Cooking Channel's Best in Chow Brought the Pizza War to Fort Lauderdale

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If you caught the Cooking Channel's Best in Chow Season 2 episode last night, "BBQ Wars Miami," you'll know that yet another TV show has rolled through our tip of the state looking for picturesque backdrops and culinary drama. The BBQ episode pitted Downtown joint Sparky's Roadside Barbecue with North Miami's Bo Legs BBQ and Biscayne Corridor eatery Bulldog Barbecue & Burger. The premise is simple and not entirely unlike other food shows that showcase similar cuisine by area and creates competition out of thin air.

Host Cris Nannarone, a standup comedian with a large appetite, opens every segment of the triptych by engaging people on the street and asking them where he can find some good "(insert thematic food here)." He then does a small intro to the restaurant, meets the chefs/owners, witnesses the creation of a signature dish and samples it. At the end of the show, the people he spoke with on the street are invited to each restaurant to sample the food and tally up points. Those points are then added up and a winner is declared.

In Miami, Sparky's and Bo came down to a tie in the tally and Nannarone broke it in favor of Bo Legs BBQ. This episode was filmed in January of this year and while they were here, they also used it as an opportunity to film a Pizza War in Ft. Lauderdale.

See also: Cooking Channel's Best in Chow with Cris Nannarone Filming at Kitchenetta on Sunday


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Wheelchair-Bound Man Stabbed at Orlando McDonalds

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Wesh.com
Jerry Tyson
Are we safe anywhere anymore?

Orlando's Wesh.com is reporting a wheelchair-bound man was stabbed a handful of times in the abdomen at a McDonald's restaurant late Christmas Day.

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Pairings 2012: The Five Best Things I Ate

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All photos by Laine Doss
As the band played we ate..and ate...and ate..
Judging Pairings is a little daunting. With nearly 50 different restaurants serving up as many dishes on three levels of the Broward County Convention Center, you've got to have a strategy if you plan on sampling each and every one. The plan was simple -- start on the third floor and work down to the ground -- and don't finish everything on the plate, no matter how savory and tempting.

Full disclosure: I managed to visit all but two restaurants at Pairings -- and it's because I simply couldn't find them in the fray.

With that in mind, I'm sharing my personal five favorite dishes of the evening. This is in no way scientific and these are not the official results of Pairings. Just a little observation of someone who is happily still in a slight food coma.

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Christmas on Las Olas: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow (Pictures)

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All photos by Laine Doss
Christmas cookie snowman -- with a slight bite.
Close to 40,000 families and revelers converged on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale for the 49th-annual Christmas on Las Olas celebration.

The streets between SE Sixth and SE 11th streets were packed with people wearing Santa hats, kids wearing reindeer antlers, and dogs wearing ski sweaters, as local merchants handed out samples and sold holiday goodies.

The first Christmas Cookie Battle was a success, as people flocked to donate money for the American Lung Association in exchange for cookies baked by local bakers Tea for Two Cookie Co., Cindy Made Them, and East End Eats.



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Five Things We Hate About Food Truck Events

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There's no denying that we're still enamored with meals on wheels at various food truck rallies. And we want to support these fledgling businesses as much as the next person.

Yet with the novelty of food trucks wearing thin, customers are becoming more discerning-- which could lead to food truck fatigue on the horizon. And it's not even about the food. Dare we say that we have a couple of complaints? After the jump, a list of what we're less than enamored by when it comes to food truck meet-ups. 

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Paula Deen Tries to Kiss Jay Leno (Video)

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Paula Deen wants to go lip-to-chin with Jay Leno.
We love Paula Deen, and when we grow up, we want to become just like her -- eternally buzzed, with a constant cackle and stylish stretch pants. Ladies like this eat life. Their joy is infectious, so when they do completely inappropriate things -- like try to make out with a married talk-show host in front of 10 million home viewers -- we laugh it off as adorable!

