Monday, November 11, 2013

Culinary Animation - Video

Last Nights Dinner - The Hat - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

The Hat, has been serving up some of the best Pastrami sandwiches since 1951, bar none. Don't let the humble d├ęcor fool you, their food is the business and a must have, especially when the temperature begins to drop. I mean after all isn’t 60° technically freezing for Southern California?

Knife Wielding Chef Chases Dine & Dasher at Chiba Sushi in Canada

Chiba Sushi, Victoria BC.
A sushi chef from Victoria, Canada's Chiba Sushi was not about to let a dine-and-dasher get away with his crime: according to the Vancouver Sun, Ivan Eng chased a man down the road who skipped out on his $64 check "for several minutes" before the police intervened. Oh, and he was carrying his sushi knife the whole time.
Eng chased the man, who turned out to be a serial offender, for a few blocks, telling passing cars to call 911. Police apparently told Eng that next time he should not bring the knife with him when pursuing a criminal, which is probably a good idea. Eng told the Sun he "trusts [the thief] won't come in for dinner again."

Sushi chef Ivan Eng prepares food at Chiba sushi in Victoria on Thursday. Eng chased down a customer who skipped out on a $64 bill and chased him for seven minutes down Gorge Road while telling passing cars to call police.
Photograph by: Adrian Lam , Times Colonist

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Culinary World Has Lost A Pioneering Legend. Charlie Trotter Found Dead In His Chicago Home

By Rosemary Regina Sobol, Jeremy Gorner
4:54 pm, November 5, 2013
Charlie Trotter, whose eponymous Chicago restaurant was considered one of the finest in the world, has died.

The 54-year-old chef was found unconscious and not breathing in his Lincoln Park home this morning and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Trotter was found by his son Dylan at the home in the 1800 block of North Dayton Street and an ambulance was called at 10:45 a.m., according to a family friend and fire officials.

"My baby's gone," Trotter's wife Rochelle told the friend, Carrie Nahabedian.
In a statement released Tuesday night, Rochelle Trotter said: “We are incredibly shocked and deeply saddened by the unexpected loss of Charlie at our home in Lincoln Park.  He was much loved, and words can not describe how much he will be missed.
"Charlie was a trailblazer and introduced people to a new way of dining when he opened Charlie Trotter’s.  His impact upon American cuisine and the culinary world at large will always be remembered."
"We thank you so much for your kind words, love and support," she added.  "We appreciate the respect for our privacy as we work through this difficult time. Details for the memorial service will be forthcoming.”
Steve Kolinski, a neighbor who lives several houses down, said he came outside late this morning and saw six police cars and an ambulance pulled up at Trotter’s home.  Kolinski then saw Trotter’s wife, who ran outside and was “yelling hysterically.’’

Trotter was wheeled out on a stretcher and taken away, he said. Trotter’s wife and son then left.
Trotter was pronounced dead at 11:48 a.m. at Northwestern. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday, but a source said there was no preliminary indications of foul play.
Trotter burst on the scene in 1987, when the self-taught chef opened Charlie Trotter’s restaurant on Armitage Avenue. In short order, the chef’s intense creativity and never-repeat-a-dish dictum made Trotter’s the most talked-about restaurant in Chicago, and his fame quickly spread throughout the country and beyond.

He was named the country’s Outstanding Chef by James Beard Foundation in 1999; in 2000, Wine Spectator magazine called Trotter’s the best restaurant in the nation. More awards and accolades followed, including a 2002 Beard Award for Outstanding Service; at the time, Trotter called it the award he was most proud to receive, as it represented “a team award.”

The mercurial chef was a stern taskmaster who demanded the absolute best from everyone who worked for him. He was also a man of uncommon generosity, creating the Charlie Trotter Education Foundation to provide scholarships for culinary students. He received the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award in 2012.
Master Sommelier Larry Stone who served as Trotter's Sommelier in the late 80s and early 90s returned to work with him last year to close up his restaurant.

