Blog Posts by Blue Ribbon Hunter

  • The Gilroy Garlic Festival

    The Gilroy Garlic Festival is one of the largest food festivals in the United States, attracting over 100,000 people each year. One of the main attractions is the Great Garlic Cook-Off where eight finalists from all over the country compete head-to-head in front of a live audience. Contestants are judged on creativity, presentation, ease of preparation, and of course, taste. All eight dishes brought something different to the table, from garlic jelly filled tamales, to garlic pistachio baklava, to garlic cheese cake, but only one person could take home the prize. And the winner is…

    Crispy Pork Belly with Caramelized Onion and Fig Agrodolce and Creamy PolentaCrispy Pork Belly with Caramelized Onion and Fig Agrodolce and Creamy Polenta

    by Laureen Pittman, Riverside, CA

    Serves: 7-8


    Pork Belly

    2 rectangular slabs pork belly (1 ó - 2 pounds each), skin removed

    (remove the skin only - leave the fabulous fat!)

    4 tablespoons kosher salt

    2 tablespoons coarse ground pepper

    1 head garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled

    1 quart

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  • The World's Largest Drive-In Restaurant

    Drive-in restaurants were all the rage back in the 1950s when carhops ruled the dining scene, but there is still one in Atlanta, Georgia that's alive and well, and that's The Varsity. Set on over two acres, The Varsity is the World's largest drive-in restaurant and can accommodate 600 cars, and upwards of 30,000 people.

    Onion Rings at The Varsity.

    Here's a peek at the amount of food The Varsity goes through daily, and it is all made from scratch!

    300 gallons of chili

    2 miles of hot dogs

    1 ton of onion rings

    2,500 pounds of potatoes

    5,000 homemade pies

    More coke products than any other establishment in the US

    Now although The Varsity does offer indoor seating, the way to really experience this restaurant is in your car. Moments after pulling up, a carhop wearing a Varsity hat will come up asking, "What'll ya have, what'll ya have?" We recommend that your answer include onion rings, chili dogs, and their signature drink, a frosted orange.

    So next time you find yourself in

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  • Best Foods You've Never Had

    Once we find foods that we like, it is easy to fall into the habit of buying and preparing the same classic dishes over and over again. But by staying in our own food bubbles, we might be missing out on some fantastic dishes that are actually quite common in other parts of the world. That's why we invited the host of "Bizarre Foods", Andrew Zimmern, to fill us in on some of these delectable dishes.


    Although many have heard about eating goat, not many Americans have actually ever tried it! Andrew recommends goat because it is lean, sustainable, cheap, and super delicious. You can find it at most restaurants serving Caribbean or Indian cuisine.

    Goat Meat


    Natto is Japanese fermented soybeans. It has a very strong, pungent smell and has a taste similar to a funky cheese. According to Allison, natto is definitely an acquired taste, but if you do like it, it is extremely healthy for you. Natto can be purchased at almost any Japanese market (check the frozen section).


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  • New York City's Wildest Food Trucks

    These days everyone is on the go, so in an effort to keep up with their customers, restaurants are becoming more and more mobile as well. New York City is home to thousands of unique food trucks, but there were three that really caught our attention.

    Pulled pork waffle with a coolickle

    Wafels and Dinges

    At first glance this truck may appear to be a normal Belgian waffle vendor, but as soon as you take a closer look at their menu, you will be blown away. They have a huge variety of "dinges", or toppings, to choose from, as well as two different types of waffle bases. Still doesn't sound too crazy? Well wait until you hear about the dish we ordered - a pulled pork waffle with a Kool-Aid infused pickle. Wacky as it may sound, it was DELICIOUS and the coolickle (as they call it) was out of this world and something you can try at home.

    The Godzilla

    The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck

    The name of this truck isn't the only quirky thing about this ice cream vendor. With a base flavor of only chocolate or vanilla, it doesn't sound

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  • The World's Largest Peach Cobbler

    Every year the people of Fort Valley, Georgia come together at the Georgia Peach Festival to make the World's Largest Peach Cobbler. We joined them at the courthouse parking lot at 3:00am to see just how they do it. The most incredible part of the making of this cobbler is their creativity! Since no one makes bowls or utensils big enough, the bowls are garbage cans (I suppose I should add that are indeed brand new), the forks are rakes, the spoons are boat paddles, and the cover of the oven is made from the panels of a school bus. They follow the classic "Cuppa-Cuppa" recipe, which you can find below, except they multiply it by about 150… Eleven hours after the cobbler is started, it is served to about 1,000 hungry festival goers.

