Posts for May 8, 2012

Newsflash: Rachael Ray Wields More Sway Than the World’s Best Chefs

Ferran Adria wishes he got this much coverage.

The James Beard Foundation had its say last night as to who it regards as the nation’s best chefs. And last week Restaurant Magazine released its World’s 50 Best Restaurants. But a new study says Rachael Ray has tons more sway than Ferran Adrià, René Redzepi or Grant Achatz. The coverage those modern masters receive pales in comparison to the ubiquity of Ray-Ray. What’s more, along with Ray, the study says Paula Deen, Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, and Bobby Flay are the five most media-savvy chefs. Not even heavy hitters like Eric Ripert or Thomas Keller can touch that.

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Lil’ Pop Shop Serving Up Flavorful Frosty Treats in West Philly


Honest Tom’s Taco Shop got a new neighbor today in the form of Lil’ Pop Shop, and as the name suggests, it specializes in popsicles. These aren’t those toxic tasting ones that come in unnatural colors that you likely grew up on. Owner Jeanne Chang makes them in house with all natural and mostly locally sourced ingredients, West Philly Local reports. Initial flavors for the frosty treats include chocolate with salted caramel (of course) brownie, lime mint, strawberry-rhubarb lemonade, and lemon-blueberry buttermilk. All are priced at $3. The shop is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. She’s also going to sell her popsicles from a cart that’s going to debut tomorrow. Keep an eye on the Lil’ Pop Shop’s tweets for details. [West Philly Local]

Lil’ Pop Shop, 265 S. 44th Street, (510) 919-0784

Brodo and Le Petite Cafe Step Up the Lunchtime Options in Center City

Chef Patrice Rames at Le Petit CafePhoto: Le Petite Cafe

Brodo, a new soups, sandwiches and salads spot on 18th Street near Ludlow and just across the street from Saladworks, opened yesterday. Though the owners say they are committed to raising the bar for lunchtime fodder, the soups take center stage. Each day will feature a selection of 10 soups, taken from the Brodo (Italian for broth) portfolio of more than 100 recipes. Foobooz has photos and a “First Bite” report. Also new this week is Le Petit Cafe, a cafe situated on the first floor of the Market Place Design Center from Bistro St. Tropez chef-owner Patrice Rames. It’s open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and serves breakfast in the morning, and lunch in the afternoon.

Brodo, 31 S. 18th St., (215) 977-7766

Le Petit Cafe, 2400 Market Street, Philadelphia, (215) 569-9269

A Photographic History of President Obama Eating Junk Food During Photo Ops

The Obama administration clearly wants Americans eating healthier, but not everyone is convinced POTUS is, himself, pursuing a healthy diet. Today, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in D.C. (remember: they're vegans) asked the White House to launch "an executive order banning staged official photo ops that depict the president, the first family, the vice president, and members of the president's cabinet with unhealthful foods ... that can cause cancer and obesity." In other words, they want Obama to stop downing pies, hot dogs, and cheesesteaks when cameras are around — something he does quite a bit, it turns out. See what we mean, straight ahead.

Disneyland Has Its Own Members-Only Supper Club; Charges $25,000 to Join

Club 33

Disneyland is always a reliable place to get separated from your cash, and now the theme park is opening the books to its secret restaurant, Club 33, available to a devoted group of mouse-lovers for $25,000, along with $10,000 in yearly membership dues. The L.A. Times reports that Club 33 is a 45-year-old restaurant founded by Walt Disney, hidden in the theme park's New Orleans square and limited to just 500 members. And if you think that sounds kind of creepy, these photos of the restaurant's interior probably won't dissuade you from those feelings, but know this: Until now, joining the club, even getting on its waiting list, has been off-limits to anyone for the last decade. But the books are now being reopened for a limited number of memberships, along with an old-timey lounge that's opening called 1901, with invitations being sent to the first 100 names on the 800-person-long waiting list.

