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2011 Food and Restaurant Trends November 13, 2010

Posted by Eli in : Cooking, Food Article, In the News, Uncategorized, Updates , 2comments

binany affiliate program While everyone knows that the three top tier “creme de la creme” Food and Restaurant trend reports come from the ARSSSAOFA (American Restaurant Studies of Statistical Stats Association of America), the NFTASAOTCUS (National Food Trends and Safety Assocation of The Contiguous United States) and the NCSCLCMDMUA (National Chef Sous Chef Line Cook Matire De Mixologist Union of America) a fourth study is causing serious waves in the industry. Below, the fourth study with it’s key findings and trends for 2011

The Freshman in the Kitchen 2011 Food and Restaurant Trends Report

Brick and mortar restaurants- These are going to be huge in 2011. If you just got into food or you live in a dense urban center you might not have realized that in certain parts of the US, restaurants exist inside buildings with the name clearly displayed on the outside. In 2011, expect restaurants to move away from wheels and institute a floors windows chairs and tables policy.

New serving dishes/techniques – Things served in small portions and sent to the table in mason jars will be gone with the stike of midnight on Dec 31st 2010. Expect restaurants to embrace recycled brown paper bags, planks of wood and simply dumping the food right on the table as the new hot ways to deliver your food to you.

option affiliates Fiscal Responsibility is the new being green/organic – With wounds still raw from the housing and financial implosion, fiscal responsibility is a huge industry buzz word as the calendar rolls over. Expect chipped plates, mismatched glasses, silverware remaining on the table for multiple courses and waiters bringing out skillets and sliding your food onto the same plate you used for your appetizer. When restaurants pass along the savings, everyone wins.

In restaurant slaughtering – 2010 was chock full of chefs passionate about breaking down large cuts of meat with an audience. Classes at restaurants filled up weeks in advance to see chefs break down a pig and then send everyone home with the remaining parts of entire animal. But the animal was dead every single time long before the class started which is kinda lame. We’ve already received word that in January a Portland gastropub already filled a 20 person class where in the first hour, each attendee will have the opportunity to kill a live lamb. Butchering classes? 2010. Slaughtering classes. 2011. Quite possibly the most aggressive of all the 2011 trends we’ve discovered.

Savory desserts in the shape of cupcakes and that taste like vegan brownies but are made of frozen yogurt – This 2011 trend may be hard to visualize, but it provides further evidence of chefs blending the lines between creativity, reality and perception. It’s all so very whimsical and eclectic and creative!

broker affiliate Outdoor restaurants (we mean seriously outdoors) – on the completely other end of the spectrum we’ve received word that outdoor restaurants with no running water, reliable heat sources, tables or permits will be making an imprint in several cities. We’ve received word of two illegal restaurants in parks (BYOBlanket), one in a parking lot where they cook off bunsen burners (window service like an old fashioned A&W) and a raw restaurant where you eat all the dishes in seasonal and evolutionary order while taking a 9 mile hike called Forage on Foot.

Indian Food – Certain trend reports are saying Indian is poised to make a huge  splash onto the mainstream with several high profile chefs attached to open  Indian restaurants around the world. We agree with other trend reports in spelling only. Yes, the big food trend of 2011 is going to indian food…but Indian as in Native Americans. Chief Greyfeather of the Inuit tribe (and long time oracle of wild game cuisine) is consulting on a new restaurant in the MGM grand called Sky.Earth.Water.Wind. If this is a success, expect the copy cats to be sprouting up everywhere. (ed. note: Phllip Stark will be designing the interior which has been reported as futuristic minimalist teepee)

The ten hot food items for 2011 (this year’s “bacon”):

1) Water from the tap – much more cost efficient than it’s purified or bottled brothers, this will be the go-to for restaurants wanting to display fiscal responsibility

2) Gushers –  Nabisco announced that the famous snack/lunchroom currency will be discontinued in 2010. Chefs across the United States have been acquiring boxes however possible (with one crate going for $3,400 on e-bay). Expect to see a few trademark desserts at Michelin starred restaurant finished with a handful of gushers.

3) Schmaltz- 2011’s top new hot app. 2 pieces of white bread served with chicken fat on the side. Gelatinous golden globules of flavor

4) Cheddar cheese – often marginalized and left off the charcuterie/cheese plate cheddar will move to the forefront and displace high priced, long aged stinky versions.

5) Infused hot waters. Often referred to as soups, broths or teas, expect to see lots of hot liquids taking on lots of different flavors.

6) Asafoetida – sulferic in smell, rarely used. Will start popping up in broths because its tough to surprise anyone anymore and this is used so rarely it will help chefs differentiate themselves from those that simply fall back on finishing everything with truffles.

