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Randall Benton /

Dig in to this round-up of recent food news and hot links

Published: Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 - 12:35 pm

Let’s get caught up with the latest food news and other culinary related items. Think of it as a menu of Monday reading material:

* Kurt Spataro of the Paragary Restaurant Group (pictured above in his home kitchen) shares some of his prized Thanksgiving turkey techniques. Among them: “Brining your turkey has become trendy but not necessary if you have a good bird. Seasoning the turkey with salt and freshly ground pepper a day or two in advance (very important!) is simpler and will produce a tasty, succulent turkey.”

* The hot conversation in the food writing world is the purported end of the San Francisco Chronicle’s stand-alone food and wine section, which would reportedly be folded into a single lifestyle section with the working title of “Artisan.” In a bit of social media protest, there’s now a Facebook page called “Save the San Francisco Chronicle Food Section,” with 2,553 “likes” and counting.

* The Onion skewers the locavore movement with “Factory-Farm-To-Table Restaurant Proudly Serves Locally Tortured Animals.” Among the choice lines: “What makes our restaurant different is that we’re actually on a first-name basis with the guys on the assembly line who electrocute the chickens and slash their throats.” (Relax folks, it’s just satire! :)

* Wine Spectator releases its Top 100 wines of 2013. Spain’s Rioja region takes the top spot with the 2004 Cune Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva. Three California wines make the Top 10: 2010 Kongsgaard Chardonnay, 2010 Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford and 2010 Lewis Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve.

* In case you didn’t know, the Pisco Sour is the new margarita. Here’s a great recipe and some background on this classic South American cocktail from Organic Authority.

Read more articles by Chris Macias

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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