Archive - September 2011

Top 10 Restaurants in Amsterdam


Dining has never been better here in Amsterdam – well, not for the last two decades. This part of the Netherlands offers cuisine of international class, taste, and culture. From the small cafes and breakfast tables, to fantastic lunch and dinner meals, and of course, free flowing beers that people we would not dare to miss. Amsterdam is a hot spot for tourists looking for great treats when it comes to food, fashion, and entertainment. So, don’t forget to be at the right places when you are in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Brasserie Vlaming. Being in Amsterdam means a trip to this tourist-favorite restaurant in Grachtengordel-West. This restaurant offers a cozy and excellent atmosphere, where a limited menu of international dishes will totally blow you away. Excellent service and staff, great food, perfect dining experience – this is Brasserie Vlaming that everyone came to love.

Restaurant De Kas. There’s nothing like satisfying your hunger with a delightful Dutch or Mediterranean dish. If you find yourself at De Kas; I recommend you try the endive tarte tatin courtesy of Chef Gert Jan Hageman, simply delicious. The vegetables used at the restaurant come from their own vegetable garden. Sit outside, enjoy the vegetation, and a gorgeous meal.

Zaza’s. This French restaurant in Amsterdam definitely lived up to my expectations. Whether you’re looking for some fine steaks or lamb filet paired with a nice glass of Chardonnay, Zaza’s will make your Amsterdam trip worthwhile. Have a great dining experience topped with an elegant relaxing ambience to complete your stay.

Bussia. A modern Italian fine dining is what this restaurant in Amsterdam can only promise. Aside from their classic and delightful Italian menu of pastas, risotto and many more, Bussia also offers a notable wine list which can really satisfy your palates. Be ready to spend a night of great Italian dining in Amsterdam with Bussia, still in Grachtengordel-West.

Koh-i-Noor. Amsterdam is full of international cuisine pleasures, and this Indian restaurant tops the international food race. Koh-i-Noor brings an honest and genuine Indian cuisine, from their spicy lamb curry to their classic masala chai (Indian drink). This classic Indian restaurant is high in ratings, but fits right into your budget – living to what everyone expects it to be.

Seasons Restaurant. Make time to visit this humble restaurant in Amsterdam called the Seasons Restaurant. With the dishes made with only the freshest ingredients, you might want to book a reservation before coming in for a delightful meal ahead. The Seasons Restaurant maybe a bit small in its size, but it definitely satisfies your tummies bigtime.

Gartine. A romantic getaway in Amsterdam won’t be complete without having a meal or two at this intimate restaurant called Gartine. This restaurant offers great Dutch and French meals in breakfast, brunch, or lunch. Might want to get a reservation ahead of time because almost everyone in might be in for a special Gartine meal.

Christophe. This popular restaurant also promises an intimate and romantic date after your day tour in Amsterdam. With a Michelin star under its name, Christophe creates a brand new taste for the cuisine by doing some changes in Mediterranean-based ingredients such as basil, saffron, and olive oil. Have a very lovely gourmet evening at Christophe.

Greetje. Modern meets tradition is the focus of this Dutch restaurant called Greetje. Guests are treated to a delectable menu of traditional Dutch cuisines, inspired by different areas in the region. With entrees made from fresh and organic ingredients, you don’t wanna miss out on an authentic Dutch dining in Amsterdam. Oh, and did I mention the restaurant has quite a view overlooking the canal? Probably not.

De Klos. This is the place to make a stop before saying goodnight. They’ve got the good old bar treats, served in European manner. We are talking about smoked ribs and a handful of tap beer to end your night. The best beers and ribs are found in Europe, and De Klos certainly lives up to that tag name.

Multi-State Recall of Romaine Lettuce Contaminated With Listeria


On Thursday, September 29, 2011, The FDA indicated that True Leaf Farms, a Salinas, California company, is voluntarily recalling 90 cartons of chopped romaine because of the potential of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

The recalled product was shipped between September 12 and 13 to an institutional food service distributor in Oregon who further distributed it to at least two additional states, Washington and Idaho. The romaine affected by this recall has a “use by date” of 9/29/11.

However, Alaska officials also report bags of chopped romaine lettuce are being recalled over concerns of potential listeria contamination. The state Department of Conservation has confirmed that the 2-pound bags of chopped romaine lettuce from True Leaf Farms, which have a use-by date of Sept. 29, were distributed in Alaska by Church Brothers, LLC.

