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Foodbeast Picks: The Best Meals We’ve Had In 2019

Another calendar year passes us by and we always wonder where the time has gone. Things seem to be a blur around right around now and much of what happened the past 12 months is a mishmash of hazy recollections that more often than not, need to be verified via our Instagram feeds. But certain experiences tend to stick out more than others, most of which are the delicious ones.

And if there’s anything we’ve learned here at Foodbeast, it’s that ever year we can always pinpoint the exact meal that resonated with us on a spiritual level. That meal that shook our souls and massaged amazing into our palates. That unforgettable bite that was worth making permanent space for in our already cluttered memory banks.

These following meals are just that. The best meals we’ve eaten in 2019. As shared by us here at Foodbeast and our favorite food-loving friends.


Chef Josh Scherer: Good Mythical Morning

Best Meal: Bulgogi, pork jowl, spicy octopus, doenjang, and a whole lot of Korean beer at Oo-Kook; Los Angeles, CA

It takes more than food to make a memorable meal. It’s the company, the ambiance, the shared laughter — a few pounds of spicy Korean octopus and several bottles of beer don’t hurt either. Good Mythical Morning had just won show of the year at the Streamys, and the entire crew mobbed to K-Town for a victory feast. Oo-Kook is the crown jewel of all-you-can-eat KBBQ options in LA and I’d been there so many times that ordering is second-nature for me: Brisket, tongue, and bulgogi round one. Pork jowl, miso pork belly, and duck breast round two. Spicy octopus, garlic shrimp, and steamed egg round three. The beer was flowing and everyone smelled like meat for days. It was a beautiful day.

HONORABLE MENTION: Create Your Own Ultimate Seafood Feast at Red Lobster; everywhere

Geoff Kutnick: Foodbeast

Best Meal: Joy Cup Noodles Mean, Honolulu, HI 

In what started as a dumpling craving, the 22-ingredient Dan Dan Noodles from Joy Cup Noodles Mean randomly became my favorite meal of the year. The noodles are layered incarnations of flavor featuring nuances of peanut, sesame, mushroom, ginger, pork, chili and countless more. Typically, combining that many strong flavors would be arrogant, rude even. But Olympic gymnasts have less balance than these palate-expanding noodles. The no frills attitude: bicycles parked inside, the chef reading the newspaper in the dining room until we ordered, the shabby shopping center minutes from luxurious beach-front resorts — made it even better.

HONORABLE MENTION: n/naka; Los Angeles, CA

Mike Chau: Food Baby NY

Best Meal: Kawi; New York, NY

Not much would make me want to return all the way to Hudson Yards and go up 5 flights to the furthest point in the mall, but I’ve been back to Kawi numerous times this year after a perfect first meal. From the White Pepper Wings and the Madai Tartare to the very satisfying and huge Kimbap to the Rice Cakes, it was all excellent. It may have helped a little that David Chang prepared a piece of the Kawibap for me by topping the candied anchovy & egg kimbap with trout roe and uni (#humblebrag), but every time I’ve been back has been a perfect experience.


Chef Joshua Luce: Neighbor LA; Venice, CA

Best Meal: Tacos Al Pastor; El Vilsito, Mexico City, Mexico


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Generoso trompo de pastor #tacoselvilsito #tacosdepastor #gourmetdebanqueta #narvarte #cdmx

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I was in CDMX for the weekend with my brother to celebrate his birthday. The first night we ate at Pujol — which everyone already knows is absolutely incredible. The second night, we ran around the city looking for tacos. After about a half dozen stops, we finally hit El Vilsito which doubles as an auto repair shop by day. We could tell right off the bat as we approached three big “trompos” spinning around that we had hit the jackpot. Standing there on that crowded sidewalk with tacos in one hand and cold cerveza in the other was easily the best meal of 2019.

HONORABLE MENTION: Steirereck; Vienna, Austria

Burt Bakman: SLAB; Los Angeles, CA

Best Meal: Smokey Beef Ribs from Howlin’ Rays x SLAB; Los Angeles, CA

howlin' rays slab

The best thing I ate in 2019 was this smokey beef rib we did at a charity event with Howlin’ Rays. Johnny Ray Zone took the rib and gave it the special Howlin’ touch.

Legend has it that a pop-up will be coming soon…

HONORABLE MENTION: Butter Chicken at Badmaash; Los Angeles, CA

Sam Brosnan: Foodbeast

Best Meal: BBQ Stop; Diamond Bar, CA


In 2019, one establishment became synonymous with Friday night in my life: BBQ Stop in Diamond Bar, CA. We visit so often that not only does the waitstaff drink soju with us, my phone predicts our cravings and asks me if I’m ready to route there on weekends. Never before have I had a go-to neighborhood haunt I could go to with my friends, and feel like family. While I love their meat and their perfect, jiggly steamed egg, the banchan are the true stars of the meal, in my opinion. If I could buy their japchae and fish cakes in gallon buckets to take home, I would. On Tuesday nights for dinner, they even give you corn tortillas, chopped onions, and cilantro for that TACO TUESDAY experience.

