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News

This Airline Will Cater To Your Most Unexpected Food Cravings

Airline food is usually hit or miss for me. When I’m about to fly, I usually try to eat something before boarding. Because of this, I usually stick with pretzels and ginger ale when actually in the air.

But if you’re a fan of feasting while flying, there’s a private jet booking company called PrivateFly, that has a glowing reputation of letting passengers order just about ANYTHING their hearts desire during flights.

Passengers on the airline are able to make their request 24 hours before their flight, and the airline will do their best to accommodate their cravings.

Remember those stories of Presidents hopping on Air Force One to pick up some mouthwatering BBQ in Texas? It’s kind of like that.

Even if the foods desired aren’t stocked in the kitchen, PrivateFly will go out and pick up whatever you want.

Yes, that means you can even get an In-N-Out Double-Double with extra well-done fries while docked in California.

“Dining is such an important part of the travel experience – even while getting to and from your destination,” said Geoff Villano, Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations at PrivateFly. “When flying private you can make onboard eating one of the trip’s highlights, whether business or pleasure. There is truly no request too elaborate as long as the jet’s kitchen can adequately handle it.”

Wonder if they can cut the line at Howlin’ Ray’s though.

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News

A Museum Dedicated Entirely To Avocados Is Opening This Summer

When the Museum of Ice Cream first opened, everyone went nuts trying to get their tickets and capturing that sweet experience for all to see on social media. It seems we might be in for a similar treat this summer, especially if you’re a fan of avocados.

The Cado is said to be an immersive pop-up museum experience dedicated to California Avocados set to open this June in San Diego, CA.

At 6,700 square feet, the museum will feature seven rooms each boasting large-scale interactive art installations. Created from 16 shipping containers, the Cado will be entirely mobile.

The entire experience is described as traveling through the entirety of an avocado from skin, to fruit, to core — hopefully similar to The Magic School Bus. I can dream, can’t I?

Photo: Peter Pham

Some sensory highlights from the museum include: sight (a 40-foot wall of cassette tapes to take Instagram photos with), sound (a grove-to-grocer audio experience through a vintage Walkman), touch (the textured walls of the ‘Ripe Room’ stimulate what it’s like touching a real avocado and determining ripeness), smell (taking in the fragrance of a real California Avocado grove), and taste (California-inspired avocado foods from local San Diego restaurants in the middle of an avocado grove).

Tickets for the summer Cado opening are now on sale through their website. Part of me hopes there will be a giant guac pool in one of the rooms. It’d be like living out a childhood dream.

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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.

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Alcohol Drinks News Nightlife Toasty

Finalists Chosen To Travel The World For Whisky In What May Be The Coolest Job Ever

Earlier this summer, Grant Whisky invited three final candidates to travel the world with a suitcase full of whisky on a 10-day journey as part of The Greatest Job Interview in the World. Their journeys echoed the legendary trip undertaken in 1909 by Charles Grant Gordon, son-in-law of company founder William Grant.

The brand received almost 5,000 applications from candidates in 103 countries. Applicants were initially narrowed down to 20 who were flown from 13 countries to attend “The Mixer” event in Dufftown, Scotland, the brand’s spiritual home. After a series of challenges, three finalists — Amy, a Physical Education teacher living in Madrid; Danny, a whisky barman from Edinburgh; and Linda, a radio presenter from Johannesburg — were then each sent to three different worldwide destinations to “live the job” for ten days.

Between them, the finalists covered more than 51,000 miles, visiting 15 cities in nine countries across five continents, undertaking 20 international flights. They Segway’d around Tel Aviv, tuk-tuk’d across Mumbai, rickshawed across Taipei and soared by seaplane over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Amy mixed cocktails in Krakow while Daniel led tastings in Taipei, and Linda DJ’d in Colombia. Their ultimate goal was to bring to life the brand’s motto, “Stand Together.”

The successful candidate will travel to many more countries in 2018 to spearhead a series of special events.

 

Of course, there can only be one, as the new Grant’s Global Brand Ambassador will be revealed next Thursday (Nov. 30th) on Grant’s official Instagram and Facebook channels.