FDA notified True Leaf Farms that a sample taken as part of a random check from a single bag of chopped romaine tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

The recalled bags of romaine were packed in True Leaf Farms cardboard cartons and distributed by Church Brothers, LLC, and shipped between September 12 and 13, 2011. Produce affected by the recall was labeled as follows: 2# bags, chopped romaine – Bag and box code B256-46438-8.

Tyson Recalls Tainted Ground Beef in 15 States


On Tuesday Sep 27, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued yet another recall. This time Tyson Fresh Meats is recalling approximately 131,300 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

This recall comes on the heels of another recall issued just 3 days ago on Sep 23, for ground beef due to E. Coli O157:H7 contamination. Palo Duro Meat, an Amarillo, Texas, company, recalled 40,000 pounds of frozen fine ground beef products. The products subject to recall included 40-lb boxes containing four 10-lb chubs of fine ground beef.

The more current Tyson recall involves beef sold as Kroger brands at Kroger Co. supermarkets; Butcher’s Beef at Food Lion supermarkets; and generic beef sold to SAV-A-LOT, Spectrum Foods, Supervalu and the Defense Commissary Agency.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Butler County Ohio Health Department director Pat Burg said four children became ill after eating the meat with their family in the second week of September. A 9-year-old child was hospitalized for about 10 days with severe diarrhea, said Burg.

Ground beef from the family’s home tested positive for the bacteria. The family told health officials that they bought the Tyson beef at a Kroger supermarket.

The Ohio Department of Health confirmed that two Butler County siblings received medical treatment after becoming sick from E.coli, while other two children reported to be ill didn’t get medical treatment, spokeswoman Tessie Pollock said.

The products subject to recall have a “BEST BEFORE OR FREEZE BY” date of “SEP 12 2011″ and the establishment number “245D” ink jetted along the package seam.

FSIS warns that consumers may have frozen the product before use and that some product may be in consumers’ freezers. FSIS strongly encourages consumers to check their freezers and immediately discard any product subject to this recall.

The products to look for are:

5-pound chubs of Kroger-brand “GROUND BEEF 73% LEAN – 27% FAT,” packed in 40-pound cases containing eight chubs. Cases bear an identifying product code of “D-0211 QW.” These products were produced on Aug. 23, 2011 and were shipped to distribution centers in Ind. and Tenn. for retail sale.

3-pound chubs of Butcher’s Brand “GROUND BEEF 73% LEAN – 27% FAT,” packed in 36-pound cases each containing 12 chubs. Cases bear an identifying product code of “D-0211 LWIF.” These products were produced on Aug. 23, 2011 and were shipped to distribution centers in N.C. and S.C. for retail sale.

3-pound chubs of a generic label “GROUND BEEF 73% LEAN – 27% FAT,” packed in 36-pound cases each containing 12 chubs. Cases bear an identifying product code of “D-0211 LWI.” These products were produced on Aug. 23, 2011 and were shipped to distribution centers in Del., Fla., Ga., Md., Ill., Ind., Mo., N.Y., Ohio, Tenn., Texas and Wis. for retail sale.

The Tribune notes that the Kroger divisions included are Cincinnati-Dayton, which includes Kroger stores in northern Kentucky; Delta, which includes Memphis and western Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and stores in Murray and Paducah, Ky., and Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and Central, with stores in Illinois and Indiana that include some local banners such as Food 4 Less in Chicago.

The Butcher’s Beef brand meat was shipped to Food Lion stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Virginia and West Virginia and to Bottom Dollar Food stores in North Carolina, the company said in a news release.

Cooking Secrets Made Healthy


In making dishes, it is no longer just about how the food tastes or how it is presented. I think it’s about time that we give dining a healthier chance in the same manner as giving people a healthier shot at life.

Most of the time, people think getting themselves a well-balanced meal is the key to a healthier eating lifestyle. But it can also be also be about things that you have overlooked in your kitchen. True enough, we have lots of healthy food choices out there, but the thing is, you can’t really rely on the food being healthy, alone. Your dish might be as healthy as you think, well, after being cooked. The healthiness of our meal relies on several factors such as the manner and the method of how the food is prepared, the cookware used in this process, and many more. But no need to be sad as we’ve come up with some great cooking secrets to get that nutritional value that you deserve even after cooking.

