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Found 9 results

  1. World poutine-eating contest to be held in Toronto. Yes, that's right. T.O. By Andy Blatchford (CP) – 20 minutes ago MONTREAL — One of Quebec's cultural symbols has been called everything from disgusting, to heart-attack inducing, to delectable. But can the increasingly popular Quebecois dish known as poutine -that messy mix of french fries, sauce and cheese curds -now be considered a gooey source of Canada-wide pride? When a gang of professional "eaters" from the United States and a handful of Canadian amateurs battle for the world poutine-eating championship, it won't go down in Montreal, Quebec City, or anywhere else in la belle province. It will be held in, of all places, Toronto. And due to provincial contest rules, Quebecers hoping to eat their way to the title won't be allowed to even take part. No longer seen as just working-class grub from small-town Quebec, poutine now has fans across Canada and beyond. The concoction has been integrated into haute cuisine and has secured niches under the bright lights of the Big Apple and Los Angeles. "I think it shows that poutine has become a national meal," Charles-Alexandre Theoret, author of the 2007 book "Maudite poutine!" ("Damned poutine!") said of the upcoming all-you-can-eat showdown on May 22 at BMO Field in Toronto. "It was once a Quebec meal, but now it's everywhere." A dozen stars of Major League Eating, a circuit best known for its stomach-turning, rapid-fire hot dog eating contests, will have 10 minutes to wolf down as much poutine as they can. "You must use a fork, so there's going to be certainly some skill involved," said Mike Antolini, a spokesman for the International Federation of Competitive Eating. "It's going to test their capacity, but also their hand speed and technique." The champ wins a modest sum of $750 and bragging rights. Antolini said organizers considered poutine-serving joints in Montreal to serve the fare, but eventually chose Smoke's Poutinerie, a Toronto-based chain. "I know that Montreal maybe feels like poutine is theirs, but we are going to be crowning a champion in Canada, and I think that's the most important thing because poutine certainly is Canadian first and foremost," he said. Of course, that hasn't always been the case. For years, the towns of Warwick and Drummondville have duelled over the true birthplace of poutine, but one thing has never been questioned: it's from Quebec. Warwick claims the dish was invented by local restaurant owner Fernand LaChance in 1957, while Drummondville insists that restaurateur Jean-Paul Roy blended the first poutine in 1964. To help cement its claim, Drummondville started holding an annual poutine festival in 2008. Regardless of its exact origins, poutine has long had a complicated bond with Quebecers, many of whom have looked down their noses at what some have called a culinary abomination. "It's a love-hate relationship, there are younger generations who feel fine with it, and almost make it a cool icon," said Theoret, whose book takes a historical look at poutine. "But older generations didn't grow (up) with it and think that it's low class, low life. They're really ashamed about it." For the poutine-eating contest, three Canadians will be selected through a sweepstakes to join the race. In an ironic twist, Quebec laws don't allow its residents to apply. "I don't argue with lawyers," said Smoke's Poutinerie owner Ryan Smolkin, who has five restaurants and one mobile kitchen in his growing poutine empire. All of them are in Toronto, but he's expanding to other parts of Ontario and plans to eventually open up shops across the country and around the world. The Ottawa native imports cheese curds from Quebec's Eastern Townships and tops his poutines with authentic chicken-based sauce. But he said he's never tried to pretend he's a Quebecer. "I know where the roots are, I know what it's all about and I'm trying to maintain that heritage for sure, and the Quebec influence," said Smolkin, who opened his first restaurant 15 months ago. "I respect and want to take that heritage and culture into my brand and help spread that across the world." With poutine's popularity spreading in the United States, he wanted to make sure the dish was "Canadianized" before an American restaurant tried to claim it. "It's been too isolated to Quebec," he said. "Nobody's just tried to take it big outside Quebec, so I'm trying to do that."
