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Celebrity Grub Features

Andrew Zimmern Talks About His New Show, Bugs, And The Best Fried Chicken In America

Andrew Zimmern’s passport is probably filled with more stamps than my local post office. The chef, author, and television personality is best known for his culinary exploits where he travels the world eating through various types of cuisines and dishes so that viewers can live vicariously through his appetite for adventure.

Zimmern fans can now catch him on Travel Channel’s newest series, The Zimmern List. The new series is sort of an All-Star anthology of restaurants, featuring Zimmern’s travels to iconic spots to try some of the best dishes in the world.

So what sets The Zimmern List apart from all the food shows Zimmern has starred in before? We spoke to the travel host to get some insight to his newest show.

The Zimmern List

Zimmern said that he wanted to stray away from the typical filming style of the food genre and create a show that’s more modern and different. To do that, he used very little voiceover in his show, a lot more natural sounds, as well as unique cameras and lenses to create a more intimate viewing experience.

The result, he describes, is his most personal show yet. It will also be the first show made by his production company Intuitive Content for which Zimmern himself is the Chief Executive Officer.

Photo: Travel Channel

So what is something one would ask the man who has traveled practically everywhere and tried so many foods? Personally, I’ve always been wondering if there were any cuisines in the United States that were either underrated or unappreciated, stuff I need to know about in my very own back yard.

Underrated American cuisine

“Tourists tend to come to America and they want to eat in the fancy restaurants that some of our big cities are famous for,” Zimmern says. “They want to eat the regional cuisines that we are famous for — great BBQ in the Southeast, lobster in Maine, oysters and shellfish in the Pacific  Northwest — and they should. Those foods are the things they couldn’t really get at home.”

“When I go to France or China or Bolivia, that’s what I do,” he explains. “I don’t want to eat at a Chinese restaurant at a city in Bolivia or France or Italy. I want to eat Chinese food in China when I’m traveling there. I’m not there for that long, I want to eat what that country does best.”

So what does he recommend to tourists visiting the U.S.?

“There are some micro-regional specialties that I would love food tourists to embrace more. The biggest one that comes to mind is the Appalachian foods that run along the Appalachian corridors starting in the Virginias and running south with really, really special food that not only is historically important but really offers a glimpse back in time that I think food lovers won’t get very often. And now, so many chefs along that corridor are cooking dishes out of that Appalachian playbook that allow people to really dig into to very unique food.”

Zimmern says whether it’s Vivian Howard’s restaurant in North Carolina, Travis Milton’s restaurant, or just cruising though West Virginia diners to taste some of that regional food, he thinks people should check out Appalachian foods.

Eating bugs in the U.S.

Zimmern’s probably well known for his unflinching attitude towards the world’s different cuisines, especially bugs. So how did he feel about insect culture in America? Living across the border from Central America we hear about some creative ways insects are prepared, but even here in California there aren’t too many bug options at the thousands of taquerias and Latin American restaurants around us.

“I think it’s shameful, we pay a lot of lip service to it, I’d like to see chefs begin to embrace it more,” he said.

“I’m sure there are Mexican restaurants in America who are doing a tlayuda on a tostada with Chapulines that I would probably eat and say ‘Wow that is a great dish with bugs in it’ So I’m sure they’re out there, I just haven’t encountered one yet.”

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Zimmern then dropped an analogy that opened this old writer to the experience of eating bugs…a feat not to be taken lightly.

Bugs to me, are like pork chops. Most cooks don’t cook them right and they end up tasting like shit… and that’s unfortunate and then people say “Ohh I don’t like pork.” But that’s because it’s over done in some commodity products, or that it’s old. And so I say the same is true of bugs.

Where’s the best fried chicken in America?

Finally, because my fried chicken-loving self could not resist learning of new institutions that craft the golden brown fowl of the gods, I had to ask what his favorite fried chicken spots where in the United States.

Aside from the obvious answers one can easily Google, Zimmern decided to name two restaurants that he thinks are very special.

“The first is Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach,” he said. “Everyone orders the stone crab. The fried chicken, If I remember correctly, they used to be an off-the-menu item and then it became popular enough to put it on the menu. They make some of the best fried chicken that there is.”

Another fried chicken spot, he recommends, is a restaurant in Minneapolis called Revival.

“They make some of the best chicken in America.”

Listening to Zimmern talk about all the amazing foods we can find here in the U.S. makes me want to hop into a car and travel across the country. Just seeing the amazing Los Angeles dishes Zimmern feasts on makes me feel like I haven’t even cracked the surface of Southern California cuisine, and that’s why shows like the Zimmern List always remind us to keep exploring, even in our own backyards.