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Hit-Or-Miss Restaurants Tastemade/Snapchat

12 Restaurants Around the World to Try Before You Die

While most people travel to see the wonders of the world, we go mostly for the food. After all, it’s a pretty great way to experience the culture of an unfamiliar land. But since this world is so large and diverse, it’s hard to decide where to focus your culinary efforts, especially when abroad. Since we always have your back, here’s our list of restaurants around the world you (and your stomach) need to visit.

Osteria del Matto // Spoleto, Italy

Inviting entry to Osteria del Matto in Spoleto. #osteriadelmatto #spoleto #umbria #italy #marcyandmom

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Hidden in the hills of Spoleto, Italy is a tiny restaurant called Osteria del Matto, which translates to something along the lines of “restaurant of the madman.” This is fitting, as there isn’t really a menu – the food served is just whatever the chef feels like making that day. Chances are this will involve several staple items founds in the Umbrian region, or fried ricotta cheese, because it’s just that delicious.

Cafe du Monde // New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Yum.

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Cafe du Monde is one of the OG beignet establishments in the Big Easy. Chances are you’ve heard of it, but if not, you need to get your behind to New Orleans, stat. These fluffy balls of fried dough doused with as much powdered sugar your little heart desires is a sight to be tasted and relished for all of eternity. You might have to wait in line for a bit, but it’s worth it – we promise.

The French Laundry // Yountville, California, USA

Happy National Truffle Day!🍄 #truffle #tortellini #cooking #food #betterthanchocolate

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Thomas Keller is one of the most influential chefs on the planet today, and The French Laundry is his primary brainchild. Located in Yountville, California in the midst of Napa Valley, this restaurant has more accolades than we can even recount in one sitting. This six-hour meal incorporating the most pristine produce California has to offer is something everyone should experience in their lifetime.  

Sukiyabashi Jiro // Tokyo, Japan

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When a restaurant is awarded three stars by the Michelin Guide, you know it’s pretty legit. In fact, former President Obama dined there and apparently said, “That’s some good sushi right there,” as he walked out. The main perks of dining at this restaurant are some of the most noteworthy sushi dishes on the planet, prepared by Chef Jiro. Yeah, that Chef Jiro from the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Need we say more?

Joe’s Kansas City BBQ // Kansas City, Kansas, USA

There seems to be an ongoing barbecue dispute throughout the United States, and it totally depends on where you’re from. North Carolina? You’re probably down for whole hog, smoked BBQ. Texas? You’re all about the brisket, hot link, and sauce. But no matter what kind of BBQ tickles your fancy, it’s hard to deny the luscious goodness of ribs and burnt ends from Joe’s Kansas City BBQ. Folks come from near and far for this crack in the form of meat, and we don’t blame them. As a matter of fact, everyone’s favorite globetrotting foodie authority, Anthony Bourdain, named Joe’s as one of the 13 places one needs to eat at before they die.

Le Jules Verne // Paris, France

#lejulesverne #paris French cuisine and views of Paris from the Eiffel Tower. #travelerreviews #заметки_путешественника

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There are plenty of incredible chefs that have come from France, but Alain Ducasse tops the list. For God’s sake, the man has 21 Michelin stars. He’s basically a saint. And one of Ducasse’s most stunning restaurants is Le Jules Verne, which is literally located on top of the Eiffel Tower. With the scenery and Ducasse’s food combined, an experience at this place will cost you at least $200, but it’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Fat Rice // Chicago, Illinois, USA

Finally got the namesake food here! So happy to share it with my friends!

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Run by Adrienne Lo and Abe Conlon, Fat Rice is a must-visit in the Windy City. The restaurant serves food native to the island of Macau, which is a happy fusion between Chinese and Portuguese flavors. Their signature dish is the Fat Rice, also called Arroz Gordo, featuring sofrito, chorizo, salted duck, char siu pork, curry chicken thighs, linguiça sausage, prawns, steamed clams, tea eggs, chicken fat-fried croutons, olives, and pickled chillies. Basically, you better come to this place hungry.

