Posts for January 21, 2013

Guy Fieri to Open Winery and Event Space in Sonoma

Guy Fieri, who grew up in rural Humboldt County, California and opened his first restaurant in Sonoma in 1996 before becoming a TV celebrity, is now branching out into the wine business. A year ago he bought a piece of property in Santa Rosa with five acres of vineyard on it, and as the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports, he's planning to attach a public tasting room to an existing house (lately used as a crash pad for his friends), and use the place for wine-related events throughout the year. Whether the labels on his estate wines will have his spiky-haired mug on them, and whether they'll be called Pimpin' Pinot and Rockin' Rosé, remains to be seen.

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Chris Cosentino Believes In the Circle of Life

"An egg is the beginning of life, oysters are all-encompassing, and blood is stuff of life. It’s a very powerful, personal dish with a lot of meaning." —The Top Chef Masters winner on his "last meal" dish of blood sausage, oysters, and duck egg. He sometimes serves it at his San Francisco restaurant, Incanto. [First We Feast]

Amy’s Omelette House ‘Creeps Past’ Camden County’s Low-Set Bar For Brunch; Spicy Korean Chicken Cheesesteak Is KAMI Cart’s ‘Highlight’

• Though the bar in Camden County isn’t set very high for brunch, Adam Erace says Cherry Hill’s Amy's Omelette House manages to “creep past it” with 200-plus omelettes. An avocado and Monterey jack cheese omelette proved “fine enough,” while a grilled chicken on focaccia was “pretty decent.” A “hard, flat piece of something” “fished out” from a skillet of chili explains why “it’s not called Amy’s Chili House.” [Courier-Post]

• Midtown Lunch-ers check out the KAMI (Korean American Menu Inspired) cart near Drexel University, and give an enthusiastic approval of its spicy pork bulgogi duk-bap. They report the pork was “good,” and the flavor “was not overwhelming.” But the “well-flavored” and “messy” spicy chicken cheesesteak with kimchi and provolone cheese, they write, is the cart’s “real highlight.” [Midtown Lunch]

What to Eat at Tonight’s Shiprock Pop-up at 12 Steps Down

Artist Hawk Krall's commemorative print.Photo: Courtesy Hawk Krall

As mentioned here before, beef jerky impresario and occasional food blogger Marcos Espinoza (aka Fidel Gastro) is teaming with La Calaca Feliz chef Lucio Palazzo and artist Hawk Krall to host Shiprock Pop-up at 12 Steps Down. The evening brings the seldom seen phenomenon of Navajo Tacos, which also go by Frybread, from the American Southwest to South Philly. Espinoza’s mother, the undisputed authority on all things frybread, will be joining Palazzo in the kitchen to lend her frying expertise.

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There's Actually Going To Be A Little Kids Cooking Show

Look out, Ms. Cleo. Last week, we pleaded for some unscrupulous network to just get it all over with and turn L.A.'s emerging trend of little kid chefs into another dispensable reality show. Now, Eater L.A. is reporting just such a thing is really, actually going to happen. Junior MasterChef, a U.S. version of an existing U.K. and Aussie show, is currently looking for kids eight to thirteen years old with a passion for cooking, with the additional squeam-inducing request for parents to "bring out that inner pushy stage mum and help your kid try out." One has to wonder if this kind of thing is really necessary. After all, hasn't Guy Fieri already been impersonating a rambunctious thirteen-year-old for years? [Eater]

Did Spike Mendelsohn Find a Place in Philly to Hang His Fedorka?

Spike MendelsohnPhoto: Bravo

Looks like Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn’s finally found a place in Philly to hang those goofy-ass hats he’s so fond of wearing. He told Eater that he zeroed in on a location here for an outpost of his D.C. -based Good Stuff Eatery. When asked about rumors of a Philly expansion, Mendelsohn snaps back with, “No more rumors. We have a location.” Without giving up the exact address, he adds that his local operation will land somewhere near Walnut Street. And that he’s about three or four months from opening it. The Insider speculates that recently shuttered Numa Sushi Bar near 18th and Walnut is the property in question. [Eater; Insider; Earlier]

Waiter Risks His Job to Defend a Special-Needs Child

Michael Garcia at Laurenzo’s Prime Rib in Houston.

When Michael Garcia overhead a regular insult a 5-year-old customer with Down syndrome at Laurenzo’s Prime Rib in Houston, he didn't stay quiet. "My personal feelings just took over,” he told KTRK. “And I told this man, 'I'm sorry, I can't serve you.'" As the boy chatted with his family and the restaurant staff about his recent birthday, a group of customers at a nearby table got up and moved to the back of the restaurant. After Garcia overheard one patron say, "Special needs children need to be special somewhere else," he flat-out refused to serve the table, and the customers promptly left the restaurant. Someone give this man a raise. [NYDN]

Ill Pittore Collaboration Pairs Peter Serpico and Chris Painter

Il Pittore's chef Chris Painter

Before official word came that Peter Serpico was working with Stephen Starr to open a restaurant on South Street, rumors had the former David Chang deputy spending his time in the kitchens of Barclay Prime, and Il Pittore. Now Starr reps are telling Grub that stealthy Serpico is teaming with the latter restaurant’s chef, Chris Pinter, for a one-night-only collaboration dinner. And seatings for it are being booked now. It’s happening on February 19, and will feature both chef’s creative interpretations of classic Italian cuisine played out over eight dishes. To accompany the the $150-per-person meal, a selection of specially handpicked wines will be offered.* Seatings are available between 6:00 and 8:30 p.m.

Earlier: Starr Enlists Former Momofoku Ko Chef for Philly Restaurant

*This post has been corrected to show that wine will be offered separately.

Details Emerge on Vetri’s Osteria at Moorestown Mall

Marc Vetri and business partner Jeff Benjimen

News of a signed lease last fall confirmed persistent rumors of Marc Vetri’s plan to open an Osteria clone at New Jersey’s newly liquor-licensed Moorestown Mall. Now that big picture is coming into focus a little. In a lengthy Q+A, Vetri tells Moorestown Patch that the restaurant is currently in its design phase, and will likely be completed sometime next fall. Through the discussion the chef says that this suburban venture will feature a menu similar to that served at its North Broad Street namesake, but will also offer some options that are completely new. There’s also some talk of it getting a much larger bar. Aside from restaurants, Vetri adds that he wants to bring his Eatiquette program to schools in Camden. [Patch; Earlier]

Unsuccessful Starbucks Robber Leaves Store With Coffee

"Please leave room for milk."

Police say a Huntsville, Alabama man entered a Starbucks bright and early yesterday morning and demanded cash from the nearest barista, who regretfully informed him that the register drawer was stuck and would not open. Robber Phillip Sawdey was offered a coffee instead. Police arrested him in the parking lot, drink in hand. Sawdey was charged with venti larceny, though the charges will likely be dropped to "grande" in court. [WHNT]

Padma Leash Me Makes Her Debut on SNL’s ‘Top Dog Chef’

Saturday Night Live spoofed Top Chef this weekend by turning the show's cast into puppies. Tom Collie-cio ordered the contestants to make a dish out of ingredients from a torn-open garbage bag. The challenge's obstacle? A ringing doorbell at random intervals. Host Jennifer Lawrence put her Golden Globe–award-winning acting chops to good use by playing a dog who puts "a whisper of urine" on top of her brunch dish. Mario Barktali loved it.

Woof. »

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