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Culinary News of Weird and Useful: February 12, 2010

February 12, 2010

Building better bodies the beer way A study done at the University of California Davis exposits that beer is good for your bones.  The study shows that many varieties of beer contain high amounts of silicone, and a nutrient that helps build strong bones.  The study’s findings suggest that moderate beer drinking can help prevent osteoporosis.

Monsieur Anton says:  My mother told me to drink milk for my bones.  Forget the milk, pour some brew!  I woke up this morning with my back aching, and when I read this I passed up my morning coffee for another kind of brew.

Chef Gusteau: Why the study is not disclosing is that it was funded very heavily by Anton himself, in the hopes that he could justify his obsession with good brew.  On a serious note, I find it amusing with all the health trends and studies over the years (Atkins, South Beach, etc) that what finally washes out is the realization that everything in moderation appears to be the best course of action.  Shouldn’t be a surprise, really.

We thought you drank to forget Another study, another reason to drink.  Studies in both Sweden and Denmark have found that drinking wine can reduce the chances of diseases such as Alzheimer’s that can cause dementia.  The Danish study found that people who drank wine regularly were up to two times less likely to develop dementia.

Monsieur Anton:  And I thought I was always drinking to forget.  See, two postings about the benefits of drinking in one glorious week of Culinary News of the Weird and Useful!  Gusteau likes to give me a hard time about drinking, but I’ll have the last word when we’re both old and grey, and I have strong bones and a razor sharp memory!

Chef Gusteau: Ok, I funded this study!  I have 2-3 glasses nightly, so that puts me on mensa level most likely!  Yes, that talk of everything in moderation doesn’t apply to me.  As far as old and grey, I am already there Anton!  There are many benefits to a glass of red wine nightly, and the list of benefits keeps growing.  Need any more reasons to enjoy life more, one glass at a time?


Critic gets a hair ball A Village Voice was curious to see if Purina was really practicing truth in advertising when he saw a can of Fancy Feast Yellowfin Tuna Florentine.  A Tuscan style cat food seemed yummy, but when he put it to a taste test, he found that the “gourmet cat food” was just rather bland, and not at all Tuscan, or gourmet.

Monsieur Anton:  Now this is a writer who is dedicated to his craft.  Don’t expect tasting notes on cat chow on At the Pass.  Actually, bland is better than I thought it would be.  I’ve always wondered how companies can claim specific flavors in cat and dog food. Really, who was going to try it to make sure what was in the can was what they claimed on the label.  Now we know.

Chef Gusteau: My god, he ate cat food for research?  What, now is he going to sue Purina for false advertising?  People at Purina probably took side bets on the likelihood that people, not cats, would be eating this stuff.  This is cat food! Keep in mind “Fluffy” licks himself daily, not sure Tuna Florentine, bland or not, is worth the time or money.

The doctor is in Chef Jacques Torres compared chefs to various medical specialties. “If you look at the medical profession, the chef is in the emergency room. You see the chefs really reacting to the service and dealing with what’s going on at the moment. The pastry chef would be the knee guy or something. You cannot bake a cake by the time a customer sits. You can assemble desserts, put whipped cream and berries together, but it takes a lot more planning.”

Monsieur Anton:  Calling Dr. Gusteau!  I have a bad case of hunger pains.  I’ll take the analogy a step further.  If the chef is the doctor, then the bartender is the pharmacist dispensing bottled prescriptions.

Chef Gusteau:  Funny, I would have thought that Pasty Chefs would be Proctologists – everything they do goes straight to your ass!  Actually, another interesting thought on this was provided by my wife.  She thought it funny that students can attend medical school and graduate, without ever seeing a patient, and be referred to as “Doctors” yet a student can graduate culinary school and be lucky to be referred to as a “Cook,” let alone a “Chef.”  Interesting, but certainly indicates that Chefs are clearly better than Doctors in every way…so there!  In any case, pretty useless analogy by a great pastry chef.