Last night, Paula Deen was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to make her famous cheeseburger meat loaf (wouldn't it just be a cheese loaf?). As she and Jay get into the meat, Jay brings up Deen's being named Maxim's hottest female television chef. Paula translates this into a clear sign of attraction, and starts flirting with Leno in her own unique way -- she asks him what his cholesterol level is and if he likes her new outfit (from the Paula Deen clothing line -- oy vey).

Then, because the lady had never been known for her subtlety, she turns to Leno and says, "I want to kiss you." Leno, creeped out by the pass, says "not with those meat loaf hands." And that, as they say, is television gold. Watch here:

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No Reservations: Anthony Bourdain in the California Desert

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Travel Channel
Girls, girls... there's no reason to lose your heads over Anthony Bourdain. He's married.
No Reservations has had Anthony Bourdain travel to some interesting places, like Cuba, Ghana, Liberia, and Cambodia. Imagine our surprise when last evening, Tony was seen driving a vintage Thunderbird in the California desert.

Tony meets Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age, who grew up in this no-man's land somewhere between Los Angeles and Palm Springs to take in a little local color tequila and try to get a new soundtrack for the show.



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Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Recap: Moving, Not Leaving


Oh, reality TV. Amid countless stunts and larger-than-life characters, it's so easy to forget the reality part -- but last week, the LAUSD school district voted (for real) to ban flavored milk. That means no more chocolate milk, no more strawberry milk. The 5-2 vote by board members was seen as a way to help curb childhood obesity.

The issue was just one of the school lunch platforms chef Jamie Oliver has been pursuing on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

OK, now on to the show...


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Master Chef Begins Again: Gator Triumphs

Categories: Last Night


Master Chef is back again. Contestants battle it out to win $250,000 and the title of Master Chef. The judges: Gordon Ramsey (of course), Graham Elliot (youngest 4-star chef in America), and Joe Bastianich (owner of multiple wineries and 24 Italian restaurants -- you got to love the way he sniffs every bit of food he samples).

Last night featured try-outs --and contestants ranging from totally nutty to a total hoot. Which was Albert, the alligator guy, who won a coveted spot on the show? Haven't quite decided, but even Bastianich was impressed by the flavors in Albert's sausage and gator jambalaya dish and called his first bite ever of alligator, toothsome. Albert earned a unanimous vote to continue on in the competition. 

My personal favorite had nothing to do with gators, and everything to do with lamb heart. That's right, this Scottish contestant preparing haggis was a trip. Her vibrant personality shone through the reality TV snippets and you can see why Ramsey said she had posh.

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Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution: Ice Cream Sundae with Duck Feathers, Please.



Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution
continues with its third episode. This one was jam-packed! It included Jamie's food quizzes for students (See above and tell me the guacamole Q&A isn't a l'il bit funny). But seriously, a lot going on in this episode. It starts with Jamie's culinary class at West Adams Preparatory High School preparing an alternative lunch at their school. The team is super-psyched to share their whole wheat pasta mac n' cheese, salad, and roasted chicken with the school, but before they can, they get pushed to a far corner of campus. A school leader tells them they had to put them as far from the cafeteria as possible so as not to be seen as competing with cafeteria food. He also informs Jamie that his class is no longer allowed to cook. A bit of an obstacle, eh?

No worries, Jamie pushes on,  teaching students about food and where it comes from. His lesson? The ice cream sundae. He goes so far as to create his own authentic sundae using what really goes into the artificial toppings. He brings in the live lac bugs that shellac is made from (used to make sprinkles and hard candy shiny!) as well as hair and duck feathers (used in cookie dough ice cream to keep the cookie dough soft). He tells the kids if you see long words that you don't understand on the ingredient list, just don't buy it. "Dead simple," Jamie says, before treating the kids to his own simpler sundae which uses 9 ingredients instead of 271 (his includes milk, cream, sugar, crushed strawberries, and caramelized sesame seeds).

But all that ice cream talk was far from where the emotional core of the episode was. The most dramatic turn came with Deno of Patra's fast food restaurant...

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