The weather is warming up every day, and any chef worth his knives can tell you what that means: grilling season. But unlike stovetop or oven cooking, learning to grill like a masterchef can come with unexpected challenges, from sudden weather changes to inconsistent flame heat. Luckily, some of the world’s best grillmasters are here to share their secrets. With a little help, everyone will be flocking to your back deck this summer.

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While some people eat to live, there are definitely others who live to eat. If you have a passion for fine cuisine, it can make sense for you to visit locales known for their popular dishes. For instance, you may simply wish to travel to Thailand to indulge in great Thai food, or you may want to try out the food truck sensation of the California coast. Traveling for generalized food ideas and sensation are one thing, but pinpointing a chef is another.

If your passion is in the individuality of cuisine, knowing a chef’s specialty and traveling to taste it makes perfect sense. With Michelin Star ratings and James Beard awards, it has become easier to decipher which chefs are really on the “cutting edge” of culinary arts. Included here are a few restaurants that may be worth the trip!

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The Oceanaire Seafood Room

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Beans are a very heart healthy food, so it simply makes sense for you to add them to your diet. There are some general ways to add beans, lentils, and legumes to your diet, like in soups, then there are some more creative ways to use them.

Beans contain a lot of great minerals, and they are an excellent way to get some protein in your diet while cutting back on meat. They are also the ideal way for vegans and vegetarians to ensure they get enough protein in their diets.

Beans
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With the amount of options consumers have for eating choices, many restaurants struggle with what they can do to set themselves apart from the competition and encourage more patrons to visit their establishment. To make your eatery more appealing, one thing you may consider improving is the atmosphere of your space by pumping up the artistic flare you bring into your restaurant. So for restaurant owners looks to add something special to their space, here are three interesting ways you can add artistic flare to your restaurant.

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Decor Choices

When setting the mood for your restaurant, so much depends upon the concept and theme you’ve chosen for your eatery. However, once you have this in place, deciding on meaningful and intentional decor pieces can help bring your artistic flare to the next level.

According to Ion Nicolae, a contributor to DesignLike.com, finding distinctive pieces for walls, artwork and furnishings that bring together the theme of your restaurant is a great way to add your own artistic flare to the space. To do this, consider getting all your pieces from unique and original distributors, like Park West Gallery, in order to ensure that your restaurant decor choices are unlike those that can be found anywhere else.

Tints, Tones and Shades

One of the most impactful and easiest ways to add interest to your restaurant space is with color. DesignBuildIdeas.eu reminds restauranteurs that the colors you choose to include in your space can have a massive impact on the way patrons view, feel and interact with your establishment. In fact, certain colors have even been known to encourage hunger, making those likely choices for many food services. For this reason, be sure you consider the type of mood, type of food, and type of customers you plan to work with in your restaurant when deciding on colors for each and every element.

Functional Design Elements

Even functional aspects of your restaurant can bring in elements that boost the artistic flare of your space. From furniture and layout to music and lighting, anything you intentionally choose for an artistic purpose can help to make your space more unique to you.

For a great way to add art to your restaurant, Rebecca Creger, a contributor to 99Designs.com, recommends for restaurant owners to create menus that double as pieces of art. To accomplish this, Creger suggests paying attention to elements like typography, illustrations, photos, layout and more to create a truly stunning work of art out of your menu—something each patron will take the time to see and appreciate.

By implementing pieces into your restaurant that enhance the artistic characteristics of your space, you can create a truly unique establishment that can help set your restaurant apart from any of your competitors. Use the tips mentioned above to bring in interesting artistic elements to your restaurant today.

In the traditional sense, it’s the chef that makes a dish and not the other way around. In small towns, there is rarely much opportunity to indulge in gourmet dining. Those who wish to venture out are usually stuck with chain restaurants that while they might taste good, have nothing on the gourmet restaurants usually found in larger cities with a more diverse population.