Categories
Culture Fast Food

Alvin Cailan Bites Into Burger Culture With New ‘The Burger Show’ Series

 

Eggslut creator, Alvin Cailan is on a mission to figure out whats hot in burger culture today. Chefs are experimenting with the quintessential American staple with new ingredients and styles and it takes an expert sandwich aficionado to determine what’s poppin’ and what’s not.

With California having the most burger joints in America, it’s only fitting that the creator of one of the best breakfast sandwiches across the coast should be the one to dive deep into burgers across the states.

In each episode of First We Feast’s “The Burger Show,” Cailan and a different burger expert unpack a modern spin on one of the nation’s most popular meals.

To better understand the mindset that goes into each episode, Foodbeast got a chance to ask a few questions to the master of breakfast sandwiches turned burger adventurer.

 

What’s your elevator pitch for The Burger Show? Are you strictly reviewing burgers or is there a specific culture around burgers that you delve into?

Most people know me for breakfast sandwiches at Eggslut. But deep down, I’m really a burger fanatic. I wanted to understand not just how to make different burgers, but also dive deeper into the culture. In one episode, we explore the wave of tricked-out gourmet burgers to see if luxury upgrades are worth it. In another episode, we talk to a burger scholar about America’s classic regional burgers.

 

 

How’d the concept for the whole show come about?

The director, Justin Bolois and I, have known each other for a while, and we both have a love for burgers. When the opportunity of a burger show came up, he asked me to be a part of it knowing that we both nerd out about burgers. It really was a way to explore my obsession and meet people like Matty Matheson and Binging with Babish who share similar interests.

 

In-N-Out or Shake Shack?

In-N-Out. I grew up eating it in LA and have been eating it my whole life. In-N-Out holds the flavors of home.

 

What’s your favorite fast-food burger, your favorite fancy burger?

My favorite fast food burger is from In-N-Out, 3×3 with onions and no lettuce or tomato. My favorite fancy burger would probably be from 4 Charles Prime Rib. It’s not really fancy, but it’s made with great ingredients.

 

What would the signature “Alvin Cailan Burger” be?

Perfectly toasted sesame bun, two thin beef patties, layered with American cheese, lightly grilled onions and tomato aioli.

 

Most overrated ingredient included in burgers?

Truffles.

 

Is ketchup really necessary in a burger?

Not at all.

 

Craziest burger you’ve ever eaten so far?

The burger from Serendipity was a little too much for me personally.

 

What’s your tip(s) for making the best burger?

Pre-seasoning your beef patty with salt and pepper, and letting it rest for 30 minutes before cooking so that the seasoning has a chance to flavor it inside and out.

 

Would you open a burger joint yourself

Absolutely! It’s always been a dream of mine to have a burger stand. Nothing crazy, just a simple burger stand.

 

Watch “The Burger Show” on First We Feasts Houtube channel here.

Categories
Humor Video

This Cooking Show Parody May Be The Darkest, Most Hilarious New Series We’ve Seen

Practically every time we go on YouTube, we find ourselves drawn to some kind of cooking series. While not the best home cook by any means, we can more than appreciate a good instructional video. To our delight, we discovered a new series to subscribe to.

You may remember David Ma, the innovative director behind food series such as Jeff’s Table, Food Films, and SuperHands. Teaming up with Brian Haimes, who comes from the world of animation and puppetry, the two co-created this innovative new cooking series simply called Food Kitchen.

The series is described as a dark take on the boring, clean-cut cooking show. The twist is that the foods are talking puppets that can feel everything happening to them, though there’s not much they can do about it. Characters include a masochistic pepper, an overly emotional onion, a wise-cracking chicken breast, and even a killer knife with a split personality.

Only a few seconds into this new series and we’re already hooked. We always felt the food world needed more dark humor, and it looks like we now have it.

Can’t wait to see what the next episode has in store.

Categories
Features Video

JEFF’S TABLE: Savor The Untempered Heat Of The Hot Pocket

They say the perfect steak is cooked to 135 degrees, but the perfect Hot Pocket? Cooked to the surface of the sun. 

No truer words describe the subject of the newest edition of  Foodbeast’s Docu-series Jeff’s Table.

The freezer-to-table insta-meal is a medley of meat, cheese, and sauce in a flakey crust. Combined with the divine fire that only a 1,000-watt appliance can produce.

While there aren’t many constants in life, there are two certainties when consuming a Hot Pocket. The first is you’re going to satiate any hunger pangs you feel by the third bite. The second, you’re going to burn your tongue.

