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Bronson vs. Batali, Criminally Spicy Tofu, and All the Other Edible News You Missed This Week

This week, Mr. Wonderful met Molto Mario, while we met the chicken dish that is taking Mission Chinese Food to the next level.
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This week, we witnessed two massive stars colliding, forming a culinary Big Bang. That's right: Action Bronson and Mario Batali made pizza together. What else do you need to know?

Once you've recovered from the shockwaves that that sent through the galaxy, you can cleanse your palate with some weed-infused hot chocolate, some criminally spicy mapo tofu, and some Italian-style poutine that any stoned grandma would dig.

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Elsewhere in the MUNCHIES-verse, we found out that Heaven's Gate cult members—yes, there are still a few kicking around—eat far more healthily than your average American. We spoke to a UK-based snail farmer, who supplies both Michelin-starred restaurants and local zoos with her delicious gastropods. We heard from a traveling kosher butcher (who brought his ritual slaughtering knife to Ghana for an impromptu goat roast) and we spoke to a man who is developing chocolate bars that will make stories sound more exciting.

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If you want to know how to reinvent an already-stellar restaurant, just ask Grandma. That's what Mission Chinese Food's Angela Dimayuga did, learning the closely guarded secrets behind her grandmother's chorizo-and-egg-stuffed chicken, which now features as a large format dish on MCF's eclectic menu.

Sticking to tradition, however, can also land you in trouble—especially if you're Han Dynasty's Han Chiang: His commitment to Szechuan-grade spice caused a customer to call the cops on him, thinking that he was dosing her with chilis just to fuck with her.

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On a darker note in the kitchen, we heard from a baker whose body has suffered serious damage due to her craft. (There are many ways to hurt yourself as a baker besides an oven burn.) And Ivy Knight gave us an unsettling look at her experience working with a violent sous chef—a not-uncommon-enough story from the restaurant world.

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It's not all doom and gloom on MUNCHIES, though. We found out that scientists have developed beans that can survive even a worst-case global warming scenario. We met a US Navy veteran who has devoted her life to helping kids learn how to grow food, and got a look at the world's largest indoor vertical farm.

We spoke to the architect of an NYPD outreach program that is trying to rehabilitate gang members with pizza parties. We also met the selfless ladies of Mexico known as Las Patronas, who throw packages of food to US-bound Central American immigrants that travel on the tops of speeding trains.

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Photos by Grey Hutton.

In the News You Can Booze category, we learned a lot this week. We spoke to a Dutch artist and brewer who makes beer out of canal water, potatoes and snow. We also spoke to Evil Twin's Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, who recounted the time he went to Texas to make a beer that tastes just like coffee.

We heard from the guy who started Milwaukee's epic Bloody Mary garnish wars—he puts a whole, deep-fried chicken on his—and learned how to make smoke-infused cocktails with cheap crap from a convenience store in the middle of the night.

Over in the refined world of wine, we found out that Italy is none too pleased with Crimean knockoffs of its precious prosecco. The country is, however, producing the world's first certified vegan Chianti—which is great news for PETA but perhaps bad news for your wine-rotted teeth.

We also met up with Tony Conigliaro, the mad mixologist who treats his cocktails like perfume, experimenting with ingredients that smell like dead flowers and ass. Bartender Marco Ercolano of The Ritz London's Rivoli Bar could hardly call that "basic."

If that's not enough to keep you busy this weekend, we suggest drinking an 80-ounce Bloody Mary and taking a nap.