News of the Week: Friday, July 13th 2007Really news of the month since it's been about that long since I've posted food news around here. There's been a lot of news in the past month, so this will be a fairly long post. And if you didn't hear, I have a good excuse.
Anthony Bourdain was nominated for an Emmy award for his work in Anthony Bourdain in Beirut on the Travel Channel. The special documented his ill timed travels to Lebanon in 2006 to film an episode of No Reservations only to be caught in the middle of an erupting war between Israel and Hezbollah.
Food TV will be holding a competition to decide the next Iron Chef for Iron Chef America. Some really big names will be competing including Traci des Jardins, who just won the 2007 James Beard award for Best Chef [Pacific].
There was an interesting article in the New York Times recently about the surge in fine dining options in the Midwest. It featured Bluestem and Lidia's in Kansas City, as well as places in St. Louis, Minneapolis and Milwaukee. Just goes to show that the Midwest isn't just meat and potatoes. We want our tasting menus and caviar too.
Far From the Big Cities, and Not Missing Them (via the Boston Globe)
Speaking of Iron Chef's and tasting menus, Darwin Bistro, here in Omaha, has been having it's own Iron Chef competitions every week. Every Wednesday each of the four chefs are given a different ingredient from which to make a nightly special. The winner is who ever sells the most specials. Customers are encouraged to call in at the end of the evening to see who won. The results so far:
Paul Urban: 3 Wins, 1 Tie, 1 Team WinThey've also started offering a full fledged tasting menu of 12 to 15 courses.
Brian Young: 1 Win, 1 Tie
Craig Hoffman: 1 Win
Jessica O'Kief: 1 Win, 1 Team Win
Telia Owens: 1 Win
If you recognize the name Craig Hoffman from the previous item, it might be because you're a fan of V. Mertz. Hoffman was part of a large exodus following a "reorganization" in the V. Mertz kitchen that put Clayton Chapman in the chef de cuisine position.
In some slightly odd news, I just found out Ted & Wally's here in Omaha bought eCreamery.com. What's strange about it is the fact that prices start at $49.95 for a single flavor half-gallon! I'm all about indulgences, but that's a little insane.
For those who want to expand their ice cream palate, why not try some chewy ice cream
Omaha Restaurants in the Press
The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet, seems to know how to pick great steak houses as well as stocks. His favorite steak house in Omaha, Gorat's, got some great press recently being named one of America’s top seven steakhouses by Saveur magazine as well as being named one of the 10 best "traditional" steak houses in the US by USA Today.
The Omaha World-Herald had a sad, but really interesting interview with the Doc of Doc & Eddie's. If you get a chance, I encourage you to read it. It's short, but good. Chef Chat: Success bittersweet for Doc & Eddie's
And fans of Lance Wang's O Casual Dining & Lounge might be excited to learn that he has tentatively found a new home for his popular fusion restaurant. If all goes well, O Casual will move into the space once occupied by the Great Wall restaurant. The Old Market location in downtown Omaha sits next to the Gene Leahy Mall and should prove popular with tourist and local alike. The survival of the mural on the building is still in question.
The Dundee Dell has a new executive chef, Hilary Quinn, who has revamped their menu with the help of a customer feedback party held in July.
Also in the Dundee area, Dario's Brasserie plans to host a Belgian beer garden during this year's Dundee Days which will be held August 25th.
And the last bit of local press, we've updated our Boyd and Charlie's coverage to a full fledge review. It was written by my wife, so if you find it helpful, please leave her a comment with words of encouragement so I can talk her into doing more.
And for those of you eagerly awaiting an announcement regarding our Omaha on $40 a Day contest, you're going to have to wait just a bit longer. With the arrival of our new bundle of joy, I'm a bit behind. What this also means is that if you haven't yet submitted your entry, or you want to submit more than one entry, you have about another week to do so.
I haven't quite decided if I think this is cool or lame. At the moment I'm leaning towards lame.
It's owned by the same group that brought us the Rain Forest Cafe. Currently they have a single location at the Kansas City Speedway with another opening at the Downtown Disney Marketplace in Orlando.