Sukiyabashi Jiro Gets Instagramed Hip-Hop Style 1

Posted by Foodie Buddha on January 25, 2013

The opportunity for me to eat at Sukiyabashi Jiro, the 3-star Michelin subway port in Tokyo, before Jiro Ono departs is looking highly unlikely at this juncture.  So I must rely on others for any semblance of sushi satiation.  With some luck, maybe Jimmy will get there in a few months and I’ll get a true secondhand encounter.  But in the meantime, I’ve resigned myself to repeat viewings of Jiro Dreams of Sushi, continued refreshing of my Japanese food news feed, and conversations with my tomodachi in the Land of the Rising Sun.

While Sukiyabashi Jiro has long been a pretty big deal for food freaks, the aforementioned documentary has put Itamae Jiro Ono on the lips of people from all over.  Enter Questlove (@questlove), that dude from the Roots (you know – that flavorful hip-hop group that also serves as the house band for Jimmy Falloon).

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What I Learned Cooking For A Michelin Chef 8

Posted by Foodie Buddha on January 11, 2012

Part 1: How A Michelin Chef Ended Up At My Table

My path to full fledged food addict has been somewhat subversive.  By that I mean that during my earliest years, I rarely took note of food’s impact on my being.  Yet many of my earliest memories revolve around food.  I remember standing on my mom’s kitchen stool making chopped liver with her (stop saying gross, Jew..ish people love it).  I recall staying at my grandfather’s house in Mass. and running around with lobster claws on my hands (back when my little digits could fit inside).  I certainly remember the day I took tinfoil packed scrambled eggs into school for lunch (at my own insistence … I’m a stubborn little bastard).

Hell, before I can even remember, food was a huge part of my life.  Case in point: I peaked early when I wrestled a gallon jug of OJ up three flights of stairs and proceeded to dump the contents all over my sister.  She was obviously being a big stinking doo doo head.  I don’t remember that … at all! (But it sounds familiar … right sis?).  Probably the crowning achievement of my life and it’s been all downhill ever since.

So it seems that now is as good of a time as any to tell a story that is really important to me, even if the conceptualization of why it’s important has evolved over the years.  It was the night I cooked for a Michelin starred chef.  Yeah … seriously … HOW THE FUCK did that happen?  Let me tell you.

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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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Marea: A Pasta Gold Mine

Posted by Foodie Buddha on November 15, 2011


A masterful dining experience is the consequence of a tapestry of constituents woven together to elicit an inspirational reaction.  That’s the type of grandiose impression a meal at New York City’s Marea can leave.  Quietly settled near Columbus Circle’s intersection with Central Park, this Italian seafood restaurant sits as a titan of industry in what is arguably the culinary capital of the world.  For a two-year-old restaurant, that’s an impressive reality.

No doubt a testament to the direction of executive chef Michael White and partner Chris Canon, a meal at Marea is quite clearly the result of the cadre of chefs and servers, the mise-en-scène of the setting, and some very inspiring bites (sometimes slathered in a seduction of lardo and sea urchin).

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Minetta Tavern New York & The $26 Burger [Out of Town]

Posted by Foodie Buddha on July 05, 2011

minetta tavern

Peering through my looking glass, a once formidable cocktail whose specifics elude me at this juncture, I find my mind fluttering and, most importantly, my stomach growling.  Mind you, this isn’t on account of an empty belly; rather, I’ve bellied up at one of the most notable gastro pubs in the world.  I’ve finally made my way over to the Michelin rated Minetta Tavern, and before I can even sit down, I can tell I’m going to be a better man for it.

In 2009, when proprietor Keith McNally (of Balthazar ilk) introduced New York to this Art Deco era bistro homage, the praise came quickly, often, and adoringly.  No doubt chefs Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr had a lot to do with that.  As such, by the time I walked into the door some three-months ago, I had very few misgivings as to what was on deck.

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Soto New York [Out of Town]

Posted by Foodie Buddha on June 06, 2011

Like every other Atlanta foodie, a short while back I dropped in the food Mecca that is New York.  It was an ungodly trip of lusty, slutty, completely inappropriate foodie indulgence and I’m just now getting my thoughts organized and my photos online.  I’ve long talked of my man love for Sotohiro Kosugi.  The guy artist super hero is now up to two Michelin Stars.  I think eating at Soto every time you (or me for that matter) hit NYC would be a good thing.  For space’s sake, I was not able to include all the pictures; however, you can find the full Soto New York picture set on Flickr.  Without further adieu, Soto Sushi in in pictures #Amazing #BeJealous #LetsGetItOn

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Soto Earns Second Michelin Star [Awards]

Posted by Foodie Buddha on October 06, 2010

While the James Beard Award may carry more notability around these parts, the Michelin Guide is in fact the real deal.  Early this morning, the famed guidebook (and tire manufacturer), released their ratings for 2011.  Of particular note to us in the Dirty, Sotohiro Kosugi garnered a second star for his well regarded New York City sushi bar.  This is an astounding accomplishment, and with restaurants like Wylie Dufresne’s wd~50 sitting below Soto, you can tell this is an impressive heap to climb.  While Bibendum is all smiles today, this serves as another twist to the gut for those of us her in Atlanta! If you’re curious to see the whole list, you can see it here! Smile

[via Eater]

Chef Cyrille Holota Of Joel Brasserie: Inside The Chef’s Kitchen #5 1

Posted by Foodie Buddha on December 04, 2009

cyrille-holota-itckSomething tells me that Cyrille Holota had no idea what was in store for him some years ago.  In the mid-90s, Holota was racking up quit the resume.  After cooking at several different Michelin winning restaurants (including 3-star powerhouse L’Arpege), Holota came to our beloved city to join Joël Antunes over at The Dining Room.  In 2001, JA left to open his namesake restaurant with Holota in tow.

From there, Holota began his methodical climb to the top.  He started as sous chef de cuisine, then moved to chef de cuisine, and finally, in 2008, landed on top as the executive chef.  Soon after, things got hairy, mostly for reasons well beyond his control.

In the past year and change, perhaps no Atlanta restaurant has been more maligned than JOËL Brasserie.  First, the restaurant’s namesake split for the bright lights of New York City.  Antunes’ tenure at the helm of the famed Oak Room was short to say the least.  Within a few months, he found himself out of a job.  Initial questions as to whether the Frenchman would shutdown his Atlanta restaurant were soon replaced with rumors of his return.  Then, the restaurant closed up for a bit (to remodel), leading to even more questions.  Just when things were getting back on track for the rebranded JOËL, they ran into that whole debacle with their liquor license.  Why do I bring this up?  Because so little of the bad press actually had anything to do with the restaurant and the experience within.

All this while, back in the kitchen, standing tall and proud, was none other than chef Holota.  The French national from Montlucon stood his ground and did so with a smile on his face.  Things around him blew up, and yet there he was, bringing his personality to the forefront of JOËL Brasserie’s food experience.

Now, the enduring character behind JB’s is here for a little relaxing, some quick wit, and a little bit of mystery (anyone know French?).  And with that, welcome to ITCK!

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Soto Earns A 2010 Michelin Star 1

Posted by Foodie Buddha on October 05, 2009

Most foodies know about the Michelin Guide; it is the most notable ratings guide I can think of.  This year, former Atlanta resident Sotohiro Kosugi scored himself a star.  His eponymous New York sushi bar is starting to pick up some of the acclaim that’s been long overdue.  Congratulations to Sotohiro Kosugi, my favorite sushi chef anywhere!!!

Soto Japanese Restaurant Address & Information

357 Ave Of The Americas New York, NY 10014 // 212.414.3088

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