HONORABLE MENTION: AYCE vegetarian food at Sweet Veggie; El Monte, CA

Oscar Gonzalez: Foodbeast

Best Meal: Los Chilaquiles; Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

los chilaquiles

My favorite meal for this year was definitely from a spot in Guadalajara called Los Chilaquiles. If you’re a chilaquiles lover like I am, this place is a match made in heaven. They specialize in all different kinds of chilaquiles that range from mild to super spicy sauces, and have an entire menu page dedicated to just chilaquiles dishes (with a total of 17 different plates). I ordered the Chilaquiles Bandera that’s inspired by the Mexican flag’s three colors: red, white and green. It’s essentially a sampler dish that has chilaquiles made with coloraos, de la sierra, and poblano salsas, along with a big slice of panela cheese and warm beans. I ordered mine with fried eggs on top, but you can also order it with meat like chicharron, birria, and more.

HONORABLE MENTION: Vegan fried chicken at Eat Love; Fountain Valley, CA

Chef/Owner Zen Ong: Inda Pop-Up Series

Best Meal: The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, CA

The Restaurant at Meadowood

We drove to Napa from LA and it was for my 30th birthday so already it’s easy to feel like the meal won’t meet the expectation of the occasion. Not only did the meal meet the expectation, it surpassed it. With a hyper seasonal menu featuring vegetables and ingredients grown at their farm, paired with local and imported wines curated by a Master Somm and all bound together with incredible service from when you pull up to the valet until the kitchen tour that completes your meal, it’s hard to go past The Restaurant at Meadowood as my favorite meal of the year.
This dish above was a unique White Kohlrabi which was grown on the farm, steamed, hollowed out and the center was puréed and seasoned lightly with salt and cream then topped with a generous serving of caviar. It was light but also decadent and luxurious and showcased a unique ingredient that could only be found at their restaurant.

HONORABLE MENTION: Angler; Los Angeles, CA

Constantine Spyrou: Foodbeast

Best Meal: Ma Po Tofu Tater Tots at Bopomofo Cafe; Los Angeles, CA

Bopomofo Cafe, the brainchild of Wong Fu Productions’ Philip Wong, just opened early this year. Still, in my opinion, the restaurant has been slept on by most of the food media community in Los Angeles as other places that evolved Chinese-American food, like Nightshade and Yang’s Kitchen, grabbed their spotlights. This dish is as deserving as anything on those two menus because of how it combines simplicity and ingenuity in the same bite. Something about crispy tots, a runny egg, melty cheese, and the aromatic, savory ma po tofu takes the Sichuan dish to a level beyond anything I’ve tried this year. It’s the only meal I found myself literally driving an hour for to get this year, and is why it has to be my best meal of the whole year.

HONORABLE MENTION: Louva and Tyrovoila Sandwich at Aphrodite Restaurant; Mykonos, Greece

Elie Ayrouth: Foodbeast

Best Meal: Va Bene; San Sebastian, Spain

One of the best burgers I’ve ever had, in any country, came in a town that’s arguably one of the best foodie towns in the world: San Sebastian, Spain. In a town that’s already occupied with incredible food options and Michelin-starred restaurants, pinxtos, wine and seafood, I feel almost guilty recommending a cheeseburger. But all you really need to focus on is their burger made with “label” beef. I have no idea what “label” beef is, but the entire situation has a healthy amount of mayo, onions, and a beef patty that is so juicy I nearly drowned in during one of my drunken bites.

HONORABLE MENTION: Beti Jai; San Sebastian, Spain

Reach Guinto: Foodbeast

Best Meal: Bad Saint; Washington D.C.

Chef Tom Cunanan at Bad Saint in Washington D.C., is doing things that holds a mirror up to Filipino food and lets it see itself in a different angle. All of them work. Each said angle, every calculated application of things he’s learned that feels more like he’s joyriding finesse, the scrupulous attention to detail, the proper homage paid to ingredients and flavors — all are a checklist that unlocks the potential of modern Filipino cooking for years to come. Cunanan continues ticking off that checklist with an interpretation of lechon that feels like Carolina-style bbq buying timeshare in Cebu and dishes like rellenong alimasag that jettison Filipino cuisine into a space previously only occupied by white tablecloths and tasting menus. Without a doubt Bad Saint is a shrine to the past, present, and future of Filipino food.

HONORABLE MENTION: Lemon Pepper Wet Chicken Wings at J.R. Crickets; Atlanta, GA

Peter Pham: Foodbeast

Best Meal: Soy Garlic Wings and Garlic Butter Fries at Running Chicks

Wings so buttery, it’ll dribble down your chin. My teeth penetrated the crispy rice flour battered exterior, yielding only when I hit the stiff core of chicken bone. As I pulled the flesh and sinew from the flat, butter and juices instantly pooled into my mouth and ran down the curves of my chin. The umami notes, paired with the sweet caramelization of the sauce, bonded perfectly to the almighty crisp of the breading. I took bite after bite, baring it all in front of my colleague, a Korean family of four, and God. I didn’t care. That day, I finished all ten wings, and a half of the Garlic Butter Fries. I boxed the rest for later.

