Kevin Gillespie: The Ronin Chef

Posted by Foodie Buddha on January 23, 2013

Kevin Gillespie, the celebrity chef/cookbook author who is about to open Gunshow in East Atlanta, has decided to fill his time by offering his services up to small groups who want to hire him.  Basically, he’s decided idle hands are the devils play toy … so if you want Kevin to cook for you and up to 11 of your closest friends, email him at

gillespie-private-menuHe’s already got one on the books.  It’s tomorrow night and you can see the menu over to the right a few pixels.  Meanwhile, he followed up with a few points of clarification:

Hey Everyone,
Thanks for the overwhelming response to my last post. If you emailed me you should receive details about the cost and general format soon. To answer the most common questions:
1. Driving distance is anywhere I can reach in 5 hours or less from Atlanta.
2. Yes I will fly to you…if that’s what you would prefer.
3. The cost varies based on details of the event, but honestly , its not the cheapest dinner you will ever have.
4. Yes I can provide signed copies of my book when I come….actually no one asked that, but just in case someone was thinking it.
(via facebook)

So it’s kind of a cool opportunity.  The critical thinker in me says that no chef opening a restaurant should have that much time on their hands, but if Kevin’s confident that he can hit the ground running … well, then have at it.

Andrew Zimmern Just Did An IAmA On Reddit

Posted by Foodie Buddha on January 17, 2012

Celebrity chef/TV personality Andrew Zimmern just wrapped up his IAmA over on Reddit.  For those of you with better things to do than yours truly, you may not know what that means.  Here’s the deal: is a heavily trafficked website mostly reserved for sharing videos, pictures, internet memes, and so forth.  The community occasionally dabbles in political movements and other things of ideological importance.  Reddit consists of sub-reddits that are like hyper-focused forums for a specific topic.  One of the coolest sub-reddits is the IAmA reddit.  It’s an opportunity for a person to say “I Am A ______, ask me questions.”

Many times these are just everyday folks interested in talking about a whole bunch of stuff.  However, notable and famous people do them from time to time.  A few politicians have braved the waters, comedian Louis CK did one recently, and now Andrew Zimmern has gotten in on the fun.

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Bar Bouchon: French Bistro Badassery

Posted by Foodie Buddha on December 05, 2011

bouchon sign

The trio of Bouchon restaurants carry a lofty reputation and this is no doubt a testament to the work of the captain of the ship, chef Thomas Keller.  The Los Angeles, or more specifically Beverly Hills, location of Bouchon serves as chef Keller’s single foray into one of the more prestigious dining cities in this country.  It’s at Bouchon Beverly Hills, a two-story homage to French bistro cuisine, that we find Keller’s Bar Bouchon, a two-year-old watering hole on the ground floor of the Bouchon space.

There’s no doubt I would have gotten a seat at Bouchon if my whirlwind schedule had permitted such indulgences.  Circumstances being otherwise, I gladly took up a spot at Bar Bouchon during happy hour in the midst of one gorgeous September afternoon.  Despite its role as the fire starter to one of the most gluttonous nights ever, I lived to tell the tale.

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Matsuhisa: The Restaurant That Started It All

Posted by Foodie Buddha on December 03, 2011

matsuhisa beverly hills

My last meal in Los Angeles was a lunch at Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills.  Before I headed north to the bay of San Francisco, I wanted to sneak into this widely regarded sushi bar, the first jewel in the crown of famed sushimonger Nobu Matsuhisa.  Nobuyuki-san, perhaps the first celebrity sushi chef, has an empire that stretches several continents and a multitude of restaurants.  But it was this little spot on the edge of Beverly Hills where he first rose to worldwide acclaim.

Nowadays, Nobu-san no longer ambles behind the bar at Matsuhisa, instead leaving these day-to-day activities to people like chef Yoshi, a congenial and talented man who hails from Hiroshima’s countryside.  With a lofty reputation, I am sad to say that my single meal at Matsuhisa, while completely pleasant, did not quite qualify amongst the best I’ve indulged in of this Japanese art form.

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Ink.Sack: LA’s Trending Sandwich Shop Doesn’t Stack Up To Atlanta’s Best 1

Posted by Foodie Buddha on December 02, 2011


This is a tale of two sandwich shops.  One is Ink.Sack, a small take-out sandwich shop from Top Chef alum Michael Voltaggio.  It’s flashy, it’s forward thinking, and it’s got a reputation to uphold.  Thanks to its celeb chef and its location in little strip of shops on Melrose Ave in Los Angeles, the bar is high for Ink Sack.

Meanwhile, all the way across the country in one of Atlanta’s underbelly neighborhoods sits Victory Sandwich Bar, a punk rock meets hipster sandwich bar whose concept isn’t wholly different than Ink.Sack’s.  Though Victory’s origins don’t carry the same pressure as does Ink.Sack’s, the two restaurants are close enough conceptually that a comparison is fair, even though they sit roughly 2,200 miles apart.

