THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods

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BOOKS: “My Last Supper” & Chef Pinup Calendar

If your idea of stardom is a celebrity chef, you must read My Last Supper, 50 Great Chefs and their Final Meals. The stunning volume is a perfect coffee table book. The portraits of each chef are divine—from a near-naked Gabrielle Hamilton (Prune, New York City) suckling her infant (and wishing for caviar, cold radishes, soft-scrambled eggs, buttered yeasty toast and ripe cherries), to Dan Barber (Blue Hill, New York City), ethereally slender behind Boris, a huge heritage hog he has raised, who will also be his last meal (“If I’m going, so is Boris”), to Mario Batali, looking like a Roman emperor in a headdress of turnips (his menu is vast). Boston’s Lydia Shire is holding a lobster the size of a two-year-old child, with claws larger than her head (she’ll have a super-prime sirloin steak and two great Burgundies, thank you). You’ll also see El Bulli’s Ferran Adria with his two bulldogs, Anthony Bourdain naked (holding a large, strategically-placed thigh bone), and Laurent Tourondel furtively contemplating a conveyer belt of Krispy Kremes.   my-last-supper-2501.jpg
Buy several for gifts. You can order the book for $26.37 on
The chefs also tell you who they’d share the meal with, what wines would be served, the setting, and what music would be playing…and they share recipes, as well. This book is true delight for any lover of great restaurants and the chefs who make them possible.

For a slam dunk, cruise on over to The Gourmet Institute to order a copy of The first-ever Chefs of The Gourmet Institute calendar. Melanie Dunea, photographer of My Last Supper (above), took these gorgeous photos, too. They don’t call it a pinup calendar of top New York chefs, but we will. Dan Barber, Anthony Bourdain, Cesare Casella, Scott Conant, Kurt Gutenbrunner, Masaharu Morimoto, Charlie Palmer, Dave Pasternack, Eric Ripert, Marcus Samuelsson, Laurent Tourondel and Jonathan Waxman are the pinup guys. Calendars are $19.95 each, $1.00 of which goes to Citymeals-On-Wheels. The photo of Marcus Samuelsson (at right), looking like a culinary Cole Porter, is alone worth the price; but each photo is suitable for framing. By the way, Gourmet Institue: why are there no women in this calendar? Were Lydia Bastianich, April Bloomfield, Alex Guarnaschelli, Gabrielle Hamilton, Sara Jenkins, Anita Lo, Jody Willliams and Patricia Yeo all busy the day of the photo shoot? Or is Moet & Chandon, the calendar sponsor, more comfortable with an all-male roster of “favorite chefs?”

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PRODUCT WATCH: Wagatha’s Dog Biscuits—Organic, Kosher & Allergy-Free

Wagatha’s Organic Dog BiscuitsWag for Wagatha’s!
  Wagatha’s of Vermont has just introduced three wheat-free flavors to its line of 100% organic and kosher premium dog biscuits. Many of the ingredients found in Wagatha’s treats are people food, like eggs, extra virgin olive oil, herbs, honey and tomatoes. The biscuits contain vitamins D, E, and B complex as well as calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. The new wheat-free flavors are ideal for all dogs, but are espcially perfect for dogs with allergies. The flavors include Breakfast Biscuit (maple oatmeal with bananas & apples), Cranberry Cheddar and Tuscan Tomato & Herb.
The treats are available online at and at retail in 30 states nationwide. A 9-ounce, reusable canister is $8.95, suitable for new puppy gifts, holiday gifts and just as an special treat for favorite four-legged friends. Wagatha’s also offers a monthly shipment program that will ship a predetermined amount of Wagatha’s Organic Dog Biscuits to you (or a gift recipient) each month. Shipping charges are waived for all orders over $50.00.

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CONTEST: Extreme Family Cookie Challenge

Seeking one-of-a-kind cookie recipes, WearEver is holding its Second Annual AirBake Extreme Cookie Challenge. Do you have the recipe for the most unique and delicious cookie? If so, take on the challenge! Teams of one parent and one child (between the ages of 5 to 15), are invited to submit their most creative cookie recipes. Five finalists will compete in a national “Cookie-Off” in March 2008 in New York City, hosted by Noah Gray-Cabey, the young actor who plays Micah Sanders on the hit T.V. series, “Heroes.” The grand prize is a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond. The deadline is January 7, 2008. Visit for more information, the official rules and entry form.   Winning CookiesCan your cookies beat these winners from the last challenge?
Also: See some of our favorite artisan cookies in the Cookies & Brownies Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine, and read the history of cookies.

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ARTICLE: The History Of The Peanut Butter Cup

Gourmet Peanut Butter Cups
A memorable peanut butter cup.
  November is National Peanut Butter Month—our chance to share our favorite PBs with you. First, learn about the origin of peanut butter. It was invented by a doctor and debuted in 1904 as—of all things—a high-protein food substitute for people who could not chew meat. But it didn’t take long for others to discover its charms, and for it to leap into recipes and the peanut butter cup—a relatively recent invention dating to the Roaring ‘20s. Read all about it, and our favorite peanut butter cups from Bacci. Then, check out our two favorite gourmet peanut butters, from Peanut Better and P.B. Loco. Both companies make sweet and savory peanut butters, and as you’ll read in the reviews, certain flavors are not to be missed! Plan ahead: They make great stocking stuffers, too.

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REVIEW: This Little Cookie

This Little Cookie has a definite point of view: the best ingredients, a wholesome, homemade style, and it’s not too sweet or rich. We’ve never tasted a line quite like it before. Although it’s made by a woman who also turns out detailed buttercream cakes decorated with fragile petals, we have to say that these cookies have a masculine flavor profile—because men tend not to like sugary, buttery baked goods to the extent that women and children do. Still, both men and women who like sweets made with less sugar—we count ourselves among them—will appreciate these [not so little] cookies. The buttery Shortbread made with Fleur de Sel sea salt is not to be missed! You can contact the bakery about special orders of gluten-free cookies, too. Read the full review. Also check out the Cookies & Brownies section of THE NIBBLE online magazine for more of our favorite cookies.   Shortbread Cookie - This Little Cookie
The nifty Shortbread with Fleur de Sel.

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