2 Iron Chef Mysteries, Solved

11 Oct

1.  Challengers Choose their own Opponent

2.  Something viewers probably don’t realize: they cook once for the cameras, get a breather, and then have to cook again for what’s served to the judges.

Hmm…  Was I the only one who didn’t know?

Other Fun facts from the Iron Chefs:

The toughest chefs they’ve battled: Flay says José Andrés and Michelle Bernstein, Garces says two of Andrés’s chef de cuisines, Morimoto says Michael Symon.

Flay almost always requests the same pantry every single time, as does Garces; Morimoto likes to order different things and mix it up. Iron Chef provides a pantry full of everything you’ve ordered—not just what you’ve ordered for a particular menu—so you can’t guess what the ingredient is in advance by looking through your pantry.

And you find out which particular ingredient you’ll be cooking with 45 minutes or so ahead of the taping and it’s usually between three to four particular ingredients, so you have time to plan menus for each and request ingredients for your pantry; you don’t go in blind or unprepared, it’s not a surprise.

The one that really made me laugh…

Flay:  He says he has no interest in competition on Throwdown because “going around the country, sneaking up on these nice people and crushing them, it’s not what I set out to do”—at which point Morimoto said “EHHHH?!?” rather loudly.

Ya, nice try Flay.  Called out.


Little Known Flay Fact: He's part of a Southern Rap crew too, the flamers.




25% is the new 20% — Tipping: I like it. You probably don’t.

11 Oct


Tip Jar, circa 1981.

Ok, I might be a little biased since I survive on tips.  From apologizing when I spill red wine on your pants to apologizing because the kitchen lost your ticket or because I have to cut you off…I’ve pretty much done it all.  Been yelled by my boss and guests alike.  Had plenty of nights that ended in tears and plenty of nights that middled in tears.  It is quite an experience to have to keep waiting on someone once they broke you down.


I admit, tipping procedures in the US have really screwed up the way the world works.  A lot of 40 year old servers make more than their middle management counterparts…and if you think there is corruption and bribery in politics, work a year at a restaurant.

This latest rant on Grub Street is interesting, and I agree with a lot of its points.

1.  Tipping has very little / nothing to do with how good the service was.  Only in extreme cases, where your server disappears for hours – or just happens to have that telepathic sense and brings you more ketchup right before you ask (hint: everyone wants more ketchup) – only then is the tip affected.

2.  I believe that tipping can involve some serious discrimination — people commonly think of beauty and politeness as the major factors, but I believe race/class/gender play a huge role.

Otherwise, its 1/3 personality of the server, 1/3 the mood of the guest, and 1/3 stinginess of the guest.   Oh and women always tip 15%, a few 20% if they dress nicely.  Men can vary from 10% to 40%, you just hope that 40% is on top of a fat bill when it comes.



The Naughty Volvo? Creepster alert.

11 Oct

Love Arnold’s ads.  But this one misses the boat.  I thought the Swedes were classy than that?  I should know, I am one.

Naughty, Naughty Car.

Is it REALLY called the Naughty? How do you drive that into the school pick-up line?  Awkward advertising.  Sexiness fail.


The Birth Place of Cheese Dip Holds an International, Worldwide First Annual Cheese Dip Festival!

11 Oct

People came all the way from Colombia, I mean California, wait…I think it was just from Conway.  Give ‘er take 10 miles.

Little Rock has long claimed that they INVENTED “cheese dip.”  Funny, I didn’t know that simply translating a word bestows invention credits.  Even though I think this assertion is ridiculous (and it’s not just because I consider my self part Mexican by virtue of being New Mexican).  Luckily not everyone in Arkansas believes the hype.  I could not be more thrilled that the Rock has a serious cheese dip obsession.  We used to go to Browning’s and get a couple styrofoam tall boys every Christmas on our way into town.  I recently have discovered how far superior white queso…I mean, “cheese dip” is.  Yum.

The festival, held in early October, was a big hit — the local TV station reports.

It all started with one documentary filmmaker, owed much thanks to be sure.  Cheese dip would have never received the respect it deserves without his help.



11 Oct

Reported Phase 2: Put pictures of boobs on butts and add the KFC logo. Captive audience.


KFC is the Natty Light of fast food chains, kingpins of the “only consume in emergency” club.


I haven’t trusted them since the infamous name switch. KFC!?  We know what that stands for, and we will ensure our children know too.



Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Kentucky Fried Chicken…you can’t hide that you’re fried.

Or maybe they can, or at least they kind of did when they conveniently reported only half the calories in their infamous Double Down.  Did they think people would split it, hoping to buy themselves a better night’s sleep and a looser pair of jeans?

Now KFC is using co-eds booties to rep their brand.  Clever, not really.  A little funny, definitely. Unacceptable, for sure.

Message in a bottle…c’mon you can hear Sting sayin’ it right?

2 Oct

A year has passed since I wrote my note

But I should have known this right from the start
Only hope can keep me together
Love can mend your life but
Love can break your heart
Ill send an s.o.s. to the world
Ill send an s.o.s. to the world
I hope that someone gets my
I hope that someone gets my
I hope that someone gets my
Message in a bottle, yeah
Message in a bottle, yeah
Message in a bottle, yeah
Message in a bottle, yeah

Half inspired, half appalled — who litters nowadays ;).

Boston.com reports that a message in a bottle actually made it from the Cape all the way to France!

lighthouse note

Each year on her birthday, Ann Hernandez and her boyfriend, Alan Tomaska, would settle on the rocky shore of Thacher Island and uncork a bottle of champagne in a toast to the day. When the bottle was empty and the tide going out, Hernandez would tuck a handwritten message inside and Tomaska would hurl the bottle over the rocks and into the crashing surf.

It would take six years, but someone did. Defying nautical laws and odds, one of Hernandez’s bottles last month bobbed along the coast of France to a quaint village, where a French couple, Michel and Daniele Onesime, scooped it out of the water and read with wonder the note inside.

Deval Patrick is way cooler than the NBA

30 Sep

The NBA wants to use “replacement referees.”  Uhh…you mean scabs?  The SI article details, saying that the league hasn’t been able to come to an agreement with the vet refs.

NBA 0 – D. Patrick 1

At least our man D. Patrick is man enough to stand up to Hyatt when they fired 100 housekeepers in their interest to save a couple of bucks an hour.  Although, Hyatt isn’t really giving them their jobs back.

The Hyatt 100, as they’re now known, thought about the offer over the weekend. Then on Monday, they voted overwhelmingly to reject it. Now the union is calling for a nationwide Hyatt boycott.