Thanasis // Athens, Greece

Athens is gorgeous and full of history, which means it can be a pretty touristy place. We all know touristy cities can get a bad rap for food, but this is Greece, so obviously this doesn’t hold true. Is there even such a thing as bad Greek food? With plenty of options to choose from in the city, it’s hard to narrow down the best, but we’ve found it in Thanasis. Make sure you order their signature dish, μερίδα κεπμαπ, which is basically a meaty and delicious kabob of your dreams.

Arepa Zone // Washington, D.C., USA

At Tastemade, we’re all aboard the food truck bandwagon and if there’s one city in the country that excels in this area, it’s our Nation’s Capitol. Arepa Zone is without a doubt, one of the finest road warriors, and with one bite of their delicious arepas, you’d be crazy not to agree. The truck (well, now they have a brick-and-mortar location in Union Market) serves the Venezuelan version of this famous street snack, which involves a griddled corn cake stuffed with chicken, beef or pork.

Abou el Sid // Cairo, Egypt

At this establishment, you can find traditional Egyptian cuisine, including various tajines, like veal and pearl onion, and molokheya stew with chicken, rabbit, or meatballs. If you’re feeling daring, Abou el Sid also sells stuffed pigeon. This place seems to have it all!

Pig & Khao // New York, New York, USA

There are tons of places worth visiting in New York City. It’s basically a culinary wonderland. And we could have pointed you in the direction of Katz’s Delicatessen or Le Bernardin, but we wanted to mix things up a bit. Pig & Khao, located in the Lower East Side, serves food that is a beautiful amalgam of some of our favorite Southeast Asian flavors, including Thai and Filipino. Once you take part in some of their staples like the Sizzling Sisig, Grilled Pork Jowl, or Pork Belly Adobo, you’ll thank us.

Strut & Cluck // London, United Kingdom

#onthetable: Yesterday’s lunch @strutandcluck was seriously impressive, I’d go back and order everything all over again. 🦃🍴

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Turkey is generally is a “bleh” protein because most people don’t really know how to prepare it. Strut & Cluck, located in the Spitalfields neighborhood of London, is an exception to this rule. This place produces delicious bird influenced by Eastern Mediterranean flavors, with menu items like juicy lettuce cups with smoky harissa and hand-pulled turkey shawarma with dates and pine nuts. Turns out all turkey needs is some good ‘ol TLC.

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Design Drinks

44 Airlines Reveal Exactly What Coffee They Serve On Flights

We never really thought about the different types of coffee that airlines would serve. The only times we really ask for a steamy cup of the caffeinated beverage is during the tail-end of red eye flights, and at this point any form of caffeine is more than welcome.

Dripped Coffee created a massive infographic that details the exact coffee brands served on 44 different commercial airlines from around the world.

If you’re one to be picky over the brands of coffee you fuel yourself with, definitely check out this infographic and adjust your airlines accordingly.

Grab yourself a cup of java, a few packets of sugar, and a splash of creamer and enjoy this beautifully designed infographic. It seems Nescafé and Illy are pretty popular internationally.

Coffee Served on 44 Airlines Around the World

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Culture Restaurants

What It’s Like Inside An Authentic Lechonera In Puerto Rico

It figures you have to get out of your comfort zone to truly experience something life-changing. Like the time I tried an authentic Filipino breakfast, I was once again introduced to a traditional meal from a culture I’ve yet had the pleasure of experiencing completely with a brand-new pair of eyes.

On a recent trip to Puerto Rico, I was taken to a lechonera located in Trujillo Alto. A lechonera is essentially a South American restaurant that specializes in roasted pork from a spit.

Nearly an hour from San Juan, this spot was tucked away in the rolling green hills of the beautiful island. The drive didn’t feel nearly as long, however, as I pressed my chubby cheeks to the glass window and drooled over the breathtaking commute.

As my driver pulled over, he recalled tales of his youth fishing in the same lake that settled behind the restaurant we finally arrived at: Lechonera Angelito’s Place.