Study your recipes and take note of the things where you can make necessary and healthier changes. Change up some of the ingredients and opt for healthier cooking methods to create wonderful meals without sacrificing its taste and nutritional value.

Cut down the amount of oil and if possible, try to use non-stick pans when frying. When cooking with fatty meats you do not need any additional oil. This will cut down on bad cholesterol.

Oven baking and microwaving are also good methods in place of frying, especially when it comes to cooking meat, poultry, and fish. You can rub your meat, poultry, and fish products with different herbs and spices to give it really good flavors while keeping the nutrients intact.

Use organic ingredients if possible. These are synthetic pesticide-free and health-friendly. Organic foods are usually pricey in supermarkets, but that is why there are a lot of farmer’s markets that offer the same healthy products without vacuuming your savings.

Cook from scratch. If possible, avoid using factory-made ingredients or products that are high in MSG, sodium and other health hazards. Cooking from scratch lets you take control of the condiments that you add into your dish, including sodium and cholesterol.

Look for the leaner meat cuts such as skinless chicken breast, turkey breast, or tuna.  You can also opt for red meat cuts but make sure that you take off those excess fats before cooking. Pair this up with some veggies and you are good to go.

Use fresh herbs and spices if possible. This is a great idea to add flavor and intensity into your dishes. Aside from flavor, a lot of natural herbs and spices contain healthy elements such as antioxidants which are good for detoxifying the body.

Steaming, baking in the oven, or microwavingcan be your best options when cooking veggies or any other food for that manner. These cooking methods produce great and delicious results without taking away the nutrients from your veggies.

In cooking leafy veggies such as spinach, it’s best that you cook them shortly until they wilt in the heat. You can also put them in hot water instead of boiling water. These methods keep the veggies’ nutrients in place.

Freezing instead of buying canned good is a great way to preserve your food in time for cooking. Canned goods usually contain chemical preservatives that aren’t really necessarily healthy, thus freezing makes a chemical-free and nutrient-friendly preservation method. Additionally, unsaturated fats also freeze at this point, of which, you can remove it from your meat before cooking to make your meat healthier and low-fat.

We usually have excuses to be unhealthy when it comes to cooking. But there is no great excuse that will work, especially when our health is on the line.

Rick Perry “Unfit For President” After BBQ Road Kill Remark


North Carolina newspaper columnist Jeffrey Weeks recently expressed his revolting disfavor for Rick Perry — but not over politics. Jeffrey Weeks is appalled by Perry’s reprehensible comments on Southern cooking.

“Rick Perry is not fit to be president of the United States. In fact he is apparently not fit to be a guest in my house.”

Weeks is an award-winning columnist who posts on saltwater and freshwater fishing, southern seafood cooking, and fisheries politics and management.

He is the author of Surf and Saltwater Fishing in the Carolinas – a complete guide to fishing at the coast, and posts a blog that contains many articles about southern recipes at A Dash of Salty.

According to “Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue,” a book Weeks describes as a comprehensive and near-Biblical scale book about the great culinary art and history of delicious pork manna from heaven, Rick Perry tried some Eastern Carolina BBQ in 1992, served to him at the Republican National Convention in Houston.

When Perry was asked how he liked it, he answered, “I’ve had road kill that tasted better than that.”

Good Ol’ Southern boys don’t take kindly to wanton attacks on their cherished Southern Cooking — especially BBQ. “This man is done as a candidate for any office beyond dog catcher, and I would not lower myself to vote him into even that post now,” writes Weeks.

To make matters worse, weeks claims Governor Perry prefers something know as Texas-style barbecue. “What did I find out about this Texas-style barbeque?” asks Weeks.

“Get this, America. They make it with cows. Go ahead, roll on the floor in laughter. I did. People of America, you make steaks out of cows. Read my lips, BBQ comes from a gosh-darned pig.”

Furthermore, adds Weeks: “In NC we have the good sense not to actually eat ‘road kill’ which is apparently a dish that ‘Governor’ Perry is intimately familiar with. I don’t plan to be dining in a Texas restaurant anytime soon after hearing that news.”