"He was a great inspiration in my life and a fantastic partner," said Stone.

Stone, who is now with the Quintessa Winery in Napa Valley, said Trotter and his family were aware that Trotter had a brain aneurysm and Trotter told Stone that he was resigned to it.

"It was a time bomb and he felt that he didn't have a lot of time left. It was inoperable and it was not something that could be repaired, it was deep inside the brain," Stone said.

As a result of his medical condition he was told by doctors that he should not be flying, should not be in high altitudes and should not exert himself because of the pressure on his brain. A friend of the family said he spoke at the Jackson Hole Culinary Conference Sunday night.

"I think that's why he had to give up the restaurant ultimately, he realized he had to change a few things in his life," said Stone. "He loved the craft so much he didn't want to give it up, it was so very hard for him to give up."

Stone believes that he may have been misunderstood because Trotter was not the type of person to ask for sympathy. He said a number of years ago he went to the Mayo Clinic after he was first having dizzy spells and had collapsed.

"It was obvious he had problems and he had some seizures," Stone said. "It's a condition that had worsened in the last few years but it was something he had for quite a while."

Stone said Trotter didn't let his health get into his way.

"He said, 'When your time comes, it comes.' He didn't dwell on it. I don't think it made him very happy to know that he had a condition that would incapacitate him in some way," said Stone. "He realized there was not much you could do...He never wanted anything to interfere with his craft. He was driven by his love of what he did and a desire to be better and better at it. That's what drove him from the very beginning."
“Charlie was an extreme father figure to me when it came to not just cooking, but life, and seeing things in a different way,” said chef Graham Elliot Bowles, one of many famous chefs who worked for Trotter. “I just can’t put into words how saddened I am by all of this. It’s a huge loss, not just personally, but for the culinary world.”
The news shocked many in the restaurant world, including L.A. chef David LeFevre, owner at MB Post and Fishing With Dynamite in Manhattan Beach, who worked for Trotter for 10 years, dating back to his externship from the Culinary Institute of America.

"He’s probably the most important guy in my career," LeFevre told the Los Angeles Times while waiting to board a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles after a brief vacation. “It’s funny because I’ve been talking a lot about Charlie this weekend because I was back in Chicago and seeing friends from that period.

"I think I can attribute the majority of my attention to detail and the majority of my awareness of what it takes to run a fine dining restaurant to him. He had a very acute sense of attention to detail and he saw things that most people didn’t see. All of us who worked for him are better chefs because we came out of that kitchen.

"He may not have been the best people person sometimes when he was trying to achieve a very difficult goal, but there’s no arguing that he made us all better chefs.

"I’ve spoken with 10 or 12 people this morning who worked with him and every one is very sad about this. Those of us who got to spend a lot of time with him knew a very caring side of him that not everyone could see."
Sari Zernich Worsham, who worked closely with Trotter for 13 years in his kitchen and on his books and PBS series, said she and other Trotter alumni are organizing a candlelight vigil in front of the restaurant buildings at 4:30 p.m. for anyone who would like to come.

“I just feel like we should do something immediately,” said Worsham, now executive director of chef Art Smith's company.

"Charlie always called me his little sister, and I feel like I just lost my big brother," she said. "I’m just speechless. He’s welded and sculpted so many people’s lives and sent them on the path to success. I can’t thank him enough."

“I don’t think you can write a sadder story," said Yusho chef Matthias Merges, a 14-year veteran of Trotter's kitchen as chef de cuisine, executive chef and director of operations. "I don’t think it’s even possible."

Merges emphasized that Trotter should be remembered for his incredible influence and success. "What he’s accomplished has been the game changer for the landscape of American cuisine, and we can never discount that no matter what happens,” Merges said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement saying Trotter "changed Chicago’s restaurant scene forever and played a leading role in elevating the city to the culinary capital it is today. . . He will always have a seat at the table among Chicago’s legendary figures.”
A neighbor, Bunny Snyder, who lives across the street, remembered Trotter fondly, saying he was known as “Chef’’ to those in the close-knit neighborhood. 