Those who have eaten in these kind of restaurants know this to be true. In many cases, the chef is responsible for the success of a restaurant. It makes sense. Bad food equals unhappy customers, unhappy customers eventually translates into no customers. Without customers, there is nobody to serve, and everybody is left feeling hungry and empty, literally. Continue reading »

Everyone knows that a fine wine paired with a good meal can be the perfect end to any day. Relaxing with a drink on a Friday night with friends can also be an exquisite treat; but with all great things comes moderation. Some celebrity chefs take their love of alcohol to the screen and can often be seen getting drunk and raucous on television. Find out which chefs have taken it too far on-screen with this list of celebrity chefs who love to drink.

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain

The cynical nature of television chef Anthony Bourdain has been both honored and criticized by many people throughout the years. Bourdain enjoys traveling and finding the weird and wonderful, all with a glass or bottle in his hand. In spite of his tv popularity, Bourdain seems to retain a deep disdain for all things cliched and touristy while bringing a dark perspective to his glamorous life of traveling and eating. Continue reading »

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef, cookbook author, restauranteur, food campaigner “and most importantly today … dad”, is now taking a more active stance on waging the war against obesity caused by sugar, and he’s called to British Prime Minister David Cameron to step up his game and get serious with the recently lobbied sugar tax debate.

The celebrated TV chef turned health campaigner has exclaimed that “ball is firmly in the Government’s court”, the Prime Minster has not shown any movement towards legislating the recommend sugar tax, despite studies and national polls pointing toward a dire need of it for the population’s health. The government isn’t very convinced a sugar tax is the way to get, true, lasting results in public health, In fact, officials note that it’s a regressive move, one that will disproportionately alienate poorer consumers and may even lead to loss of livelihood.

Oliver, on the other hand, has praised these studies and the solidarity of people in favour of the sugar tax, encouraging legislators to think “like parents, not politicians.”

“I’m excited and relieved that we finally got to see Public Health England’s courageous, forward-thinking report and its excellent recommendations such as a proposed sugar levy, cutting down on the advertising of high sugar food, all of which are powerful weapons in improving our children’s health,” Oliver enthuses.”There has never been a better time than now.”

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According to the a study published by Public Health England, nearly 25% of adults and 19% of pre-teeners in England are obese, costing the National Health Service a whopping $7.8 billion every year. About 68% of people confined in British hospitals are there because of diet-related diseases. Further more, a startling fact is majority of that number come from poorer families, with parents and guardians juggling as much as three to five jobs a day just to feed a family on what they can afford. These individuals often turn to sugary foods and drinks, as these are products that fit in their budget and their need to feed a large family.

In the face of this, Oliver is showing no signs of backing down on the health issue, and has even entoned an eerie possibility of his actions: “If I disappear in the next three to four years, you will know why. This is a very powerful force and industry.”

Despite his public stance on sugar, Jamie Oliver allows his own children a modicum of sweets. “”The kids get a little bag – you don’t get many sweets for 50p,” he says. “They’re full of sugar, no nutritional value at all. Technically, I’m not allowed to give them sweets until after lunch, but sometimes one slips in.”

“I don’t want to be a Nazi about it. It’s about getting it right most of the time – and most is an important word. Sugar should be celebrated – it is a joy and a treat. It’s when sugar starts infiltrating everything else, when it becomes normalised, that it’s a problem.”

Jamie Oliver certainly walks his talk — readers may be encouraged to take up the low-sugar lifestyle browsing through the recipes on his website.

Japan is known to have one of the most exciting cuisines in the world. With an unmatched respect for ingredients- fresh is best to the point of enjoying food raw, after all- and meticulous preparation, to be a master Japanese chef is mastery on so many levels.

