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Culinary News of the Weird and Useful: January 28, 2010

January 28, 2010

Have it your way…with a cold one. Burger King, the number two fast food company in America is turning to beer to try to claim more of a market share.  BK will sell beer at the Whopper Bar in Miami’s South Beach neighborhood.   The Whopper Bar, with additional burger offerings will sell beer as well.  The beers will be Budweiser, Bud Lite, Bud Lite Lime and Miller Lite.  The restaurant will be open 24/7 and if things work out, the company is considering extending the concept to other cities.

Monsieur Anton says:  I always thought a late night trip to Burger King was to sober up!  Oh well, I guess it can’t hurt, but a bad beer (look at the offerings), and a bad burger are not on my wish list.

Chef Gusteau: I think completely insane and drunk would be the only condition under which I would eat anything at BK…heaven knows that beer selection wouldn’t help me either.  Ok, I can be a food/drink snob, ok, I said it.


Emeril, the new Rachael Ray. Emeril Lagasse, the chef that carried the early days of the Food Network will return to television with a weekly show on the ION network.  The show says it will “break news and break bread” with celebrity guests, cooking and chatting.  The show will have all the trappings of a celebrity chat-fest with an audience, a live band, filmed street segments and celebrities.  The show, produced by Martha Stewart  will air Sunday nights beginning March 28th.

Monsieur Anton:  Did we learn nothing from “Emeril” the sitcom?  What’s next, “The Bobby Flay Mystery Hour?”  Lagasse was instrumental in popularizing the cooking show, and in doing so his celebrity outgrew his abilities.  He needs to concentrate on teaching people to cook.  Leave the entertainment shows to the marginally food talented Rachael Ray.  You’re too good for this Emeril.

Chef Gusteau: It should be added that oral communication isn’t exactly Emeril’s strong suit…grammatically speaking he is the equivalent of the deranged smurfs that Anthony Bourdain likened him to.


Sweet Tweet. Sweetheats, those little colorful heart shaped bundles of sugar with the flirtatious messages have come out with some new ditties.  Just in time for Valentine’s Day the newest message to be embedded in the tiny treats is “Tweet Me.”  “It’s a recognition that society is changing the way to say, ‘I love you,'” Jackie Hague, vice president of marketing at New England Confectioner.  Other new phrases are “My Boo” and “Text Me.”

Monsieur Anton:  As long as grade school kids don’t get little hearts that say “Sext Me.”  Just a sign of the times I guess, but something about the innocence of a third grade boy giving his crush little heart with “Be Mine” is still what Valentine’s Day is about.

Chef Gusteau: I think I am going to be sick.  Maybe have them say something like “Bite me” or “Go to Hell” or something more poignant for today’s society.  Ok, feeling a bit bitter after reading the Burger King stuff.


Can you tweet “bankruptcy?” Speaking of Twitter, one of At the Pass’ favorite subjects/whipping boys, Gordon Ramsay is going to twitter school.  He says he has been immersing himself in all things Twitter, in anticipation of his debut on Twitter February 1st.

Monsieur Anton:  If he had only put that much time and preparation in his financial planning.  Social networking is an intricate part of restaurant promotion, and we all know that Gordo loves to promote himself.

Chef Gusteau:  I am more impressed with the “Sweet Tweets” above than this.  Of all the things Ramsay could be working on, I can’t imagine Twitter is one of them.  I can see it now (except I will never Twitter) on Ramsay’s Twitter: “Damn, defaulted on another loan. F&*#ing Donkey. S@#$, sold another restaurant. Such a Donkey! Who wants to join me for a drink so I can forget this @#$king hell?” Not pretty.


Bitter times. What has 45% alcohol by volume, is sold in your local grocery store, and can be purchased by your kids?  What is Angostura Bitters for $200 Alex?  The essential digestive found behind every bar is now in short supply due to financial reasons.  The House of Angostura in Trinidad and Tobago has been forced to cut back its production because of financial difficulties facing its parent company CL Financial.  Bars in New York City are having their supply of bitters rationed by distributors.

