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Feel Good Restaurants

The Great American Takeout: An Urgent Call To Support Your Favorite Restaurant On March 24

The restaurant industry has taken a serious beating over these last few weeks due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. With Americans staying home and practicing self-distancing, restaurants have seen a massive plunge in revenue — many of which have had to close their doors for the time being.

In an effort to support restaurants and restaurant workers across the nation, a coalition of restaurants are starting that they call The Great American Takeout.

Beginning tomorrow, March 24, here’s what everyone can do to support local restaurant and their workers:

  1. Folks are challenged to order at least one delivery or takeout meal to help the struggling restaurant industry.
  2. Encourage others to participate in the upcoming event on social media, using the hashtag #TheGreatAmericanTakeout
  3. Share a photo of your takeout after it arrives with the hashtag #TheGreatAmericanTakeout

Created by a coalition of restaurants that include Panda Express, Panera Bread, Noodles & Company, Jason’s Deli, Veggie Grill, El Torito, California Pizza Kitchen, The Habit, Lemonade, Modern Market, Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, PizzaRev, and Chevys, the group came up with an unconventional way to support their fellow struggling restaurant owners during these trying times.

The movement is a modern day Hands Across America, but with a little more social distancing and chicken wings. The idea is to get the ball rolling in the country’s minds that there are still restaurants open and in need of support in the weeks or months to come. Gotta think of a good spot to support for this tomorrow. Though, there are three meals in the day, right?

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#foodbeast Culture Features Restaurants

This Italian Chef Is Using ‘Ancient Pastas’ To Breathe New Life Into The Cuisine

 

In a city deeply rooted in age old tradition, where heritage holds true, and the mettle of a chef is tested everyday, Chef Jordan Frosolone of 10 Corso Como is breathing new life into Italy’s storied pasta making history.  Applying old school Italian techniques, Chef Jordan brings history to the forefront to resurrect and refresh pasta recipes that date back centuries.  By taking this singular approach to Italian fare, you are sure to find a unique and authentic experience seldom found at most Italian places. Their ever-changing menu takes you through various regions of Italy that inspired these “ancient pastas” to be brought back into the spotlight.

Since 2003, Chef Jordan has worked as a Chef de Cuisine at Hearth, and more recently, the Director of Culinary Operations for the Momofuku Group in New York.  At 10 Corso Como, Chef prides himself with creating an approachable dining experience that is unrivaled in quality and attention to detail.  The thoughtful use of sustainable, seasonal ingredients, and fresh pasta milled in-house guarantees an immersive Italian episode you won’t soon forget.  Located in Manhattan’s Seaport District, the space is refined, trendy and distinctive; a complement to the fine-dining experience.

With respect to tradition and the desire to develop a deeper understanding of Italian culture and cuisine, Chef Jordan spent two years in Florence and Spoleto, Italy to cultivate his own philosophy of authentic Italian cooking.  It was his time there that drew him to the lore of forgotten traditional recipes that were once commonplace hundreds of years ago.

For example, the “Pasta Struncatura” on the menu is a multi-grain pasta from the Calabria region of Southern Italy, known to be the poorest.  Historically, this pasta was made from whatever scraps or “sawdust” leftovers were available from the floor of the grain mill, typically put together with anchovy paste to compensate for taste.  Also, the “Pasta Suddhi,” is a dish made using barley flour. The use of the robust barley grain is uncommon in today’s practice and was typically used when other grains were scarce.

When asked about his motivation in resurrecting these ancient techniques of pasta making, Frosolone said: “It’s a fascinating history… it is great being able to explore the culture and learn how these communities thrived. I wanted to gain a better cultural understanding and a grasp of its significance firsthand.”

Chef Jordan’s inspiration is drawn from the land itself.  He creates multifaceted dishes that portray Southern Italy’s different regions; serving pasta indegenous to certain areas.  It becomes a subtle history lesson, a beautiful case study on the Italian experience, if you will.

“We highlight simplicity above all, without bringing anything unnecessary to the table.” Says Chef Jordan.  While these dishes are unique and modern in their creation, they stay confident in their roots. It can be seen that these dishes are a true testament to the history of the art of pasta making — walking the line of tradition and innovation.

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#foodbeast Cravings FOODBEAST Restaurants Video

Intricate 100-Layer Lasagna Is A Slice Of Heaven That Takes Three Days To Make

When I picture Italian comfort food, a savory slice of lasagna is high up on that list. The meticulous details that go into the dish, coupled with the amount of love to properly bring it to standards makes the layered pasta one of the most iconic foods in history. While most renditions of a classic lasagna fall between 10-20 layers of ribbon pasta and sauce, one variation goes a little further than that. Actually, a lot further.