7) sunflower seeds – long marginalized as a baseball player snack n’ spit, these seeds will be encrusting kobe beef steaks and anchoring sauces in 2011.

7a) Balsam seeds – usually used to flavor hippocras (a type of mulled wine) and usually restricted to times of celebration due to its scarcity, balsam seeds are already being used as drink garnish in Abu Dhabi because purchased by the oz, the seeds are now more expensive than gold.

9) Goldfish – a goldfish disaster at the largest fishery in Maryland has left many goldfish varieties extinct. With limited quantity comes greater desire from the dining public. Prices rose to $120 an oz. in November so expect goldfish to push caviar to the wayside in 2011 as prices continue to soar.

10) Ostrich – new legislation in North Dakota has helped subsidize the largest ostrich farm outside of Australia. Designed in part to steal a piece of the $22 billion a year non-beef/chicken market (made up primarily of rabbit, alligator and quail sales) ostrich burgers are rolling out in Portland, Seattle and New Orleans. Expect Red Robin and Chili’s to be close behind.

If there are other trends this report missed that you’ve seen first hand or read about, please leave them in the comments section

Ohhh You’re Dressed as The Situation? That’s creative. October 4, 2010

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Every Halloween I know EXACTLY how Paris and Kim feel when they show up in  ”who wore it better.” There’s always the worry  me and some shmuck will show up to the party with the same costume. To help you avoid this, we’ve got ten culinary themed costumes fully primed to melt faces, but first let’s start by eliminating a few costumes you should avoid harder than Lindsay Lohan at a networking event.


GAGA – As fun as it would be to spend 25 hrs making a meat dress out of hand drawn cardboard pieces, someone else is already doing this, and they will probably do a better job than you. The only thing worse than showing up as Lady Gaga in her meat dress is being the 2nd best version of Lady Gaga in her meat dress.

ZUCKERBERG – If all you do is buy a Harvard sweatshirt and say you are Mark Zuckerberg I will publicly berate you for laziness. If you take it to the next level and stuff your pockets with overflowing cash,hand out “I’m the CEO…bitch” business cards, carry a laptop logged into your Facebook page and update your feed while posting photos in an event called Halloween 2010…I will maybe give you a pass for such a lame costume choice.

POLITICS – For those considering being Obama,Palin or that Wicka lady who hates masturbating; realize that political costumes are very high brow and will make you appear out of touch with Middle America. Glen Beck might pop out of an alley and punch you in the privates for being so hoity-toity and rubbing your education in hard working families faces.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE – And remember to know your audience for full costume success. I considered drawing a “Repossessed by Bank” sign, wearing a blazer over a T-shirt and walking with a cane but I don’t want to explain that I’m a “Foreclosed Gregory House” 46 times to a bunch of drunk girls dressed as characters from Glee.


paula deen This lady drinks melted butter out of a glass so if you take away her money/TV show and give her a few cats she’s basically the crazy neighbor your mom told you to avoid. You’ll need a white wig and TONS of makeup. Paula’s makeup style is basically “Southern Televangelist” so cake it on there (and considering her affinity for the product, you might want to rock a butter based foundation). You’ll be able to use that southern accent you cultivated as an extra in your high school production of Oklahoma! All night you should be yelling “I’m Paula Deen Ya’ll!!” And since she figures out a way to put it in every dish, work butter into every single sentence.


Sifton Last year we offered up a restaurant critic costume, but with Sifton, you’re gonna have to be as accurate as a Jayson Blair story to have people know who you are. To really sell this costume through to the masses, you’ll need a copy of the NYtimes rolled up in your back pocket, a certified check peeking out of your pocket signed by Joe Bastianich and a copy of Born Round under your arm with a mustache drawn on the rotund face of the 2nd grade Frank Bruni.


Gail Simmons In order to really pull this costume off you might need to line up a Tom Collichio. Toss on your finest low cut silk party dress and practice walking in high heels (it’s ok, the real Gail is bad at this too).

Snag your “Tom” impersonator and flirt with him just enough so that you come off cute but not slutty. You should make sure to reinforce most of his comments and rarely if ever disagree with him. Take your “Tom” and walk up to the host at the party, making sure to offer up such a nice smile that it can’t possibly be genuine.

You – “Hi! What do you have for us tonight?”

Host – “Uhh we’ve got some chips, pumpkin seeds and a bunch of Halloween candy.”

You -(turn to your “Tom”) “Well he definitely followed the challenge theme!”(take one bite of a pumpkin seed then turn back to the host) Thanks! We’ll see you at judges table!”



