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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine


Chefs Behind Bars

Louisiana Cheese Fries with Crayfish and Gravy

Instead of turning customers away, chefs are opening bars—to handle the overflow from their flagship restaurants, to try something more casual or to explore different cuisines. Here's where to visit next.

Diners waiting to eat at The Walrus and the Carpenter in Seattle can pass the time with charcuterie and cocktails at Barnacle bar.

In Portland, OR, Gabrielle and Greg Denton own the restaurant Ox, and now also The Whey Bar, which serves drinks like The Whey We Were.

Customers can drink whiskey sours and eat wings at Whiskey Soda Lounge NY while waiting for a table at Brooklyn's Pok Pok NY.

Cambridge, MA's Hungry Mother books up far in advance, but diners can try chef Barry Maiden's Southern food at his dive bar, State Park.

Chef Kelly English shows his love of New Orleans cuisine at The Second Line in Memphis, which he calls Restaurant Iris's "rowdy cousin." His recommended midnight snack: Louisiana Cheese Fries to go with a crisp pilsner.

Related: America's Best Bars
Best Beer Bars
Best Hotel Bars


3 Fashionable Foods

During New York Fashion Week (with a view from the Amex SkyBox), we realized that some of our favorite foods are totally ahead of the Spring 2014 trends. Here's how to eat in style.

Pleated Dumplings: Proenza Schouler presented a new take on pleats for Spring 2014. "The silk cloque pleated skirts and dresses were foil printed, so when you open them up, it creates a graphic quality," explained Jack McCollough to the L.A. Times. We've long known the importance of pleating, especially when it comes to adorably crimped homemade dumplings. And when you open these up, there's a beautiful filling of lemongrass-scented ground chicken.

Oversized Biscuits: Volume is a huge trend that's sticking around through spring. The Telegraph even described teeny talent Victoria Beckham's statement dress at "massive." It totally fits with Vogue's declaration that comfort is in right now. Oversized styles also happen to be ideal after one eats giant biscuits, which we plan to do this fall, especially if they’re filled with pastrami or a sausage patty.

Dip-Dye Radishes: The next phase of ombré hair (dark roots and bright tips) could be the return of dip-dying. But these aren't the Kool-Aid-colored strands of yore. Harper's Bazaar described the dyed hair at Peter Som's Spring 2014 show as having a "faded antique effect," with extensions in shades of amethyst and dusty rose. Food obsessives that we are, the naturally-occuring colors seem almost vegetal to us, specifically radish-y. These French Breakfast radishes have tops that are soft red-pink and white bottoms.

Related: A Fashionably Late Dinner Party with Erin Featherson
Zang Toi’s Fashion Party: New Years Eve
The World’s Most Beautiful Restaurant Dishes


Kimchi: The Korean Gateway Drug


Chef Edward Lee on how a bite of kimchi can turn you into a fire-breathing cabbage fiend.

Kimchi is so obviously and distinctly Korean that it distinguishes the cuisine from the rest of Asia. A verb, rather than a noun, you can "kimchi" anything, the same way you can pickle anything. It's sour, spicy, savory, salty and crunchy, with layers of flavor that come from fish sauce, ginger, garlic and chile flakes.

Kimchi is addictive, like a gateway drug to Korean cuisine. Even non-Korean chefs are finding ways to sneak it into their food. I've had it in paella at Toro in Boston, and stir-fried with tofu skin and served with seafood at San Francisco's State Bird Provisions. I think my absolute favorite example of kimchi fusion is the Korean quesadilla at Kogi in Los Angeles—the perfect American repackaging of melted cheese and kimchi.

This isn't authentic Korean food, clearly, but rather chefs riffing on Korean flavors and expanding the discussion. I'm exploring my own kind of mash-up cuisine at my new restaurant, MilkWood, in Louisville, Kentucky, where a fistful of kimchi lands improbably, but deliciously, in a simmering pot of collard greens.

