Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Morrissey WHO?! Johnny Marr kicking butt and taking names

You may know that Smiths guitar wizard Johnny Marr has released two solo albums in recent years, but did you know he has a cover of Depeche Mode's "I Feel You" coming out on Record Store Day April 18? Yay! Johnny sings, adding some muscle to this tune.

I was hoping he'd play one of his signature solos in this recording, perhaps something like the short one he plays on Noel Gallagher's new song "Ballad of the Mighty I." About the only reason I would willingly listen to anything by those self-important snots from Oasis would be something like the jangle you hear 4:45 into this song.

AND a 2016 release date has been set for Marr's autobiography.

For good measure, here's my favorite of his outside of The Smiths, alongside of New Order singer Bernard Sumner. Jangle, crisp acoustic guitar rhythm and a wailing solo right out of The Smiths' heyday.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Last call for the Philadelphia Flower Show

We're headed into the final weekend of the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show - the 8th largest flower show in the world, I hear. The weather this week really disrupted things, so I bet the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia will be jam packed. Here's a couple pictures I took during one of the snowy days we had. Happy Spring!

I like Disney/Pixar, and everything, but with the movie theme the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society was going with, I expected a broader cinematic representation.
The miniature dioramas of movie scenery were so popular that my wife and I couldn't get much of a view, except in passing. Too bad going on a weekday wasn't an option.
From what I hear, the Flower Show marketplace has gotten noticeably larger. Linger in that part of the convention center at your own risk because some of the vendors get kind of aggressive.
And bring extra cash because the Gene London display of Hollywood clothing and "The Butterfly Experience" will cost you extra. The food's pricey too.
A pleasant surprise is the variety in the Pennsylvania Fine Wine & Good Spirits tasting area. It's a lot more than just wine.
The show runs till 9 p.m. tonight and Saturday the 7th, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday the 8th. Get tickets here. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What's next for local winners of CNBC "Restaurant Startup"?

On Tuesday March 3, chef Steve Latona was the toast of Montgomery County Community College, and the school's Culinary Arts Institute, after he and fellow culinary instructor Mark Bellini prevailed on an episode of the CNBC show "Restaurant Startup." In case you missed it, you can watch it here (You'll need your cable provider username and password):


"Now I can show this in class," Latona commented.
A viewing party featuring a screening of the episode and a buffet-style luncheon sneak peek of Smoke Kitchen dishes, held for MCCC staff and students of  The Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College, was hosted (and catered) by Montco's CAI in Towamencin.

At top is a bowl of chicken and andouille sausage gumbo. Above is a plate with (counterclockwise from right) a piece of Smoke Kitchen rotisserie chicken; poblano turkey meatloaf; roasted potatoes; Brussels sprouts with apples, bacon and shallots; and a cole slaw with purple cabbage.

When the restaurant opens in the Malvern area, the menu will also have sides that include four-bean salad and macaroni and cheese. Before the chicken hits the oak wood fire, it's brined for 12 hours, Latona said.
"I would like to thank the students for supporting chef Mark Bellini and chef Latona. You are making us so proud of what we've accomplished," said Dr. Victoria Basteki-Perez. MCCC's provost and vice-president of academic affairs.
"What it's done for the school is amazing. I'm very proud of what he's accomplished in a short period of time here," said Francine Marz, director of the CAI of MCCC. 

Latona, who intends to continue teaching at the culinary school, shared that he and Bellini prepared sliders, chicken salad and side dishes that didn't make it into the broadcast. Security was also very tight on the set. He described being constantly escorted by what sounded like the Secret Service. Stepping outside for a breath of air involved the walkie talkie communication: "Taking the talent outside."  
When asked about their competition from Austin, Texas' Ms. P's Electric Cock Fried Chicken, Latona -- who hinted he would've liked to have tasted their chicken -- said they were nice people and had appeared on other competitive culinary shows before.
When Latona and Bellini's pledged money from Tim Love arrives, a long process to building the Smoke Kitchen begins -- including securing a location, permits and a liquor license.
Image courtesy of CNBC