  2. Works at le Bremner http://cultmontreal.com/2013/05/top-chef-canada-danny-smiles-le-bremner-montreal-chefs-canadian-cuisine/ Danny Smiles in the Le Bremner kitchen. Photo by Dominique Lafond. Danny Smiles is repping Montreal cuisine in this cycle of Top Chef Canada, and as the show hits mid-season, the le Bremner chef is well positioned to take the title, especially after winning last week’s elimination challenge. The challenge was to create Canada’s Next National Dish, with the carrot of a 10 G cash prize for the winner and the stick of two chefs’ elimination from the show. Smiles won the contest with his creation, which he calls the “Coast-to-Coast” roll — a shrimp and crab roll, served in pretzel hot dog bun with maple bacon and a side of house-smoked BBQ chips. The Coast-to-Coast roll. “It was a weird choice that I made, to do seafood. It was 40-something out, and we knew it was going to be hot. We knew it was going to be an outdoor event, and I was just like, I’m ready for the challenge. I wanted to go big or go home,” says Smiles, meaning it literally. “Those are the only options.” Smiles wanted to move beyond the usual signifiers of Canadian-ness — maple, pork and poutine. “That was the whole focus, a new national dish. I wanted to showcase fish. I’m a very fish-oriented chef,” he says, his point proven by the shrimp and albacore tattooed prominently onto one forearm. “There’s not a lot of countries that border two of the biggest oceans in the world, too, so that’s really cool,” he continues. “I used B.C. Dungeness crabs and Nordic shrimp from Quebec,” while the overall concept references an East Coast foodie fad du jour, the lobster roll. Smiles explains that he wanted to create a dish that draws not only on Canada’s geography, but its history as well. “Smoking fish and preserving goes back to First Nations; it’s a huge part of Canadian history,” he says. “I was trying to also come up with a story, something that realistically made sense with the history of our country. I’m a huge history buff, so I decided to go back a bit and readapt that into what I thought would be the new national dish.” Smiles may be following in the footsteps of mentor (and le Bremner’s executive chef) Chuck Hughes, who rose to celebrity chef status after becoming the first Canadian to win the US Top Chef — an increasingly necessary career move for chefs as they emerge from the obscurity of the kitchen and into the limelight of cooking shows, contests and book tours in order to establish themselves. Top Chef Canada made sense to him as a next move, he explains. “I liked the show, and also just wanted to see where I match up to the rest of Canada, almost like a personal challenge.” The best part of doing Top Chef Canada, he admits, is that it actually gives him room for his first love, cooking. “Unfortunately, being a chef, you’re not always focusing on cooking,” he says. “You’re lucky when you get into the kitchen and start cooking. That’s like a bonus, because there’s food costing, there’s menu planning; you’re plumbing, gardening. Those are all fun things that I love about my job, but in a small restaurant, you kind of do everything. And now, for six weeks, your main focus — you’re not contacting anyone, you’re not phoning suppliers; that’s all supplied for you, and you’ve just got to focus on cooking. So it’s like it brought me back to when I first started on the line.” ■ Top Chef Canada airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET on Food Network Canada.
  3. These Chefs Believe in Sticking Close to Home Source: New York Time MONTREAL is not just a good eating town, but an opinionated one, too, with deep roots and a culture all its own. There’s always a debate about where to get the best rotisserie chicken or the most authentic poutine, that classic Québécois belly buster of French fries, gravy and squeaky cheese curds. Or whether to go to St.-Viateur Bagel Shop or Fairmount Bagel Bakery for sesame bagels that are baked in wood-burning ovens and put New York City’s fluffy bread bombs to shame. The epicurean partisanship fight extends to the city’s two venerable food markets, Marché Jean-Talon and Marché Atwater. Even when winter has wilted the local supply of fruits and vegetables, the markets are bursting with stinky cheeses, apple cider and all manner of charcuterie: plump links of black blood sausage; fowl and furred game rendered into terrines and galantines; piles of confit frosted in white fat like the snow that blankets the city for a good part of the year. Not that Montreal lacks for proper, sit-down restaurants. L’Express, the reigning bistro king of this officially Francophone city, is as close to Paris as one gets while on the wrong continent. Toqué, run by the chef Norman Laprise, is the city’s standard bearer for haute cuisine. But over the last few years, there has been a surge in quirky restaurants that are