• We’re excited to announce we're hitting the road with Bravo, our entertainment partner, for their fourth annual Top Chef: The Tour event!

    To complement this 20-city tour, Bravo has created exclusive content on Foodspotting including local guides to coincide with the tour stops and dish recommendations from celebrity chefs in each city. Yet another reason to tune into Bravo's Top Chef: Masters this season - Foodspotting will be mentioned on screen! See if you can spot us :)

    We’re thrilled to be working with Bravo again this year. The free event gives all us fans of the show a chance to meet the Chef’testants and, for the first time ever, we’ll get to step into the judges shoes to rate our favorite Chef’testants’ food! Bravo is also hosting fun activities in each city, including the familiar Quickfire “Aroma” challenge, where fans can test their inner chef as they attempt to identify the correct food scent against the clock (my fave of all the Quickfires).

    For a full list of tour cities and dates, visit: BravoTV.com/thetour. And follow the city guides right on Foodspotting.

    • over 6 years ago.
      Awesome! Can't wait when they come to DC *giggles*
  • Let's give a warm round of applause to welcome Wolfgang Puck to Foodspotting!

    Starting right this very minute, you'll be able to see the award-winning master chef's personal recommendations of must-try dishes around the world, including favourites at his own restaurants. I can't express how excited we are to add Wolfgang to our partners list. I remember meeting him at Spago a few years ago - already impressed with the meal (an amazing lamb shank), I was more impressed with how friendly and down to earth he was.

    According to the man himself, “Nowadays, there are more ways than ever to connect with us online. It’s incredible to be able to share the latest produce that just came in from the farmer’s market, or my favorite dish to order at my restaurants.” And yes, Wolfgang wants to share with us!

    Keep an eye out for more guides and updates that Wolfgang will be adding along the way to provide virtual menus and insider tips on the latest specials as they come out of his kitchen. Quick - click here to follow him now!

  • One of the questions we get asked the most is "Can I add home cooked foods to Foodspotting?"

    While we're all for tasty meals whipped up in our own kitchens, we think Foodspotting makes the most sense when pointing others to amazing dishes that they can order, too. But, because we love eating in as much as we love dining out, we thought it'd be fun to interview our home-cooking role model, author, and friend Cathy Erway who took a two-year hiatus from restaurant dining and blogged about her experience on Not Eating Out in New York. Her blog became a book called The Art of Eating In, which just came out in paperback. Check out Cathy's thoughts on our favorite pastime: finding meals beyond our own abodes and documenting the best so that others can try them time and time again. AC

    Which restaurant dish did you miss the most during your two year commitment to not eating out in New York?

    Any place with dim sum. There was just no way I was going to spend the time making about forty different elaborate dumplings, buns, rolls, chicken feet, turnip cake and all my favorites to have by myself. This was definitely one top reason FOR eating out.

    What was the first restaurant dish you had after the two years was up? Was dining out better or worse than you remembered?

    When I decided I was going to start eating out again, I thought I'd do a fun experiment called "Opposite Week," where literally everything I ate had to come from a restaurant. It started off with a modest brunch in Park Slope, and during that week I ate Szechuan food in Flushing, Caribbean food in my Crown Heights neighborhood, pizza, hamburgers, Momofuku ramen and, finally, dim sum. It was definitely a trip. I can't say any one way is better or worse: eating in or dining out, in general, but doing each to the extreme in back-to-back weeks definitely made me realize how much I'd prefer eating in for the rest of my life rather than out if I had to choose.

    Now that you're dining out again which dishes do you go for and why?

    I like to try foods that I've never had before, cuisines that I'm less familiar with, that sort of thing. And I always appreciate something made by a master through much hard work and experience, because you just can't become one for everything.

    Last but not least, name five of your favorite restaurant dishes.

    Meyer Lemon Spaghetti from Franny's in Brooklyn
    Spicy Tofu & Seafood Casserole from Cho Dang Gol in Koreatown
    All the cold, chili oil-covered appetizers at Spicy & Tasty in Flushing, Queens
    Fish taco at Chavella's in Brooklyn
    Malfatti at Al Di La in Brooklyn

    Check out Cathy's book The Art of Eating In and new blog Lunch at Sixpoint. She's also the host of Let's Eat In on Heritage Radio Network. Follow Cathy on Foodspotting.

    Posted by Amy Cao in Spotlight on April 17, 2011
    • almost 7 years ago.
      https://twitter.com/paramendra/status/60053161930522624 @cathyerway You are my favorite ..... err, what do they call you? I harbor secret ambitions to become a great cook ... and a great dancer. ----- The eating in thing so speaks to me.
    • almost 7 years ago.
      And go dumplings. https://twitter.com/marksbirch/status/60023792008839168
    • almost 7 years ago.
      Cathy Erway: My Kind Of Chef http://bit.ly/h3MRwT
    • 5 months ago.
      Thanks for this. :)
  • As I mentioned on Friday, this past weekend, thirty-three wonderfully talented people within the food world got together at Anvil Vineyard & Ranch in Sonoma County for the first year of Eat Retreat, a creative workshop for people within the food industry.

