stars: Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle will select wine pairings for the dishes and Deputy Editor of Food & Wine Cocktails, Jim Meehan, will create signature drinks.

Even if you can’t hit up the huge festivities this summer, the project will make sure there’s a bit of F&W in Aspen all year round. In November, a new group of BNCs will take on the Fall/Winter menu.

Tickets and more info for the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

Related: Best New Chefs 2012

Restaurants

Paula Disbrowe’s Texas Chicken

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Texas may be out of the national spotlight now that Top Chef Texas has ended, but the Lone Star State still has something to celebrate. Today is Texas Independence Day, which commemorates the day Texas split from Mexico to become the Republic of Texas in 1836. Whether you’re in Texas, from Texas or just like big Texas flavors, cowgirl/chef Paula Disbrowe’s Texas Chicken—cooked with annato seeds, sweet carrot juice, vinegar, bay leaves, thyme, garlic and chiles—is a delicious, indoor-kitchen-friendly way to honor of the state’s holiday, especially when paired with a Lone Star beer.

Related: Texas-Style Barbecue
Great Beer Pairings
Amazing Tex-Mex

Restaurants

Mario Batali’s Pang Charity Sandwich

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© Alexander Jorgensen
First Look at the Batali Pang at Num Pang.

By now you must know that F&W loves when chefs work to change the world through charity programs. We also happen to love Mario Batali. And sandwiches. Add that all up, and here’s what you’ve got: Batali creating a limited-edition sandwich for charity at the excellent Cambodian sandwich shop Num Pang in Manhattan’s East Village. It’s the inaugural sandwich for Num Pang’s Guest Chefs Give Back. The program was created by Num Pang owners Ben Daitz and Ratha Chaupoly; look for new big-name cooks and their sandwiches in the coming month.
 
First up, the Batali Pang. It’s an awesome combo of Brooklyn-made cotecchino sausage, balsamic pickled onions and sheep’s milk cheese, mixed with more traditional Num Pang ingredients (homemade chili mayo, pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro), served on a toasted semolina baguette. On sale from February 15-March 15, it’s going for $9.75; proceeds will be split between The Food Bank for New York City (one of my personal favorites) and The Cambodian Children’s Fund.
 
For more details and a cute pic of the principal players, go to Midtownlunch.com.

Restaurants

Out of Control French Fries

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© David Malosh

When it comes to French fries, I’m pretty much of a purist. I’m perfectly happy with the Thrice-Cooked Chips (translation: twice fried fries) at New York City’s Breslin. But for many, that’s way too simple. Let’s look at a few enterprising places that get creative with their fries.

Thrasher's French Fries, Ocean City, MD. Thrasher’s has been serving fries on the boardwalk since 1929. The fries come in cup sizes: 16 ounces, 32 ounces and 53 ounces, at which point you’re basically in supersize popcorn bucket territory. Thrasher’s doesn't offer ketchup – only apple cider vinegar. "We have no catsup, because we don't want anything competing with the wonderful taste of the French fried potato," owner Buddy Jenkins has said.

Primanti Bros., Pittsburgh, PA. Here’s why I love Pittsburgh: because they’re not afraid to put French fries right in their sandwiches. In fact they might have pioneered the practice. Primanti first started adding fries to their sandwiches in the 1930s. Now the Primanti’s “Almost Famous” menu includes Pitts-Burgher Cheesesteak, Knockwurst & Cheese, Colossal Fish & Cheese and Jumbo Bologna & Cheese—all topped with french fries, cole slaw, and tomatoes.

Fresh Fries, Los Angeles. The Fresh Fries truck takes their specialty seriously. But maybe serious isn’t the right word for a place that offers their fries —which come in natural cut, sweet potato or curly –in such crazy combinations. Among their offerings: Stinky Pinky (topped with grilled onions and thousand island dressing); Peanut Buttercup (sweet potato fries with nutella and peanut butter); and the most cross-cultural option, 626 (with hoisin sauce, mayo and crunchy noodles).

Big and Little’s, Chicago. Unlike some places in the wacky French fry category, Big & Little’s is primarily known for something besides fries; in this case, their mahi fish tacos. Still, they’re also skilled at putting a serious piece or two of perfectly seared foie gras on top of their perfectly fried fries. For those who find that to be just too much, they also offer truffle duck fat au jus as a side to the fries.

