Yes, the name of this restaurant really is “Milt’s BBQ for the Perplexed.”  And yes, it’s a weird, wonderful concept:  a fully cRc-supervised KOSHER barbecue joint that smokes ribs, fries up okra, bakes cornbread and simmers brisket chilli in strict accordance with Jewish dietary laws.  But there’s more.  According to its website, Milt’s BBQ for the Perplexed seeks to make the world a better place by donating all of its profits to charity.

Wow. [Read More]

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Leftovers

I love leftovers.  I save every tidbit of every successful meal, just in case my tastebuds demand an encore (they often do.)  On Sunday afteroons I cook way too much chicken soup or minestrone or whatever, just so I can pack it into repurposed sour cream containers (the poor mans’ tupperware) and schlepp it to work for the next five days.  And sometimes, especially with my unapologetically anus-searing chili, my cooking actually improves the longer my leftovers are, well, left over.

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Past to Present.  Farm to Table.

Saturday August 3, 2013

First, we travel back in time, boarding a private motorcoach in Chicago for a scenic ride through northern Illinois and into the heart of Wisconsin’s dairy lands. Our first stop is Old World Wisconsin (www.OldWorldWisconsin.com), a living, breathing outdoor history museum depicting how families — many of them immigrants from Europe — farmed, worked and ate back in the late 1800’s.

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Enjoy this latest istallment of confirmed carnivore Alan Briskin’s hilarious experiment with healthy, fish-based eating. – ED 

I made my first trip to the grocery store as a Pescetarian.

Back when I was a carnivore, I rarely made it into the produce section at all.  As a matter of fact, I could go for weeks without eating anything that grew in dirt.  My preference was always for foods beautifully wrapped in cellophane – I figured that way I wouldn’t risk botulism or ebola.  Friends referred to me as a gourmet of the drive-thru window, a moniker I did little to live down.

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I got my copy of Marcus Samuelsson’s “Yes, Chef: A Memoir” at a book-signing held not too long ago in a sleek kitchen showroom in Chicago.  Samuelsson himself was about fifteen feet from me at the time, shaking hands and posing for pictures and signing other peoples’ books.  I knew he’d be around soon to sign mine.

So I settled back in my chair and sipped some prosecco and started reading the first chapter of “Yes, Chef.”   And WOW!  It was beautifully written, poignant and fierce.  Captivating.  I was just getting to the part when Samuelsson explains why he can’t see his mother’s face when a shadow loomed over me.  It was him.  [Read More]

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The March Against Monsanto is a visceral experience for me, something I can actually feel in my chest.  There’s an undercurrent here of angry energy here, but also a hopeful cameraderie and a sense of determined, shared purpose.  There’s chanting and singing and shouting through bull-horns.  As the speakers warm up the crowd, we wander around taking pictures of each other.  A row of protesters faces the traffic on Dearborn Street, prompting much horn honking from passing motorists.   A small group of Native Americans beats its drums in an impromptu dance circle and I join in for a moment, shuffling and bobbing my head. Someone near me burns sage.  Grizzled veterans in patched jackets walk arm in arm with college kids and young mothers pushing baby strollers. Everyone carries a sign:

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Enjoy this first installment of a hilarious new series by Litereati Author Alan D. Briskin:

I’ve had several of those “Aha!” moments in my life:

- OMG, my daughter is a young woman!

- Artificial intelligence is no substitute for natural stupidity.

-A conscience is what hurts most when all the other parts feel so good.

-No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes.

- Experience is a wonderful thing — it enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

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Marcus Samuellson, Celebrity Chef and James Beard Award Winner

Marcus Samuelsson is one truly interesting chef.

He was born in Ethiopia and later adopted by Swedish parents after his mother died in a tuberculosis epidemic.  He studied at the Culinary Institute of Gothenburg, then moved to New York to apprentice at the acclaimed Restaurant Aquavit (where he become the youngest chef ever — at age 24 — to win a coveted three-star review from the New York Times.)  He’s hosted two television series of his own and has been a contestant or judge on Top Chef, Iron Chef America and Chopped more times than I can count.

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James Beard Award

The coveted James Beard Cookbook Awards for 2013 have just been announced, and we at Litereati couldn’t be more pleased with this year’s bumper crop.

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I hope this post pisses you off.

In fact, I want you so angry and outraged — so steaming mad – that you’ll join me and thousands of other concerned foodies all around the world as we March Against Monsanto on May 25, 2013.

I’ve been mad at Monsanto for years now, and here’s why:

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