Edward Lee is the chef-owner of 610 Magnolia and MilkWood in Louisville, KY. His debut cookbook, Smoke & Pickles, is out now. Read more from the September travel issue.

Related: Quick Kimchi Cucumbers Recipe
Traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi Recipe
More Korean Recipes


Korean Food Mash-ups

Korean Flapjacks

It'll burn your tongue and turn your mouth into a fermentation zone. Korean cuisine is nothing if not intense, and that's just one reason American chefs are so in love with it. Here, three delicious developments in Korean food.

Seafood Flapjacks
Korean restaurants make kimchi-seafood pancakes without leavening for a crispy, chewy texture, but Tasty n Alder chef John Gorham in Portland, Oregon, uses a pancake batter with baking soda for much fluffier results. "Kimchi is part of our staff meal two days a week," he says. Gorham's "full-on, white-boy-run" Korean restaurant opens next year. GET THE RECIPE »

Kimchi Linguine
Bryan Voltaggio adds a double hit of kimchi—it's in the pasta dough and sauce—to the seafood linguine at his new Washington, DC, restaurant, Range.

BBQ Pork Sandwich
Soul meets Seoul at Atlanta's Heirloom Market BBQ, where Korean and Texan chefs top a pork sandwich with Korean barbecue sauce, spicy pickles and kimchi slaw.

Read more from F&W's September travel issue.

Related: Cooking with Kimchi
More Korean Recipes
The Korean Pantry

Rare Bird

Meet the $2,500 Chicken

Meet the $2,500 Chicken

The Indonesian Ayam Cemani is "my most requested bird, ever," says Paul Bradshaw of Florida's Greenfire Farms. Why is the chicken so special? It's partly aesthetic: The Ayam Cemani is black inside and out, from its feathers to its comb to its internal organs. "They're stunningly beautiful, like staring into a black hole," says Bradshaw. The bird is also incredibly rare: Bradshaw, the first US breeder, won't have chicks to sell until early 2014. He's pricing them to meet demand: $5,000 a pair.

Read more from F&W's September issue on travel and America's best chicken.

Related: Chicken Recipes and Cooking Tips
Best Restaurant Chicken Dishes

F&W Best List

Innovative Spice Markets

Spice Ace, in San Francisco.

Here, some of F&W's favorite spice shops in the country.

Spice Ace, San Francisco Peppercorns are usually a simple purchase. Not so at Spice Ace, which carries more than 20 varieties, including the rare Micronesian Pohnpei peppercorn, considered the best in the world—and, at $35 per ounce, one of the most expensive. In total, Spice Ace carries more than 300 spices, all packaged in recyclable glass jars and ground in small batches to maintain freshness.

Spice Galore, Miami Florida’s tropical climate allows the owners of this shop to grow some of the items they sell, like kaffir lime leaves. Another highlight is the salt selection, with 55 varieties, including flavors like Merlot and green tea. Customers can learn how to use whatever they buy in the large demonstration kitchen, where instructors teach classes on topics like spice-based ice creams.

Spice Revolution; Westchester, NY Linzi Jean Fastiggi sells nearly 500 herbs and spices at local markets, and her entire inventory is now online.

Related: Lessons from Spice Whiz Lior Lev Sercar
How to Cook with Spices
Lessons from Salt Guru Mark Bitterman


How to Cook and Serve a Fish Head

How to Cook and Serve Fish Head

Where some chefs see trash, Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly saw a signature dish: a salmon fish head, marinated in miso, maple syrup and garlic. At the NYC spot Chez Sardine, the dish represents the restaurant’s guiding principle—a Japanese izakaya infused with a trippy, gonzo spirit. “We sell more than a dozen a night,” says Brunet-Benkritly, adding that most diners need some help figuring out where the best bits of meat are. Here, his guide to getting the most out of each head.

For advanced eaters only. The eyeball resembles a soggy blob of fat—with a dark chewy pupil at the center. “It’s not my thing,” he says.