Related Links:

Best Burgers in the U.S.

Best Burger Recipes Ever 


Best Grilled Cheese in the U.S.

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.

(pictured: Bobby Flay's Bistro Fries)

Recipes

F&W Exclusive: Chefs' Super Bowl Smackdown

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Super Bowl

As the big game approaches this weekend, Patriots and Giants fans are making final preparations for their Super Bowl parties. Beyond menus to plan and guests to invite, there are wagers to be made. A group of northeast chefs just revealed the terms of their “Super Bowl Restaurant Smackdown” to Food & Wine, pitting New England vs. New York. Representing the Patriots are Jamie Bissonnette from Boston’s Toro and Coppa, Tiffani Faison from Sweet Cheeks, Matt Jennings from Providence’s La Laiterie and Farmstead and Gabriel Frasca of Straight Wharf and Provisions. They’re facing off against New York chefs and Giants’ fans Harold Dieterle of Perilla and Kin Shop, Lee Anne Wong of Vynl and Michael Ferraro of Delicatessen. This wager is not about money, it’s about maximum humiliation. Here are the terms:

 

 For seven consecutive days, the representatives of the LOSING TEAM must:

-Wear the opposing team’s jersey in their restaurant .The jersey cannot be removed during work hours for any reason.

-Wear a Statue of Liberty hat (Boston) or a lobster hat (NYC) in their restaurant. The hat cannot be removed during work hours for any reason.

-Feature pastrami on rye (Boston) or New England clam chowder (NYC) prominently on their menu with the following wording:

“In honor of the greatest football team on earth the Patriots/Giants, [Restaurant name(s)] is proudly featuring [name of dish]."

-Tweet a picture of themselves in their hats & jerseys eating the featured dish in their restaurant all seven days.

 

The WINNING TEAM will hand deliver the jerseys and hats to the losing teams and taste the featured menu item.

 

As a Patriots’ fan who now lives in New York City, I’m looking forward to sampling some great clam chowder without the four-hour train ride.

 

For those of you hosting at home check out some of my favorite game-day recipes from F&W.

Spicy Chicken Wings

Double Pork Burgers

Sticky Ribs

More Super Bowl Snacks


 

 

Restaurants

A Magnus Nilsson Dinner Without Travelling to Sweden

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© Vila Joya
Magnus Nilsson (center) and his Faviken team at Portugal's International Gourmet Festival.

I tried to map the distance from my house in NYC to Fäviken, Magnus Nilsson’s remarkable super-naturalist restaurant in Fäviken, Sweden. I’m not very good with Mapquest; I’ll estimate that it's more than 4,000 miles away (but only about 200 miles to the Arctic Circle). Nilsson saved me the trouble of going all the way up north to see him by cooking at a festival I went to last week, the super-fun International Gourmet Festival in Portugal.

What did Nilsson and his team haul from Sweden for the meal? Not much: some cheese, reindeer lichen (it’s delicious!) and a few lingonberries. Instead, Nilsson shopped locally, scoring some Atlantic bonito at the local fish market and some awesome pork from Mahladinha, a winery that also raises black-foot pigs. And then he foraged a bunch of ingredients from the beach right below Vila Joya, where his dinner took place. He said I could help him find wood sorrel to garnish his pine bark cookies. How thrilling that I’d get to help one of the world’s most brilliant chefs make dinner. But I bailed (clothes shopping emergency). And then happily ate those cookies and the rest of Nilsson’s dishes.

Here are some highlights from that meal. Special thanks to the Russian billionaire who flew his plane to Paris to pick up some caviar and vodka for the cocktail hour.
 
Blood, Roe and Lichens: This dish featured pig blood tartlets topped with trout roe, two things I don't generally eat together (and one thing I don't generally eat, period). Please believe me—it was delicious.
 
Tuna: Atlantic bonito marinated in mushroom juice and served with a brown-butter-toasted-oatmeal sauce.
 
Porridge: Oat, rye, wheat, flax seeds and sunflower seeds made into a creamy, cheesy porridge and served with kale sauce.
 
Heart and Marrow: A sublime meat salad with pieces of beef heart tossed with chunks of bone marrow and an herb that included herbs foraged from the Algarve.

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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.