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Last CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.  

Culinary Fight Club

If you’re a fan of cooking competition shows on TV, you should check to see if a real-life Culinary Fight Club is headed your way. I dearly love a good episode of Top Chef or Chopped (or a Great British Bake Off), so I greatly enjoyed my visit to the Culinary Fight Club in Chicago this past Monday. Just like on TV, a few chefs attack a pantry full of ingredients and then have an hour to prepare the perfect dish to be evaluated by some professional judges. In this case, a chilly crowd headed out on a super-snowy Chicago night to see the chefs prepare some chili, which was perfect. It was a valuable opportunity to view things like knife skills and sautéing techniques up close, and we all got samples while the judges made their tough decision. Plus the proceeds from ticket sales go toward the nonprofit Fight2Feed, which helps fed homeless people, so win-win all around, really. [Gwen Ihnat]


SpaceX Falcon Heavy

Yesterday’s launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy was mesmerizing to watch, even for those of us who understand very little about space travel. Maybe that’s why I’m so entranced; the idea that humans blast objects—and ourselves—into the universe fills me with a sense of shared humanity that’s at once disquieting and comforting. I’ll let the late astronaut Edgar Mitchell sum up my feelings: “You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’” [Kate Bernot]

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2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony

The Olympics are back this Friday! Ten years ago, I was lucky enough to cover the Summer Olympics in Beijing as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, and that Opening Ceremony will forever be remembered as an over-the-top spectacle. But my favorite iteration happened four years later in London, an English-at-the-core presentation directed by Danny Boyle with whimsy, theatrics, and soul. [Kevin Pang]

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