“He was terrific on the street,’’ Snyder said, adding that he would usually attend their summer block party and she would often see him walking a dog.

“He used to partake in our street fair every year and put out a table,’’ Snyder said.  “He was a good neighbor."
Lauren Marks, who has lived on the street for some 30 years, said that she used to see Trotter fairly regularly when he would walk his dogs, but said he had been "rather reclusive lately."

"It's a sad thing, it's shocking," said Marks, who said she saw the emergency vehicles gathered outside this morning and knew something was wrong. "With Charlie you never knew what was going to happen on any given day... He was an interesting man."

Tom Aries, another neighbor whose child went to school with Trotter's son, called the news "astonishing."

"He was a phenomenal chef," said Aries, who said that he got to be chef for a day in Trotter's restaurant, and that he ran a very efficient operation.

Another woman who walked by Trotter's home said that she used to work for Trotter at his restaurant — where she had also met her husband.

"Charlie was a very sweet man to me all my years working there and treated me like a daughter," said the woman, wiping tears from her eyes. She declined to give her name because of the controversy that has surrounded Trotter's interactions with previous employees.
Trotter, who grew up in Chicago’s north suburbs, was a political science major at the University of Wisconsin at Madison before switching tracks and beginning his culinary training at Sinclair’s in Lake Forest.

Days before he turned 28, Trotter opened his own restaurant in a two-story North Side townhouse he spent about a year restoring.

"I worked in various kitchens from two days to five months," Trotter told the Tribune in 1987, just after the restaurant opened. "I would leave when I wasn't learning anything. I gradually began to conceive of the sort of place I would like to have and the style of cooking I felt comfortable with."

As a young chef learning his trade and bouncing from kitchen to kitchen, he earned the respect of his mentors.

"He's a marathon man," said Norman Van Aken, who in 1987 was a chef on Key West. "He's been with me in three different restaurants and in every one his spirit and persistence has lifted morale. I've never seen such drive, single-minded vision and generosity."

Trotter’s restaurant, greeted by positive reviews, continued growing in stature. In 1997, just a decade after opening, a Tribune critic called the restaurant “one of the city’s treasures” and said Trotter was “as experimental as they come” in the kitchen.

As his eatery flourished, Trotter became a regular at civic functions and charity dinners. At one point, his restaurant was purchasing produce from a garden tended by youth in the troubled Cabrini-Green housing projects.

But as diners rung in the New Year in 2012, Trotter announced that he’d be shuttering his restaurant months later. The restaurant closed late that summer, just after its 25th anniversary.

Trotter remained in the news after that final meal, but often not for the best reasons. The chef abruptly ended an auction of his restaurant’s wares when only about a third of the items had been sold.

Then this summer, he was sued for allegedly selling two wine collectors a bogus bottle for thousands of dollars, which he denied.

In August, almost a year to the day after the restaurant closed, Trotter kicked out high school students who had been invited to showcase their artwork from an after-school program in the former restaurant. One student said Trotter "went ballistic" when their instructor declined the chef’s request that they sweep floors and clean toilets.
Trotter was the keynote speaker Sunday at the Jackson Hole Culinary Conference, which was hosted by Central Wyoming College at Jackson.

Susan Thulin, the director of the college, said Trotter arrived Sunday and left early Monday morning. The subject of his speech was excellence, and he spoke about “empowering your employees, being passionate about what you’re doing … and working so hard they have to hire two people to replace you,” she said.

While this was the first Jackson Hole Culinary Conference, Thulin said Trotter had been to the area several times before to ski with his son and hoped to return this winter with him. “We’re so sad to hear of his passing away,” Thulin said. “He really touched those that were there” to hear his speech.

