Field Trip | Finding a Niche at Madhouse Brewing Co.

“It sure is a madhouse in here today, isn’t it?” I wryly remarked while purchasing a few bottles of Carpe Diem, a barrel-aged imperial stout brewed with coffee and bourbon-barrel aged maple syrup. The bartender wasn’t impressed. “Yeah it is, and that’s the first time I’ve heard that today […]

7 Reasons Why The 2017 IRA Culinary Affair Was One of the Best

Every year, the Iowa Restaurant Association puts on what they call a Culinary Affair. It’s an outstanding night of wine, food, and conversations. On this night, a number of the top chefs in Des Moines prepare dishes for a 7 course dinner + wine pairings. Here are 7 […]

Firkin Fest and Beyond

It happens every year. Winter drags along, cold and miserable, no end in sight. But then just as the calendar turns from February to March, it hits: those first glorious days of sixty-degree weather. That first taste of spring when the office mysteriously empties at 3:00PM and every […]

Bubba’s Happy Hour: Monday’s Whiskey and Wings

One thing that can’t be easily surpassed- a high quality happy hour. Having sniffed out the area’s greatest offerings I’m excited to announce I’ve found a hard to beat contender.  Yeah, there are wing nights all over town but where else can you get delicious homemade wings, and classy […]

16 Soothing Soups In Des Moines

Soups can be enjoyed really any time of the year but there is no better time to enjoy a warm soup during the cold winter months in Iowa. If you’re brave enough to overcome the wind and snow and visit a local restaurant you’ll be glad that you […]

Field Trip | Court Avenue Brewing Company

  In 1996 I was middle –school aged kid refusing to do homework and jamming to Odelay by Beck on my new stereo CD-player. In 1996, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won 72 games on route to the first championship of their famed second three-peat. In 1996, […]

Cooking Channel’s Cheap Eats Seasons 2 Stops In Des Moines 3

  With only 12 hours and $35 in his pocket, food blogger Ali Khan continues his search for the best Cheap Eats for breakfast, lunch, a snack, and dinner in cities across the county. While on the quest to find the best deals for the best meals, Ali […]

I-Best: A Beer Festival for Brewers

Even though there was action and excitement around me, I could draw a straight line down the middle of it all. Or at least, walk a straight line down the middle of an empty hallway. On one side, dozens of brewers poured over microscopes intensely absorbed on determining healthy […]

Honey Creek Resort Dining

This is my third year of judging for this event. Chef Robert Anderson and I are the main judges. It is a privilege to get to work with him, the IRA staff, and members from both the Soy and Beef Councils. During the next couple of weeks, leading […]


Vivian’s is the 10th location that I’m judging food at for the 2016 Dine Iowa Grand Tasting Gala event. This is my third year of judging for this event. Chef Robert Anderson and I are the main judges. It is a privilege to get to work with him, […]