Who doesn’t love a good charcuterie board? You have delicacy after delicacy carefully presented in stunning patterns; you almost feel guilty digging into one. Almost.
In this month’s Foodbeast Recipe Challenge, the crew was tasked with building a stunning charcuterie board that went beyond deli meats and cheese.
Foodbeast Theresa Tran, inspired by some posts in popular Facebook group Subtle Asian Traits, decided to create a Banh Mi Charcuterie board she endearing names “Shark Coochie.”
The board is stacked with various Vietnamese proteins: cha lua, cha chien, xa xiu, pickled carrots/daikon, cilantro, cucumbers, Vietnamese mayo, pate, jalapeños, and sliced French baguettes.
Other innovative boards include Oscar’s Seacuterie board filled with fresh seafood offerings, Ramy’s Lebanese board, and Ashley’s sweet and spicy FOODBEAST board. Check out the video above to see all these incredible builds!
Wolfgang Puck. I’ve been familiar with the name since the 90’s, where a kid like me would snack on his frozen pizzas and be wowed by the eclectic decor at his chain of cafes. But as the years added up, so did my understanding of Puck’s stature and importance to the culinary world. A vast restaurant empire with a transcendental brand. The father of Los Angeles fine dining. A food mogul in every sense. Puck’s accomplishments and contributions galvanize his reputation as one of the most iconic chefs ever.
As I sat down with Puck for this episode of Taste the Details, I was most curious about the longevity of his career, how his constant innovation buoys his brand and vision, and his thoughts on the metamorphosis of the Los Angeles dining scene. But what impressed me the most throughout my afternoon with the legend was his palpable joy. Through recalling the various milestones in his career and showcasing his signature dishes in the kitchen, his megawatt smile illuminated each moment — his love for food still evident every time he unsheathed a pearly grin.
It’s likely that this infectious joy has been the catalyst to Puck’s success and longevity, and honestly, I wouldn’t doubt it. Because the apparent zeal begets an approach to and philosophy on food that champions adaptation, hospitality, and modernism; a holy trinity to staying power in a fickle modern food landscape.
A couple of years ago on Reddit, someone decided to ask how much energy it would take to cook a chicken by slapping it. The internet, of course, responded as best it could, with answers saying how fast you would need to slap it (over 3,700 miles per hour) or how many times total (over 23,000 times).
Of course, this was all just theoretical until recently, when science YouTuber Louis Weisz did the unthinkable and cooked a whole chicken and steak purely through the power of slapping.
Weisz accomplished this culinary feat through some science and robotic ingenuity, putting together a piston, a cutting board for slapping, and some aerogel for insulation. This kept all of the heat generated by slapping the meat inside of the food, meaning that it wouldn’t get lost and the entire thing would cook.
It took a few attempts, but Weisz managed to get a steak up to a perfect medium rare (about 60 degrees Celsius) and keep a whole chicken at 55-58 degrees Celsius long enough to kill any bacteria and render the meat cooked. While he didn’t eat the chicken (one of the protective bags broke into the meat), the steak was tasty, even though the texture was a little off from all of the slapping.
Weisz wouldn’t recommend trying this at home, however, since the energy needed to cause all of that slapping is a lot more than what your oven would use to cook the same chicken. Nonetheless, the world of culinary science has solved another puzzle bequeathed to it by the internet.
The first thing that might come to mind when one hears “Nutella Hummus” is a wacky dessert spinoff of the classic dip, likely perched atop a Trader Joe’s or health store fridge shelf.
At Hummus Labs in Pasadena, however, chef and owner Joseph Badaro is giving the sweet treat a serious flavor punch while holding true to the traditions of the original dish.
It’s definitely the most eye-catching on name, and even Lebanese Foodbeast Marc, who walked in to Hummus Labs wary, found himself surprised and delighted by what this Nutella hummus had to offer.
The Nutella Hummus also comes with cinnamon sugar pita chips, cut and fried daily by the Hummus Labs team for a snackable experience that elevates both hummus and dessert.
For Badaro, hummus is the canvas on which he can brush creative flavors into, and Nutella is just one of the many varieties he has in his arsenal.
He’s got a whole cavalcade of savory spins on the chickpea paste as well, with Cilantro Jalapeño, Tomato Habanero, and Beet Dill just some of the unique takes on offer. You can grab one, or a pack of four, alongside a bag of savory pita chips spiced with sumac and more.
What doesn’t change between flavors is how the base paste is made, and for that, Badaro sticks to tradition. He soaks the chickpeas overnight, boils them, and grinds them down himself every single day.
The hummus menu rotates daily, but the ultimate goal for Badaro is to be the “quintessential hummus sales” in Los Angeles and beyond.
Badaro isn’t settling for just being known for hummus, however. He’s also making spins on other Middle Eastern classics. His shawarma nachos, for example, are a treat that has social media clamoring.
Made from pita chips, filet mignon (or chicken) spiced and cooked down with tomatoes, tahini, and a hummus or dip of your choice, it’s unlike any nachos or shawarma meal you’ve tried before. We went with filet and spicy labne above, but going for other options like chicken and a healthy scoop of toum (fresh garlic paste) is just as flavorsome.
Badaro has hinted at even more fun creations coming down the line, and is always taking input from his customers on what to cook up next. His wizardry in the hummus and Mediterranean food game makes the “Labs” part of his restaurant’s name quite fitting.
To check out the full story on Badaro and Hummus Labs, peep the full Foodbeast video on the restaurant at the top of this story.
Las Vegas is the city of bigger and better. That’s where we go for brighter lights, flashier food, louder music, and harder drinks. But now, thanks to the Custom Pizza Truck, folks can also experience the largest mobile pizzeria.