HONORABLE MENTION: Birria Pizza at Rose City Pizza; Rosemead, CA

Marc Kharrat: Foodbeast

Best Meal: The sandwiches at All’Antico Vinaio; Florence, Italy


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The most famous sandwiches in Italy with @anniele8. 🤤🥪🍄🍆🐷🧀 #florence #italy #foodbeast📍@allanticovinaiofirenze

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It’s no wonder this sandwich shop in Florence is celebrated for having the best sandwiches in the world. One of the main highlights from my trip to Italy over the summer included sitting on the curb with others following suite, on a very busy street with pigeons strutting about as I bit into the famous Italian foccacia layered with fresh salami, truffle spread, and a medley of eggplants and mushrooms. I washed it all down with a cool, crisp Peroni.

HONORABLE MENTION: Pizzeria Da Michele; Los Angeles, CA

Izzy Rocha: Foodbeast

Best Meal: Medieval Times; Buena Park, CA


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We got really high and went to #medievaltimes for the pod. New episode tomorrow… 😂👌

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My best meal this year was at Medieval Times. From the canned tomato soup to the Ralph’s rotisserie chicken leg, it really enhanced the experience of watching grown men ride horses and fight to the death. But best of all, it was a great meal because of the great company.

HONORABLE MENTION: Lomo Saltada at Rosaline; Hollywood, CA

Culture Design Food Trends News Technology

The Newest Food Emojis Have Been Revealed

Photo by: Omari Allen

Emojis, the colorful language inspired by our collective imaginations and invented by The Unicode Technical Committee, now have new food icons. The new emojis include: round waffles, a stick of butter, yerba mate in a gourd with a straw, an onion, bulb of garlic, a juice box, large ice cube and probably the most anticipated, falafel. Although you probably weren’t clamoring for each new option, the additions should nevertheless spice up your text life. 

Considering how prevalent emojis have become in how we communicate, the perfect emoji for a witty response always seems to be missing. The reason behind this lies in the rigorous emoji approval process. Emojis aren’t just updates made in some windowless room by someone sitting behind a computer, the process is actually very democratic. Anyone can submit an emoji suggestion to the Unicode Technical Committee. Meaning, the balut emoji you’ve always been wanting to text your friends is a possibility. You just have to follow these guidelines to submit a new emoji proposal

The guidelines are fairly straightforward, but the subsequent deliberation can be tedious. For example, the falafel emoji could’ve been three balls rather than a plateful. Emojis work as a language bridge, so it’s important that designs translate across cultural barriers. Designs also vary from platform to platform. Food is a particularly popular area for emoji enthusiasts, so it’s no surprise many want their favorite dish represented.

With that said, writing about food emojis has made me crave food food. I’m sure these new emojis will inspire many funny convos and hopefully more creative submissions to the committee. I look forward to witnessing the evolution of the emoji language. Who knows, maybe one day someone will create an emoji cafe.

Film/Television News Now Trending Pop-Ups Restaurants What's New

This Breaking Bad-Themed Restaurant Is Like Stepping Into Heisenberg’s World

From the team that brought your childhood dreams to life with Saved by the Max, Good Burger, and The Peach Pit pop-up restaurants comes a new and exciting world of the Breaking Bad Experience which will opened in Los Angeles this past Wednesday, October 16th. As the ‘Breaking Bad’ franchise celebrates its debut full-length film ‘El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie’, fans of the television series can now get a taste of the world of Walter White and company. Literally.

The Breaking Bad Experience is an interactive restaurant that will consist of the television series’ set re-creations throughout the venue and a food and drink menu fit for Walter White himself. Get into character with the do-it-yourself chemically-reactive cocktails and enjoy food items such as the Heisenburger Sliders, the Full Measure Grilled Cheese (or the “Half Measure” sandwich without the crust), and the Loaded SAULsa Nachos served via a hazmat tableside. To make sure everyone can participate in this experience, gluten-free and vegan options are also readily available along with other appetizers and desserts.

The ‘Breaking Bad’ show creator, Vince Gilligan, expressed his anticipation for the Breaking Bad Experience by stating that it’s “exciting to be able to give the folks who supported the show for all these years the chance to experience Walt’s world firsthand.”

General admission to the Breaking Bad Experience will include a 90-minute timed-entry, a choice of your first drink concoction, and a food item. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Brand Food Fashion Food Trends Packaged Food Pop-Ups Products What's New

Bloomingdale’s and Peach Mart Collaborate on a Snack Box featuring Asia’s Favorite Munchies

New York radio legend Minya Oh, best known as Miss Info, has curated a selection of Seoul-inspired goods for Bloomingdale’s seventh edition of “The Carousel: Window Into Seoul.” The Carousel is a rotating pop-up concept inspired by the idea, “retail is theatre,” which was coined by past Bloomingdale’s CEO Marvin Traub. Driven by culturally relevant themes and curated by special guest tastemakers, The Carousel adds a bit of “retailtainment” to the Bloomingdale’s experience. 

