Posts for December 18, 2012

Illness Sidelines Rex 1516’s Chef Regis Jansen

In sad news, Rex 1516 chef, Regis Jansen is stepping down due to health issues. A rep for the restaurant tells Grub that Jansen, who’s been battling Cystic Fibrosis all of his life, was recently advised by his health care providers to exit the kitchen, and the hard work and long hours it requires. He’s spent the last few months training his sous chef, Justin Swain, to properly fill his shoes. With his illness getting worse, Jensen has decided to finally leave the restaurant. To help raise money for MANNA, which has been providing Jansen support through this ordeal, Rex 1516 partnered with Art in The Age to come up with the signature cocktail┬ácalled Snappy Pamplemousse.

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Southwark Hosts Cheese and Mushroom ‘Producers’ Dinner For Last Minute Shoppers

Southwark

If you’re in the market for dinner, and some last minute holiday shopping for that artisan cheese lover on your list, Southwark has you covered. On Wednesday evening, the Queen Village bar and restaurant’s chef Nick Macri is hosting the last of his “producers” dinners for 2012. The semi-regular feasts that throw the spotlight on the farmers and artisans who supply his kitchen with amazing ingredients will resume in 2013. For this year’s last hurrah, Macri is showcasing cheeses from Chester County’s Birchrun Hill Farms, and mushrooms from Berks County’s Oley Valley Mushrooms. The four-course dinner (check out the menu below) sets you back $45, or $55 with an optional wine or beer pairing. And Sue Miller from Birchrun Hill Farms will be in the house to hawk some the farm’s finest cheeses after the dinner is served.

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Busted: Brunello Vandal Caught; Maple Syrup Bandits Apprehended

Police in Italy have arrested a suspect in connection with a shocking act of vandalism that destroyed 62,600 liters of producer Gianfranco Soldera's Brunello. The 39-year-old Andrea Di Gisi is a disgruntled former employee, they say, and police are testing his wine-stained jeans to see if they're a match to Soldera's product. Meanwhile, Canadian police announced they've arrested three men in conjunction with the theft of an enormous amount of maple syrup — possibly $30 million worth of stuff — from a Quebec warehouse last August. Authorities are now concerned that the perpetrators actually intended to be caught and arrested so they could end up in jail together. They now suspect this is all part of an elaborate plan to contaminate the world's supply of Brunello with Canadian maple syrup. [Decanted, AP, Earlier]

Watch Aziz Ansari Go On a Po’ Boy Crawl

While on tour in New Orleans, the comedian tried a shrimp po' boy at Domilise’s, then chased it with a fried oyster and shrimp variation at Verti Marte. Not the first time we've seen Ansari wolf down sandwiches on-camera; the man can eat. His opening act, Chelsea Peretti, came along for the ride.

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Shaquille O’Neal Is Making ‘Luv Shaq’ Vodka

Because the world was just crying out for another novelty vodka, the company that teamed up with Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino to bring that ill-fated casein-fortified vodka to the clubs is now developing a new variety with Shaquille O’Neal called "Luv Shaq." The Post reports that the new vodka will not contain gluten or sugar, two things no one should ever anticipate to be in their vodka anyhow. O'Neal's new beverage will be coconut-flavored, easy to drink, and seems ready-made for novelty signature cocktails, but just watch out: Some Sex on the Beach, after all, can now lead to a drink called a Luv Shaq Baby, or worse, a Luv Shaq on the rocks. [NYP, Earlier]

More Details Emerge on Gennaro's Tomato Pie

Gennaro's Tomato Pie

That didn’t take very long. Seems Gennaro's Tomato Pie, the pizza joint that we told you Lombardi's Pizza’s Mike Giammarino was opening in South Philly, is all ready to go. Passyunk Post reports that the tomato pie-maker has passed health inspections, and hosted a little pizza party preview this past Saturday. With a short list of sauce-on-top pies, Giammarino’s goal is to create a pilgrimage-worthy destination much like Port Richmond’s infamous Tacconelli's. Decked with a bevy of vintage gewgaws and knickknacks — P’unk Post has a bunch of photos — Giammarino has set the stage for a cozy, family-friendly spot that’s also BYOB. The opening is still set for January 2. [Passyunk Post]

Earlier: Gennaro's to Start Tossing Tomato Pies in South Philly

Stollenwerk Exits Fish

Mike Stollenwerk

The latest chapter in the Fish saga closes with Mike Stollenwerk leaving the restaurant. Insider broke the news late Monday night, stating that the chef-owner who had spun the seafood restaurant — then at 1708 Lombard — out of the smaller BYOB, Little Fish, back in 2009, gave little explanation other than a desire to spend more time with family, and put the departure behind him. His exit leaves the restaurant in the hands of backer Evan Prochniak. There’s no word yet on how things will play out going forward. No doubt, Stollenwerk and Fish traversed some choppy waters over the past two years.

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Watch Pro Wakeskaters Ride a Cranberry Bog

Red Bull invited two professional wakeskaters — they're like wakeboarders but more hard-core since they're not bound to the board in any way — to travel to Wisconsin and surf a cranberry-covered bog. It's part of the energy drink's video series about extreme, winch-powered sports, which by definition is almost too marketing-driven to actually be extreme. But still, the video is great.

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Instagram Now Owns All of Your Food Porn

Why won't someone think of the truffles?Photo: Everett Bogue

Come January 16, you will no longer own all of those quasi-tilt-shift sirloin-steak photos, washed-out croquembouches, and artfully blurry Thumbelina carrot snaps you took on your phone. It turns out that Instagram, which is now owned by Facebook, is changing its user policy so that it can use all public photos taken with the app at any time, for any reason it wants to. The good news is that your cake pops may soon be in Everyday With Rachael Ray, but the bad news is that no one will pay you for that and your career as a cake-pop photographer will never take off.

Why is this happening? »

Adorable Kid Convinces Hasbro to Make Gender-Neutral Easy-Bake Oven

Coming soon in silver and black.

Crisis averted: That New Jersey teen who started a petition beseeching Hasbro to manufacture and market a more unisex Easy-Bake Oven met with executives from the toy company, who told her that a redesigned silver-and-black model is in development and will debut at the New York Toy Show in February. McKenna Pope, who is 13, felt bad for her little brother, who'd asked for an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas but feared the social repercussions and stigma of turning out brownies with a girly-swirly purple-and-pink toy in the company of his macho, bench-pressing 4-year-old friends. Pope's petition elicited support from 40,000 concerned citizens, Bobby Flay, dozens of other chefs from around the country, and lots of reporters from the predictable array of tabloid news programs. [ABC, Earlier]

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