I love you with extra cheese and pepperoni Papa John’s is offering special heart shaped pizzas through Valentine’s Day.  The tagline for the promotion is, “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love means never having to eat an overpriced, mediocre Valentine’s Day meal at a crowded restaurant surrounded by strangers.”  How romantic.

Monsieur says:  I’m guessing the guy that buys this for his wife or girlfriend on Valentine’s Day is definitely not getting lucky.  Hey pepperoni breath, you’re sleeping on the couch!

Chef Gusteau:  That promotion tagline is a bit long, huh? Won’t see that on any T-shirts or bumper stickers.  Oh, and it was dumb as well.  If your date gets you this pizza, dump him/her!  You can make awesome pizza together at home (which I assume is where you planned on eating this goofy pizza in the first place, to avoid the public ridicule you’d deserve for even ordering this foolishness).  Cooking together is fun, romantic..and if you make a mess…can be very sexy as well.

Who’s got two seats at the chef’s table? The National Restaurant News is reporting that an Atlanta  man has been charged with scalping high end restaurant reservations.  The website reservations911.com has been taken down.  Using a variety of aliases and phone numbers, the nefarious webmaster booked Valentine’s Day reservations in prime spots in Atlanta, Miami, Napa and New York City’s hottest eateries. He then auctioned them off for $50-$100.  The effect is that many of the restaurants had turned down legitimate reservations thinking that they were booked.

Monsieur Anton:  Everybody’s a scammer.  What scares me about this is that this cyber method of slipping the maitre a de twenty under the table can actually be a business model that restaurants may adopt.  Now that they know there is a value to a reservation on special occasion nights, they may charge a premium for the privilege of dining there.

Chef Gusteau:  Refer to Anton’s previous post on technology and the Food and Beverage Industry for some of the background on the technology that has led up to this craziness.  I still believe that regardless the restaurant, any quality Chef will tell you that it is their privilege to serve you, and that such a premium is counter to a properly run establishment.

Friday February 12th…National Plum Pudding Day

Saturday February 13th…National Tortellini Day

Sunday February 14th…National Crème-Filled Chocolates Day

Monday February 15th…National Gumdrop Day

Tuesday February 16th…National Almond day

Wednesday February 17th…National Cabbage Day

Thursday February 18th…National Drink Wine Day

Chef Gusteau:  I will not be doing any posting on February 18th – I will be supporting National Drink Wine Day to the best of my ability!

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” – George Bernard Shaw

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2010 4:26 pm

    Chef Gusteau has it right..All things in moderation.. except, of course…
    Red wine and dark chocolate. Cause they’re cancer killers… Perfect timing for Valentine’s Day, eh?
    Nothing says ‘I love you’ better than killing cancer cells. Article Link: http://bit.ly/a40C1A

    • February 12, 2010 8:48 pm

      I think Joe has just created the ideal Valentine’s Day Hallmark Card…”Nothing says I love you better than killing cancer…so drink up and eat that chocolate” Awesome stuff. Granted my idea of moderation comes into question when I finish a bottle of red by myself sometimes. But I like to say that “All great Chefs cook with red wine; sometimes they even use it in the food!”
      Have a great weekend Joe – See you at Flavor Tripping! Chef Gusteau.

  2. February 12, 2010 11:24 pm

    and this just in…Analysis: Chocolate may reduce stroke risk http://bit.ly/aQvTIP
    let’s summarize… Chocolate cures cancer and reduces stroke risk. AND…6 Reasons Why a Little Glass of Wine Each Day May Do You Good http://bit.ly/Trw5H
    Grab a really large MOVIE size bag of M&Ms (plain, ’cause peanut butter would be overkill, right?) and 2 bottles of wine… and a chick-flick or Monty Python movie (Chef Gusteau thinks one bottle is too much?? He must use REALLY small goblets…), kiss your loved one, and proceed to feed him or her by hand, saying: “I’m only doing this, ’cause I Love ya”… or even better…go to a local restaurant… get pampered by others…and order the triple chocolate dessert and a big old woody red.. and always tip in CASH… ALWAYS Happy VD!…wait…that’s not right.. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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