extensions of their chefs’ personal tastes and dedication to Montreal’s regional ingredients. At these restaurants, no part of the pig escapes the kitchen knife, whether it’s the ears (sliced and fried in a salad with frisée) or feet (braised, stuffed and roasted). And foie gras abounds, never far from marrowbones, sweetbreads and steaks so big they’d make a cowboy blush. All are dressed down and welcoming: perfect places to come in from the cold. AU PIED DE COCHON These days, you can’t mention food in Montreal without touching on the chef Martin Picard’s unrepentantly Québécois restaurant, Au Pied de Cochon (536 Rue Duluth Est; 514-281-1114; http://www.restaurantaupieddecochon.ca). P.D.C., as the locals call it, was a pizzeria before Mr. Picard got his meaty mitts on it, and a blazing fire in a wood-burning oven greets guests at the door. Beyond it, the restaurant is long and narrow, bright but not too bright, with a mirror running down one side and an open kitchen on the other. The bare wooden tables are crowded with boisterous eaters of every age and description. And the chef — look for the unshaven man with a shock of untamed black hair — frequently works both sides of the bar, talking and drinking with customers and cooks. Mr. Picard put his restaurant on the gastronomic map when he put foie gras on poutine back in 2004, just after the restaurant opened. Many dishes at P.D.C. are conceived with that same wicked sense of humor — who puts foie gras on French fries? — and carry an unspoken threat of a cholesterol-triggered overdose. There’s a even a whole section of the menu dedicated to the fatty livers: foie on a burger, foie on a pizza and, most compellingly, the Plogue à Champlain — a dizzying combination of buckwheat pancakes, bacon, foie gras and maple syrup. But Mr. Picard doesn’t need to rely on fattened blond duck livers to make a dish worth seeking out: My meal started off with a simple plate of leeks — which crowded the local markets when I visited — poached and dressed with a bright vinaigrette. The salt cod fritters (another Montreal staple) were as greaseless and light as could be. But nobody goes to P.D.C. to diet. The restaurant’s namesake dish is a pig’s foot the size of grown man’s forearm that is poached, stuffed and roasted in the wood oven; a lobe of seared foie gras is laid over it sidesaddle before it goes out to a table. Entrees are reliably heavy and frequently come with some kind of surprise, like the dark brown fritters that accompanied a pot au feu for two (or was it four?) The fritters, which were speared on skewers, were crisp and brown. But it wasn’t until I bit into one that I realized what they were: testicles. Lamb’s testicles. And they were good. Dinner, with drinks and tip, about 80 Canadian dollars a person (the Canadian and U.S. dollars are nearly at par). JOE BEEF On my next visit to Montreal, I will put back another couple of dozen oysters at Joe Beef (2491 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest; 514-935-6504; http://www.joebeef.ca), a bistro of sorts that opened in the Petit-Bourgogne neighborhood in 2006. Shucked on the night I was there by John Bil, the restaurant’s champion oyster shucker (he captured the Canadian shucking crown three times), we slurped small, sweet oysters from Prince Edward Island and fat Moonstone oysters from Rhode Island, each shell brimming with oyster liquor like a bathtub with the faucet left on. Named after a 19th-century saloonkeeper, the restaurant has the coziness of a neighborhood pub: a chalkboard menu (that changes daily) covers one wall, wainscoting wraps the room, the light is flatteringly low. The chef Frédéric Morin’s menu has a classic bistro slant, though he’s tweaked each dish to make it his own. He eschews lardons and instead tops his frisée salad with strips of pig’s ears cut into matchstick strips and fried to shattering crispness. Pucks of silky foie gras au torchon are served with buttery brioche toast and pears poached in cinnamon-infused red wine. Entrees change nightly, but there are two menu stalwarts: pasta with lobster, and a massive côte de boeuf for the table. The lobster in the former was slightly overcooked the night I tried it, though it wasn’t hard to grasp the appeal of such a decadent cream-and-butter dish. The steak, served with marrowbones and potatoes, embodied the full-flavored, mineral promise of grass-fed steak. Dinner, with drinks and tip, about 110 Canadian dollars a person. LIVERPOOL HOUSE Joe Beef has a new neighbor. Mr. Morin spent last fall covered in sawdust, building his second restaurant, Liverpool House (2501 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest; 514-313-6049; http://www.liverpoolhouse.ca), just a few doors down from his first. Liverpool House is split into a barroom and a laid-back dining room. The woodwork and wainscoting are painted a warm white. The rest is decorated with an