I feel confident Mr. Weeks would want me to include the following information on regional variations of barbecue:

Regional Variations of Barbecue
courtesy of

While the wide variety of barbecue styles makes it difficult to break barbecue styles down into regions, there are four major styles commonly referenced (though many sources list more). The four major styles are Memphis and Carolina, which rely on pork and represent the oldest styles, and Kansas City and Texas, which utilize beef as well as pork, and represent the later evolution of the original deep south barbecue. Pork is the most common protein used, followed by beef and veal, often with chicken or turkey in addition. Lamb and mutton are found in some areas, such as Owensboro, Kentucky, and some regions will add other meats.

Memphis barbecue is primarily ribs, which come “wet” and “dry”. Wet ribs are brushed with sauce before and after cooking, and dry ribs are seasoned with a dry rub. Pulled pork, from the shoulder, is also a popular item, which is served smothered in a hot, sweet, tomato based sauce.

Carolina barbecue is usually pork, served pulled, shredded, or chopped, but sometimes sliced. It may also be rubbed with a spice mixture before smoking and mopped with a spice and vinegar liquid during smoking.

Two styles predominate in different parts of North Carolina. Eastern North Carolina barbecue is made by the use of the “whole hog”, where the entire pig is barbecued and the meat from all parts of the pig are chopped and mixed together. Eastern North Carolina barbecue also uses a thin sauce made of spices and vinegar. Western North Carolina barbecue is made from only the pork shoulder, which is mainly dark meat, and uses a thicker sweetened tomato-based sauce. Western North Carolina barbecue is also known as Lexington barbecue, after the town of Lexington, North Carolina, home to many barbecue restaurants and a large barbecue festival, the Lexington Barbecue Festival.

South Carolina
South Carolina has three regional styles. In western parts of the state, along the Savannah River, a peppery tomato or ketchup-based sauce is common. In the central part of the state (the Midlands), barbecue is characterized by the use of a yellow “Carolina Gold” sauce, made from a mixture of yellow mustard, vinegar, brown sugar and other spices.[2] In the coastal “Pee Dee” region, they use the whole hog, and use a spicy, watery, vinegar-and-pepper sauce. In Piedmont area of the state shoulders, hams, or Boston butts are used.

Kansas City style barbecue
Kansas City has a wide variety in proteins, but the signature ingredient is the sauce. The meat is smoked with a dry rub, and the sauce served as a table sauce. Kansas City style sauce is thick and sweet (with significant exceptions such as Arthur Bryant’s, which is significantly less sweet than others in the region, and Gates, notably spicier than other KC-style sauces) based on tomatoes and molasses. This is perhaps the most widespread of sauces, with the Kansas City recipe K. C. Masterpiece being a top-selling brand.

There are four generally recognized regional styles of barbecue in Texas, East Texas style, which is essentially Southern barbecue and is also found in many urban areas, Central Texas “meat market style” which originated in the butcher shops of German and Czech immigrants to the region, West Texas “cowboy style” which involves direct cooking over mesquite and uses goat and mutton as well as beef, and South Texas barbacoa, in which the head of a cow is cooked (originally underground).

CDC: 72 Sick, 13 Deaths Linked to Cantaloupes – Expect More


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now claims 72 illnesses, including 13 deaths, are linked to cantaloupes. Health officials say they are investigating three additional deaths that may be connected to listeria.

The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: California (1), Colorado (15), Florida (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Kansas (5), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), Montana (1), Nebraska (6), New Mexico (10), North Dakota (1), Oklahoma (8), Texas (14), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (1).

Thirteen deaths have been reported: 2 in Colorado, 1 in Kansas, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Nebraska, 4 in New Mexico, 1 in Oklahoma, and 2 in Texas.

New Mexico officials are investigating a fifth death, while additional deaths are being investigated in Kansas and Wyoming.

Dr. Robert Tauxe of the CDC warns that illnesses and deaths will increase going forward because listeria symptoms can be latent. It can take one month or more for an illness to manifest after eating food contaminated with listeria.

“That long incubation period is a real problem,” Tauxe said. “People who ate a contaminated food two weeks ago or even a week ago could still be falling sick weeks later.”

Symptoms of listeria include fever and muscle aches, often with other gastrointestinal symptoms. Victims often become incapacitated and unable to speak.

The Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes from Jensen Farms were shipped from July 29 through Sept. 10 to Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.