    It was an event and dining experience that was both educational and inspiring. In the 48 hours we spent together, we learned some interesting things like yogurt making and butchering, but beyond that, in the process of creative collaboration, we explored just exactly how community is built. Thanks to all of you in the Foodspotting community, I think I know a thing or two about the notion of community. So much of what we do here at Foodspotting relies heavily on togetherness, and similarly, many aspects of the food world count on this bond we all feel. This said, a good question was raised: Why were we here?

    Fact is, with more people, we simply get more - more of everything, more ideas, more content, more learning, more fun. Yes, more complexity too, but something amazing always comes out of it. In the case of Eat Retreat, I'm certain that we took away not only new recipes, new ideas but also new friendships that will definitely grow into great collaborations, projects, partnerships as we cultivate them - much like the yogurt we brought home with us :)

    The night we arrived, we were asked around a bonfire to announce one sentence that best describes our food philosophy. I stated, "Food is always better when you share it." This theme resonated strongly throughout the weekend because we did nothing but share - stories, rooms, meals, secret tips, marketing know-how and too many others to list.

    It all boils down to two words: sharing and more. The best part of the weekend was that it marked only the beginning of both ideas within the group, because we were successful in forming a community. While there always needs to be a start of any community - I don't see an end to this particular one any time in the future. I'm excited and honoured to be a part of what's to come, some of it already brewing!

    Very special thanks to the delightful founders of Eat Retreat for making it all happen, Kathryn Tomajan, Laura Brunow Miner and Emily Morgan - and to the 29 other participants for making it memorable including but not limited to grapefruits in the face, an impressive Overheard Wall, and kazoos accompanying wah-wah's by the fire.

    INNAjam's exclusive and incredibly delicious kiwi jam

    Ah-mazing halibut crudo made by Mike Lee of Studio Feast

    Gastronaut's handmade yogurt, which comes from Harold McGee's starter.

    Gift from my camp buddy Laura, co-founder of Eat Retreat and one of my fave sites, Pictory.

    • almost 7 years ago.
      That cheese was incredible - thanks for sharing it with everyone!
    • almost 7 years ago.
      That was your cheese? Thank you for sharing it! Amazing. Do you remember what kind of cheese it was?
    • almost 7 years ago.
      I'll have to ask Laura, because I definitely want to get it again. SO good!! It was a triple cream blue :)
    • about 1 month ago.
      this is soo Awesome!
  • The first ever Eat Retreat in Sonoma County is kicking off today. Eat Retreat cofounders evaluated a slew of applications to curate a workshop for leaders in the food community.

    I'm excited that I was picked to attend alongside a stellar cast of characters, representing Foodspotting in this "48 hours of cooking collaboration, secret ingredient sampling, creative picnicking, recipe revamping, and more." So far, I've heard talk of a wild boar hunt, mushroom foraging expedition and many fun educational sessions, even one on food photography, moderated by yours truly.

    Stay tuned for photos, recaps and more from what is sure to be an interesting weekend.

    • almost 7 years ago.
    • almost 7 years ago.
      OK...so I sat patiently yesterday to see results of the weekend....show me Miss Fiona....How was da weekend retreat????
  • Oceanside Farmers Market, Oceanside, CA

    At Foodspotting, we're always being asked "What camera do you use?" for our brilliant food photos. Since there are so many factors to a great foodspotting, we're breaking it down into several posts, so keep your eyes here in the next week while we show you how we use everything from old phones to new cameras, candles for lighting to photo editing apps we can't get enough of.

    Of course we love the ease of spotting food right from our iPhone and Android apps, but many of us on the team keep our SLR and point-and-shoots on hand for the appetite whetting, mind blowing shots, which are sometimes hard to capture without natural light or a macro lens.

    For the casual photographer who wants a simple point-and-shoot with plenty of customizable settings (check out the panoramic photo I took above), let's begin in sunny San Diego where we recently visited to test run Sony Electronics's upcoming camera, the Cyber-shot WX9.


    Being the food and photography geeks that we are, we were thrilled to be among the first to get our hands on Sony's new camera. (Thanks, Sony!) During the two days that Fiona and I spent in San Diego, we were joined by some of our favorite food bloggers, like No Recipes and Mouth of the Border, to take photos while strolling Oceanside Farmers Market, and, afterward, we were treated to a beachside lunch before an epic dinner at Sony headquarters. The photos here show some of the highlights from our trip – all captured on the WX9. A photo says a thousand words, and we think these speak for themselves. In any case, I've included captions because the fish swimming in the bowl under our lobster salad blew us away at first sight too.