That’s because Custom Pizza Truck looks more like a hulking moving van that’s been converted into a custom-built kitchen on wheels. Within its cavernous cabin lies a full-sized pizza making station complete with a wood-burning oven imported straight from Europe. This large space allows Custom Pizza Truck’s crew the ability to sling an astonishing 100 pizzas per hour!
Watch the latest Foodbeast News Bites video above to learn about Custom Pizza Truck’s transcontinental journey, as told by chef and owner Bart Waryzszak. It’s a unique story that highlights some tremendous ingenuity and dedication to bring authentic Neapolitan pizzas right to Las Vegas.
For those not familiar with the deliciousness of a khachapuri, let me break down the juicy deets for you: picture bread shaped similarly to a boat, then filled with cheese, butter, and egg. With all that then mixed in the carby vessel, one can picture the tasty affair that follows as you rip off a piece said bread, dip it into the holy trinity mixture mentioned, and fish out a bite that is nothing short of mesmerizing.
Over at Tony Khachapuri, a pop-up within Oui Bakery in Los Angeles, California, Chef Armen Piskoulian has decided to up the ante some by offering khachapuri that incorporates decadent toppings like lobster and pastrami.
Khachapuri leveling up with some plump lobster or savory pastrami is but a dream come true for all that love an added boost of flavor to the cheesy and buttery situation. Check out the video above for an in-depth look at some of the wonderful styles of khachapuri Tony Khachapuri is serving up.
When thinking of what drinks to pair with seafood, like oysters, sake is something you should keep at the top of your mind. The natural umami present within sake and oysters don’t just pair with each other: they mesh and enhance each other, meaning you get more umami from the two combined than either individually.
This is because sake and seafood contain different types of umami compounds. Umami compounds are substances found naturally in food that trigger tastebuds to register the savory taste umami has in our brains. Sake has a compound called glutamic acid, while oysters contain another called inosinic acid. When combined, they are shown to have a synergistic effect that enhances umami.
A recent joint study between JFOODO and Japanese company AISSY looked at these pairings by quantifying umami as an “umami score” across multiple types of beverages. White wine is a typical beverage to pair with seafood, but based on these umami scores, sake results in a larger increase in umami. According to a press release, when paired with raw oysters, white wine only increased the umami score by 0.13 points, while pairing the oysters with sake increased the umami score by 0.41 points. This signifies a larger enhancement of umami in our mouths when we drink sake with seafood over white wine.
Foodbeast and food Instagrammer @ashyi recently got to experience this new type of pairing style firsthand. She met up with sake sommelier Bryan West at Shuck Oyster Bar in Costa Mesa, California to try some different sakes meant to pair perfectly with oysters.
Suigei Brewing’s Koiku No. 54 is made with Gin-no Yume rice, which is locally produced in the same region the brewery is located in. It’s a semi-dry, light sake with citrusy notes, yet still retains a strong umami flavor that pairs with and enhances an oyster’s taste.
“Isaribi” is the name given to a fire meant to lure fish at night. It’s a fitting name for this rich, dry sake, which was crafted to pair well with all types of seafood, including oysters.
Each of the above sakes has unique flavor profiles and qualities, but all contain that glutamic acid that provides the umami synergy with oysters. Together, that creates a mouthwatering flavor combo that you can’t get with just either alone.
A unique yet optimal way to combine the two umami sensations is through something called a “sake drop,” where some of the sake paired with a meal is spooned on top of the oyster. It’s then all eaten at once to enjoy the enhanced umami synergy.
You can try doing a sake drop at Shuck Oyster Bar, who is serving a special oyster dish alongside the Isaribi sake as part of the Unlock Your Palate campaign by JFOODO. It will be served alongside Oysters on the half shell topped with caviar, micro greens, yuzu spritz, and a dash of Fresno chili sauce. This pairing will be available at Shuck starting December 1st, and may end when the stock of sake runs out. Otherwise, it will run through the entire month.
To learn more about the sakes and how they go with oysters, check out the full video at the top of this story. You can also learn more about the pairing, and other restaurants featuring it, through JFOODO’s website, or by following the hashtags #UnlockYourPalate and #SeafoodAndSake.
In Harlem, New York, the building located at 580 St. Nicholas Avenue carries a unique piece of Harlem Renaissance history. Librarian Regina Anderson Andrews, a resident there, would host rooftop and apartment gatherings where literary juggernauts like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and W.E.B. DuBois would show up to and recite their works.
While the Harlem Renaissance has come and gone, the building has still remained a gathering place, thanks to The Edge, a restaurant located on the bottom floor that pays respect to that legacy.
Owned by sisters Juliet and Justine Masters, you can find homages to the legends that roamed the building throughout the restaurant, including a regal portrait of Langston Hughes and a collection of books folks can read while sipping on coffee and enjoying their meals.
The food here, by the way, is a unique story of its own, calling to the childhoods of the two owners. Justine and Juliet are Harlem locals, but have parents from Jamaica and Britain, and grew up eating dishes from both countries.
That has led to some creative and inspirational dishes on their menu, including a luxuriously creamy Jerk Chicken Alfredo, and coconut-crusted fish used for the British staple fish and chips. Ackee and saltfish, a national dish of Jamaica, even has a home here in tasty taco form. One also shouldn’t leave without a glass of homemade sorrel, which Juliet and Justine’s father makes on a regular basis.
With such a unique building history and innovative and tantalizing dishes, The Edge is a restaurant chock full of stories that has made it locals’ favorite.
To learn more about The Edge, check out the full video at the top of this story. The restaurant is currently offering outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery, as well as some limited indoor service.