In the front of the establishment, there was a man hacking slices of pork with a machete. Every strike cut through the meat as if it were paper until the thud of the cutting board signaled the end of the motion.

I was hypnotized by the blade’s rhythmic movements and the entrancing aroma of the roasted meat.

The owner of the establishment, Yubetsy Toledo, asked if I would like to see how the pigs were roasted. I nodded eagerly, a veritable Augustus Gloop at the shiny gates of Willy Wonka’s factory.

Ms. Toledo took me to an area to the side of the restaurant with a giant cement sandbox covered with large pieces of sheet metal. She motioned for me to give her a hand lifting off the sheets, revealing an entire pig roasting in the space below.

Over a bed of charcoal, the pork rotates on a spit for six hours every day until the flesh is juicy and the skin reaches the pinnacle crispiness a pig can achieve. Six whole pigs could be roasted at a time, which are usually reserved for weekends when families and locals would visit the lechonera on their day off. Today, however, there were only two or three on the spit.

The pigs themselves are expertly seasoned before the roasting process and are free of any chemicals or hormones. I was told that their diet consists of leftovers from children’s lunches donated by a school in the area.

Noticing my amazement, she asked if I would like to go to see the pigs before they hit the spit. My boyhood innocence naturally assumed that I would be led to a pig pen where I could feed and pet and name my very own piglets. Cecil, I’d call him.

Once again, my naivety got the best of me and I was led to a basement freezer where full-grown pig corpses were hung from the ceilings. A truly sobering sight. Haunting and fascinating in one breath.

I was led back up to the restaurant where I was served a plate of fresh lechon asada (pork on a spit), arroz guisado con gandules (yellow rice and pigeon peas), guineito verde (boiled green bananas), morcillas (blood sausage), batata frita (fried sweet potato), and pastel (a tamale-like entrée typically stuffed with pork meat).

Initially, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to try any of the pork, having seen how the sausage was actually made. To my delight, I got over that pretty quickly and dove fork first into the salty flesh of the freshly roasted pork. Skipping breakfast played a pretty major role in this.

Tender and flavorful, this was arguably some of the best pork I’ve had in my life. The crunch from the pork skin echoed through the hills and over the valley like the crackling of thunder that heralds a storm.

Pork is considered one of the traditional staple foods in Puerto Rico’s diet, especially during the holiday season. While it’s readily available at most restaurants around the island, lechon is a little harder to come by.

Because preparing a whole pork on a spit requires space and time, many locals wait for the weekend to travel to the nearest lechonera to quell their pork cravings while enjoying a nice outing with the family. Many lechoneras are much more than a restaurant as they offer live music and a dance floor. Thus, a day at a lechonera can easily become a full blown party – especially if people invite friends and family along for the road trip.

A cold beer in hand, I enjoyed the rest of my meal and basked in the deliciousness of my Puerto Rican feast. As I eat, I notice crowds begin to form near the butcher, placing their orders faster than he can prepare them. Things were picking up on this bright Wednesday morning.

I can only imagine how packed this spot could be on the weekend. With pork that good, I wouldn’t be surprised if the lines went all the way down to the lake.

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Video

A Fascinating Look At How Airline Food Is Made [WATCH]

There are many thoughts that go through your head when you’re traveling on a plane. How am I gonna kill 11 hours? Does the dude next to me snore? When’s the attendant coming with that drink cart, I need some ginger ale?

Have you ever wondered how the food served on your flight was made, though?

How It’s Made, the popular series from Science Channel, took a look at the process in creating airplane meals. Rather than simply cook different dishes and throw them into containers, many factors must be taken into account when cooking for airlines.

It’s said people’s perceptions of taste change when they’re at a higher altitude and pressure, so foods are seasoned depending on distance of travel. Foods are portioned out and ventilated in order to be re-heated in-flight. Separate meals must also be prepared for the pilot and co-pilot, in case one gets sick the other will not have eaten the same meal.

Definitely something to think about the next time you’re about to grub on your mile-high feast.

Check out the video to get an in-depth look at the fascinating process.