Bread & Circuses

In the first century A.D., the satirist Juvenal stood in the rubble of the Roman republic and lamented, "The people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things--bread and circuses." Well, what's so bad about that? We're pretty high on the circus situation (love those tiny horses!), and the bread front's looking good too: The land of Wonder is overflowing with focaccias and ciabattas and olive loaves. The home of American cheese now regularly yields up Parmigiano-Reggiano, not to mention cow and buffalo mozzarella. Our flour is hand-milled. Our pork is pedigreed. And we can finally indulge our taste for Kopi Luwak coffee and argan oil (each derived from something that has passed through an animal--an Indonesian civet and a Moroccan goat, respectively). In other words, it doesn't get any better than this. So enough whining about the state of the union. Grab a bag of blue heirloom potato chips, pour yourself a Trappist ale, and let's take a look at our biggest, most inventive industry: the business of staying fat and happy.

Homaru Cantu: Edison of the Edible
Homaro Cantu's odd brand of humor, technology, shock value, and flavor has turned the fine-dining experience on its head. Now this 29-year-old reformed pyromaniac is trying to redefine the nature of food--and, oh yeah, end world hunger.
The Cult of the Cocktail
The cult of the cocktail runs amok.
Feeding the Stars--and Their Fans
Levy Restaurants knows how to feed a crowd--with discipline, a helping of creativity, and, as needed, a dash of resilience. Plus the occasional lasagna.
Oenophile in a Strange Land
Disneyland, that is. How one man made the Mouse love Médoc (by making it pay).
Can We Really Go Organic?
Imagine that you could wave a wand--and make all our food organic.
Reinventing the Kiwi
New Zealand reinvented its fuzzy national fruit and rebuilt a franchise.
Tech for Toques
Rain or shine, Damian Mogavero's Slingshot brings left-brain discipline to a right-brain world.
Java Man: At the Center of a $19 Billion Industry
As one of only 48 certified coffee graders in the country, Ed Faubert sits at the center of a $19 billion industry.

Changing the Way We Eat

America's Most Innovative Chefs