Thulin also said that Trotter talked about how proud he was of his wife, who was running in the New York City marathon the same day.
Richard Ofstein, a former chicagoan, who attended the Jackson Hole conference where Trotter was the key note speaker on Sunday said that after Trotter dodged a previous question about what his favorite recipe was, he asked him what his last meal would be.
Ofstein, a radiologist, noticed that his left hand was shaking as he held the microphone but didn't think more about it.
"I said from one Chicagoan to another what would be your last meal and he answered, 'A 1900 Chateau Margaux' a vintage bottle of wine worth between $9,000 and $16,000.
Tribune reporter Carlos Sadovi contributed.
Twitter: @ChicagoBreaking

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Meyer Lansky

Meyer Lansky “The Mobs Accountant” 1902 – 1983

Last Nights Dinner, Done In A Supreme Fashion.

Always ones to love flossing what we ate for dinner, last night was nothing less than stellar as I did the damn thing with a quick Seafood Boil that brought a few old friends & family members together. If you missed it, get ready for things like this to be an everyday option at our restaurant in Rancho Cucamonga, "The Supreme Plate, Gourmet Seafood, Sausages & Sandwiches… Coming Soon!"

The Day The Food Fought Back

Fly Sushi Art

Dia De La Muerte Sugar Skulls

Art In The Yard - Melrose, CA Nov.9th, 2013

Nothing beats living in California. Well that is unless you live somewhere better like Turks & Caicos or have a never-ending supply of wealth that allows for you to travel the world whenever the mood calls for it. But back to beautiful always sunny Southern CA where the food is incredible, the artwork that adorns the walls in the streets is astoundingly beautiful and the people are as eclectic as you ca get. 

This weekend in Los Angeles at The Fame Yard on Melrose (two doors down from Sportie LA & Space 23 (one of the flyest art galleries in town that supports more than just traditional Graffiti artists) will be hosting “Art In The Yard” which will showcase the skills and talents of artists such as Hex TGO who will be doing a huge memorial wall to Sk8 One. Other notables on the scene doing their thing live for the people will be: Gregory Siff, Andrea Lahue, Proto1 and many more as some of Los Angeles’ dopest DJ’s select only the freshest cuts to liven up the evening.  

Check this event and get familiar with its curators Eddie Donaldson & Adrianna Schutz as they will be hosting some of the flyest events in the near future that are always for a good cause and more importantly keep graffiti alive and moving forward. Much Love & hope to see you all out there.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Introducing the Kuro Ninja Burger from BK Japan

Burger King Japan will be releasing the “Kuro Ninja Burger” or Black Ninja Burger on October 25, much to the bacon lovers of the worlds delight. In 2012 BK Japan introduced the Premium Kuro Burger, which featured a charcoal and tea smoked bun & squid ink flavored black ketchup which sold like crazy and made for some pretty interesting hash tags and headlines in the foodie world. This time around BK Japan has added a colossal sized slab of bacon and a hash brown patty to the mix and will be selling it for roughly $7 or $8 bucks.

Fly Food Rhymes - Featuring The Notorious B.I.G pt II

Fly Food Rhymes featuring The Notorious B.I.G

Ile de Re - Fine Island Cognac from Camus

Please believe that we will be telling you a whole lot more about this amazing brand in the next few days, until then stop by your local libation purveyor and ask if they are in supply of any of Camus’ amazing line of perfectly blended Cognacs, they are truly smoother than a glass of silk. 

For more info on this and all of their other wonderful releases, check out:

The Set Up

As we all grow older, refining ourselves should be of the utmost importance. Having the ability to properly set a table displays a bit of class, a bit of home-training and finally shows that you actually care about how things visually stimulate your guests. 

Ok so maybe we are reaching on that last one, but for anyone who has ever wondered, just where does the fork go (and with some major holidays sitting right around the corner you may want to figure this out quick) this list should easily help you get your table game up to par.
Happy Eating.

Blueberry Yum Yum

We can’t lie and say we don't love playing with our food. These new edible spray paints are incredibly dope and taste unlike anything you have ever eaten (in a good way.)

