Food Paradise: Cheese Paradise Pictures

From Cleveland's colossal triple-decker grilled cheese sandwich, to a luscious lobster-stuffed mac and cheese in New York, we’re serving up mounds of ooey-gooey, cheesy goodness.

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A cameraman films Andrew Zimmern near the Chicago River. On this trip to the Windy City, Andrew discovers some of the best food in the world. 960 1280

  

Andrew visits George's Kabab Grill in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood. Andrew eats pacha, an Iraqi stew made with lamb-stomach dumplings, lamb trotters, stewed head and dried mint. 960 1280

  

A butcher prepares several hogs each day to stock the deli counter at Gene's Sausage on Belmont Avenue. 960 1280

  

Andrew stops at Rick Bayless' XOCO, a quick-service restaurant inspired by the Mexican street-food scene. 960 1280

  

Ruby's Fast Food has a variety of tasty Filipino delicacies on their menu. 960 1280

  

Take a look at Franks 'N' Dawgs' tur-dawgen, a turkey and date sausage topped with crispy duck confit, herb garlic aioli, house-pickled onion relish and pickled carrot. 960 1280

  

At George's Kabab Grill, Masma Jajou shows Andrew how to make lamb-stomach dumplings, a key ingredient in pacha. 960 1280

  

This boiled pig head is made into head cheese at Chicago's Mado Restaurant. 960 1280

  

Andrew samples this delicious cheddar risotto bratwurst with beer-braised onions and cheese snack crackers. 960 1280

  

Take a look at Alinea Restaurant's famous sardine antenna made with country bread, yellow tomato, sardine poached in olive oil and aromatics, horseradish, red chili flakes, fried caper, and arugula flower. 960 1280

  

Andrew and Rick Bayless try mango chili and guava ice cream at Maxwell Street Market. 960 1280

  

Graham Elliot's foielipops are made with foie mousse, fleur de sel and strawberry pop rocks. 960 1280

  

The Bizarre Foods production crew films at Graham Elliot's restaurant, where having fun while creating whimsical dishes is required. 960 1280

  

Visit Alinea Restaurant to pick up this unique dish. It's English pea paired with iberico ham, burrata cheese, honeydew melon and sherry wine. 960 1280

  

Be sure to try the stewed goat at XOCO in Chicago. 960 1280

  

Photos

Crosstown Pub & Grill’s hot sauce

Crosstown Pub & Grill’s hot sauce

In Naperville, IL, Crosstown Pub & Grill’s hot sauce ("Devil's Sweat") uses 3 types of ghost peppers. 960 1280

  

Dried cayenne pepper

Dried cayenne pepper

Dried cayenne pepper is a popular spice used to add “heat” to dishes. It is most commonly used in powder form. 960 1280

  

Li’l Dizzy’s owner Wayne Baquet

Li’l Dizzy’s owner Wayne Baquet

New Orleans Li’l Dizzy’s owner Wayne Baquet, serves up his signature dish: the spicy jambalaya omelette. 960 1280

  

habanero chili pepper

habanero chili pepper

The habanero chili pepper is considered exceptionally hot -- hotter than the popular jalapeno pepper, according to the Scoville heat unit scale. Unripe peppers are green and turn orange or red as they ripen. 960 1280

  

Li'l Dizzy's Café

Li'l Dizzy's Café

Li'l Dizzy's Café in the Treme section of New Orleans, serves up some of the hottest Creole cuisine in the Big Easy. 960 1280

  

hot peppers

hot peppers

In 1912, Wilbur L. Scoville invented a technique to measure the pungency of a pepper. The scale ranges from 0 Scoville units for a bell pepper, to over 1,000,000 units for the super hot Bhut Jolokia. 960 1280

  

chicken wings

chicken wings

In addition to the XXX hot wings, Chicago’s Jake Melnick’s is also known for its 2011 Wing Fest champion Firecracker Wing and their “Best in Show,” the wood-fired Pancho wings. 960 1280

  

Tolbert's Restaurant outside Dallas serves up traditional Texas fare, including Paris (Texas) Fried Catfish. 960 1280

Fried Catfish  

Brick Lane Curry House

Brick Lane Curry House

In New York’s East Village, on East 6th Street (also known as Old Indian Row), a giant red pepper hangs ominously over the door to the Brick Lane Curry House as a warning to diners: Enter at Your Own Risk. 960 1280

  

vindaloo (Indian curry made with meat or fish)

vindaloo (Indian curry made with meat or fish)