eclectic mix of paintings — oversized modern canvases and tiny impressionistic works — and odd, pig-themed tchotchkes like the porcelain porcine head, affixed to the wall at eye level like an extra diner at my table. Liverpool House is ostensibly Italian, though the restaurant’s cuisine owes more to Mr. Morin’s imagination and whatever is in season. One night, the bar plates were undeniably Italian: perfect sausage-stuffed arancini, a ball of buffalo milk burrata cheese (mozzarella’s creamy cousin) and a plate of salumi cured in the restaurant’s basement. But when I returned two nights later, the menu had been hijacked. I ate poached skate with black trumpet mushrooms in a buttery sauce, the mild ropes of fish an unobtrusive stage to show off those tender, earthy mushrooms. Hard-boiled eggs topped with crab meat sounded like a dreary canapé from the 1950s; instead it was a showcase for a snowdrift of sweet crab meat, piled on a pedestal of egg white anointed with house-made mayonnaise. The rest of the meal continued in the same manner: technically assured cooking that typifies the simplicity of the Italian kitchen (like the vitello tonnato), or lets the hand of the nearby market push it toward riskier directions (like a grilled veal chop served with roasted root vegetables and a sauce fortified with foie gras and sweetbreads). Is Liverpool House Italian? French? Or Québécois? Whatever it is, it’s an excellent place to eat. Dinner, with drinks and tip, about 100 Canadian dollars each. GARDE MANGER Another spot that trades the sanctimonious trappings of fine dining for a looser atmosphere is Garde Manger (408 Rue St.-François-Xavier; 514-678-5044). It is one of the few restaurants with real charm in Vieux Montreal, the oldest part of the city. Tucked into a small building on a side street, the restaurant has dark brick walls and a wildly oversized chandelier that looks as if it could have been pilfered from a merry-go-round at Versailles. The roaring fireplace offers a warm refuge from the blustering winds off the nearby St. Lawrence River. Early in the evening, the loud soundtrack leans toward Neil Young and the Grateful Dead, and the crowd is older, the men in dapper suits and ties. After 9 p.m., the soundtrack shifts to clubbier music and a younger crowd sets in and doesn’t mind standing two deep at the bar. One Montrealer commented to me that Garde Manger is a “bar that happens to serve some food early in the evening.” But at 10 p.m. on the night I was there, every table in the restaurant was full. The restaurant is rightly regarded for its seafood platters, which take a place of prominence on many tables. The largest is 120 Canadian dollars and comes in a giant wooden trough that contains enough raw shellfish to feed a romp of otters. A less expensive option, at 70 dollars, is still impressive: a dozen each of oysters and clams, plus Alaskan crab legs and a half-dozen poached shrimp. And though the kitchen, overseen by the chef Chuck Hughes, offers an appealing and ever-changing blackboard menu with its own signature poutine (with lobster and lobster gravy), I would not pass on the opportunity to order the steak frites again. It’s rare to find a restaurant that takes as much care with such a simple dish: the steak (bavette, or what we call flank steak south of the border) is seasoned with an assured hand and charred to a textbook medium rare; the fries were crisp and fresh and tasted like potatoes. Though we had to shout over the gunshots ringing out in the chorus of M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” my dining companions and I were impressed that a place as rollicking as Garde Manger chooses to pay attention to what’s coming out of the kitchen.
  4. In the Village, off St-Cat west of Papineau and around the corner from Pappas Tapas. Ate there last week. Was already hard to get a reservation for 2 a few days in advance, but with this review it will be even harder. Fine Dining: Mezcla is a wish come true My stellar dinner featured some seriously delicious food, filled with beautiful flavours and diverse textures BY LESLEY CHESTERMAN, GAZETTE FINE-DINING CRITIC OCTOBER 5, 2012 The pork main course at Mezcla, in Montreal on Thursday September 27, 2012. (Allen McInnis/THE GAZETTE) Mezcla Rating: 3 out of 4 $$$ 1251 de Champlain St.(at Ste. Rose St.) Phone: 514-525-9934 Website: http://www.restaurantmezcla.com Open: Tues. to Sat. 