Third Annual Pairings Event Returns to Downtown West Palm Beach May 29

Pairings 2013
The Pairings Food & Drink event returns to downtown West Palm Beach for its third year.
Downtown West Palm Beach residents and visitors will have the chance to experience the finest city flavors from the Clematis district's international array of menus during its third annual Pairings Food & Wine Festival event slated to take place later this month. The concept is simple: participating downtown bars and restaurants will put together a specialty menu item and matching beverage for tour-takers to try during an evening of food and fun.

The dining samples can be anything, from an entrée, a tasty tapas bite or a devilishly delightful dessert, while the sip can be anything from a specialty cocktail or craft brew to aperitifs and cappuccino. This year is set to be a grand tasting, as the event returns bigger and better than ever before with more than 25 participating establishments offering guests a chance to wine and dine on signature menu items.

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Whole Foods Is Your Travel Agent: Foodie-Inspired Trips with Whole Journeys

Whole Journeys
A group of travelers enjoy dinner in Provence, France with local chef Ghyslaine Martin-Castellino.
So, you consider yourself a foodie. But are you an adventurous foodie? You haven't really taken the plunge into becoming a full-fledged gastronome until you've traveled to some far off destination with stories about how you hand-picked coffee berries straight from the tree in Costa Rica.

If you think you have what it takes to try Turkish delights in Turkey, sample the dolce vita in Italy, or sip ancient herbal teas on horseback through China, then maybe Whole Foods has just what you're looking for. It's not down any of their store isles, however. It's at the source. 

For decades, Whole Foods has been known for its unique organic or all-natural goods that -- for the most part -- come from eco-conscious farms and purveyors that support responsible local and global food production. As a result, many of the foods the national chain grocer sells aren't just good for you, they also have a good story. Whether it's an artisan cheese maker from France, or a small-batch baker in Boulder, Colorado, food manufactures and their products are worth meeting face-to-face. 

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Attention, Power Lunchers: DCOTA Cay Opening Monday; New Restaurant Inside Design Center of the Americas

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Unless you want to deck out the interior of your megayacht, redesign your multimillion-dollar condominium on South Beach, or create some custom-built furniture for your new waterfront estate, there's probably never been a reason for you to visit the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) in Fort Lauderdale -- until now.

DCOTA has previously been accessible only to people accompanied by a professional interior designer. But now, even the riff-raff can  browse -- and eat -- at the world-famous design building with the debut of its new restaurant, DCOTA Cay. The new space is ideal for the power-lunch set.

Charles S. Cohen, owner and president of four major design centers throughout the country, including the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles and D&D Building in New York City, hopes the multimillion-dollar renovation of the building's atrium will help change the way people experience DCOTA.

To execute the extensive remodeling that included building a 2,000-square-foot custom kitchen and a 1,000-square-foot restaurant space, Cohen enlisted the help of South Florida caterer Thierry Isambert and HGTV-featured Miami interior designer Sam Robin. What he got: a large, open space that can be used as a location for business meetings, lunch with the ladies, or a private catered event or party. 

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Magic Kingdom Serves Booze for the First Time at Be Our Guest

Toast to the Beast at "Be Our Guest."
For the first time, you'll be able to get wine or beer at the Magic Kingdom.

The Be Our Guest restaurant, themed after Disney's Beauty and the Beast, is part of the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland revamp. Located inside the Beast's castle, the restaurant will allow diners to choose from three themed rooms (the west wing, the rose gallery, and the ballroom).

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Roberta's: On The Privilege of Eating Delicious Things

​My favorite restaurant in the universe is Roberta's Pizza in Brooklyn. It has been my favorite since I began dividing my time between New York and South Florida in January 2011. I'd read about the place on Yelp, slobbered over its peerlessly intriguing menu -- the fascinations of which begin but in no way end with magnificent pies -- and hungered for the place for months, sight unseen. The day I arrived in the city, red-eyed and sleep-deprived, piloting a massive Penske truck through New York's post-blizzard highways, I took a nap, a shower, grabbed some fresh clothes from a box, and walked there. It was everything I'd hoped. 