A small price for the unfettered sensations your palate will experience for a fraction of a second.

Take a seat, enjoy our latest episode of Jeff’s Table, and perhaps treat yourself to a nice cold glass of liquid luxury we fondly refer to as chocolate milk.

Categories
Features Humor Video

JEFF’S TABLE: Behold The Simple Elegance Of Eggo Waffles

Frozen waffles are the great unifier.

No words ring more truthfully than these chosen to describe frozen Eggo Waffles.

In Foodbeast’s second episode of Jeff’s Table, a documentary series celebrating the average home cook, we explore the beauty that comes from the Eggo. The waffles, found in the frozen food aisles, are among the most beautiful breakfast items to fly out of the toaster.

Whether eaten dry on the go, or with a pat of butter and a maple shower from Mrs. Buttersworth, Eggo waffles have set the tone for many early-morning commutes.

Truly they’re a golden-brown discus from the gods sent to satiate us hungry, lazy mortals.

You can also check out the previous episode, Peanut Butter & Jelly, and check back weekly for a new segment. In the mean time, we’re gonna check on our waffles.

Categories
Video

Irish People React To Seeing Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Hell’s Kitchen’

Facts-Irish-Hells-Kitchen

If you’ve lived in the states anytime in the last decade, you’ve probably heard of Gordon Ramsay’s long-running FOX series Hell’s Kitchen. The expletive-heavy show, hosted by the king of expletives, features unknown chefs working together in the Los Angeles-based restaurant until one of them is left the winner.

The folks over at Facts, decided to show some Irish people the American television program for the first time. This means they got to see some of the craziest moments from 15 seasons of the show.

Check out the video.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

The Definitive Guide To Subscription Services Of Major Coffee Chains (Part 1)

Coffee is in a constant battle against whiskey for the role of favorite personality-changing elixir in my life, but sometimes I can’t stand to wait in line at my local coffee shops. That being said, I don’t always have the time or patience to grind and brew/french press my way to happiness in the morning, but it always feels better making my coffee myself.

With Starbucks throwing its hat in the coffee subscription ring, it’s about time someone officiated the battle. This is the first of a three-part series tackling the dense subscription market and just how valuable it is to you, my dear readers.

From veterans and behemoths to the scrappy rookies, here’s the quick and dirty lowdown on some of the nation’s favorite roasters:

MajorCoffeeCompTable

*Starbucks and Caribou Coffee only offer frequency flexibility through their Build Your Own Subscriptions.

Dunn Brothers Coffee has some serious catching up to do in terms of their offerings, while Peet’s Coffee & Tea has been crushing the game.

The following chart is based on mid-range approximations for 12 ounces of coffee using 10 major coffee chains’ subscription service prices:

Jump to your favorite chain’s service in detail by using one of the following links: Blue Bottle Coffee, Caribou Coffee, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Dunkin’ Donuts, Dunn Brothers Coffee, Intelligentsia Coffee, Keurig Green Mountain, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Starbucks Coffee and Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

Unless otherwise noted, all of the following companies charge you only when your coffee ships; there are additional shipping costs.

Blue Bottle Coffee

bluebottle

Founded in 2002, Blue Bottle Coffee has been experiencing substantial growth in the past five years. Falling into the realm of artisanal roasters, the company has a big business attitude with a few storefronts sprinkled in major cities.

They’ve been playing their cards pretty close to their chest lately, so either further success or immense failure is on the horizon.

Price Range

$11 to $46 per order

Half a bag (6oz): $11-13

One bag (12oz): $17-21

Two bags (24oz): $28-34

Three bags (36oz): $38-46

Product Loyalty: $12-42

Products Offered

Espresso: A selection of espressos, blends and origin coffees already available in any Blue Bottle coffeehouse.

Blend: A rotating selection of blends.

Origin: New single origin offering from Latin America, East Africa or the Pacific Islands.

Product Loyalty: A subscription to your favorite type of Blue Bottle Coffee.

Cycles Offered

By the week (1-4 increments)

How to Cancel

You can easily pause/skip or cancel using the Blue Bottle website.

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Caribou Coffee

Caribou

Caribou Coffee is a name known better in America’s heartland and has been fueling citizens for over 20 years.

Every new subscription account with Caribou receives a free (totally valuable, kind of useful, probably worthless) gift. All subscription types receive a 15 percent shipping discount and orders above $59 are allotted free shipping.

Price Range

$7.40-$31.98 per order

1/2lb $7.40-8.39

1lb $12.99-15.99

Two 1lb bags $21.98-31.98

Products Offered

Roastmaster’s Choice: You can choose from several different clubs including the self-explanatory Lighter Roast, Darker Roast and Decaf Lover’s, in addition to the Explorer’s Club which pulls roasts from all over the world. There’s also a club dedicated to replenishing your K-Cup inventory.

