Archive for the 'Pennsylvania' Category


Chef Showdown


Bame left, Wallace right

Curiel Bame, the chef who helped bring ceviche to Pittsburgh, will go against Chef Richard Wallace, executive chef at the Old Corner Hotel in Williamsport, on Thursday at 11 a.m. in the Best Chef of Pennsylvania semifinals.

Bame, exec chef at Pittsburgh’s Seviche, told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review that his signature dish, popular in Miami’s South Beach area, is one he’s always enjoyed. “I ate it for lunch when I was a kid,” Bame said. “My mother was Mexican, so I grew up with it.”

Ceviche is a way of sort of cooking raw fish in acidic lemon or lime juice — making for a light citrus flavor, as opposed to sushi’s sometimes soy-sauce laden wrapping.

Wallace, who defeated Stock’s on 2nd executive chef James Woltman in the quarterfinals, originally won his regional competition by impressing the judges “with his creative use of flavor and attention to detail.”

At 1:30 …

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Rock Stars of the Farm Show

Wherever you’ve got Dawson Flinchbaugh, you’ve got food. Flinchy is just one of the guest chefs at this year’s Pennsylvania Farm Show, being covered with grace and style by the amazing Mary Klaus.

The Rock Stars thing …

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Best Chefs

Executive Chef James Woltman of Stock’s on 2nd will challenge for the Best Chef in PA title next week, along with regional winners from across the state at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Last year’s winner, Chef Michael Adams of the Farmhouse Restaurant in Emmaus, will defend in competition that begins Wednesday, January 9. Random pairings of the eight chefs who won regional competitions in 2007 will kick off the cooking at 11 a.m. Three more rounds will follow at 90-minute intervals, all on the Culinary Connection Stage.


The Semi-Final rounds will be …

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Opening a restaurant?

What’s the best place in Pennsylvania to open a restaurant?

That’s easy, State College. The relatively high percentage of income that goes to eating out in State College pushes its Restaurant Growth Index to 156, way over the national average.

“The RGI figure for each of the 363 metro areas provided here is calculated to a national average of 100,” says Tom Spencer of Claritas, “which means the higher the RGI over 100, the more opportunity there is. We worked out those numbers by looking at how much money people spend at restaurants as a percentage of their income; then we compared that to national averages.”

Right behind State College in the RGI ranking is …

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Woo-Hoo. Inspections. Maybe.

According to sort-of informed sources, the Governor’s Office has wrangled 15 municipalities into the state’s Restaurant Inspection Database, and Harrisburg is one of them.

Here, if you want to read it, is almost the entire …

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Hollywood Casino


Wow. Really.

That was the extent of my reaction this week when the Hollywood Casino people came to HACC to troll for Hospitality majors. Exterior work on the new five-story casino is finished, and the opening is set for Feb. 4.

The casino will open with 11 restaurants and go to 13 within a few months. One commissary will serve all the food venues with a butcher shop for meat fabrication, a scratch bakery and about 500 cooks, bakers, pot washers and waitstaff.

Running the food and beverage operation is …

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Food rights

Across the country,  governments at all levels are looking at food and feeling legislative.

Should we ban trans-fats? What about raw milk?  Foie gras? How did school lunches come to be so bad for kids? What do we really want and need from food labels?

There’s a lot to talk about (and listen to) thanks to Justice Talking. It’s a public policy radio show produced by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, a think tank at the University of Pennsylvania.

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In culinary school and getting ready to trade the writing life for the cooking life. Or not. Might do both. At the moment I'm a feature writer for The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. My name is Pat Carroll.