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Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.

Notch Up-Kicking Hits New High-Water Mark

Underground food guru Emeril Lagasse obtained a whiff of much-needed publicity in this month’s National Culinary Review. It seems the darling of the indie food scene cooked up a little something for NASA astronauts.

The November edition of NCR celebrates the Mardi Gras jambalaya, kicked-up mashed potatoes with bacon, green beans with garlic, and rice pudding with mixed fruit that the celebrichef whipped up for residents of the International Space Station.

But those of us able to get past the child-entrancing wonder of rice pudding dollops floating around in a zero-G environment will probably marvel at two or more of the following facts surrounding this NCR scoop:

—The food was served to the astronauts on August 10, 2006, nearly three months before the magazine’s date of publication. For those of us in touch with the natural world, the entire life span of most adult butterflies is about two weeks. Therefore, a butterfly that emerged from its chrysalis at about the time Emeril’s food was served to NASA astronauts would not only miss reading about it in the National Culinary Review, but it would also not live long enough to watch the St. Louis Cardinals win a disappointing World Series against the Detroit Tigers.

—Green beans with garlic merit mention as a separate dish.

—Emeril’s publicist greenlighted the following quote: “This gives the term ‘kicking it up a notch’ a whole new meaning.”

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