Design Your Own: You can mix and match Caribou’s selection of coffee and K-Cups.

Cycles Offered

Roastmaster’s Choice: Monthly in open-ended subscriptions, three-, six- or 12-month commitments

Design Your Own: Weekly, every other week and monthly

How to Cancel

Cancel the Design Your Own subscription at anytime online. Since you’re only charged when the Roastmaster’s Choice ships, you should be able to cancel before they send your next batch.

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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

coffeebean

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, the arch-nemesis of our Starbucks overlords, has been holding its own in recent decades and has a diverse subscription service catalog to show for it.

Price Range

$7-39.95

Coffee (12oz): $8.95-39.95

Tea (20 tea bags): $8.75-20.75

K-Cups (16-count): $11.95

Powder (22oz): $11.95

CBTL Capsules (10-count): $7-11

Products Offered

Coffee: The coffee selection spans decaf and all the major staples, in terms of flavor and geographic cultivation.

Tea: A wide variety of teas is available in both bagged form and loose leaf.

K-Cups and CBTL Capsules: Either way your brand loyalty lies, Coffee Bean gives you two options to pop into your single serve coffee machine in the morning.

Powder: For those who need more pizzazz in their coffee, Coffee Bean’s French Deluxe Vanilla and Special Dutch Chocolate Powder are also available for purchase.

See Coffee Bean’s full selection here.

Cycles Offered

By the month (1-3 increments)

How to Cancel

Account suspension must occur six days before your estimated shipping date, which is emailed to you in advance, or else the suspension will only affect your next shipment.

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Dunkin’ Donuts

dunkind

One of the most well known names in the US coffee scene, Dunkin’ Donuts Regular Refills subscription service has existed for “more than 10 years,” according to Sherrill Kaplan, director of Digital & Loyalty Marketing.

Kaplan divulged that the brand America evidently runs on will be expanding its K-Cup offerings later this year, but here’s where the service currently stands:

Price Range

$5.99-$69.99 per order

Tea (20 bags): $5.99

Coffee (1lb): $8.99

2oz packs (48-count): $69.99

Products Offered

Tea: No-frills teas including black, green and decaf

Coffee: You can buy Decaf, French Vanilla, Hazelnut, Dark Roast and Original Blend in their ground forms. The Original Blend also has a whole bean variety and a pack of 48 bricks of ground coffee.

Cycles Offered

By the week (4, 6, 8, 10 increments)

How to Cancel

Cancel anytime online using your account.

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Dunn Brothers’ Coffee

Dunn_Bros_Coffee

Almost 30 years ago, in the heartland of America, the Dunn brothers opened their first coffeehouse. Ever since they’ve been serving our country pride, a variety of roasts, and a questionable online order form.

Price Range

$31.98-31.99 (2lbs)

Products Offered

Light Selection, Medium Selection and Dark Selection: Pretty self-explanatory choices where you get 2lbs of your chosen roast each month.

Three Month Subscription: Saving a penny a month, you can choose from any of the above selections or a roaster’s selection. On their website, choosing this option doesn’t actually allow you to make that selection or specify the type of grinds you would like. You just get sent to a checkout page with all three months’ worth of shipping tacked onto your first month.

Cycles Offered

By the month with an option for a three-month commitment.

How to Cancel

You can use your account to cancel your monthly subscriptions, but the three-month commitment self-terminates.

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Intelligentsia Coffee

intelligentsia

Though I’ve never had a terrific customer service experience at any Intelligentsia storefront, I found their website and subscription service to be surprisingly consumer friendly, albeit minimalist. Everything was where it needed to be and they have a pretty relaxed return policy (they’ll refund/exchange ANYTHING you weren’t satisfied with up to 30 days after purchase) for such a relatively small company.

Price Range

$14-106

12oz  $14-18

5lbs $80-106

Products Offered

Analog Espresso, Black Cat Project

Classic Espresso, Black Cat Project

El Diablo Dark Roast

El Gallo Organic Breakfast Blend

Frequency Blend

House Blend

In-Season/Direct Trade Select Offering

Decaf Librarian’s Blend

Cycles Offered

By the week (1-4 increments)

How to Cancel

Cancel anytime online using your subscription account.

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Keurig Green Mountain

keurigs

The union of Keurig and Green Mountain brought together countless brand names in coffee, including Tully’s Coffee. Unfortunately, this union reigns supreme for K-Cup lovers; the company’s whole bean coffee offering pales in comparison to the wide array of K-cups available for auto-delivery.