    The WX9 will be out later this month, but keep your eyes on our awesome blog because we're doing a giveaway with Sony soon!

    Artichokes at Oceanside Farmers Market

    Potatoes never looked so good...

    Yay Fiona!

    Fish in a bowl under lobster salad. See top down view here.

    Posted by Amy Cao in Spotlight on April 06, 2011
    • almost 7 years ago.
      There's also a great video by Sony on How to take great food photos here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cjJzZ25r1g&feature=youtube_gdata_player
    • almost 7 years ago.
      It was so much fun meeting you and Fiona at the Sony Foodie event! These cameras are the best, aren't they :D
    • almost 7 years ago.
      Sometimes it's so hard to click off a pic before diving into the food :)
    • about 1 month ago.
  • We're excited to add yet another fantastic brand within the food world to our list of partners today. Please help us welcome the spectacular Gourmet Live to Foodspotting! Gourmet Live is a one-of-a-kind app that lets you express, share and explore your passion for food and food culture, then rewards you for doing so.

    It's no surprise that the editors at Gourmet Live are here on Foodspotting sharing some pretty unique expert recommendations, including Celebrities' Choice Eats, pointing you to Julianne Moore, Denise Richards and Shannon Doherty's faves, among others.

    Follow Gourmet Live's first five guides, check out their video below to learn more about the brand, and keep an eye on their Foodspotting channel for some much desired dining suggestions.

  • Happy Clam on the Half Shell Day! To ring in the occasion, we invited our friend, food writer, and half shell connoisseur, Julie Qiu, to share her top clam experiences from around the world. - Amy

    Anyone who has dipped into the cool, salty sea in search of clams knows that they must be dug out when the tide is low. Hence, the phrase, "As happy as a clam at high water." I love all kinds of clams: Littleneck, Cherrystone, Manila, Razor, Geoduck. Technically as an oyster blogger, I am cheating on my bivalve of choice. But on days when I yearn to gnaw on something that's got a bit more gusto, I go for the clam.

    There are quite a few differences between oysters and clams actually, for those who are wondering. While they're both in the same class of mollusks that have two half shells held together by hinges, or "bivalves," the oyster's cupped shell is not nearly as symmetrical as the clam's. An oyster will permanently fix itself to one place throughout their entire adult lives whereas the clam freely moves about with its "foot." Being the adventurous one in the family, it's got a tougher texture and more rugged brininess. Nevertheless, they clean up nice. They're also probably one of the most underrated delicacies of the sea, as they're fun to harvest and undeniably delicious in all forms--raw, steamed, grilled, you name it!

    That being said, here are some of my favorite ways to have the clam:

    Fresh Maine Steamers at Fish House Grill, Maine

    Available virtually in all coastal seafood shacks, steamers are an appetizer that I hesitate to share. Fortunately, these are easy to make at home and need no cooking experience. Tip: Grab a couple of cheap beers when you're grocery shopping--one for steaming, another for drinking.

    Razor Clam Ceviche at The John Dory Oyster Bar, New York

    I'll admit that I enjoyed this crudo better than the oysters here! The tangy lemon-mint marinade and vivid green sauce really complimented this clam. It's perfectly chewy and cut into small chunks that are easy to handle for beginners.

    Giant Clam Sushi at Sushi Yasuda, New York

    Finding a good giant clam can be exceptionally difficult at restaurants. Keep in mind that Red Clam and Surf Clam are not the same as Giant Clam. Some places will also misname the Geoduck as the "giant clam." And speaking of geoduck...

    Geoduck Sashimi at Oyster Station, Hong Kong

    The Geoduck, pronounced "Goo-ey Duck," is one awkward creature. Just Google images of it and you'll see what I mean. Surprisingly, the subtle earthy flavors and slow crunch will win anyone over. It's not easy to find in the US, but I spotted it once at Momofuku Ssam Bar.

    Grilled Littleneck Clam at South Gate, New York

    Saving the best for last, my most recent clam experience is probably my favorite. Chef Kerry Heffernan of South Gate Restaurant brought in some of his own clams that he dug up in Sag Harbor (we were meeting about oysters, funny enough). He gently laid four over a fiery grill and placed a piece of thyme alongside them. Then he quickly removed them off the heat once they started to crack open, gently doused them with butter, and sprinkled some parsley on top. Pure heaven. It's not on the menu (yet), but maybe if he get's enough requests...JQ

    About The Writer Julie Qiu is an oyster aficionado and half shell connoisseur. She resides in NYC, but has traveled to six continents to savor her favorite food. She writes for In A Half Shell. Follow her on Foodspotting and Twitter!

    Posted by Amy Cao in Spotlight on March 30, 2011