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Chuck Hughes Wins Chef Volleyball Tournament

Chuck Hughes and Spike Mendelsohn at SOBE
Unless you’re into things like delicious food, hanging out on a warm and sunny beach in the middle of winter and mingling with awesome celebrity chefs, The South Beach Food & Wine Festival probably isn’t for you. The event still has a lot to offer the other one of you, though … like volleyball tournaments. Spike Mendelsohn, of Next Iron Chef notoriety, hosted the Let’s Get Spiked Volleyball Tournament today where four teams comprised of food people like Alex Guarnaschelli, Justin Warner and Pat LaFrieda took to the sand to take a pass at a different kind of serving.

It turns out that a lot of chefs suck at sports. But you know who didn’t suck? Cooking Channel’s own Chuck Hughes who brought home the gold medal along with his teammates Josh Capon, Andrew Zimmern and Kris Wessel. Congratulations, Chuck. Maybe one day you’ll find something you’re not good at. For now, why don’t you take a day off.

Hump Day Snack: A Unicorn Sprinkles Shaker

We have one pointy, forehead-protruding bone to pick with this unicorn sprinkles shaker from London-based gift design company Spinning Hat. Though we can’t argue with its whimsy, it reenforces the fallacious notion that rainbow sprinkles are actually unicorn dandruff. (It also seems to make a pretty big mess of your counter top.)

You can get one for about $12.25 on Spinning Hat’s site.

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Winner Takes Ale: The Arcade Game That Rewards You With Beer

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There are several bars that double as arcades. Now the union of beer and video games is being elevated to a new high score. Arcade game The Last Barfighter — created for Raleigh’s Big Boss Brewing —  is similar to Street Fighter with a few of key differences. 1) All the fighting takes place in a bar. 2) The characters are different — there’s no devilish Blanka but there is a Blanco Diablo named after the brewery’s Belgium wit. 3) The winner gets a cup of frothy beer poured into a cup from the machine’s cabinet.

This is a drinking game we can get behind. For the time being, you can only play it at special charitable events around Durham, but we’ll let you know if someone events the home console version.

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Hump Day Snack: The Best Way to Split a Pint of Ben & Jerry’s

How to Split a Pint of Ben & Jerry's

Their sense of self-control is the more impressive thing going on here.

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Hump Day Snack: The World’s Saddest Watermelon

Pulp fiction?

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Hump Day Snack: 8-Second Spaghetti

A company called Royal Chef has invented noodles that cooks faster than you can say “al dente reinvente!” (providing it takes you more than eight seconds to say that.)

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Find out more on Royal Chef’s site.

Warning, site is NSFWWDRJ (not suitable for web-users who don’t read Japanese).

Hump Day Snack: Baguette Comedy

Sasheer Zamata from Cooking Channel’s web-original comedy series Fodder
The Tumblr Baguette-me-nots makes a strong case for long, narrow loaves of French bread supplanting the banana peel and pie tin of whipped cream as the most utilized food-based comedic tool. Jam it here.

Cookbook Giveaway: The Little Paris Kitchen

Rachel Khoo

The Little Paris Kitchen CoverRachel Khoo, the British host of Little Paris Kitchen on Cooking Channel (Saturdays at 2:30pm ET), thinks French cooking gets an unwarranted bad name. The inner circle of food culture has embraced fanciful molecular gastronomy, uber locavorism and other various food fads, while French cooking has been associated with ornery, tall toque-adorned chefs dousing incredibly intricate recipes with butter. Rachel Khoo is out to prove that you don’t need formal Le Cordon Bleu training (though she has it) to prepare a delicious French meal. She does it every day with a little oven and a two ring gas stove in her tiny Parisian flat that she had converted into the city’s smallest restaurant.

Rachel’s new cookbook, The Little Paris Kitchen, contains 120 simple but classic French recipes. It covers the mainstays you’d expect — Bouillabaisse and Mousse aux chocolat — but also has stories about her own twists on recipes and her life in Paris.

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Hump Day Snack: This Woman Will Only Eat and Drink at Starbucks All Year

This woman named Beautiful Existence (her real name according to her website) has challenged herself to eat and drink only at Starbucks in 2013. Why would someone subject themselves to such a project, you might ask? It could be an unyielding hankering for mediocre coffee and baked goods. It could be a desire to guest on morning talk shows. It could be because she loves the question “why?” (The answer, according to Beautiful Existence, is the latter). Ostensibly she’s already shed five pounds during her initial fortnight. You can follow her updates on 1 Woman, 1 Year, 1 Challenge.

By the way, if you’re interested in losing five pounds with more flavor and less gimmick, be sure to tune in to Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping this Saturday, January 19, at 10:30am ET on Cooking Channel.

Not By Bread Alone: Experience Eating in Total Darkness

Diners happily exchange  banknotes aplenty to eat at any of Danny Meyer’s celebrated restaurants that serve up complete packages of deliciousness and presentation. But from January 16 to to February 3, he’s providing a menu at a New York restaurant where presentation is given a new light — by way of no light at all.  As part of the theatrical show called Not Bread Alone, the pop-up restaurant BlackOut will have blind waiters serving dinner in complete darkness (no light-emitting devices allowed).

Not Bread Alone is put together by an Israeli deaf-blind theatre company. Eleven deaf-blind actors will bake bread on stage at New York University’s Skirball Center while sharing memories and dreams with the audience.

Special ticket packages include seats at the show and a three- or four-course menu at the restaurant. You can get more information on both on the Skirball’s website.