The latest concept honors South Korea as a cultural hub on the forefront of beauty, fashion, and music. To offer an authentic experience, Miss Info chose products from 25 trend-setting Seoul-based brands including W Concept, the largest fashion e-commerce and multi-brand retailer in Korea, and Amorepacific, one of the world’s largest cosmetics companies based in South Korea. There’s no shortage of options with products ranging between fashion, beauty, home categories as well as popular snacks. 

Home categories offer an array of products to enhance your domestic life like a Philips smokeless grill, a mandolin from OXO, a Scoby Kombucha kit and a rice cooker from Zojirushi.

This munchie experience is offered in Peach Mart snack boxes. Peach Mart is a take-away shop from Chef David Chang’s Momofuku. Snack connoisseurs are sure to be in heaven with each box containing a wide selection of popular snacks like Pocky and Koala’s March, perfect for sharing with a friend. In addition to snacks, “Window Into Seoul,” also offers three savory sauces from KPOP Foods, an up and coming Korean flavor-inspired brand. Flavors included are kimchi, honey glaze and their special KPOP sauce.

You can get your Asian snacks fix from “Window Into Seoul” at four Bloomingdale’s locations — 59th Street, Soho, Century City, San Francisco  and online from September 5th through November 4th. 


Culture Features Hit-Or-Miss Now Trending Opinion

I Spent Seven Days Cooking Like Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain passed away June 8 2018, leaving behind a legacy of acceptance and adventure. He also left us some badass recipes.

Anthony Bourdain Appetites Cookbook

When I think of Anthony Bourdain cooking in authentic Bourdain fashion, I think of him surrounded by fellow badass, pirate-esque characters that use foul language, tell dirty jokes and likely have a hip flask hiding somewhere in their aprons. So when I asked my big brother Jake if he’d spend the week making Tony Bourdain recipes with me and he jokingly replied, “We goin’ old school Bourdain and gettin’ some blow?” I knew I’d picked the right man for the job.

Although we adore all versions of the beloved bad boy chef, rather than the Kitchen Confidential, illicit drug-partaking, sword-wielding Tony, we decided to go with the more recent version — the one we all watched fondly as he traveled the world and taught us that cuisine we’d never tried could be delicious and people we’d never met could be fascinating and neither were anything to fear, but to welcome and seek out with enthusiasm.

Anthony Bourdain adventured to nooks and crannies all over the world — he wandered into hole in the wall dives, enjoyed fine dining prepared by Michelin-star chefs and he was a guest in the homes of local families from nearly half of the countries on Earth. Well, this week, he’s in my family’s kitchen — we’re going all out and trying to master or at the very least muster, recipes from his Appetites cookbook. From goulash to lobster rolls to Osso Bucco, here goes nothing!


Day 1: Sausage and Pepper Hero  

Sausage and Pepper Hero, Appetites Cookbook Anthony Bourdain

Inspired by Tony’s many walks of shame to the sausage and pepper vendors that were a constant at the New York street fairs, these sandwiches felt like a simple start to the intimidating week that lay ahead. One pan, extra virgin olive oil, a few peppers and onion, some sweet Italian sausage, some hot Italian sausage, and hero rolls — a very simple grocery list that rang in at less than 25 bucks. The whole prep time from start to finish was 25 minutes and the end result? Tasty.

This recipe was super easy — almost too easy. It made me feel like I was half-assing the cooking. I’d recommend it as a great dinner when you’re low on time and want to throw together something that isn’t much hassle but still delivers. I’d encourage anyone who does try this one to get their hands on some decent bread, maybe from the local bakery because the store bought French rolls were total nonsense. I also recommend having some condiments handy like mustard or my personal favorite, Mexican crema. We paired this dish with some Brooklyn, NY RESIN, Six Point Ale because a cold beer seemed the most appropriate complement to a messy street fair hero.

Cost: $24.74

Prep time: 25 minutes

Level of Difficulty: 1 / 5

Level of Deliciousness: 3.7 / 5

Pro Tip: Buy decent bread and condiments.


Day 2: Goulash

Goulash, Appetites Cookbook Anthony Bourdain

In Season 5, Episode 6 of Parts Unknown, Bourdain travels to Budapest where he visits the home of a singing gypsy, with impressive cooking chops. This recipe is inspired by that trip. I honestly had no idea what goulash was when I first came across this recipe, but it seemed attainable calling for beef chuck and veggies that you can find easily at your local grocer (to say finding ingredients for some of these recipes has been tricky is a monumental understatement). Oil, spices, a variety of vegetables chopped and chopped — then chopped some more — and some beef chuck, throw it into a pot and voila! Well, not exactly, it took two adults who admittedly did not chop at optimal efficiency several hours to prepare all the ingredients to throw into said pot.