Wear A G On My Lac I Dont Need Dapper Dan

For those that don't know or weren’t even alive back in the 1980’s, if you weren’t draped in the latest fashion that was adorned with Louis V or Gucci logos, you just weren’t poppin’. In the early 2000’s the craze re-caught on and everyone was going overboard on everything from clothes to cars once again. 

But what we want to ask is, who actually remembers the Gucci Edition Seville by Cadillac that also came with a set of luggage?

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Food Holidays of October 2013

In the music industry every is worried about getting their release out in the fourth quarter because that is when the heavyweights usually come out to play. Christmas, Hanukkah and every other holiday that requires gift giving usually takes place in the 4th quarter of the year and with that come a lot of added sales. In the food industry things are no different. True everyone wants to watch their weight so they can stay in shape for next years heat wave, but in the end we almost all succumb to the greatest of sweets & treats that can be found just around every corner this time of year.  Last year around October brought about some major changes in our business, all for the better and I wish to simply say thank you to all of our supporters for coming out to our events, following the site and letting us know how we can help make your live better and our site even more influential towards eating right and living a more fulfilling life.

The fact that people celebrate everything by having some kind of feast of special delicacy is something we love to commemorate daily. We’ve been doing the National Food Holidays at the start of each month for just over 4 years now and it feels good to be able say that.

October is National:
Eating Healthier Month
Eat Country Ham Month
National Apple Month
National Applejack Month
National Caramel Month
National Chili Month
National Cookie Month
National Dessert Month
National Pickled Peppers Month
National Pizza Festival Month
National Popcorn Month
National Pork Month
National Pretzel Month
National Seafood Month

The 1st Week of October is National No Salt Week & National Chili Week

The 2nd Week of October is home to:
National American Beer Week
National Food Bank Week (The Most Important Week of Them All!!)
National School Lunch Week
National Pasta Week

The 3rd Week of October is home to:
National Kraut Sandwich Week (Disgusting However You Look At It)
National Pickled Peppers Week

The 4th Week of October is home to:
National Chicken Soup for the Soul Week

Here is a complete breakdown of all of the glorious gastronomical holidays to await us in the Month of October:

October 1 World Vegetarian Day
October 1 Pudding Season Begins
October 1 Homemade Cookies Day
October 2 National Fried Scallops Day
October 3 National Caramel Custard Day
October 4 National Taco Day
October 4 National Vodka Day
October 4 Cinnamon Roll Day
October 5 National Apple Better Day
October 6 National Noodle Day
October 7 National Frappe Day
October 8 National Fluffernutter Day
October 9  Moldy Cheese Day
October 9 Submarine / Hoagie / Hero / Grinder Day

October 10 National Angel Food Cake Day
October 11 National Sausage Pizza Day
October 11 World Egg Day
October 12 National Gumbo Day
October 13 National Yorkshire Pudding Day
October 14 National Chocolate Covered Insects Day
October 15 National Chicken Cacciatore Day
October 15 National Roast Pheasant Day
October 16World Food Day
October 16 National Liqueur Day
October 17 National Pasta Day
October 17 Four Prunes Day
October 18 National Chocolate Cupcake Day
October 19 National Seafood Bisque Day
October 20 National Brandied Fruit Day

October 21 Apple Day
October 21 National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day
October 21 Caramel Apple Day
October 22 National Nut Day
October 23 National Boston Cream-Pie Day
October 23 National Canning Day
October 24 National Bologna Day
October 24 Good & Plenty Day
October 25 National Greasy Foods Day
October 26 Pumpkin Day
October 26 Pretzel Day
October 26 Mince Meat Pie Day
October 27 National Potato Day
October 28 Wild Foods Day
October 28 National Chocolate Day
October 29 National Oatmeal Day
October 30 National Candy Corn Day
October 30 Buy A Doughnut Day
October 31 National Candy Apple Day
October 31 Trick or Treat for UNICEF Day