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Julia Child: Food’s First Girl-Power Advocate

This is what a feminist looks like.

A new biography of Julia Child, Dearie, will come out just in time for her 100th birthday this August. Spoiler alert: Julia was very pro-woman. Of course, she came along at just the right time: Her big break happened in 1963 with the landmark TV show The French Chef, the same year fellow Smith College alum Betty Friedan made headlines with The Feminine Mystique, notes the AP. It was a time, as any Mad Men fan or history scholar would agree, when women were entering the workforce in record numbers and often (gasp!) too busy to cook anything better than quickie meals. "Julia turned women on to the beauty of making a wonderful meal for the family, not just scraping something together," the bio states.

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Morimoto Throws Out Tonight’s First Pitch at Citizens Bank Park

Morimoto butchering a whle tuna at last year's Japan Disaster Relief benefitPhoto: Collin Keefe

Long before he was an international sushi superstar, Masaharu Morimoto was a promising young baseball player in his native Japan. Then an injury sidelined his big league aspirations. And thank goodness. Can you imagine what the world would be like had he never learned to cut fish? Tonight he’s returning to the mound to throw out the first pitch at Citizens Bank Park where the Phillies will face the Mets. It’s part of the ballpark’s Asian-Pacific Celebration. It’s also a result of last year’s Morimoto For Japan fundraiser, where one of the items auctioned off to raise money for the Japan Disaster Relief Fund was lunch with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who also played baseball in Japan, hence the “Cholly-San” nickname and t-shirts. The two hit it off, and Manuel egged Morimoto on to pitch tonight’s first ball. We’re hoping he brings along his karaoke a-game and leads a spirited sing-along at McFadden’s after the ballgame.

Related: Morimoto Gets Into the Groove

BYOB Referendum Goes Before Voters in Ocean City Today

From ballot to bottle

Winds of change are gusting, but whether or not they actually blow through New Jersey’s Ocean City remains to be seen. Voters there today will decide if the Shore town, which has been dry for 133 years, and has strictly forbidden folks from bringing beer and wine with them to restaurants since 1984, will allow restaurant-goers to once again bring their own libations with them when they go out to eat, NBC Philly reports. A referendum that’s been in the works for at least year — it was pulled from the ballot last November — finally goes before residents with today’s general election. Restaurant owners hope that relaxing local laws will help them compete with more booze-friendly dining options at other nearby shore points. Opponents of the referendum see it as a potential threat to the town’s century-plus status of being family friendly. We’ll keep you posted on the results. [NBC Philly]

Earlier: BYOB Seems Inevitable For Ocean City

Check Out the Chefs’ Looks at Last Night’s James Beard Awards

We usually leave the look-book beat to our friends over at the Cut — because most chefs spend so much of their time in white jackets and toques. But at the James Beard Awards gala, attendees go all out with their sartorial choices, and this year's show wasn't any different. Plus, a red-carpet roundup feels appropriately awards-y. With that in mind, check out the looks from last night's ceremony, straight ahead.

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And the James Beard 2012 Winners Are: Daniel Humm, Christina Tosi, Michael Anthony, and More

Congrats to Best Chef, Daniel Humm!Photo: Spaulding/

The glamorous James Beard Awards were last night, a fête at which April Bloomfield wears eyeliner ("People aren't recognizing me!") and PR girls get fired for not allowing Jacques Pépin into the press room. Exciting wins included Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tosi for Rising Star and EMP/NoMad's Daniel Humm for Best Chef, plus a tie (!) for Best Chef Southeast between Hugh Acheson and Linton Hopkins. "Giving that speech was interesting; I said the first word, he said the second, and [we] went back and forth," Acheson exhaled to Grub. The most poignant moment was Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern, who recently "had a very serious health emergency" and won for Best Chef NYC. "This year, I was extremely touched by everyone in the industry who reached out with care, food, and encouragement. And to be able to thank all of them in person was extraordinary."

See all the winners here! »

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