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this, but we began prepping our goulash at 6:15 P.M. and did not sit down to eat it until 10:30 P.M. That’s correct, it took us over four hours and four bottles of wine to master the goulash, but master it we did! I think we were pleasantly surprised because while we of course trusted Chef Bourdain’s master recipes, we were skeptical about the size of some of our vegetables. My fiancee was going on and on about the gigantic parsnip and I’ve heard that produce is bigger in California, i.e. giant grapefruit sized onions. And we did use nearly an entire container of paprika. We were adamant though, about sticking to the recipe exactly as we read it and good God, I’m glad we did. Because when we finally sat down with our millionth glass of Hungarian wine and bowls filled with piping hot goulash, a dollop of sour cream and a slice of rye bread to mop up any remnants, it was heaven.   

Cost: $46.77

Prep time: 4 hours and 15 minutes (It should only take half this time if that.)

Level of Difficulty: 2.5 / 5

Level of Deliciousness: 4.5 / 5

Pro Tip: Chop your vegetables wisely, make your friends help you.

Day 3: New England Lobster Rolls

Lobster Deal Appetites Cookbook, Anthony Bourdain

Lobster rolls, a Cape Cod classic with just a handful of ingredients: lobster, mayonnaise, celery, some seasonings and bread — no biggie right? Wrong.

Okay, remember how I was talking about drinking all that Hungarian wine while I made goulash? Well, while drinking said wine, I decided to place an order for lobsters. I was excited, I was drinking wine, I was multitasking prepping goulash and texting my lobster connect (yes, I have a lobster connect). Somehow, I managed to confuse $17 a pound with $17 a lobster and I ordered six lobsters. The recipe called for six lobsters. Well, these lobsters were gluttonous, radioactive, ginormous alien-like monsters that weighed several pounds each. When I arrived at the pre-established meet spot, my seafood dealer showed me the goods and I nodded in approval.

“Thanks for coming through my man.”

Then he shut the box, looked up at me and in slow motion said,” That’ll be $300.”

“Hahaha, for sure, no really how much?” He stares at me blankly. “Wait, you’re serious?”

“Yes, I’m serious, they’re like three pounds each.”

“Ummm, can I only have three?”

“No, you pre-ordered them, they’re alive, you have to take them.” I nodded sadly, forked over the dough and grabbed my nearly 20-pound box of live lobsters. It was a long shameful walk back to the car. The same almost thirty-year-old who still drives to her mom’s house so she doesn’t have to spend money on food just spent $300 on lobster. I called my brother, “We’re going to need to invite some people over tonight, I have enough lobster to feed 15 people.”

So, a New England Lobster Roll party ensued. We invited friends over and drank Cape Cod cocktails through to the wee hours of the morning. Everyone stood around and watched in horror as we threw the live lobsters in the pot. (I learned later there are more humane ways to do this). When all the lobsters were done, Jake and I retrieved all the usable meat (we watched a Gordon Ramsey YouTube video to learn how to do this best). No one talks about this part of cooking lobster by the way, because preparing lobster is atrocious: there were lobster guts, the pregnant lobsters had this blackish red goo that oozed and flung everywhere and there was lobster poop, not like the cute little vein that shrimp have, but really graphic lobster excrement.

Once the lobsters were cleaned, we chopped them up, threw them in the mixing bowl with the celery, spices and mayonnaise (we had to use store bought because we tried and failed twice at making Bourdain’s version) and then packed the delicious mixture into a hot dog bun. We passed the lobster rolls around to our family, friends and even the neighbor who’d wandered over to see what all the ruckus was about. They were a hit! Despite the murder, the guts and the gore, New England Lobster Roll Night was a success — one for the ages and with all things considered, worth every penny.

Cost: $336.41

Prep time: 4 hours-ish (Again, doesn’t need to take so long once you know what you’re doing.)

Level of Difficulty: 3.5 / 5

Level of Deliciousness: 4.2 / 5

Pro Tip: Do not drunk dial your lobster connect.


Day 4: Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy

Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy, Appetites Cookbook, Anthony Bourdain

Meatloaf sounds so 1950’s, so old-school “all-American family” — something I imagine June Cleaver preparing for Ward, Wally and Beaver for Sunday evening supper. Apparently, it originated in Germany and German immigrants brought the meat mashing recipe with them to colonial America. Since then, it’s graced the dinner tables, retro diner bar-tops and cafeteria trays of Americans from coast to coast.

I’ve never made meatloaf before and I’ve only tried it twice. The recipe wasn’t too daunting but the shopping list was more difficult to get through than one might think. Tracking down ground veal and even more scarce, veal stock, is no easy task. Jake was able to score some ground veal at a butcher shop a couple towns over but I was searching high and low for veal stock to no avail. “Make it yourself,” they said, but that’s a ton of cash that I already spent on lobster, so, after calling 50 places within a 50-mile radius I gave up and ordered some from Amazon.

We paired the meatloaf with Bourdain’s mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes and I must say, I was sincerely taken aback by how delectable and savory this was. The mushroom gravy itself was mouth-watering kind of good — addicting even. The secret to fantastic restaurant-grade cooking, Bourdain has said, is butter and shallots, and this recipe is ample with both. As for the likeliness of Jake or I making any of these dishes again, this one tops the list, along with the goulash.