Roberta's opened four years ago near the ugly, post-industrial border of Williamsburg and Bushwick. It was a warehouse, more or less. People sat communally at picnic tables and ate the products of a massive red wood-burning pizza oven that dominated the open kitchen near the front of the dining room. When the New York Times first visited the place, Roberta's was BYOB and hadn't yet turned on the gas: all non-pizza items were cooked on hot plates. By the time I arrived, the cooking had undergone a considerable evolution. As the front kitchen pumped out pies and calzones, a kitchen in back produced foie gras with caramel and black pepper; lamb cooked sous vide with transparent mint gelatin; sweetbreads with some kind of sweet and toothsome white sauce; agnolotti with black truffle and cheese; angel hair pasta with cockles; sea urchins with pairings undreamt of in Japan or anyplace at all beyond this once-desolate patch of Brooklyn.
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Miami-Based Norwegian Cruise Line Goes Gourmet

Norwegian Cruise Line's Chef Table does not include Rockette's-style dancing.
Norwegian Cruise Line casts its line for foodies, beefing up offerings for those who prefer burrata to buffets. Moderno Churrascaria is the newest offering for frugal foodniks, a Brazilian steakhouse with passadors who serve an unlimited rounds of beef, chicken and pork tableside for $20 a person, including sides.

By the end of March, the company will have launched Chef's Table, a 12-person, nine-course,2.5 hour, $75 dinner offered once per cruise. As if that's not prescriptive enough,More »

Eating Whales and Horses In Iceland

Bright green valley.
Two summers ago I accompanied my friend James "The Amazing" Randi on a speaking tour of northern Europe. We visited Scandinavia and the Baltics, and enjoyed a quick southerly jaunt to the Netherlands. Our final engagement was in Reykjavik, Iceland, in the middle of the Atlantic.

Reykjavik is a modest city, a little more populous than Fort Lauderdale. (Iceland is the size of Kentucky with roughly one tenth the population.) Its architecture is lovely but spare -- far sparer than that of any mainland European capitol. Iceland needn't rely on manmade monuments to impress, for the Icelandic landmass itself is more dramatic than anything made by human hands, and it monumentalizes concerns far grander and less temporal than our own. On the drive from the Keflavik airport to Reykjavik, you encounter a shallow but endlessly long ravine which is actually the point of departure for the Mid-Atlantic and Eurasian tectonic plates, which move apart at a rate of about a meter per year, pulling with them the two halves of the ocean as well as the continents of Europe and North America. Nearby, you find vast fields of rough volcanic rock, covered in low sulfuric mists ejected from boiling pools just below (and occasionally atop) the soil. Elsewhere, you drive over a ridge and come face-to-face with a bright green valley that seems all out of proportion to the ordinary rules of human sight-lines. Your eyes follow distant rivers for what seem like ten, twenty miles, until the rivers open up into far-distant marshlands and shallows. Never has your eye captured so much territory at a glance, and the astounding quantity of earth arrayed before you is made harder to contextualize because of the near total absence of trees, which would otherwise be a handy indicator of size. The soil of Iceland is too new to facilitate much vegetation, beyond the occasional shrub and the ubiquitous coating of pillowy moss.

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Domino's Wants to Sell Pizza... on the Moon

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Domino's Japan
Domino's Japan wants to put pizza on the moon.
Domino's Pizza Japan wants to open a branch on the moon.  We seriously think this is a great idea. First of all, there's the myth that the moon is made of cheese. Plus, think of all the space aliens that must get hungry from intergalactic flight.

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Food Truck Invasion Saturday at Miramar Town Center

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CheeseMe Food Truck
Tomorrow, Miramar is getting invaded -- by food trucks.

This weekend, be a part of one of the craziest noshing get-togethers in South Florida when more than 20 food trucks meet for the Miramar Food Truck Invasion Saturday.

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Eating Through Emeril's Empire in The Big Easy

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Laine Doss
Chicken and waffles at Emeril's
​There are few people in the world who are so famous that they don't need a last name - Cher, Madonna, Gaga and.....Emeril!  Known as much for his catch phrases "Bam" and "Kick it up a notch" as his food, Emeril is a television celebrity and a personality, but deep down, he's really a chef (and a great one at that).

Though Emeril and New Orleans are sometimes considered one and the same, Emeril Lagasse was born in Massachusetts and attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence.  1982 was when Emeril really took over New Orleans, when he replaced Chef Paul Prudhomme as Executive Chef of Commander's Palace.

On a recent trip to New Orleans, Clean Plate Charlie was invited to take a culinary tour of Emeril's world, visiting two of three of Emeril's New Orleans restaurants, as well as Commander's Palace, where the magic started.

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