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

Istanbul on the Upper East Side

Chef Orhan Yeğen knows Turkish cooking, having done it very well at more than a dozen restaurants around town, though typically for only a short time before bouncing. Those who've caught his act at any of his stops—including his current home base, Sip Sak in Midtown—have brought back reports of superior food, at least until he's moved on. The cooking's as good as ever at his latest place, Francela on the Upper East Side, though the format's a new one for Yeğen. You order deli-style at counters—cold salads and mezze, hot prepared foods, or grilled dishes and other entrées—and eat at one of a handful of seats or, as most customers do, take your food to go. It's a fast-casual model, popular in Istanbul, that Chowhounds wish would catch on all over New York. READ MORE

Are There Health Benefits to Flavored Yogurt?

No, according to nutrition expert Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat. There could be some health benefits to yogurt’s friendly bacteria (Lactobacillus acidophilus), which may replace some of the bad bacteria in your body. But research shows that there is a lack of scientific evidence to completely support this claim, so it’s more of an idea than a fact. Sort of like my “idea” that I can eat a donut for breakfast every day, when the fact is that at some point my jeans won’t fit. READ MORE

Mysterious Creature from the Deep, Grilled

I love eating octopus: the chewy texture when it’s perfectly cooked, the way it resists and then submits to my teeth in every bite. But I have this fear of cooking octopus, a fear I’ll end up with a mass of unchewable rubber, and that my poor little sea friend will go to waste. READ MORE

7 Easy Pickles for Summer

We live in the era of the pickle: quick fridge, lacto-fermented, water-bath canned. If it can be put up in a jar, you can preserve it. So stock up on vinegar and sterilize your Mason jars—we checked in with June's Chowhound Home Cooking Dish of the Month and came away with these seven great recipes to get tangy with. READ MORE

4 Must-Try Ice Cream Shops in New York City

In a summer that turned up the heat early and threatens to get brutal before it's over, New Yorkers are fortunate to be around at a very cool time for ice cream. High-end chefs, ex-screenwriters, even refugees from media and government: A diverse crowd of ice cream impresarios is crafting superior versions in ever-multiplying flavors and styles. Here, listed alphabetically, are four New York ice creams worth a lick. READ MORE

Easy Slow Cooker Peach Crumble

This slow cooker summer dessert is yet another Alton Brown recipe I had to try. READ MORE

NY’s Chinese Burger and Other Treats from Auntie Wang

In recent years, Chinese expats at Columbia University have savored a taste of home thanks to a handful of food carts parked just off campus. Now one of those mobile vendors—Wang Hui Yin from Henan Province, known as Auntie Wang—has brought some of that street-food action indoors and downtown. Noodles, dumplings, and other snackish bites from central and northern China make up the menu at her tiny new shop under the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown—whose English name is either Taste of Northern China or China Local Cuisine, depending on whether you're looking at the menu or the storefront sign. READ MORE

The Bagel Before It Ballooned

In a way, New York's latest bagel moment turns back the clock. Baz Bagel & Restaurant, which opened two months ago in Little Italy, makes thinner, denser bagels than the puffed-up specimens that have taken over the city since the onset of automation starting in the '60s. Rolled by hand in small batches, the old-fashioned way, they're a welcome throwback—"Small, well done, and tasty," as stuartlafonda reports on Chowhound. Baz's blintzes, whitefish salad, and lox with eggs have also won fans. READ MORE

African-American Chefs in the White House: Q&A with Adrian Miller

Thanks to a successful fund-raising effort on Kickstarter in late June, Adrian Miller's The President’s Kitchen Cabinet is finally a goal within reach—an American dream, if you will. Miller, a James Beard Award–winning author, soul food scholar, and politico, plans to release a TV documentary on President’s Day 2016 that will trace the hidden history of African-American cooks in White House kitchens. READ MORE

Do You Need a Pricey Culinary Degree to Be a Top Chef?

Paul Canales was a career changer. A serious home cook, he’d spent a decade working in marketing and sales for Pacific Bell before he decided tostep behind the stoves to make a living. In 1995, he left California for a couple of years to earn an associate degree from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Price tag back then, he says, was around $24K for two years of tuition. “I was almost 33 at the time; I felt like I didn’t have 10 years to bounce around learning, as I might at 18 or even 22,”says Canales. “I wanted to get up to speed quickly, gain basic cooking skills and entrée into a good place. I was very naive.” READ MORE