A plain old “Stoner” is a hilarious and easy costume that allows you to get super high and carrying a 3ft bong+huge bag of Doritos into a party never made anyone unpopular, but you gotta just LOVE a good “foodie stoner”.

C’mon, you know the type. He gets blazed and wants to talk about how if he didn’t smoke so much weed he could save up to go to El Bulli and how if he just got his shit together he would totally open up his top secret Ostrich omelet bar-frozen yogurt-sliders fusion restaurant that he knows is the next hot trend.

So strap on your 2-tone dreadlocks wig, make a gravity bong out of 2 liter, raid the fridge and act super confused regardless of how easy the other costumes are to identify.


feature_ludobitesLike the dude above, once LA pop’ed we just can’t stop. For this costume, you’ve got to embrace your inner guerilla performance artist.

Show up at a party uninvited.  Unpack limited kitchen supplies, cutlery and plates, some candles and minimal decoration (just enough to make the place “your own”), some great produce (changes every day!) and start cooking right there in the middle of the party. (You make your own rules – you’re a pop-up restaurant!)

Presumably someone will want a reservation but kindly explain the detailed twitter process and that no, you don’t take phone reservations because…well… you don’t have a phone.

Then, as fast as you arrived, pack everything up and rush out. Everyone will be speculating what party you’ll pop up at next. “I heard he’s popping up next at a party in Santa Monica!” “Really? the westside?? It’s kinda an old crowd over there.” “I heard he’s going to a costume party in Silverlake!” “Ugh that’s so far! But I’d go to see that costume again for sure!” Some asshole is bound to blog that your costume was overrated, but don’t let it get you down. Mystique is your deadliest weapon.


lens2683992_1234740130crawfishlive_0003 1)Buy a shrimp or crab costume.

2) Pour Hershey’s Chocolate sauce all over it.

3) Let it dry (or don’t).

4) Put on the costume.

5) Carry around a bottle of Castrol GTX.

Congratulations, in 5 easy steps you’ve just made a mockery of one of our nation’s worst national disasters and insulted large portion of many U.S. states.

Costume successery? Ummm…Yes.


blog-bourdain-rock-starA Bourdain costume gives you the same carte blanche for recklessness as a Pete Doherty costume. Spend all night cigarette in hand on historical diatribes and pop culture infused tangents dropping words like omnipotent and acrimonious into casual conversation while taking yourself on a culinary journey to getting royally shit housed.

Straight leg light jeans, a white button down with the sleeves rolled up and some black ray bans. Possess what some would call an insatiable thirst for booze.

Eat some hunks of meat with your bare hands while comparing its flavorings to the writing of an obscure 19th century novelist, drop one pop culture Lindsay Lohan bomb, set up your hammock, hop in and fall asleep right there in the middle of the party. Anthony Bourdain parties harder in his sleep than you do awake anyways.



Can you do backflips? Are you vaguely Asian looking but not actually Asian? Do you get SUPER excited by listing ingredients loudly, making very awkward sustained eye contact and doing air karate chops? If all of these apply to you, then it’s settled: you are being The Chairman for Halloween. Here’s a few other bonuses to being The Chairman – 1) You can still wear a suit without dressing as Don Draper. 2) no face makeup necessary 3)possibly the only logical reason to ever show off your ability to do a backflip without looking like a major douche.


epilog_rickBayless Bayless went at it with Jonathan Gold. Alton Brown called out Adam Richman. To pull off either costume you’ll need 2 people. Interestingly,  for either feud you choose you’ll need one robust well fed gentleman and one bespectacled gaunt guy .

Being Richman for Halloween allows you to enter any party, pop the collar on your weird army-ish coat of the day,throw up the MvF sign, proceed sweating profusely and then eat everything in sight in what one might describe as a gluttonous fashion. Whoever plays Alton Brown can just be gaunt with a teaspoon of flamboyant and a dash of smugness.

If you decide to be Bayless for Halloween all you have to do is know absolutely nothing about authentic Mexican food in LA and slap your name on something that looks like it fell out the butt crack of Las Vegas. People should catch on to your costume pretty quick.


food truck Go find your idiot roommate who’s been hoarding all the cardboard making her Lady Gaga meat dress. Now cut out a truck and make sure that your face appears through the side cutout. Pick an obscure ethnic style food that you are sure everyone in the city will become obsessed with(we suggest having a fleet of 3 trucks,calling them The Nina, The Pinta and the Santa Maria and serving Columbus style food. No one’s done that yet). Once you’ve got your costume made, SET UP A TWITTER. Every truck has a twitter! How will all your friends know where your costume has broken down on the way to party? For full authenticity, we suggest standing illegally in parking spots for long periods of time, hanging out outside of restaurants until they call the cops on you and whatever your best dish is, tell everyone you ran out 2 min ago.