The recalled cantaloupe may be labeled “Colorado Grown,” ”Distributed by Frontera Produce,” ”” or “Sweet Rocky Fords.” Not all of the recalled cantaloupes are labeled with a sticker, the FDA said.

The CDC claims illnesses began on or after July 31, 2011. Ages range from 35 to 96 years, with a median age of 78 years old. Most ill persons are over 60 years old or have health conditions that weaken the immune system. Fifty-eight percent of ill persons are female. Among the 67 ill persons with available information on whether they were hospitalized, 66 (99%) were hospitalized.

About 800 cases of Listeria infection are diagnosed each year in the United States, along with 3 or 4 outbreaks of Listeria-associated foodborne illness, notes the CDC, which adds that the foods that typically cause these outbreaks have been deli meats, hot dogs, and Mexican-style soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk. Produce is not often identified as a source, but sprouts caused an outbreak in 2009, and celery caused an outbreak in 2010.

Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico Dinner At Zio in NYC


For those of you who read my post on Barone Ricasoli; you know I fell in love. If you’re interested in getting a taste of Tuscany; this is an event you should reserve for.

On Monday, October 3rd at Zio you can meet one of Tuscany’s true wine legends: Barone Francesco Ricasoli He assumed control of the family firm in 1993 and has built it into one of the leading wine estates of the area (and Italy).

He wanted to know Sangiovese’s best clones, the best soil suited for that specific clone, and the best wood for that clone to age. Terroir plays the most important role. Francesco re-identified all the soil types, elevation, sun exposure and micro-climates of each of his vineyards and created a special bottling of each wine – this is the “Cru Project” Three of the wines involved in the project are Castello di Brolio Chianti Classico DOCG, Casalferro IGT and Colledila Chianti Classico DOCG.

Taste these outstanding wines paired with Zio’s delicious food and guided by one of Italy’s most important winemakers. Served will be each of his three Crus from both the 2007 and 2008 vintages, plus an older vertical of Castello di Brolio 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006.

The event will take place on October 3, 2011 at 7pm. The event costs $195 (and it is completely worth it). Call David Hamburger at 212.875.0222, Monday – Friday, to reserve. You can also register online at

Zio is located at 17 W. 19th St. (bet. 5th and 6th Avenues.) Manhattan, NY 10011 

The Misguided Holy War on Salt


Almost at birth we are warned about the dangers of salt. We are bombarded with salt hyperbole and issued dire warnings to carefully monitor our intake of salt by teachers, nurses, doctors, and friends. To season food with salt is surly an evil, wicked path to hell.

Last year, New York’s Mayor Bloomberg announced an initiative for food manufacturers and restaurants to cut the amount of salt in packaged and restaurant foods by 25 percent over the next five years. And the servile main stream press reaction was to lavished Bloomberg with praise.

But the Mayor’s intrusive salt meddling created quite an uproar with New York City chefs. “I’m all for trying to make New Yorkers healthier people,” said acclaimed chef Ed Brown, owner of the restaurant Eighty One on the Upper West Side. “But when it comes to him telling me how much salt to put in food, I have a problem with it.”

Noted chef David Chang, owner of the Momofuku Noodle Bar, said cooks have been using salt with food almost as long as they have been using fire. “You need salt to draw flavor out of food,” Chang said. For that to be regulated by the government is just stupid and foolish.”

Salt/Hypertension Connection

The hypothesized connection between high salt intake and hypertension dates back to 1904, according to an article in Scientific American.

Then in the 1970s, Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Lewis Dahl claimed to induce high blood pressure in rats by feeding them the human equivalent of 500 grams of sodium a day.

Dahl also concluded that people living in countries with high salt consumption like Japan are inclined to suffer from high blood pressure and more strokes.

But a research paper published several years later in the American Journal of Hypertension pointed toward genetics or other cultural factors when comparing sodium intakes within populations.

Yet in 1977, Dahl’s work was used by the Senate’s Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs in a report that recommended Americans cut their salt intake by 50 to 85 percent.

“For every study that suggests salt is unhealthy, another does not.” — Scientific American

According to Scientific American, Intersalt, a large study published in 1988, compared sodium intake with blood pressure in subjects from 52 international research centers and found no relationship between sodium intake and the prevalence of hypertension.