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Licensed: Yes Credit cards: All major Wheelchair access: No Parking: Easy on the street Vegetarian friendly: Not especially Reservations: Essential Price range: Starters: $10-$16; main courses $19-$33; desserts: $6-$9. Five-course tasting menu: $39 For a city to be considered a serious gourmet destination, there must be a good mix of established restaurants along with the new and exciting. Montreal certainly has the former, but seems to have hit a bit of a wall when it comes to the latter. Granted, restaurants like Bouillon Bilk, Van Horne and the fabulous new Park and Hotel Herman have brightened up the scene tremendously over the past few years. Yet there are also many newbies that fall flat with fuzzy cooking, tired concepts and waiters who are trying their best to hock the same ol’ seared scallops and crème brûlées. It’s starting to feel like forever since I heard someone go bonkers with happiness over a restaurant. And then, it happened, and of all places on Facebook, where chef and Journal de Montréal restaurant critic Thierry Daraize posted a wildly enthusiastic endorsement of a restaurant called Mezcla. Mez … what? I had never heard of the place. And as someone who keeps a tab on restaurant matters with an obsession some might consider disturbing, I should have. But kudos to Daraize for discovering the restaurant, which opened in May, though his unbridled enthusiasm has made Mezcla one tough table to book. Once I eventually nabbed a table, I headed down to The Village to see what he calls one of his “grands coups de cœur” of 2012. Located on a side street just off Ste. Catherine, Mezcla is a warm, 50-seat space with high ceilings, an open floor plan, and a bistro-ish vibe. The “chaleureux” ambience is further boosted by low lights, sexy background tunes and an open kitchen in the back of the room. The decor provides few clues about the style of cuisine, which isn’t the usual French bistro but … aahhh … nuevo latino. When I think nuevo latino in Montreal, I immediately picture chef Mario Navarrete Jr.’s restaurant Raza. How nice, I always thought while sipping pisco sours, would it be to have more restaurants playing with these Central and South American, Cuban, Puerto Rican and Spanish-Caribbean ingredients and flavours? And now my wish has come true. I immediately recognized our host and waiter, a handsome Venezuelan by the name of Gerardo Labarca, who last served me years ago at that great tapas restaurant Pintxo. Turns out Labarca is an owner at Mezcla along with Marie-Hélène Barrière. Already that’s great news because the ever-smiling Labarca made my first Pintxo meal so memorable. As for the talent in the kitchen, that belongs to two gentlemen, Marcel Larrea, who trained Cordon Bleu in Peru and worked here at Thai Grill, and Georges-Étienne T. Tremblay, whose Montreal experience includes La Chronique and Les Enfants Terribles. Larrea may have last been cooking Thai, yet his background is Peruvian. Peruvian cuisine is hailed as the next big thing, and whenever I hear that I roll my eyes a little as the Peruvian cuisine I’ve sampled (and I’m no authority by any measure here) hasn’t been what I’d call earth moving. Yet after tasting this kitchen’s take on it, I’m intrigued. These boys are making some seriously delicious food, filled with beautiful flavours and diverse textures. Like Daraize, I gotta say, dinner at Mezcla turned out to be one of my best meals of the year. The wine list is another plus. Spanish heavy, well-priced with a good mix of private imports and SAQ selections, the list also features bottles well suited to this spicy/meaty/seafoody cuisine. The Albarino Condes de Albarei 2011 we enjoyed not only enhanced everything we ate, but at $42, didn’t put a dent on my budget. Nice. Now on to the food, which started with a simple plate of ceviche. Wait, did I say simple? Scratch that, because what started out looking like a pretty mound of raw fish and seafood bathed in a slightly spicy sauce turned into a complex dish when we were given a trio of crispy ingredients to mix in, including fried corn kernels, twisty yucca chips and a tangle of deep-fried carrot strands. Was it ever great, with the soft and silky seafood and salmon chunks mixing in with the crisp bits of chips and the crunch of the corn. Every taste was so clean, so fresh and I loved the surf and turf contrast between the fish and the vegetables. Huge. The next dish was almost as amazing, and consisted of tuna tartare set atop potato croquettes placed alongside mounds of crabmeat with avocado and coriander. Again, what a play of textures — dewy, crispy, creamy, chewy — along with all those fresh and bracing flavours. Really gorgeous. And I saved the best starter, the shrimp, for last. Served wrapped in fried yucca ribbons, the jumbo shrimp were meaty, fresh, resilient and cleverly served with two contrasting sauces: a close-to-fluffy avocado cream and a sweet chicha syrup made with smoky black corn. With every bite I said to myself, this is the best thing I’ve tasted all year, and considering the amount I eat, that’s saying a lot. I can’t wait to come back and try this dish again. There’s more. When I asked for a menu recommendation, Labarca’s face lit up and he said the blood pudding was a must. He’s right, it’s very good. Served on a light corn cake, the round of blood pudding