When Eating Becomes An Adventure

By now we've all seen, or at least heard about, that episode of No Reservations where Anthony Bourdain eats the still beating cobra heart just seconds after it is removed, but most of us don't strive to ever try it ourselves. The same cannot be said of The Gastronauts, a group ofadventurous eaters in New York. The group was started about four years ago by a couple of friends who were interested in unusual foods from different cultures and has since expanded to around 475 members. Once a month, a group of Gastronauts, ranging in size from 30 to 90 members, gathers together for dinner. Sometimes meals are based on foods from a specific location, such as Malaysia or Mexico, while others are based on a theme such as their Walking Tapas dinner which featured delights such as grasshopper, ostrich and various chicken parts. Other meals are often just plain horrifying, such as one that featured freshly killed octopus tentacles eaten while still squirming (word has it that the tentacles sometimes suction themselves to your tongue as you try to eat them.)

Put simply, The Gastronauts are a like-minded group of folks who are interested in fun and adventure, with a whole lot of shock value thrown in and based on their tremendous following, it appears that there are quite a few extremely adventurous eaters out there.

For ideas on how to expand your own culinary horizons check out an episode of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel or have a look at this blog post called The Weird Things That People Eat Around The World.

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            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
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            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
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            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
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            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
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            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
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            • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
            • Teaches hands-on culinary training in French, Asian, Mediterranean, Latin and American cooking, along with professional baking and pastry techniques.
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            • Offers an Italian Culinary Arts program where students get to externship in Italy.
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