“Not as big as the steak-like cheeks on cod, but still a nice, firm section of meat. Our salmon are all from very cold water, so they are nice and fatty.”

An underrated section, the jowl becomes crispy and chewy, “like fish jerky.”

Collar & Neck
A good area for the squeamish diner—there’s a lot of meat here, and it doesn’t take too much excavating to retrieve it. “You’ll see grilled fish collar at a lot of Japanese restaurants.”

“I like to start here: Just tear away the fin and eat it like an artichoke—you can scrape off the salty-sweet marinade with your teeth.”

Related: Recipes for Whole Fish
Sustainable Seafood Guide
Fish and Seafood Recipes
Ways to Act Like a Chef


3 Ways to Dry Herbs

Dried Oregano with Sea Bass

Here, three things to do with all those summer herbs.

Air-Dry: At Carbone, Mario Carbone and co-chef Rich Torrisi scatter fresh oregano on sheet trays. Placed on top of warm ovens, the herbs dry overnight. “Dried oregano is an important ingredient for Carbone," says Mario. "It’s nostalgic, like the restaurant itself. It’s in everybody’s kitchen cabinet across the country, but by drying fresh oregano ourselves, we’re elevating the experience. You taste the flavor that you recognize, but in a much sharper way.”

Microwave: Pastry chef Aaron Russell at Atlanta’s Restaurant Eugene dries basil, sorrel and mint. “I nuke them in 30-second bursts, then grind them for an intense dust to mix with sugar.”

Salt-Pack: To make herb salts, chef Jeff Mahin of Hollywood’s Stella Barra layers salt, chives and dill on a sheet tray, then dries them overnight in a 120° oven.

Related: Cooking with Herbs
Herb Guide
Best New Chefs 2012 Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone


Become a Master of Microbes

Become a Master of Microbes

Photo © iStock

Welcome to inoculation nation: Progressive chefs are getting deep into fermentation, the process of controlled rot that adds tart, sour and funky flavors to all kinds of foods. Here, a selection of cutting-edge microbe experiments, ranked from mildly odiferous to nose-hair-singeing stinky.

From Light Funk to Super Funk

At Elements in Princeton, NJ, chef Scott Anderson makes his own rejuvelac— fermented sprouted-grain liquid—to use as a coconut-milk substitute in a Thai-style soup.

Root Vegetable
To amp up the flavor of turnips and carrots, chef de cuisine Carl Shelton dresses them with a spoonful of their own fermented juices at Chicago’s Boka.

Corn On The Cob
Sean Brock of Charleston, SC’s McCrady’s has inoculated everything from Mountain Dew to popcorn. His latest experiment: whole ears of corn, fermented in whey.

Pork Loin
To create a porky version of katsuo-bushi (Japanese dried bonito, essential for dashi), Momofuku’s David Chang smokes, dries and ferments pork loins for three months.

Anchovies & Caviar
San Francisco chef Chris Cosentino of Incanto ages anchovies and caviar for a year to make garum, the famously stinky Roman-era fish sauce.

Related: Dashi: The Ultimate Flavor Boost
How I Learned to Love Mold
How to Make Sauerkraut
Ways to Act Like a Chef

Expert Lessons

An Urban Chef's Guide to Foraging

Aska chef Fredrik Berselius. © Jasmin Sun
Chef Fredrik Berselius of Aska. © Jasmin Sun

Chef Fredrik Berselius outside Aska, located inside Williamsburg's Kinfolk Studios. © Jasmin Sun

As one of the hallmarks of New Nordic cuisine, foraged ingredients are now trending in restaurants across America. But Swedish native Fredrik Berselius, chef at Aska in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has been eating wild produce since he was a kid growing up in Stockholm. This afternoon, as part of Brooklyn’s Food Book Fair (which runs through the weekend), Berselius will take part in the show-and-tell Food + Foraging panel. “There have been a couple of scares, where I’ve been like, ‘Uh-oh, was that not so good to eat?’ But usually I’m more concerned with running into mountain lions.” »

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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.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.