On the contrary, the population that ate the most salt had a lower median blood pressure than the population that ate the least.

In a review of 11 salt-reduction trials, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, low-salt diets resulted in negligible reductions in blood pressure during long-term trials, and a review of 57 shorter-term trials came to the same conclusion: there is scant evidence for long-term benefit from reducing salt intake.

A 2006 study published in American Journal of Medicine compared the daily sodium intakes of 78 million Americans to their risk of dying from heart disease over the course of 14 years; the study concluded that the more sodium people ate, the less likely they were to die from heart disease.

And a 2007 study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology followed 1,500 older people for five years and found no association between urinary sodium levels and the risk of coronary vascular disease or death.

Michael Alderman, an epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and former president of the International Society of Hypertension explains that “the human kidney is made, by design, to vary the accretion of salt based on the amount you take in.”

A 1987 study published in the Journal of Chronic Diseases found that people’s reaction to high salt diets were split down the middle: the number of people who experienced a drop and rise in their blood pressure after eating high-salt diets were virtually the same, while many people’s blood pressure remained unchanged.

“Evangelical Antisalt Campaigns”

Alderman and his colleague Hillel Cohen suggest draconian government salt policies based on insufficient data mislead people, and entice them into drawing the wrong conclusions.

“A great number of promises are being made to the public with regard to this enormous benefit [of low salt] and lives saved,” Cohen says. “But it is based on wild extrapolations.”

Although it may be too costly for consideration, Alderman and Cohen suggest that instead of creating drastic salt policies based on conflicting data, the government should sponsor a large, controlled clinical trial to gauge for themselves what happens to people who follow low-salt diets over time.

Top Chefs’ Guide to Being Healthy and Staying Thin


Staying thin and healthy is difficult for a regular person. When you are in the food industry it is even harder. We’ve seen many food celebrities and chefs go down some dark paths. There are rumors that Paula Deen has diabetes (would this be much of a surprise). We’re pretty sure that Adam Richman is headed down the same route; just hopefully not as bad as Blair River; the spokes person for Heart Attack Grill who recently died at a mere 29 years old. The key is balance. We’ve seen some chefs battle with their weight and win (Alton Brown is an example and role model for all of us). Here are ten very useful tips from some of our favorite chefs to help you stay thin and healthy:

1. Iron Chef and Good Eats host Chef Alton Brown shred 50 big pounds off of his weight. He controlled his sweet tooth and decreased his weekly alcohol intake. Chef Alton’s eating lifestyle is made up of a low-carb, high protein and high fat (he’s getting it from omega-3 fatty acids of the fish) diet. He has given up things that had made him unhealthy for years, and replaced them with lots of sardines, avocados and almonds.

2. His mouth may be full of unhealthy words, but he makes sure that his health is secured. Chef Gordon Ramsay takes health on a more serious tone, and aside from being an avid marathon runner, he makes sure that he maintains his status being a health buff through his cooking. Gordon Ramsay published a book a couple of years ago entitled Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Appetite which contains fun and healthy recipes that even kids would enjoy.

3. Top Chef alumni, restaurateur and consultant, Dale Talde keeps tract and makes sure that the dishes that come out of his kitchen are of high quality. One of Chef Dale’s diet secrets is to not starve himself and get too hungry. The taste testing that he’s doing while on work keeps him from sitting and eating a full meal. Another secret is that he wakes up early and makes himself a healthy meal before going to work. That way he makes his stomach happy while making his customers happy.

4. Former Iron Chef, Mario Batali was one of the bigger chefs that we’ve seen on television. He came to realized that and went on to lose 45 lbs off his weight. His secret? Cutting down restaurant meals to half and doing taste tests with a single spoon or with a finger. He also makes sure that spends at least an hour a day for working out. Chef Mario’s goal is to live longer by being healthy.

5. Food Network darling, Giada de Laurentiis lost her baby fat (she got those when she was pregnant) by following a new eating pattern and some daily exercise regime. Giada eats smaller meals, and tries to add more veggies into her meals.  But there is one thing that Giada could never give up on her diet, her indulgence on chocolates, that is. She also started doing yoga while she was pregnant and shares that daily morning exercises keep her blood streams alive and kicking.