As the mecca for all things curry, Brick Lane is known for preparing some of the hottest vindaloo (Indian curry made with meat or fish) west of the Ganges. 960 1280

  

indian food

indian food

Courageous customers of Brick Lane are welcome to its blistering buffet of spicy Indian offerings. 960 1280

  

Phaal

Phaal

A sampling of Brick Lane’s hot curry dish called Phaal. 960 1280

  

Tucked underneath a parking structure in downtown Chicago is a hot wings haven called Jake's Melnick's Corner Tap. 960 1280

  

Chef Tui’s Dynamite Spicy Challenge

Chef Tui’s Dynamite Spicy Challenge

At LA’s Jitlada, the “Chef Tui’s Dynamite Spicy Challenge” consists of chicken, Thai eggplant, red bell pepper, whole baby peppercorns and sliced Thai chilies all doused in a pungent, chili-curry sauce. 960 1280

  

Jake Melnick's Corner Tap

Jake Melnick's Corner Tap

Jake's offers an impressive beer selection and great food, but everyone comes for the wings. 960 1280

  

fresh ground chili powder and house-made Sriracha

fresh ground chili powder and house-made Sriracha

Jitlada's Chef Tui uses fresh ground chili powder and house-made Sriracha -- a sauce made of pureed fresh chili and garlic -- to spice up their Thai dishes. 960 1280

  

Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago

Head to Chicago for the world’s largest food festival. Now in its 33rd year, the 5-day festival attracts more than 2 million visitors each year. Highlighted foods include Chicago-style pizza, the famed Eli’s Cheesecake, plus various regional foods. The annual event is held in July. 960 1280

star5112, flickr  

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Over 6 weeks, this annual fall festival at Epcot Theme Park showcases food and wine specialties from 25 countries. Explore international kiosks, cooking demonstrations, mixology classes and wine tastings, as well as live musical performances. 960 1280

Disney  

Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

Held in September, the annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival was founded by 2 of Hawaii’s James Beard Award-winning chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong. The 4-day festival also features a lineup of more than 50 leading chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers. 960 1280

Hawaii Food & Wine Festival   

Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival

Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival

August 2012 marks the second-annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival. The 4-day event will build on the success of last year’s lineup, which showcased more than 30 different restaurants and 200 vineyards. 960 1280

Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival  

New Orleans Wine & Food Festival

New Orleans Wine & Food Festival

In May the New Orleans Wine & Food Festival celebrates its 20th year -- all for a good cause. In its 2 decades, the festival has raised more than $1 million for nonprofit organizations based in New Orleans (like the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans), while attracting an impressive roster of local food and chefs, as well as national and international wines. 960 1280

New Orleans Food & Wine Festival  

Taste of Vail

Taste of Vail

Every spring the annual Taste of Vail attracts more than 30 of the finest local chefs. The festival also attracts owners and winemakers from nearly 50 of the country’s top wineries. 960 1280

Nevada Furrow  

Charleston Wine & Food Festival

Charleston Wine & Food Festival

Every March, the Charleston Wine & Food Festival attracts nearly 20,000 food and wine aficionados from around the country. The 4-day event most recently featured the best in wine, barbecue and tacos, using Lowcountry ingredients. 960 1280

Andrew Stephen Cebulka  

South Beach Wine & Food Festival

South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Heading into its 12th year, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival benefits Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management Teaching Restaurant and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center. In 2012, more than 60,000 guests attended the event, raising approximately $2 million for the university. The festival is next slated for February 2013. 960 1280

Billy Farrell Agency NYC  

Key West Food & Wine Festival

Key West Food & Wine Festival

This annual 4-day festival, held in January, turns up the heat in Key West. Celebrate Key West’s rich food and drink heritage with walk-around tastings at sunset, along with education wine and food seminars led by local talent. 960 1280

Key West Food & Wine Festival   

Portland Eat Mobile Festival

Portland Eat Mobile Festival

Portland has more than 400 food carts, making it a top destination for mobile eats. Every April the city’s best street food takes center stage at the Portland Eat Mobile Festival. Attendees also enjoy food demonstrations and discussions on ways to incorporate green-friendly practices into their daily lives. 960 1280

Jenna Haar  

NYC Wine & Food Festival

NYC Wine & Food Festival

Eat, drink, end hunger -- that’s the mission of the NYC Wine & Food Festival. In the past, this annual fall festival has attracted more than 50,000 attendees and 200 celebrity chefs and culinary personalities. In all, 100% of the festivals net proceeds benefit the NYC Food Bank and Share Our Strength, a nonprofit committed to end child hunger. 960 1280