is layered with julienned apple and slices of chorizo. Don’t want to get boring here, but again, the mix of textures won me over, and I also admired that these boys are using organic chorizo from Charlevoix, and finished the dish off with a Calvados-laced beurre blanc. What a pleasure to see updated ethnic cuisine made with the best local ingredients. Now that’s what I call modern cooking! More traditional but just as scrumptious was a simple plate of grilled duck hearts, with papa amarilla (yellow potatoes), choclo (corn cob, in this case, black corn) and gently spiced “panka” sauce made with dried amarillo peppers. I’m big on hearts for their filet mignon-meets liver taste and consistency, and these babies were wolfed back in record time. The size of the starters is larger than tapas, yet I’d still recommend ordering many plates to share. Main courses are more costly (in the $30 range), but the quality of ingredients merits such prices. For instance, the main I enjoyed was a duo of Gaspor pork that included three chops from the rack as well as a melting slice of braised flanc. Add to that chanterelles, carrots, parsnip purée and a light ’n’ herby sauce, and you have yet another reason to race over to Mezcla. As for desserts, I cannot deny I was discouraged to see only three, and three that included that predictable Montreal trio: crème brûlée, molten chocolate cake and pouding chômeur. Cue the groans. But wait, not so fast. Just when I thought I’d had my fill of molten chocolate cake, along came one so deeply chocolatey and ideally crusty-melty that I remembered what seduced me about this famous dessert in the first place. And that unemployment pud was also staggeringly good, full of maple flavour, firm yet still unctuous without falling into the dreaded mushy/icky/cloying pouding chômeur trap. To say I had a faultless meal at Mezcla would be an understatement as it was so creative and just downright delicious as well. And I only scratched the surface of this menu. All I want to do now is go back, go back to try the clams with chimichurri, the braised bison, the fish stew, the Cornish hen with yucca fries. Or better yet the five-course $39 tasting menu, which considering the quality of ingredients sounds like the deal of the century. What an orgy of tastes this restaurant has to offer. And at risk of never being able to get a last-minute table here myself, I end this review with just one suggestion: GO. [email protected] For more food and wine talk, tune in to Dinner Rush with Lesley Chesterman on Saturdays from 4 to 5 p.m. on News Talk Radio CJAD 800. © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Fine+Dining+Mezcla+wish+come+true/7343470/story.html#ixzz28X00XnVC
  5. (Courtesy of Enroute Magazine) More Info (français) Schedule Marino Tavares Ferreira 4 juillet S'Arto Chartier-Otis Enfants terribles 11 juillet Marie-Fleur St-Pierre Tapeo 18 juillet Richard Bastien Leméac 25 juillet Dany St-Pierre Auguste (Sherbrooke) 1er août Laurent Godbout Chez L'Épicier 8 août Jérôme Ferrer Andiamo, Beaver Hall 15 août Daren Bergeron DECCA 77 22 août Gilles Herzog Le F Bar 29 août
  6. Google Pairs With Sony, Best Buy, DISH On TV Aaron Baar, May 20, 2010 01:58 PM First, the Web. Then the phones. Now Google wants to change the way people watch television. At a developer's conference on Thursday, Google announced it would develop an open platform to bring the World Wide Web to the television, and it has enlisted partners such as Intel, Sony, Logitech, Best Buy, DISH Network and Adobe to help. The new product, Google TV, is based on the company's Android mobile platform and runs the company's Chrome browser. IT will allow users to access traditional TV channels as well as Internet content, including Adobe Flash video. Both Logitech and Sony have committed to creating products using Intel's Atom processor and the Google TV platform later this year, to be sold through Best Buy locations. Though the product can be used with any TV operator, Google said the experience will be "fully optimized when paired with DISH Network" at the product's launch. "We are very proud to be working with this distinguished set of partners, all of whom have decades of experience in hardware, design and retail," Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman and CEO, said in a statement. http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.printFriendly&art_aid=128632