Cost: $50.41

Prep time: 2 hours-ish

Level of Difficulty: 2.5 / 5

Level of Deliciousness: 4.8 / 5

Pro Tip: Pre-order your veal stock online so you’re not stuck searching for hours.


Day 5: Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie, Appetites Cookbook Anthony Bourdain

Jake and I, like our three other siblings, likely inherited our initial intrigue and inevitable adoration for Bourdain from our mom. She read Kitchen Confidential and passed it around, insisting her children read it too. She waited in line to have him sign her Les Halles Cookbook beaming and blushing while posing for a photo with him. Her eyes still well up with tears at the mere mention of him since his tragic passing last June. After decades of tirelessly preparing our family home-cooked gourmet meals, it seemed only right we invite her over and for us to do the heavy lifting this time around.

 Poaching chicken was a foreign concept to me but once I got past my own skepticism and lowered my eyebrow, I just followed the recipe exactly as I read it, and chicken really does cook while sitting in a covered pot removed from heat. The chopping wasn’t nearly as demanding as the goulash and our mom arrived just in time to stop me from ruining the crust with an itchy over-blending compulsion I’m currently dealing with.

Jake repeatedly instructed me to handle the crust, “Get going with the crust… Dude, make the crust!” But, I thought I should make it just before we rolled it out and laid it over the top. This was incorrect and has taught me to read an entire recipe from start to finish before each culinary endeavor. The crust dough needs to rest in the fridge for an hour before it is rolled out and placed over the pot pie’s savory goodness. This added unnecessary time and we didn’t eat until after 9 p.m. Apologies.

When we did sit down to eat the chicken pot pie, I was so excited for my mom, who can be appropriately characterized as a chicken pot pie connoisseur, to try it. I took dozens of photos of her taking bites of the dish, which was driving her nuts because who wants to be repeatedly photographed while eating, but landed us with this gem of a photo that will immortalize chicken pot pie night and serve as one of my favorite and I think most fitting photos of our fabulous and funny mom.  

Cost: $41.57

Prep time: 3 hours

Level of Difficulty: 3.5 / 5

Level of Deliciousness: 4.4 / 5

Pro Tip: Make the dough ahead of time so it can rest in the fridge, do not over blend your dough and invite your mom over and feed her for once!


Day 6: Mutant Quesadillas: Chorizo and Duck

Duck and Chorizo Quesadillas Appetites Cookbook Anthony Bourdain

We chose this recipe because we wanted a good excuse to pair something with margaritas. These are not chorizo and duck quesadillas like I initially assumed, they are duck and goat cheese quesadillas and then chorizo and Monterey Jack cheese quesadillas. Two separate types of quesadillas with some yummy homemade pico de gallo on the side. Which one was better? It’s difficult to say because they were like apples and oranges, both delicious but completely different.

The duck had to be purchased at the butcher shop a couple towns over and salted the night before we made them. The prep on the day of wasn’t overly intensive, they were actually relatively simple to make and the duck was ridiculously tasty. Paired with the goat cheese, it felt like quite the decadent quesadilla.

If you’re looking for something simple to prepare, inexpensive yet flavorful, and have a large group of people to feed, go for the chorizo quesadillas. If you’re feeling a tad pretentious, don’t mind the extra effort (and the added expense) and have a smaller group of friends to impress, go for the duck and goat cheese. If you’re feeling like Anthony Bourdain — make both! These quesadillas were easy peasy, certainly gratifying and turned out to be an excellent excuse for margaritas.  

Cost: $67.78

Prep time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Level of Difficulty: 2 / 5

Level of Deliciousness: 4.2 / 5

Pro Tip: Make sure you’re prepared and buy the duck ahead of time so you can salt the night before.


Day 7: Osso Bucco with Saffron Risotto

Osso Buco with Saffron Risotto, Anthony Bourdain Appetites Cookbook

We saved the fanciest dish for last. Osso Bucco calls for veal shanks, which we scored only one town over at a little Italian market, Claro’s. We also grabbed the carnaroli rice for the risotto there. Salt, pepper, a little flour and then we plopped the veal into some hot oil to sear both sides. Afterwards, we threw it into the pot of wine and veggie brew and let it simmer for three hours. We prepared the risotto a ladle full of saffron stock at a time and for the first time in my life, I seemed to have timed it perfectly —  both the risotto and the braised veal were ready to be served at the same time.

I’m not sure if by day seven we were such cooking pros that we could conquer any recipe Bourdain threw our way or if making Osso Bucco isn’t nearly as challenging as I assumed it would be, but it was pretty easy! Time-consuming, sure, but really quite simple. We paired the Osso Bucco with negronis because they were one of Bourdain’s favorite cocktails. The first few sips were bitter and made me shudder a bit, but they grow on you.