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IronChefMorimoto” by derivative work: 293.xx.xxx.xx (talk)
Iron_Chef_Morimoto.jpg: Justin DoubIron_Chef_Morimoto.jpg. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Perhaps the best known Japanese chef of all is Masaharu Morimoto, popular mostly because of his role in both the Japanese and American versions of the television show Iron Chef. His New York namesake restaurant, Morimoto is considered one of the finest Japanese restaurants in the country, and has locations in Philadelphia and Napa Valley in California.

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Another famous Japanese chef, although less popular than Morimoto, Matsuhisa is known best for his signature dish of black cod in miso. He had a small role in the Martin Scorsese film Casino, and has also acted in other Hollywood productions such as Austin Powers: Goldmember and Memoirs of a Geisha.

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Chef Miki Nozawa’s story is a tragic one. One of the most famous Japanese chefs, a favorite of everyone from Mikhail Gorbachev to Denzel Washington, he recently passed away after being beaten by irate customers at his restaurant on the island of Sylt in northern Germany.

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The Great Food Truck Race, hosted by celebrity chef Tyler Florence, is currently on its fifth season on the Food Network. So far, Los Angeles natives The Middle Feast are at the top with their Middle Eastern inspired dishes such as falafel and shawarma.

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We were somewhat surprised that there were no Asian food trucks on this latest season- the Asian food trucks have always been our favorites to watch from the very beginning, when Vietnamese banh-mi sandwich truck Nom Nom took an early lead in Season 1 and kept winning challenges before they were finally defeated by gourmet hamburger truck Grill ‘Em All.

Our favorites, hands down, in Season 2, were Korilla BBQ, who served up the most delicious-looking Korean barbecue tacos and were pretty much killing it until they were unceremoniously disqualified for cheating in week five- a definite shock and embarrassment to many Korean American viewers.

Season 3 winners Seoul Sausage never addressed the issue of Korilla’s cheating, but everyone felt their fair gamesmanship and victory ultimately shed a more positive light on the Korean community.

And, of course, the final two trucks of Season 4, Aloha Plate and Tikka Tikka Taco were both Asian-inspired. There’s something about the boldness of Asian flavors that seem to translate very well to Food Truck food. We’re crossing our fingers that the next season will feature at least a few Asian food trucks!

tailgating

Crisp leaves and cool Autumn nights are markers letting us know that football season is finally here. Many football fans and tailgaters have been counting down the days until the first kickoff. However, it is important to prepare for tailgating season. So before you fire up the grills, purchase the charcoal, and put the drinks on ice- prevent unnecessary food penalties or turnovers during the tailgate party by organizing your tailgating ideas well before the cleats hit the turf.

Over the years, tailgating has evolved into a tradition that many people enjoy. Even if football isn’t your cup of tea, tailgating allows even the most reluctant fan to enjoy sitting through endless first downs and conversions. Borrow tailgating ideas from chefs and other fans to create the best combination of jerseys and food.

tailgating party

If you find yourself spending a Friday or Saturday afternoon focused on the grill, rather than the pigskin, try these tailgating ideas to score with the crowd:

Keep it simple. Prepare as much of the food as you can before the game, so you can enjoy tailgating. Slice tomatoes, thread kabobs, or whip together a simple salad the night before. Avoid complicated dishes or desserts, look for appetizing summer dishes.

Keep things the right temperature. Pack plenty of ice and make sure refrigerated items are stored properly. You don’t want a game’s victory to be overturned with a bout of food poisoning.

Bring enough drinks and include nonalcoholic drinks. Game days can be brutally cold or stifling hot. Either way, you will need to stay hydrated to prevent sitting out on the sidelines.

Let your grill do the work. Choose meals and sides that can be left on the grill while you cheer on the team. Grill potatoes, corn, mushrooms, peppers, pizzas, and more. The possibilities are endless!

Incorporate the team’s colors. This is a simple tailgating idea, but buy colored plates and cups that support the team. Try colored foods, like colored popcorn to add a little pizzazz to your curbside party. Get creative and have fun!

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Do you have any great recipes or ideas to win at tailgating?