In a feat of modern achievement paired with traditional flavors, Viale dei Romani, located in Hollywood, CA, created an intricate 100-layer lasagna.

Called the Pasta Alla Piastra, the dish is made in the traditional Emilia-Romagna style, which layers sheets of pasta between a mix of bolognese sauce (made from veal and pork) and béchamel sauce. This process is repeated about 40-50 times between sauce and noodle, adding up to a head-turning 100 layers.

Once the layers are stacked, the lasagna is chilled and sliced into pieces. When ready to serve, it’s seared to a crisp on one side and served with a tangy, flavorful tomato jus.

In fact, the process is so intricate that it takes three days to complete for a single dish.

Lasagna lovers, this decadent dish is truly an item you have to experience at least once if you’re out in the Los Angeles area.

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Fast Food

McDonald’s Japan Is Smothering Their Fries In Carbonara Sauce

Photo courtesy of McDonald’s Japan

When it comes to fast food fries, McDonald’s is pretty high up on the list for me. Just give me a piping hot batch straight from the fryer, a generous amount of salt, and some packets of Sweet ‘n Sour sauce and I’m set.

There’s isn’t much to pull me out of my fry routine at McDonald’s, but their newest offering in Japan may make me want to reconsider: Carbonara Fries.

While the sauce isn’t the traditional version made with eggs and pancetta, the Japanese variation features a three-cheese blend made with milk, smoked bacon, and black pepper.

Not too long ago, McDonald’s Japan had a similar offering they called “Try [and] Pour Some Cheese Bolognese” which essentially had guests pouring a cheesy bolognese directly onto their fries. If this loaded fry trend continues in Japan, I’m anxious to see it potentially arrive in the United States.

I guess time will tell, but until then, Mcdonald’s Carbonara fries will be available at participating locations in Japan for a limited time.

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Deals Restaurants

Olive Garden Has 10 Free EXTRA Pasta Passes They’re Giving Away Right Now

Photo Courtesy Olive Garden

Getting your hands on an Olive Garden Pasta Pass seems to be getting harder and harder each year. The card is essentially a golden ticket to chow down on as much Olive Garden pasta as you want, every day for three month. It’s beautiful.

While this year’s batch was claimed almost instantaneously, half a second to be exact, Olive Garden is giving fans another shot at the Pasta Pass, free of charge.

In celebration of the 5th anniversary of the Pasta Pass, Olive Garden launched an online scavenger hunt where 10 clever fans will have a chance to get their hands on the coveted meal voucher free of charge.

Earlier this week, the Italian restaurant chain launched a mysterious online countdown clock. Once the clock struck zero, the riddles appeared with the promise of pasta. Here’s an example:

“Organization dedicated to fawning over grand forks’s best food reviewer.” 

Each of the riddles, puzzles, and ciphers led to the name of an Instagram handle, Twitter profile, or Facebook group. Once you figure out the puzzle, send a direct message to the profile with the secret phrase “Pasta Pass Please”. If you’re the first to do so, you’ll get your Pasta Pass.

Olive Garden says they’ll do their best to provide live updates with which passes have already been claimed, but at the time of publication, folks have already begin sleuthing, though none have been claimed yet.

There will only be one clue per profile and only one free pass can be claimed from each profile. More details on the riddles can be found here. Happy hunting, everyone!

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FOODBEAST Restaurants Video

Dive Into Cuisine Of The Amalfi Coast With This Classic Linguine and Clams Dish

Las Vegas’ Mirage Hotel and Casino is home to Osteria Costa, a casual-dining restaurant that has one particular specialty: Amalfi Coast cuisine.

If you’ve never heard of Amalfi-style food before, don’t fret. Chef Michael LaPlaca is more than happy to take your taste buds on a journey down the Amalfi Coast, which is a stretch of shoreline along the Southern edge of the Sorrentine Peninsula in Italy.

Amalfi cuisine focuses on the flavors of fresh seafood, capturing the essence of the ocean on a plate. A humble ambassador to the sea, Chef LaPlaca gave us an intimate look at one of his signature dishes: Linguine and clams.

Watching him move through the kitchen with authority and finesse as he crafts a union of molluscs and pasta is truly a sight.

Hot oil, garlic, and chili flakes are introduced to a fresh bed of clams. As the flavors meld together in a saucepan, fresh hand-made pasta is cooked and added to the clams and clam stock as the stunning dish comes together.

