Vegas Recovery Salad

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When you get back from a weekend of binging in Las Vegas, you might find that you really crave salad. Not the wimpy kind with delicate garden lettuces, but a big bowl of raw vegetables that promises to cure all your ills. If you were a cheffy chef your first instinct might be to go to the farmer’s market to gather up your vegetables. If it’s Saturday night, though, chances are you’re too late for a farmer’s market. So you have two options: go to a restaurant that serves a big farmer’s market salad or make a salad from supermarket vegetables. Me? I’m the master of the latter.

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Who’s Going To Win Top Chef?

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This season of Top Chef has been my favorite so far. The chefs are more talented than they’ve ever been, the focus has been on the food not chef antics (well, except for everyone’s conflict with Robin) and somehow the Vegas setting, which might’ve undermined the shows credibly, has allowed for some of the world’s great chefs–Joel Robuchon, Thomas Keller–to act as judges. Today, I join my blogging friend Mark Blankenship (check out his great blog, The Critical Condition) for a discussion about this season of Top Chef and our predictions for who will win.

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The Vegas Episode

Happy Memorial Day! For your entertainment today, we have a very special FN Dish featuring Lorraine Bracco, Todd English, Barbara Fairchild, Wolfgang Puck, Daniel Boulud, Guy Savoy, Cat Cora and many many more living the lush life at Vegas Uncorked. To read more about Vegas Uncorked, read my posts here and here. Enjoy!

Vegas Days 3 & 4: Picasso, The Cook Off & Grand Tasting, “Love,” Daniel Boulud Brasserie, Craftsteak

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If you go to www.endoftheinternet.com you reach a page that tells you “sorry, but you’ve reached the end of the internet.” I bring this up because on Saturday night, at Craftsteak at the MGM Grand, I received a message from my stomach that said: “Sorry, but you’ve reached the end of eating.” It waved a white flag, as did the stomachs of my companions, and by the time we left Vegas on Sunday morning we vowed never to eat like this again.

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Mary Nolan, Fear of Softball and a Sneak Peek

Hello folks. Just got back from Vegas last night and hit the bed like a bullet. This morning, though, you shall be entertained by my most taxing FN Dish episode thus far. This may shock you, but my whole life I’ve been terrified of sports–especially baseball where I am convinced that one day, sitting there in the bleachers, I’ll get hit in the head. I overcame my fears this week to hang out with Mary Nolan, a new Food Network star, who took me to one of her softball games (click here to watch the episode). Otherwise, tonight I shall regale you with stories from the rest of my Vegas trip, but if you want to see a sneak peek photo set of my cookoff with Lorraine Bracco click here. Isn’t that a cool picture? More soon….

The Big Event: Me vs. Lorraine Bracco, Caesar’s Palace, Friday 5/9

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This is probably the strangest news I’ve ever reported on this blog; but, it is with great pleasure (and disbelief) that I tell you, my readers, that this Friday, at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, as part of the Bon Appetit Uncorked Festival, I will be going head-to-head with Lorraine Bracco in the Masters vs. Rookies Culinary Pro-Am on the DCS Stage. Specifically, I will be paired with master chef John Church while Ms. Bracco will be paired with master chef Todd English and then we will do battle. The ticket information is here, but I am inquiring about getting some of you who left comments on my Vegas post in for free to root me on. Either way, this is going to be an exciting day in the life of an amateur food blogger. Could my life get any stranger? Wish me luck!

By the way, we leave tomorrow for Vegas; thanks to all of you for your tips on where to eat. I’ll be liveblogging the trip from my hotel room, so stay tuned for updates the rest of this week.

Quick Notes

(1) Clear your cache and enjoy the new springy banner, a nice corollary to this week’s FN Dish. Thanks Erin, Leah and Justin, once again, for your great work.

(2) My weekly features–Tuesday Techniques and Music While You Eat–will now be more sporadic than weekly. I’d rather do thoughtful posts every now and then than forced posts every week. Plus I’m leaving for Vegas tomorrow, and I need to practice counting cards!

(3) Those of you who will be in Vegas, stay tuned… I have an exciting event that all of you can come to. I’m waiting for permission to post about it….

(4) I just noticed my tags aren’t working. Weird.

(5) Doesn’t Cloris Leachman have a weird name? Who names their daughter Cloris?

(6) Sorry, that last one didn’t have anything to do with food.

(7) Ok, time to start writing the next post….