High end chocolate sales are going strong despite the recession. Experts point to the dessert’s health claims as the main reason behind the strength. 

There is a new destination restaurant on the horizon in Clifton, VA.

If you plan to head to New York for some holiday shopping, keep your eyes peeled for Jameson Whiskey’s new interactive billboard

Remember doing those awkward demonstrations in class? Could be worse. A cooking demonstration in an Alabama school went awry and half the student body goes home sick.  

If you were sad to see Danny get the axe in Top Chef this week, you may change your mind after reading this interview.

Trend alert: According to McCormick’s Flavor Forecast, the big trend in 2009 will be pairing comfort food with international flavors. 

A woman returned nearly $100,000 she found in Crakcer Barrel.

Folgers and Dunkin Donuts are taking advantage of the recession to move in on Starbucks. Take-home beans for both coffees are slashing their prices.

Some food stories and news to brighten up this gloomy, grey weekend…

Check out this adorable video from the UK’s Thornton’s chocolate. This surprising video from Cadbury’s is the most awarded advertisement of 2008.

Ugly European vegetables got a self-esteem boost this week when the EU changed their ban on imperfect looking vegetables. 

Wondering what wine to pair with your Thanksgiving feast? Uncorked is next Thursday. Have a pre-Thanksgiving meal with various wines and donate your cash to a good cause.

In the mood for Pumpkin Pie yet? FoodieTots has a great recipe with fresh local ingredients. No canned pumpkin for her! 

Slashfood shared the top 5 weirdest Skittles videos. 

After the jump, meet the hottest chef in Peru, restaurant giveaways, find out which hard candy has a “musk” flavor option and Top Chef aplenty!

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We are bruised and battered. Adventures this weekend included a 5-alarm fire and trip to the ER but it was all in the name of a good Fakesgiving dinner. We’ll post more on that in the coming week. In the meantime, here are some foodie stories to peruse with your Sunday morning coffee: 

Ever wonder how “local” your locally grown produce is? I know I wonder that when I see pineapples at the farmer’s line at Eastern market.

The weather is cooling down but we’re ready to cozy up with this warm potato salad with goat cheese.  

I’m wondering which of my cousins I can convince to marry into this French family of oyster farmers

The DC Food Bank is expanding

New Michelin guides are out (yay!) but there is no guide for DC (boo!). You’ll have to go to New York for your nearest Michelin-starred restaurant. We recommend The Spotted Pig, but that’s because it’s the only one we’ve ever been to. 

After the jump: Fatties and marketing dollars, Top Chef and booze! (more…)

A snapshot of what’s going on with food in the news…

Around town…
Spending a Sunday afternoon getting lunch and a movie at the Arlington Cinema N’ Drafthouse is a favorite activity. Looks like our Maryland neighbors will have the opportunity to do the same with the new Montgomery Drafthouse. We can’t wait to try out the adorable sounding Locke Modern Country Store, especially if their pear, goat cheese and leek tart is available.

Big food… 
Have you tried the oatmeal at Starbucks? It’s their most successful food launch in the company’s history. If you grew up in the 70s and 80s, you know Pez. If you’re especially cool, you may have even had a Pez dispenser collection. Make a little room on the shelf: Chick-Fil-A is teaming up with Pez for an Eat Mor Chikin Pez dispenser. Krispy Kreme is testing new factory stores in Arizona to deliver their donuts to “neighborhood donut shops.” After the jump, news from food on the road and how the economy is taking a toll on dining. (more…)

Lots of developments in the food service industry today including responses to the economic crisis and new restaurants opening in the DC area. Let’s get to it!

Sales for vices like alcohol, chocolate and cigarettes are up despite financial concerns around the nation. These items, along with low cost consumer packaged goods, are typically considered recession proof. You know what else is recession proof? Porn. Seems like the smartest move to make here is a significant investment in chocolate Reddi-Wip stock. Awww yeah.

The folks at Starbucks corporate are apparently a bunch of divas who are difficult to work with. Maybe they should switch to green tea. They’ll have nothing to fear from McDonald’s coffee competition however. The recent Wall Street events have set back the mega-chain’s plans to revamp with high end coffee. Apparently franchisees are no longer able to secure the loans necessary to take part.

Another good reason to buy locally… the melamine problem in China’s milk continues to exacerbate, sickening 54,000 babies in China, causing the death of four and prompting countries such as France and South Korea to ban not only dairy products but cookies from China as well. Kraft and Mars are exploring claims that M&Ms and oreos have also showed contamination.

DC restaurant openings, $1 million for the right Halloween treater, DC Food Network auditions and a tribute to Paul Newman after the jump! (more…)