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SAAM at The Bazaar: A Seminal Meal 2

Posted by Foodie Buddha on November 28, 2011

the sls hotel For me, SAAM at The Bazaar, the intimately tranquil private chef’s tasting room hidden within The SLS Hotel Beverly Hills, has long been an “I want to go to there” restaurant.  It’s one of several unique dining experiences offered inside the upscale Los Angeles hotel, which essentially serves as the West Coast fortress of chef José Andrés.

Andrés, who is the most well known proponent of molecular cooking in the US, has continually taunted me with his culinary experiments for long enough.  And so it came to be that during my West Coast food philandering, I was willing and able to explore this science meets food eating mashup.  It was an experience for the ages.

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Momofuku Ramen Recipe: Damn You Tasty 3

Posted by Foodie Buddha on November 26, 2011

ramen recipe adapted from David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook

momofuku cookbook

This is part 2 of my Momofuku ramen guide.  This post focuses almost exclusively on the cooking process, the ingredients, and the time management aspect to making this ramen, an easy to execute but time intensive dish.  While I strongly suggest you check out part 1 of the ramen guide for the grocery list and tips and tricks, this is where you’ll find the real how-to.

I’ve assembled this recipe in a way that will allow you to cook everything over a two-day period.  I’ve also timed it from a perspective that encourages oven optimization.  Keep that in mind, as items like the taré can actually be made a few days in advance (it lasts 3 to 4 in the fridge) or it can be made the day of so long as you start it about 3-hours before service time.

I have also included a time estimate with each component – which for me – starts as soon as you begin to use the ingredients for the first step.  These time estimates are just a way of me telling you how long it took us to do everything, so resting time, clean up time, and time away from the food is included in that number.  You can do this by yourself no doubt, but a second in command is a big help (as well as a lot more fun – Thanks Papa Buddha!).  If you want to view all the videos (they’re really awesome AND totally amazing!), check out the YouTube playlist.  Meanwhile, all of my slightly less bad pictures are on Flickr!

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Your Guide To Momofuku Ramen

Posted by Foodie Buddha on November 26, 2011

momofuku ramen bowl

This is the complete guide to the ramen recipe from David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook.  I’ve split this into a two-part series whereby this part gives you a little background on ramen and some notes and advice on how to best execute Chang’s version.  Also included is a composite grocery list so though you don’t have to read through everything and total it up.  Part two, which you can read here, is the step-by-step list which focuses more on the execution of each individual item and the time management part of this two-day (at a minimum) cooking endeavor.  I hope you enjoy!

A Little on David Chang + Ramen + Momofuku

momofuku cookbook

Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup more important to that culture than chicken noodle soup is to America’s culture.  David Chang, who owns the ballyhooed Momofuku restaurant in New York, is the single biggest reason why ramen has transcended the confines of college dormitories onto the menus of many restaurants who would otherwise pass on this time consuming Japanese staple.

When Chang, along with the help of Peter Meehan, released the Momofuku cookbook in late 2009, [GOOOOO BLUE!!!!!!] it quickly became the IT cookbook of that season.  So widespread was Chang’s influence that soon thereafter an entire website dedicated to executing the vast array of recipes went live.

It’s impossible to articulate a simple yet all encompassing definition of ramen.  But, for brevity’s sake, just know that traditional ramen (not that cup noodle stuff from the $.99 store) is soup that usually utilizes a soy or miso based broth and includes noodles, meat, and fixings that one might find in and around the islands of Japan.

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Marge Simpson Will Be A Terrible Food Critic 2

Posted by Foodie Buddha on November 09, 2011


We all know how important it is for a food critic to be anonymous when visiting a restaurant.  So you can imagine my dismay when I first heard that this week’s episode The Simpsons, entitled The Food Wife, is centered around Marge Simpson and her foray into the world of gastronomy.  Here are a few reasons why Marge is the wrong member of the family to take on food blogging and a little peek into the episode itself.

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HD1 Brings Trendiness To The Hot Dog [First Impressions] 7

Posted by Foodie Buddha on October 28, 2011

restaurant interior at hd 1

Most people who visit HD1, Atlanta’s newest hot dog concept, will not have any misgivings as to the type of things they will see, touch, and taste while inside.  Few, if any, will expect a classic American meal as by now, proprietor Barry Mills and celeb chef Richard Blais are well known for their culinary riffs.  This expectation of contemporary interpretations is further attributed to the Blais celebrity.  He is, in and of himself, a draw.  And thus people have a common understanding for any project to which his name is attached.  That is, quite simply, to expect something well left of center.

This type of thinking extends to that the quasi-monolithic entrance.  Though beautiful, it is somewhat out of place amongst its more mundane surroundings.  That’s not a criticism, just an explanation as to why you’ll have a hard time missing HD1 as you drive down N. Highland in the Poncey-Highland ‘hood.  Beyond the visual introduction, what follows inside is a pacifistic assault on the senses.

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