6. Celebrity chef, Rocco DiSpirito was experiencing high blood pressure and cholesterol, and was advised to take specific medications. It was the turning point of his health consciousness. He took saturated fat and sugar off of his meals, making a healthier diet plan for himself. In addition to his diet, Chef Rocco had started running for a healthier life, and is now doing triathlon. Some say that his stint at Dancing With The Stars also contributed to his weight loss success.

7. Aside from winning Top Chef All Stars, Chef Richard Blais also felt like a winner by trimming 60 lbs off of his weight. What made the magic happen is a 30-day vegan diet which had an overall effect, healthwise and his thoughts about food and eating. He ended up realizing that his eating lifestyle was made up of fatty, sweet, and salty foods. He, along with fellow Top Chef contestant recently joined a marathon event which supports Alliance for a Healthier Generation (fight against childhood obesity).

8. Throwdown King, Chef Bobby Flay, used to have a couple of wine glasses and fried chicken with a few other celebrity chef friends few times a week, with a non-stop eating habit on a daily basis. Now he eats less that his usual appetite, having smaller meals a day and smaller serving when doing some taste testing. Chef Bobby Flay also realized that running makes him burn those calories while sweating off those fats. He lost about 15 pounds by doing so.

9. Eleven Madison Park’s Chef Daniel Humm was once a member of the Swiss national team for cycling. Although he didn’t go beyond the overweight line, Chef Daniel lost some appetite for exercise in over a decade and gradually gained weight. Last year, he fell in love with spinning, committing at least an hour of some hardcore effective exercise routine.

10. New York City-based chef, Michael Psilakis wasn’t really happy about his weight and his big appearance, making him realize that he is not getting healthier. His diet is not for the faint-hearted as he kicked off a 3-day fasting diet, drinking only water to hydrate his mind and body. After that, he turned on to a full 360-degree spin and made drastic changes on his diet. He put his pizza craving on the corner and started eating healthy meals before the sun sets, enough to satisfy him for the night. Chef Michael Psilakis’ healthy meal included lots of fresh veggies with a low-fat, high-protein diet.

Wisconsin Law Prohibits Serving Margarine Instead of Butter


A 44-year-old Wisconsin law making it illegal for restaurants to serve margarine as a replacement for butter is the focus of Republican state Rep. Dale Kooyenga’s effort to repeal the law.

Breaking the law is punishable by up to three months in jail, but it’s never enforced. And the antiquated law, originally intended to protect the state’s dairy industry, has a loophole: restaurants are in compliance simply by serving both butter and margarine simultaneously.

Most restaurant owners are aware of the law, but it’s not something that the industry talks about, said Pete Hanson, director of government relations for the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. It’s simply not an issue, he said.

“Restaurant owners are in business and are successful because they give customers what they want and in Wisconsin that’s generally butter,” Hanson said. “I don’t think there necessarily needs to be a law requiring butter to be on the table. I think most patrons in Wisconsin prefer butter.”

The 1870 invention of margarine threatened Wisconsin’s dairy industry and rural way of life. In 1895, Wisconsin banned the sale or use of margarine colored to imitate butter.

With Wisconsin being the only state prohibiting margarine in the 1960s, prompting Wisconsin residents to buy margarine in neighboring states, pressure to repeal the ban gained momentum.

In 1965, then Democratic state-Sen. Martin Schreiber proposed eliminating the ban and challenged Republicans to a blind taste test. Republican Sen. Gordon Roseleip, one of butter’s most impassioned supporters, took the taste test and chose margarine over better.

Two years after the taste test, the state’s ban on margarine sales was repealed but the restrictions — prohibiting restaurants to serve margarine as a replacement for butter — that Representative Kooyenga seeks to unravel were passed.

The existing law also requires that butter be served to students, patients and inmates at state institutions, except as necessary for the health of the person.

That means real butter is served to the 21,000 fortunate inmates in Wisconsin’s prisons — fortunate because no one in their right mind would pollute their body and taste buds with margarine.

While butter does have fatty acids, they’re akin to the fatty acids in our bodies. But not so with margarine. The process used to transform vegetable oils into margarine changes fatty acids into unnatural forms not compatible with our bodies.

Margarine’s trans-fatty acids increases cancer risks, and accelerates aging and degenerative changes in tissues.

Kooyenga’s repeal effort is pretty much dead in the water. So far, only 11 other lawmakers out of 132 have signed on as co-sponsors.

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