Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Best Things At NY's International Restaurant and Foodservice Show 2013

I just spent three days eating food and drinking drinks just to let you know what the most delicious things on the planet are. For the record, the answers are still "beef," "bacon," and "chocolate," but "duck" had a solid run. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the duck feet/tongue. Anyway, while tastes may vary from bud to bud, here's a list of the Best Things overall at the show.

You Own the Floor:

It's the same show floor as New York Comic Con, except you can breath free. Seriously, I could run an 1/8 mile, do a cartwheel, and spin around singing "The hills are alive with the sound of music," without hitting another person. I'm sure I'd get yelled at, but I could do it, is the point.

This iced tea:

Super-clean taste, crisp, nice lemon and honey flavors, but a lighter blend of black and green teas. A++ will drink again. Also forever.

This cake.

They had a Cake Boss-esque challenge to sculpt an edible masterpiece reflecting the nature of woman, while integrating a small 12" cake in some capacity. The sheer number of Eve/Snake homages was overwhelming, while the actual cakes were, for the most part, whelming. This one, however, was gorgeous and reflected both a unity of composition and a mastery of technique. We all put it at the top of our picks, and sure enough this beauty one first place on Day 2.

Demon Slayer Saké:


Alright, this was actually probably the second or third worst saké I had all day. I tend to like the smoother, fruitier varieties, but this was straight rice-wine liquor, about 12% which is rather high for sake. Heavy kick. This is sippin' saké to keep you warm on cold Honshu nights. However, it's name is so incredibly badass.

About 8 million fancy cheeses.


This one in particular was fantastic. Nice and sharp, but with a creamy sweetness too.

Elixer smoothies:

Amazing. Absolutely delicious, ant they were essentially mashed fruit with nothing else. Plus: I learned what a guava looks like!

And while it's also utterly delicious, what the shit is this 'soursop' fruit, anyway??

Looks like a spiny little afro or a lizard testicle.
If lizards had exterior gonads, I bet this is what they'd look like.
Not some scaly furvert interpretation
PreGel Gelato Magic:

Aside from the fantastic creme brulee and peach-flavored marshmallow bites, PreGel apparently makes chemicals of the molecularly gastronomic type. They effectively allow you to turn any pre-existing flavored foodstuff into ice cream. Sure, double chocolate fudge and espresso and cookies & cream were good as ever, but do you know what that is on the spoon above?

It's Brooklyn Lager flavor.

Not even, it is Brooklyn Lager. Somehow, I don't know how–and find myself incapable of comprehending the mechanics behind it–PreGel converted straight-up beer, hops and nitrous bubbles included, and whipped it into cream. It tasted exactly like the beer, that beer exactly, and I cannot stress that enough. All I can truly say is it was the sensation of physically consuming ice cream, with the "tastual" experience of drinking a bottled Brooklyn Lager.

Lady Balls:


Happy Bitch wines are blushes designed for partying out with your girlfriends while still looking down on ladies who drink Franzia and Arbor Mist. They also put out some decent self-help books for happier, more self-actualized female lives. They also sell little, wrinkled, bedazzled leather testicles.

Meat Glue:


Chef Kevin Cottle was supposed to put on a demonstration of cooking with liquid nitrogen, but according to his spiel, the Javits Center security folks got a little riled up when they saw him wheeling in large industrial canisters of super-cooled and hazardous material. So instead, he showed us "meat glue."

Activa®RM Transglutaminase is an enzyme that–among other things–binds amino acids in proteins with strong covalent bonds, linking smaller portions of meat together into a single whole. The enzyme is tasteless, and dissolves away during cooking, leaving no residue and zero taste.

This can be used creatively, linking multiple animals' meats, thickening egg yolks, or infusing flavors from one protein into another. What we witnessed was a money-saving option for restaurants: glue scraps of unused meat together overnight, then slice and cook them as small medallions. The "chain link tenderloin medallions" I had were unreasonably good, considering they were originally much smaller cuttings from a larger steak. Cooked separately, they would have ended up uneven, burnt, and likely blegh. This, this was a tiny little steak.

King Octopus:

Later I got to go to the Lego Store:
This is currently the largest and most expensive Lego set available commercially.
$350 for a Star Wars Star Destroyer of 3152 pieces, over 104" long,
There was an ostrich on the roof. And a Spider-Man. And a Batman.
And Thor and Loki were chilling on the 30 Rock sign.
And the little Lego Store had a Lego dragon winding through its walls and windows, just like the real one.

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