When we sat down to eat our last Bourdain recipe, after an exhausting but very special seven days of cooking, we clinked glasses with our negronis and dug into a very lavish, fall-off-the-bone, fabulous dish of Osso Bucco and saffron risotto.

Cost: $104.95

Prep time: 3.5 hours

Level of Difficulty: 2.2 / 5

Level of Deliciousness: 4.6 / 5

Pro Tip: Pair this dish with negronis and pour some out for our man Tony Bourdain.


The most valuable thing I learned throughout this cooking-like-Bourdain endeavor is that cooking doesn’t have to feel so intimidating. For regular people who usually just throw together a mediocre meal for their family, like me, it can be daunting and overwhelming to peruse a cookbook. The ingredient list may look too long or the steps too intensive, but once you do it, it’s miraculous how it all seems to come together in the end. Not to mention the pride and satisfaction that comes with your family providing a soundtrack to your dinner filled with “mmmm’s” and “aaah’s.”


A note from my big brother and crucial cooking partner-in-crime Jake:   

Bourdain showed us that food has the power to bring countries and cultures together if we are brave and open-minded, but it will also bring families together. The time we’ve spent cooking and doing this adventure has been such a blessing and so much fun.  Our kids play and our spouses complain while we bond and cook in the kitchen, and when it’s all said and done, we all sit together and enjoy the food. It’s not just exploring the world, because you can explore relationships and experiences in new ways as close as your own kitchen, enjoying the ones you love the most.

Anthony Bourdain Appetites Cookbook

To follow more adventures and see more pictures, please follow Emily on Twitter @MissEdSullivan or Instagram @edsullivan2 and Jake on Instagram @jakex3g.

#foodbeast Adventures Alcohol Cravings FOODBEAST SPONSORED Theme Parks

11 Must Try Foods At This Year’s Knott’s Boysenberry Festival

At Knott’s Berry Farm, boysenberry season is in full swing, meaning that the theme park’s annual lineup of boysenberry-laden eats is back.

This year’s Boysenberry Festival features some super-sized and creative items never seen before, with nearly 75 unique dishes on display for everyone to try. Here’s a look at some of the wildest and most decadent treats in the park you have to track down.

2-Foot-Long Boysenberry Hot Dog

Locations: Fiesta Dog and Wilderness Broiler

Price: $19.99

These arm-length hot dogs are as big on flavor as they are on size. A custom frankfurter is served in a massive boysenberry bun, topped with twists on classic hot dog accoutrements like boysenberry ketchup and relish.

The Boysenberry Fun Bun

Location: Ghost Town Grub

Price: $8.99

Cinnamon rolls get a literal giant upgrade here. The Fun Bun is a massive boysenberry cinnamon roll, big enough for 2, that is topped off with a boysenberry cream cheese icing.

The Berry Beast

Location: Ghost Town Grill

Price: $24.99

A true behemoth of a sandwich, this bad boy can easily feed 2-3 people. It consists of a massive custom bun stuffed with an XXL pork tenderloin, bacon-wrapped onion rings, whole grilled jalapeno peppers, and boysenberry bbq sauce.

Shawarma With Boysenberry Hummus

Location: Spurs Chophouse

Price: $7.99

Boysenberry and shawarma combine in this intriguing mashup. The chicken used in the wrap is cooked with a boysenberry glaze, and there’s also a boysenberry hummus inside to accentuate that flavor.

Boysenberry Boba

Location: Gourmet Coffee Hut

Price: $5.99

A favorite from last year, this boysenberry drink is a refreshing, berry-laden twist on classic boba.

Alligator Fries With Boysenberry Aioli

Location: Sutter’s Grill

Price: $9.99

Those who have never tried alligator can think of it as a mix between pork, chicken, and turkey. If that’s intriguing to you, these fries, complete with boysenberry aioli for dipping, are a must-cop item in the park.

Boysenberry Cheesecake On A Stick

Location: Spurs Chophouse

Price: $6.99

Knott’s has done deep-fried versions of this in the past, but the 2019 version is a fresh piece of cheesecake with a boysenberry drizzle on top, ideal for munching on while strolling around the park.

Boysenberry Basil Lemonade

Location: Mix-It-Up

Price: $5.49

Strawberry and basil is a seriously underrated flavor combo, especially as part of a lemonade. This boysenberry version is tart and refreshing, and the mashed boysenberries at the bottom help amp up the flavor.

Boysenberry Dole Whip Float

Location: Beachy Keen’s

Price: $6.99

Dole whip has fast become a theme park favorite, and this version takes the pineapple soft serve and combines it with both pineapple juice and boysenberry fruit punch.

Boysenberry Pot Roast

Location: Spurs Chophouse

Knott’s Boysenberry Pot Roast is available as part of this year’s festival Tasting Card, which costs $35 and gives you coupons for 8 different taster items. This particular version comes with boysenberry mashed potatoes on the side.

Boysenberry Cosmos

Location: Ghost Town Grill

Price: $8.79

Cosmopolitan fans will want to track down this boysenberry twist on the classic cocktail, perfect for a little post roller coaster Happy Hour.