Monsieur Anton:  Please say it isn’t so!  I want my Manhattan!  Actually this too shall pass.  Word is that production is already on its way up.  In the meantime let’s use this as an opportunity for mixologists to adapt and evolve, trying other bitters such as Fee Bros., Regan’s or the wonderful Peychaud’s.

Chef Gusteau: There is always whisky.


The way to a man’s heart. Food goddesses Padma Lakshi  of Top Chef and the Food Network’s Giada de Laurentiis have been named to AskMen.com’s list of the 99 Most Desirable Women.  Lakshi checks in at number 17 and Giada at 37.  The list was a result of an annual poll of the website’s readers with over 6 million votes cast.

Monsieur Anton:  I do love me some Giada.  The impressive thing is that they appeared on a list that was voted on by men, not because they are beautiful (they certainly are), but that enough men watch the cooking shows to know who they are and vote for them.  But then again, maybe that’s why they’re watching.  I don’t want to come off as sexist so ladies, your turn.  What male chefs are you checking out?

Chef Gusteau: Padma can cook?  Giada lost an Iron Chef battle to Rachel Ray…that had to hurt. I can’t imagine coming up with 99 women to begin with…need to get out more apparently.


Bake it like Beckham: Soccer heartthrob is taking cooking lessons.  He is going to a 120 hour culinary school program in Italy to satisfy his passion for cooking.

Monsieur Anton:  Like he needs another thing get the ladies.  Good for him. It’s always a good thing to learn more about food.  If you don’t believe me, ask Gusteau.  Maybe he needs to cook for Victoria.  She’s looking a little frail.

Chef Gusteau: He already has the Tats for a chef…that’s a start.  And if he cuts his hands off in the kitchen because he doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing, his real career is safe.  Am I to assume that his Lady Spice Victoria doesn’t cook…shocking!  I certainly would cook for Victoria…fatten her up a bit.


Food Holidays

Thursday January 28, 2010:  National Blueberry Pancake Day

Friday January 29, 2010:  National Corn Chip Day

Saturday January 30, 2010:  National Croissant Day

Sunday January 31, 2010:  Brandy Alexander Day

Monday February 1, 2010:  National Baked Alaska Day

Tuesday February 2, 2010:  Heavenly Hash Day

Wednesday February 3, 2010:  National Carrot Cake Day

The first week of February is Shape up with Pickles Time

“The age of your children is a key factor in how quickly you are served in a restaurant. We once had a waiter in Canada who said, “Could I get you your check?” and we answered, “How about the menu first?””
Erma Bombeck quotes (U.S. humorist, 1927-1996)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2010 7:42 am

    I saw something about this on TV last night

  2. January 29, 2010 3:16 pm

    Does somebody know where to get nice and hot (spicy) bbq recipes?

    • January 31, 2010 3:53 pm

      BBQ Sauce recipes…no need! It is so easy to create your own from scratch and adjust it to your tastes. 50%-75% of the sauce can be ketchup. For the rest, consider adding any of the following (in amounts you decide) molasses, brown sugar, honey, dijon mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, chipotle in adobo, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, liquid smoke, red wine vinegar, mangoes, pineapple, onions. For example, you could do 1 Cup of ketchup, 1 tbspn each molasses and brown sugar, 1 tsp each onion powder and garlic powder, 1 tbspn worcestershire sauce, and 1 Tbspn of chipotle in adobo. Too thick? Add water. Too spicy? Add ketchup/honey. Need it to be smokier? Add 1 tsp liquid smoke. Have fun with the sauce…add cooked onions and mangoes to add a tropical flair to the sauce. Be daring and creative…and post your award winning sauce back on At The Pass for all of us to enjoy! Chef Gusteau.

  3. January 31, 2010 7:57 am

    very nice. interesting post

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