  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/smartertravel/10-most-fattening-foods-i_b_5107205.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063<header style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: Arial, FreeSans, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 17px;"> You might think that the United States, with its super-sized portions, absurdly high obesity rate, and uniquely American innovations like the Doritos Locos Taco, is home to the world's most fattening foods. But you'd be wrong! Our national dishes have nothing on these artery-clogging bad boys from around the world. Here are 10 of the most decadent foods you'll find in other countries. </header>Acaraje, Brazil You know what's really not great for you? Palm oil. A mere tablespoon of the stuff contains a whopping 7 grams of saturated fat—which is too bad, because saturated fat makes food taste really great. Case in point, Brazil's acaraje: black-eyed peas formed into a ball, deep-fried in palm oil, and then stuffed with vatapa and caruru (spicy pastes made from dried shrimp, ground cashews … and more palm oil). Churros, Spain Forget your boring breakfast of Special K and skim milk. In Spain, a popular way for locals to start the day is with a meal of churros. These fried-dough pastries are dipped in sugar and cinnamon and then—here's the fat kicker—dipped in a thick hot-chocolate drink. Talk about a morning sugar rush! Poutine, Canada On its own, the humble potato is a relatively healthy starch. But in the hands of Canadians, it becomes poutine—French fries smothered in gravy and cheddar-cheese curds. This cheesy dish is so popular that it's even sold at Burger King in Canada, where (according to the chain's nutritional information) the dish contains 740 calories and 41 grams of fat. And that's just the traditional version. There are entire restaurants that solely serve varieties of poutine. Smoke's Poutinerie dishes up Triple Pork Poutine (with chipotle pulled pork, double-smoked bacon, and Italian sausage), Nacho Grande Poutine (with homemade chili, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and jalapeno peppers), and Bacon Cheeseburger Poutine (with prime ground beef, double-smoked bacon, and cheese sauce). Khachapuri, Georgia Eating off a plate is so boring. What if your food were served up inside a bread boat instead—and what if the bread boat were filled with melted cheese? Georgians have the right idea with their khachapuri. It's a bread bowl that is stuffed with melted cheese and topped with an egg and a large pad of butter! Nutella Crepes, France Just one serving (2 tablespoons) of sweet, chocolaty Nutella spread has 200 calories (110 of which are from fat). And when using a spoon (or a finger) to eat the hazelnut spread straight out of the jar just isn't enough, you'll want to head to France for a Nutella crepe. There, many street carts and restaurants fry up batter in butter and make thin pancake-like pockets in which to deliver your Nutella. Even better, the crepes are usually topped with powdered sugar and sometimes even whipped cream. Aligot, France You know the stereotype that French women don't get fat? We have to wonder how that's possible when a dish like aligot is served up in the country's L'Aubrac region.Aligot is made with mashed potatoes, butter, cream, garlic, and melted cheese, all whipped together into a thick, rich dish. According to calorie-counting websiteFatSecret, 1 tablespoon of aligot contains 6 percent of the recommended daily amount of saturated fat. Deep-Fried Mars Bars, Scotland After you've tried the deep-fried fish and deep-fried potatoes in Scotland, what should you have for dessert? A Mars bar—deep-fried, of course. Who wouldn't love a chocolate bar gone all melty and encased in a satisfyingly crunchy shell of fried dough? Answer: The Mars candy company, which reportedly feels that the deep-fried dessert is not in line with the company's goal of promoting a "healthy, active" lifestyle. Because, you know, nothing says healthy like chocolate candy! Jalebi, India Sure, plain ol' fried dough is unhealthy on its own. But India really steps up the game with jalebi, deep-fried dough that is soaked in a sugary syrup. Funnel cake, you're on notice—a sprinkling of powdered sugar just doesn't cut it anymore. Calzone, Italy Did you know that a traditional calzone uses the same amount of dough as an entire pizza—and that it's meant to serve four people? Or did you, um, think that the whole delicious calzone was all for you? We have the Campania region of Italy to thank for birthing this version of pizza that is even unhealthier than the original. In a calzone, tomatoes, mozzarella, and other traditional pizza toppings are stuffed into an easy-to-eat dough pocket and then served. Ramen, Japan Ramen has exploded in popularity over the last few years—and we don't mean the sad, dehydrated Cup Noodles kind of ramen, either. We're talking about the traditional Japanese soup dish, consisting of noodles in broth, topped with a variety of meats and vegetables. Soup is basically a health food, right? Unfortunately, the broth (often made with beef, lard, and oil) really packs a fat punch, even if the noodles aren't fried. —By Caroline Morse Read the original story: 10 Most Fattening Foods in the World by Caroline Morse, who is a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.