Side note of immense bias: Tully’s Coffee = #RideOrDie

Price Range

$9.44-$56.99 (member pricing per order)

K-Cup Coffee (24- to 96-pack) $11.24-56.69

Coffee (10 to 12oz) $9.44-24.99

K-Cup Tea (16- to 24-pack)$10.34-19.34

Products Offered

K-Cup: All of them. Every K-Cup that exists whether it’s coffee, tea or hot cocoa.

Coffee: Green Mountain, Newman’s Own and Tully’s Coffee are all available for under $10, but Green Mountain’s Reserve Kona Coffee serves as a $25 outlier, even with member pricing.

Cycles Offered

By the week (2-12 increments)

How to Cancel

Edit or cancel at any point online; canceling back-ordered products requires a call to their customer center.

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Peet’s Coffee & Tea

peets

Peet’s Coffee & Tea set the standard for coffee subscriptions, offering them as early as the mid-1970s and taking them online in 2004. This is the only service that also allows you to add confectionery food items to your order in addition to Peet’s significant selection of coffee, teas, K-cups and coffee accessories.

They also offer the cheapest shipping I came across with a flat rate of $2, orders totaling more than $59 shipping for free, and upgraded shipping receiving a 50 percent discount.

Price Range

$2.25-77.80 per order

Coffee: $12.95-24.95 per lb., Kona and JR Reserve Blend $24.95 per 1/2lb.

K-Cups (16- to 96-count): $13.99-67.99

Tea (loose and bagged): $5.45-77.80

Treats and Spices: $2.25-20

Products Offered

Coffee: Ranges from standard espressos and blends to curated roast selections.

K-Cups: They carry eight different coffee styles with a range of cup counts, but you have to specifically go to the K-Cup section to add a set to your subscription.

Tea: Dozens of standard teas in their bagged and loose forms, along with designer teas sold by the pound.

Treats and Spices: This section, also not found in the site’s subscription section, is generally stocked with candies, chocolates and cookies, but you can also purchase vanilla beans or extract.

Cycles Offered

By the week (1-4, 6, and 8 increments) or you can choose a custom number of days.

How to Cancel

You can pause or cancel your subscription at any time using your online account.

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Starbucks Coffee

Bags of Starbucks small-lot coffee featuring the new "reserve" logo is on display at a preview of its new Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle

Starbucks announced their coffee subscription service in February, making it the latest to join the game, despite being the most internationally popular coffee chain.

The subscription section of their website feels more like they were tardy to the party than fashionably late.

Price Range

$8.95-$288 per order

Whole Bean (8.8-48oz): $8.95-44.95

Reserve: $24-288

Verismo Cups & K-Cups (32- to 160-count): $23.95-109.95

Products Offered

Starbucks Reserve Roastery: You receive a small lot batch of specially selected coffee once a month.

Build Your Own: This much more flexible plan lets you add almost anything (excluding that month’s reserve selections) to your subscription at whichever frequency suits your lifestyle.

Cycles Offered

Starbucks Reserve Roastery: By the week (1-4 and 8 increments)

Build Your Own: Monthly in one-, three-, six- and 12-month commitments

How to Cancel

You can cancel the Build Your Own and ongoing Reserve option at any time, but you pay for the monthly commitments upfront.

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Stumptown Coffee Roasters

stumptownccup

Last, but certainly not least, we have the legends at Stumptown. Arguably one of the most prolific rising roasters in recent years, Stumptown began offering subscriptions in 2011.

Though they plan to revamp the service in the coming months, here’s how their current subscriptions work:

Price Range

$14-20 per order

12oz Favorite Coffee $14-15.75

12oz Roaster’s Pick $20

Products Offered

Favorite Coffee: If you love their Hair Bender Roast above all else, you can receive as much as you want (up to 10,000 12-ounce bags, according to their website) on whichever cycle matches your coffee drinking schedule. This plan is offered for all of their staple roasts.

Roaster’s Pick: For a slight cost bump, you can receive a roast specially chosen each month. You have free rein with quantity and frequency, but, regardless of the cycle you choose, the coffee will not change until the month does.

Cycles Offered

Favorite Coffee: By the week (1-4) or weekly for an entire year

Roaster’s Pick: By the week (1-4) at three- or six-month commitments

How to Cancel

You can cancel or pause your subscription anytime using your online Stumptown account, regardless of subscription type.

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Corporate coffee not your thing? Stay tuned for a (tl;dr) local edition featuring the most notable roasters from a major US coffee city near you.