So is anyone else still a little bummed after this week’s Top Chef finale? It isn’t simply that Carla didn’ t win, it’s just hard to watch when she was so clearly disappointed in her final product. Chin up, Carla. We still can’t wait to take one of your cooking classes in your new kitchen!

Casey Thompson got a lot of heat immediately after the show from viewers who blamed her for Carla’s downfall. For her part, Carla has made a point to say this isn’t the case and defend Casey. Casey has… talked some smack to Dallas bloggers SideDish. It’s worth a read but it isn’t pretty. 

Metrocurean offers up tips on good food photos.  

Pizza chains are feeling a pinch these days. Numbers are down as consumers wander to healthier fast food options or less expensive burger joints.  

Wonkabout reviews Asian Spice.  

Tropicana unveiled a new product design in January… and consumer feedback against the change was so vehement that they are changing it back to the original.

Spike of Good Stuff won a few awards at the SoBe burger bash. 

Did you know Virginia has its own molasses farms?

Check out the local names in this year’s James Beard Award nominations. 

Ever wonder how chefs stay fit? Or, if not fit, how they keep from being totally obese?  You can also check out tips on how to eat healthy even when dining out. 

DC Gastronome tries out Coeur de Lion for Restaurant Week.

In Los Angeles, Korean is the new taco
… but back east, is Brooklyn the new Berkeley for food? 

Check out Lemmonex’s classic bolognese recipe.

Dine out for charity: Share Our Strength’s annual bash is March 30.  

Top Chef’s Tom Coliccho talks about getting teens to eat healthy food (no mention of Diet Coke) while Padma is shilling for…. Hardee’s. 

The 42 Bus enjoys the food and soundtrack at California Tortilla.

More news after the jump!

Top students from L’Academie de Cuisine received a personal tour of the White House kitchen from Michelle Obama. 

High end restaurants are hurting the worst from consumer cut backs but high end chefs like Thomas Keller are forging ahead with new restaurant plans. 

Gordon Ramsey offers dishes featuring classic British pub fare.

DC area grocer Giant is promoting sustainable seafood during Lent – a period of 40 days during which Catholics do not eat meat (the land-living variety, anyway) on Fridays. You should also brace yourself for a barrage of Filet o’ Fish ads from McDonalds. 

Beverages like Snapple and Pepsi are taking it old school, replacing high fructose corn syrup with real sugar. Ever had a Coke in Mexico and wondered why it tasted so much better? Real sugar. I’m thrilled. Mike and I make an active effort to avoid food and drinks with corn syrup. Even though I don’t often drink soda, we may have to pick up a celebratory six pack of Pepsi.

… But don’t worry Nebraska, there is hope for your cash crop yet. Restaurants in Florida are trying out biodegradable corn-based straws.

The Post’s Sietsema went on vacation and reviewed all-veggie restaurant Ubuntu in Napa

Tips on low-cost ways restaurants can go green

Black garlic may be the next trendy item on restaurant menus.

A beer run in Brunei goes awry.   

Is food in the new millennium what sex was to the 1950s?

Ideas for make-at-home chips from Chicago chefs.