    "Cuppa-Cuppa" Cobbler Recipe

    (Serves 4- 6 people)

    1 stick butter

    1 cup flour

    1 cup sugar

    1 cup milk

    2 cups peaches, peeled and sliced with juice

    1. Add stick of butter to a 2-quart casserole dish and place in an oven. Preheat the

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  • $1,000 Ice Cream Sundae

    The $1,000.00 Golden Opulence Sundae from Serendipity 3

    There's nothing better than ice cream in the summer, but how much would you spend for the ultimate sundae? If your answer was anything less than $1,000.00, then the Golden Opulence Sundae fromSerendipity 3 is probably not for you. This sundae is covered in 24-karat edible gold and is adorned with some of the most rare and expensive sweets in the world. Here is a list of the items and ingredients you need to make the Golden Opulence Sundae:

    Baccarat Crystal Goblet

    24kt Edible Gold

    Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream

    Madagascar Vanilla Bean

    Amedei Porcelana Chocolate

    Candied Fruits

    Gold Covered Almonds

    Artisanal Flower Made From Sugar and Dipped in Gold

    Passion Fruit and Armagnac Dessert Caviar

    Enjoying the Golden Opulence Sundae!

    So what do you think? Is it worth the price for a special occasion, or just plain ridiculous?

    For more adventures with Blue Ribbon Hunter check out our video page and make sure to follow us on Facebook!

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  • Inside the World of Competitive Eating

    What do you get when you combine an edgy rocker, a competitive eater, and a sexy pin-up model? You get Maria Edible! This Jersey native is not only on her way to the top in the world of female competitive eaters, but she also has a look that most people wouldn't imagine a professional eater to have. In fact, Maria says that neither her co-workers nor her parents know that she competes in eating contests! She works a normal nine-to-five job in New York City during the week, and models and eats on the weekends! Here are some of her training techniques and strategies that she shared with us:

    Stretch Your Stomach

    Stomach capacity is really important, especially with a food like hot dogs. Maria recommends eating a large quantity of low calorie foods like lettuce or watermelon to help get your stomach in shape. Her most important tip: Don't train alone!

    Tune in and Zone Out

    Maria likes to create her own little bubble when she competes. She wears sunglasses and giant

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  • Experience a Hawaiian Luau Without Leaving Home

    A trip to Hawaii might be a once in a lifetime experience, but that doesn't mean you can't create a little Hawaiian magic of your own at home. Summer is the perfect time to throw a Hawaiian themed party, so we traveled to Paradise Cove on the Hawaiian island of Oahu to experience a traditional Hawaiian luau and bring you the tips you need to recreate that same experience at home. Here are our top 5 must-haves for throwing a Hawaiian luau.

    Proper Attire

    It's Hawaiian tradition to place a lei on your guests as they arrive to welcome them, so if you are hosting a party, make sure you have plenty to share! Once you have a lei, have fun accessorizing with things like a grass skirt, coconut bra, and of course, a temporary Polynesian tattoo.


    Who doesn't love a good yard game at a backyard summer party? Hawaiians certainly know how to do it. Try spear throwing, or 'ulumaika, an ancient Hawaiian game that is sort of like a cross between horseshoes and bowling.

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  • Great Dandelion Cook-Off Winning Recipe

    Dandelion-Stuffed PorkCongratulations to Sherry Schie, this year's winner of the Great Dandelion Cook-Off. Be sure to check out her recipe and try it yourself at home!

    Dandelion-Stuffed Pork Loin

    3 ½ pounds pork loin, butterflied

    12 pieces pancetta, thinly sliced

    6 cups dandelion greens

    ¼ cup onion, chopped

    3 teaspoons dandelion infused olive oil (recipe below)

    4-6 tablespoons dandelion wine, as needed to wilt dandelion greens

    10 garlic cloves, roasted

    1 ½ tablespoons fresh rosemary

    ½ cup dates, pitted and chopped

    ¼ cup white raisins

    1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

    Salt and pepper, to taste

    Dandy Sauce (recipe below)

    1. In sauté pan, add olive oil, onions, white wine, and dandelion greens; cover and simmer until tender. If needed, add more wine to achieve desired tenderness of greens. When greens are wilted and tender, strain and drain well. Place greens and onion mixture in food processor.

    2. Add to food processor; garlic,

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  • Finding Dinner in Your Backyard

    Eating healthy can get expensive, but it doesn't have to be! In fact, you can go organic for FREE by finding food in your own backyard. To prove that this is possible (even in a big city) we traveled to Central Park in New York City where "Wildman" Steve Brill took us on an urban foraging tour. At the end of the day we were able to make a delicious, vegan, and totally organic salad without even leaving the park! Here are some of the things we found:

    Poor Man's Pepper: Run out of pepper? Then why not go forage for some of this plant! This plant grows up to three feet tall and has lobed basal leaves. It has a spicy flavor to it and has been compared to horseradish.

    Cattails: We see these wetland plants all the time, but did you know they are edible? The soft inner core of the cattail tastes like a mix between cucumber and zucchini and has the texture of hearts of palm.

    Sheep Sorrel: If you like tart foods, then sheep sorrel is for you! This plant gets its name because it

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