May your night be blessed with you waking up not in jail and hopefully not in a bed filled with melted Chocolate bars still crammed in your pockets. You won’t remember it was chocolate…and for like 10 seconds…your world will come crashing down.

Step aside Billy Crystal, the Sussman boys are renting tuxedos. September 15, 2010

Posted by Eli in : Events, Taste of the Nation, Uncategorized , add a comment


We feel incredibly honored to be hosting the 2010 Share Our Strength Leadership Awards in Washington D.C. at the annual Conference of Leaders. It’s a night for SOS to celebrate excellence within the organization and to honor its community leaders, participating chefs, corporate partners and event innovators.

We stand united with SOS in the pursuit to end childhood hunger. A dozen awards will be given this year to distinguished individuals who have donated time, money, sweat and love to the organization.

The Leadership Awards culminate the 2010 conference and take place Sunday Oct. 17th at The Fairmont Hotel in D.C. Sandra Lee is a featured speaker and some amazing chefs will be in attendance. 5 chefs (all top secret) will be catering the reception prior to the awards. (once we are allowed to say who, we’ll let you know).

Max and I are working diligently on a great comical song number to kick off the night that will feature many of the nominees accomplishments to the tune of 2010’s big hits from Lady GaGa, Eminem, Taylor Swift and Kanye West.* Additionally, Pauly D from the cast of Jersey Shore will be presenting an award for “best cooking TV show personality of the year”!**

Learn more about the event here:


*This is a lie.

*If you believed this, you are ridiculous. It’s also a lie.

Where it sort of all began August 30, 2010

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Feeling sentimental today.

Here’s a picture of Max and I cooking together at Camp Tavor in Three Rivers, MI circa 2004. Probably not the best idea to give two 20ish year olds control of a $60k+ food budget for an entire summer but we turned out the best food the camp has ever had. 180 campers and staff. 3 meals a day, two snacks. That’s trial by fire right there.

I love that max is wearing a duct tape kitchen survival belt that he actually made and used all the time. That wasn’t for show. That was fully functional folks.

Max and Eli

Crime doesn’t pay for slick criminals. August 27, 2010

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The Santa Monica Daily Press has let me know that there is a new deviant running wild on the streets of Santa Monica. It is no longer safe for me to take my industrial sized used oil receptacle for casual walks on the promenade or to the pier. Why you ask? Because people are:  STEALING USED COOKING OIL, FILTERING IT AND RE-SELLING IT FOR A PROFIT!

According to Sgt. Jay Trisler, a spokesman for the SMPD “Once it’s filtered, the used oil can retail for a couple of dollars per gallon, making large restaurant receptacles potentially lucrative targets.”

Now embark with me on a math journey. Let’s say there is 100 gallons of used oil behind a Carl’s Jr. Some dudes show up, transfer the oil into another container,load it into a car, drive it back to Whittier, remove it from the vehicle, filter it, then sell it as Bio-fuel. And for all that, they are clearing $150 each max?

I’m looking at this two ways…

1) These dudes are savvy businessmen.  They  love the environment and have found a great “green” business model doing the fast food chain, area residents and the world a huge favor by re-purposing used cooking oil. (Don’t people get grants for doing things like this?)

2) These same guys are idiots.  a) This sounds messy as fuck. Have you ever emptied used oil into a receptacle behind a restaurant? It’s a slippery, meat stink, hotel pan balancing nightmare where no on hears about success but failure haunts you for life as you re-emerge in the kitchen covered in sick smelling cooking grease holding an empty hotel pan cursing “give me a mop, screw you, I hate my life.” Now consider these guys trying to empty used cooking oil receptacles quickly and without getting caught. b) It’s not like this stuff is black gold. I mean…a couple bucks a gallon? These guys roll back to Whittier with massive jugs of used cooking oil sloshing around in the back of their 1998 Nissan Maxima. They pull up to the “safe house” where people are cutting cocaine  and these guys are on the other side of the warehouse slumming it for $3.02 a gallon.


-”I made a few hundred bucks today”

- “but you made it in a sleazy way. Sellin used cooking oil as bio-fuel to the (progressive) kids (driving a prius)”

- “I gotta get paid”

- Well hey that’s just the way it is”


Original article here: http://www.smdp.com/Articles-c-2010-08-25-70193.113116_Alleged_cooking_oil_thieves_nabbed.html