Chef LaPlaca tells Foodbeast:

“[Linguine and Clams is] one of my favorite dishes but also it really represents the way that it is cooked on the Amalfi Coast. It takes those time-honored traditions — the elegant simplicity of taking simple ingredients such as flour and water — and the fresh seafood from the sea, creating a masterpiece. “

The next time you’re in Las Vegas and want to experience the oceanic zest of the Amalfi Coast, pay a visit to Osteria Costa in the Mirage Hotel. The coastal flavors will sweep your tastebuds like the Amalfi region’s sea breeze.

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Celebrity Grub Health Recipes

4 Secrets To Making Perfect Pasta, According To Giada

Giada De Laurentiis is an icon in the culinary world, and if you grew up even remotely interested in food, you’ve probably sat through Food Network marathons of her cooking at home serving up unique, tasty Italian dishes.

As the epicurean madness of Bon Appetit’s Vegas Uncork’d event unfolded, I had a chance to catch up with Giada at her new Pronto restaurant inside the Caesars Palace hotel and casino.

Being the queen of Italian food, there was no way I was going to let the opportunity pass to find out how she makes her pasta, and dig into her secrets to making it perfectly.

If you feel your pasta sometimes tastes a little off, or aren’t even sure what a good pasta should taste like, Giada has your back with these four tips, shared for your cooking pleasure:

Salt It Like The Ocean

 

If the water you boil your pasta in doesn’t taste like the Pacific Ocean, you’re salting it wrong. Giada stressed the importance of salting your water while the pasta is cooking. If you’re trying to salt it up after the fact, it’s too late. You ruined it.

“The first time you get to season the pasta, which is in the water, is what’s going to make the difference between a great pasta and a mediocre pasta. If you don’t season it with enough salt, your pasta is bland. You can add all the salt you want later on, as you’re assembling the dish together with the sauce, but it’s never going to stick to that noodle. Season it like you would the sea. It should be salty.”

Al Dente Is Your Friend


You’ve probably heard the term al dente in Barilla commericals or random Italian movies, and it really is important. Al dente means the pasta has some firmness and a particular, toothsome bite to it, and Giada explained how to get this texture right.

“To me, what I like from a pasta, is a noodle that is al dente, so you take it out of the water a little bit early, and finish it in a pan. As the noodle continues to cook in the pan, it absorbs the sauce. It should have a little bit of a bite to it.”

Pasta With Ridges


While all pastas are beautiful in their own ways, Giada let us in on a little secret, explaining that ridged pasta has a tendency to trap that flavor better than pastas with smooth surfaces.

“I like pastas with ridges, because the sauce gets stuck in the ridges. To me, that’s a better pasta.”

DO NOT THROW OUT THAT PASTA WATER

If you really want a delicious, creamy sauce that puts your pasta above others, save that pasta water after cooking. It is common to dump out your pasta and do away with the water, but keeping some on hand makes a huge difference in the final product.

“Pasta water is the key to creating the creaminess. So after you’ve cooked the pasta, you reserve a quarter, to a half cup of pasta water. The gluten and the starch in the pasta water is what allows the noodle and the sauce to adhere to each other. You just keep adding a little bit of pasta water as you’re tossing the pasta together. You gotta reserve it in advance.”

Giada’s Perfect Pasta

Giada took us through the process of making the perfect pasta, so aside from a good salting and using ridged noodles, what does the final product of her perfect pasta look like?

“Very simplistic pasta. Nothing that’s overdressed or too heavy. If you look at a pasta and you can see the noodle, it’s probably a pretty good pasta. And if every noodle is coated with sauce, you’re looking at a good pasta dish. If the sauce pulls on the bottom, it’s probably not a good pasta dish.”

So there you have it. Giada just schooled us on pasta perfection. You should never mess up your pasta again as long as you follow these tips. I mean, there’s still a good chance you’ll mess up, but don’t blame us, because we just gave you the playbook.

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Culture Hacks Video

This Guy Created A Knife Out Of Pasta That’s As Sharp As The Real Thing

As much as I love pasta, I also fear it. Fear it in the sense that overeating those delicious noodles will eventually lead to my downfall. Now, it seems, I’ll have another reason to fear the majestic pasta.

YouTube channel kiwami japan demonstrates the art of crafting cutlery by showing viewers two different ways to make a kitchen knife with pasta noodles.

By grinding down spaghetti noodles with a food processor, a powder is created that is turned into a paste. As the paste dries, it’s molded into the shape of a knife and dried for 10 days. Once the pasta is hardened, the meticulous process of sharpening the knife begins.

After what seems like hours against a whetstone, the knife is finally able to slice through produce and cardboard like it was made of steel.

Kids, do NOT try this at home.

Check out the video to see the tedious project. If you decide to try your hand at this craft, and you’re done playing with the knife, you can simply boil it up and serve it with some cheese — as seen at the tail end of this video. Bon appetit and happy slicing.