Alexander Porter/BFAnyc.com  

Austin Food & Wine Festival

Austin Food & Wine Festival

Every April the "live music capital of the world” plays host to the 2-day Austin Food & Wine Festival. Among the highlights: 35 cooking demos, plus wine and cocktail seminars. In between, grab a complimentary drink at the VIP Lounge. Then sample the best in local and regional restaurants at the H-E-B Grand Tasting Pavilion. 960 1280

Austin Food & Wine Festival  

Aspen Food & Wine Classic

Aspen Food & Wine Classic

In June the Aspen Food & Wine Classic celebrates its 30th anniversary as one of America's top culinary events. The 3-day event showcases cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and panel talks by leading wine and culinary experts. 960 1280

foodandwine.com  

Camp Washington Chili, Cincinnati, Ohio

Camp Washington Chili, Cincinnati, Ohio

At Camp Washington, skeptics convert to believers with their first bite of freshly made chili-covered spaghetti. 960 1280

  

Chili Addiction, Los Angeles, California

Chili Addiction, Los Angeles, California

Chili isn't just limited to the bowl at Chili Addiction; it's also a great topper to burgers, hot dogs and fries. 960 1280

  

Joe Rodgers' Chili Den, Sprinfield, Illinois

Joe Rodgers' Chili Den, Sprinfield, Illinois

You can chow down on a chili-topped hot dog at Joe Rodgers’ Chili Den in Springfield, IL. 960 1280

  

Slim's Last Chance, Seattle, Washington

Slim's Last Chance, Seattle, Washington

In Seattle, the grunge capital of the world, you’ll know you’ve found paradise when you spot the Slim's Last Chance blue neon sign that reads “Cold Beer… Booze… Hot Chili.” 960 1280

  

Phoenix Saloon, New Braunfels, Texas

Phoenix Saloon, New Braunfels, Texas

To make sure their chili is the spiciest around, the Phoenix Saloon combines a variety of hot peppers into the mix. 960 1280

  

Slim's Last Chance, Seattle, Washington

Slim's Last Chance, Seattle, Washington

Once the turkey and spices are cooked up, the cooks at Slim’s add homemade chicken broth and white beans. Then they let it simmer for an hour and a half – the finished product is a pot of chili gold. 960 1280

  

Slim's Last Chance, Seattle, Washington

Slim's Last Chance, Seattle, Washington

Try “The Works” at Slim’s and a blowtorch will melt cheese over your chili, and then cover it with sweet onions, diced tomatoes, sour cream, tortilla chips, cilantro, chives and a roasted jalapeno. 960 1280

  

Joe Rodgers' Chili Den, Springfield, Illinois

Joe Rodgers' Chili Den, Springfield, Illinois

In 1993, the state legislature officially proclaimed Springfield "the Chili Capital of the Civilized World." If Springfield is the chili capital, then this stop along historic Route 66 is the capitol building - Joe Rogers' “The Den” Chili Parlor. 960 1280

  

Texas Chili Parlor, Austin, TX

Texas Chili Parlor, Austin, TX

During the Capital Challenge, in order to make sure all participants inhale the full 6 1/2 pounds, each portion is put on a scale at Texas Chili Parlor. 960 1280

  

Texas Chili Parlor, Austin, TX

Texas Chili Parlor, Austin, TX

The XXX Chili at Texas Chili Parlor is so hot, it comes with a release limiting the parlor’s liability if your mouth spontaneously combusts. 960 1280

  

White Knight Diner, St. Louis, Missouri

White Knight Diner, St. Louis, Missouri

“The Slinger” may not be haute cuisine, but served with a side of bread, you’re looking at all 4 food groups on a single plate. This is the breakfast … and lunch… of champions. 960 1280

  

Chili Addiction, Los Angeles, California

Chili Addiction, Los Angeles, California

Chili Addiction’s ever-revolving selection of flavors will have you jonesing for your daily fix. 960 1280

  

Phoenix Saloon, New Braunfels, Texas

Phoenix Saloon, New Braunfels, Texas

For those craving something besides a bowlful, the Phoenix Saloon’s take on the chiliburger has the spice stuffed inside rather than slathered on top. 960 1280

  

White Knight Diner, St. Louis, Missouri

White Knight Diner, St. Louis, Missouri

Perched on the banks of the Mississippi in St. Louis, the Gateway to the West is also the gateway to this castle-themed time capsule in the heart of downtown - the White Knight Diner. 960 1280