  8. DURING the 2000 presidential campaign, the candidate from Texas fielded a question from Canada: “Prime Minister Jean Poutine said you look like the man who should lead the free world into the 21st century. What do you think about that?” When George W. Bush pledged to “work closely together” with Mr. Poutine, Montrealers fell off their chairs laughing. It wasn’t so much that the Canadian leader was, in fact, Jean Chrétien, but that the “reporter” — Rick Mercer, a television comedian — had invoked the city’s emblematic, problematic, comedic junk food dish: poutine. A gloppy, caloric layering of French fries, fresh cheese curds (a byproduct of Cheddar making) and gravy, poutine goes deep into the Quebequois psyche. Somehow, Quebec’s rural roots, its split identity (Acadian farmers or Gallic gourmets?) and its earthy sense of humor are all embodied by its unofficial dish. This may be one reason that until now poutine has not traveled well. True, it was on the menu for years at Shopsin’s, the quirky West Village restaurant that closed this year, but so was nearly every other known foodstuff. But recently, it has materialized in a handful of cities across the United States. In New York City, it is on the menu at three highly divergent establishments, and this time it shows signs of taking hold. Andy Bennett, the chef at the Inn LW12 in the meatpacking district, recalled his reaction on being told (by the Canadian faction of the inn’s owners) that poutine must be served. “I said, you’ve got to be kidding me. Then I realized I wasn’t going to be able to get away from it.” Mr. Bennett, however, was converted. “You have to embrace these things,” he said. “Now it’s our biggest selling item by a long stretch.” “I think it’s going to be across the city soon,” he said. “It’s going to stick without a doubt.” Mr. Bennett’s choice of words was apt. Poutine is an extreme stick-to-your-ribs concoction, whose name is said to derive from Quebequois slang. According to the dominant creation myth, in 1957 a restaurateur named Fernand Lachance, when asked by a customer to combine fries and cheese curds, said it would make “une maudite poutine” — an unholy mess. (And this was pre-gravy. Another restaurateur, Jean-Paul Roy of Le Roy Jucep, claims to have first served fries with gravy and curds in 1964.) Since Mr. Lachance’s death three years ago, poutine’s de facto spokesman has been Bob Rutledge, creator of the Web site MontrealPoutine.com. Mr. Rutledge, a professor of astrophysics at McGill University specializing in neutron stars, black holes and gamma ray bursts, first heard of poutine on moving to Montreal in 2004. He was instantly smitten. “When I started asking about it, I got one of two responses,” he said. “It was either: ‘Oh here’s my favorite poutine place; you must go...’, or else it was: ‘Oh my God, why do you want to eat that stuff?’ It’s a veritable food phenomenon; half the people are embarrassed it exists.” Siobhan O’Connor, a journalist who moved to New York from Montreal five years ago, has a different view. “The only people who don’t like poutine are people on a diet,” she said. “It’s the first thing you want when you go back, a real late-night post-drinking thing.” Ms. O’Connor recently sampled the new batch of New York poutines. The classic version at Sheep Station, an Australian gastropub on the western edge of Park Slope, initially struck her as too dry. But, on discovering that the Quebequois chef, Martine Lafond, had secreted further curds and gravy under crisp, hot fries, she warmed to it, declaring the gravy authentically peppery, salty and meaty, and the curds as fresh as could be expected so far from home. At Pommes Frites, an East Village storefront that traffics in Belgian fries but now has a sideline in their Canadian cousins, neither the rubbery, yellowish curds nor the lukewarm, flavorless sauce met with Ms. O’Connor’s approval. But Mr. Bennett’s four varieties at the Inn LW12 did, despite distinctly unorthodox stylings. “I’d come back here just for this,” she declared of the plate with five-spice gravy and chewy strips of pork belly, though she found the Stilton cheese in the rich, toothsome braised beef with red wine version to be overload and the herby marinara sauce on the tomato version — called Italienne back home — disappointing. Though somewhat overshadowed by its glitzy sisters, the classic, too, more than passed muster. Ms. O’Connor explained that poutine really belonged to the French speakers — her Irish-Montrealer mother, for instance, had never tried it — until “around 2000, when people started messing with it: green peppercorns, Gruyère, truffle oil...” According to Professor Rutledge, variations on the theme are fine. “They strike me as creative and interesting so I give bonus points,” he said. He is, however, from Southern California. The average Montrealer seems to be more of a purist. The chef Martin Picard, one of Montreal’s most high-profile culinary figures, embraces poutine at his restaurant Au Pied de Cochon. “That dish becomes an international passport,” he declared. “It’s not haute gastronomie, but it permits Quebec to get more interest from the rest of the world.” Mr. Picard said he occasionally offers classic poutine as a “clin d’oeil” — a wink — to Quebequois cuisine, but his version with foie gras is what everyone remembers. For this, the regular poutine sauce — a thick, highly seasoned chicken velouté, which Mr. Picard enhances with pork stock — is enriched by foie gras and egg yolks. The dish is crowned with a four-ounce slab of seared goose liver. Whether Montreal’s embarrassing but adored junk food does take root in New York, it may never attain the status it achieved earlier this year when the CBC revealed the results of a viewer poll on the greatest Canadian inventions of all time. Granted, poutine came in only at No. 10. But it beat, among other things, the electron microscope, the BlackBerry, the paint roller and the caulking gun, lacrosse, plexiglass, radio voice transmission and basketball.