Boysenberry Key Lime Tart

Location: Coffee Hut

Price: $3.89

Key Lime pie is a dessert of pure decadence and zest. Adding a hit of boysenberry to that takes this classic treat to the next level.

The Boysenberry Festival runs through April 28th, so you have until then to run down all of these treats, plus all of the other goodies scattered throughout the park.  

Created in partnership with Knott’s Berry Farm. 


For Food and Streetwear Fashion, The Collaboration Makes Perfect Sense

A KFC merchandise collaboration with legendary streetwear designer Nigo. Nigo’s own A Bathing Ape brand links up with Heineken to create a limited edition capsule of clothes and accessories. High end streetwear house and sneaker boutique KITH re-imagining Coca-Cola merchandise into smart and ultimately cool clothes. All unlikely partnerships, really, but beyond the surface, the union of food and streetwear fashion absolutely makes sense.

As discussed in the latest episode of the Foodbeast podcast, The Katchup, such a marriage of two cultures is a burgeoning wave that’s set to disrupt how we view and consumer brand partnerships. With the help of special guest Mile Canares of ComplexCon, the conversation unpacks the similarities between food and fashion and why their union is creating such an impact on today’s culture and will continue to do so going forward. From streetwear being the blueprint for today’s restaurateurs to hype dictating much of both industries, there is no stone left unturned in this examination of the dynamic between the two.

And as initially mentioned, this improbable harmony of food and fashion has produced some quality products. Here’s a list of some of the best collabswe’ve seen thus far between the food industry and streetwear.

10. KITH x Coca-Cola


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9. Pizza Hut x The Shoe Surgeon


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8. KFC Limited 2017


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7. Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese Food) x Moncler


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6. McDonald’s x Colette


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5. Nike x Momofuku & David Chang


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4. Chinatown Market x Howlin’ Rays


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3. Heineken x A Bathing Ape


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2. KFC x Human Made


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1. Takashi Murakami x ComplexCon


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News Opinion

Trump Stamps Out SNAP Production for Unfinished Proposal

With the newly proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year, President Donald Trump is attempting to steer America’s hungry population down a road with no pavement, speed limit, or direction.

The newly proposed, “America’s Harvest Box” project, aims to deliver all that a family would need, in terms of nutrition, without the hassle of choosing your food for yourself via food stamps. It seems making America great again means controlling even the most basic of human functions — finding your own food.

By taking that one factor of agency away from the people that might need that freedom the most, Trump is effectively force feeding a nation with these “Harvest Boxes.”

Fiscally, it’s fraught with doublespeak and underlying costs.

Reducing the Department of Agriculture’s budget by nearly 30 percent, or over $200 billion, in the next 10 years, with only four pages of text is reckless. Changing the way people eat their food should take a little longer than a college newspaper’s length to be deemed a considerable amount.

The idea alone seems Orwellian; having a pre-packaged box of food delivered to your doorstep instead of being able to choose for yourself makes the recipients seem like inmates.

Recipients of food stamps have long since adjusted to the workings of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), yet the entire system is up for a rehaul with this new proposal.

While SNAP doesn’t live up to its idealistic standards, it got the job done. One of the problems with SNAP was the restrictions on what families can and can’t buy from certain stores. Things like diapers or other hygienic household supplies seem to be missing from the list of available purchases for these families.

However, that one problem doesn’t require a complete overhaul of a system that’s been helping families survive and thrive. Such families were still able to buy what foods they personally needed, accounting for allergies and certain nutritional needs.

But with the Harvest Box, these particulars are dismissed entirely. Each house will be receiving the same box full of, “shelf-stable milk, juice, grains, ready-to-eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, canned meat, poultry or fish, and canned fruits and vegetables,” according to the USDA.

It seems President Trump’s already assumed detached perception of reality is verified as he sees the over 16 million households to be identical in their diets.

The idea, as quoted by the White House OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, is akin to that of the Blue Apron program, whose stocks fell lower than Trump’s approval ratings in 2017, and hasn’t been able to keep a customer longer than 2 years.

With more than 41 million people eligible for the box, this plan needs to get some fine tuning and have some questions answered, like whether or not the shipping costs will be covered, or whether or not it can accommodate food allergies or religious specificities.

Though the nutritional and food security these SNAP recipients have been granted thus far hasn’t been stellar, it still has been working for them.

Seeing as the amount of people receiving SNAP benefits has lessened since 2016 shows that despite controversy, the program is helping those in need of it, and that’s something to be optimistic about.

The administration posits that the change is due in part of the rate of fraud going on with the cards that SNAP recipients use. However, the rate of fraud in these cases is less than 2 percent, or less than $3 billion, according to the USDA.

With no consideration to specifics or attention to the public, these changes are nothing more than the transcribed pontifications of an old, delusional and out-of-touch President.

Thankfully, this proposal is just that, a proposal, and any chance of it actually coming to fruition lays in the hands of Congress, which hopefully has enough sense to see through this feckless idea.

Photo: Salvation Army USA West // Flickr