Dispatches From The Seven Kingdoms: A Dispatch From Hollywood

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By Bryan Cogman

"Later came sweetbreads and pigeon pie and baked apples fragrant with cinnamon and lemon cakes frosted in sugar, but by then Sansa was so stuffed that she could not manage more than two little lemon cakes, as much as she loved them."  -A Game of Thrones

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HOLLYWOOD, CA - Hello friends. It's been a while. I believe my last dispatch was from Malta?!  Forgive me, faithful readers.  I was pulled in about a thousand directions once I was back in Belfast what with shooting the final episodes while simultaneously beginning post production work.  And the last month of production proved most challenging - we were hit with some harsh December weather - the worst in Belfast since 1982.  Apparently the Gods failed to remember the tagline of our show is "Winter is ComING."  

Thankfully, between the Maester's Path, the "Artisan" and "House" videos, and the first several scenes of the series premiere previewing the weekend before last, I'm confident you've had plenty to keep you occupied. And last week I had the distinct pleasure of indulging in HBO's latest "Thrones"-related promotion when I dropped by the Game of Thrones Food Truck, with delectable dishes created exclusively for GOT fans by world-class chef Tom Colicchio.

CRAFT is one of my favorite restaurants (haven't had the chance to try Colicchio & Sons, but am dying to when I'm in NYC next) so, naturally, I was thrilled when I was informed he was creating dishes based on various regions in Westeros and across the Narrow Sea.

My wife Mandy and I sampled both dishes, inspired by the capital of Westeros, King's Landing. The first was a succulent roast rabbit dish with lemon and these crazy-good stewed pistachios.  The second (and my favorite) was a delicious crispy trout served with an incredible almond butter mostarda... oh MAN! So good.

Lemon cakes for dessert. Unlike Sansa Stark, I am not so easily stuffed and would have been able to eat a whole lot more than two if given the opportunity. Another highlight of our visit was I had the chance to meet and chat with a few fans of the books (and hopefully) the show.  Great to see such a large turnout.

Quick update about what I've been up to since I've been back in the states.  I've been keeping busy since we wrapped working with the HBO Home Entertainment people on some exciting special features for the show's Season One Bluray.  Otherwise, I'm eagerly awaiting the show's premiere on April 17th. Thanks again, to you all, for your enthusiastic support of the show.  

Until, next time, friends,

Ours is the Fury!

Reviews Are in for the Game of Thrones Food Truck

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By Steve Marzolf

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Game of Thrones Food Trucks

Union Square West (bet. 14th and 15th streets)

Game of Thrones fans waiting for Tom Colicchio's Taste of Westeros may find the 300-person line to be "a little intimidating," but Union Square's "ambiance of skateboards and farmer's markets" makes for a comfortable backdrop versus a busy intersection like Times Square, which "would be insane."  First-time rabbit eaters find the tender meat to be "gamey in an awesome way" and say it "tastes like chicken."  The stewed pistachios are a big hit among diners who "don't know what these green things are but keep eating them."  Itinerant foodies express "faith in Tom Colicchio" and note his wooden plates to be "a cool touch."  The trout with almond butter is served hot even if the customers' "toes are frozen," and the famous lemoncakes are "filled with ooey-gooey goodness" and "not overpoweringly lemony."  Overall, line-standers agree that "it's all worth the wait."

Thrones Food Trucks Take Manhattan

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By Steve Marzolf

Today kicks off a weeklong taste test of Westerosi cuisine in New York City (and then next week in L.A.) as the latest step in the Maester's Path.  Chef Tom Colicchio, who concocted all the regional dishes, talks about his work in this video:

 

For anyone planning to pin down the trucks in Manhattan, the full menu lineup below should help you prioritize your efforts.  And if you turn out today to enjoy a bit of roasted trout with almond butter citrus mostarda, keep an eye out for the MGOT crew - we'll be there to hear your culinary reviews.

New York City Food Truck Menus:
Monday, March 28
Tuesday, March 29
Wednesday, March 30
Thursday, March 31
Friday, April 1

A Taste of Westeros Coming to a City Near You

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By Steve Marzolf

It takes some serious talent to transform the gruel served at Castle Black into a tasty delicacy, and lucky for Thrones fans, chef Tom Colicchio has the goods.  His take on Westerosi cooking will hit the streets next week, when the Game of Thrones food truck begins serving five different regional dishes, including cuisine from King's Landing, Winterfell and the Wall.

For five days the week of March 28 in New York and again the week of April 4 in Los Angeles, the food trucks will give out free meals from one region each day.  But the supply is limited to just 300 servings per day – so first come, first served!

Here's how it will work: Each morning, a video of the day's dishes will be posted on both Facebook and Twitter, along with a hint to the general time and neighborhood that the food trucks will appear later that day.  Once the trucks have parked, another update will be posted with their precise locations.

Making Game of Thrones will be posting complete menus of the week's fare on Monday, so check back for the details.  In the meantime, Tom Colicchio's recipe for lemon cakes ought to tide you over for the weekend.

 

The Night's Watch Seeks Fresh Recruits

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By Steve Marzolf

The latest stop on the sense-driven Maester's Path gives fans a chance to virtually explore the top of the Wall.  Jason Denzel of Dragonmount.com posted a walk through (containing spoilers) of his own morning spent the guarding the North.  "I had missed breakfast, so I was sorta hoping this week would be the one where they do the 'taste' sense," he wrote.  "My hungry tummy eagerly looked forward to a box of direwolf cookies from the HBO marketing team.  Alas, no such thing arrived.  Instead, a new path was opened up on the Maester's Path website, revealing an interactive browser experience focused on observation."  Go and explore the Wall for yourself.

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The Inn at the Crossroads Reveals Its Secrets

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By Steve Marzolf

This week the Maester's Path has led to the Inn at the Crossroads, where eavesdropping on a spatial audio experience will open up a new reward for Game of Thrones fans.  The commenters over at Winter-Is-Coming worked together to solve the latest puzzle, and Westeros.org has posted a few hints in case anyone needs help getting started (trying to firm up that top spot on the Novice leader boards, eh Elio?)  It's no surprise to find the Citadel's top evangelists include Thrones fans like Winter and Televisionary, but there's still plenty of time for enterprising young maesters to claw their way to the top.

Scents of Westeros Land on Real-World Doorsteps

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Some lucky Game of Thrones fans around the world are cracking open their Westerosi alchemy kits, each of which contains a collection of scent vials tied to various locations in the GOT world.  Blogger Violet Blue shot a video of the package that arrived for her.

The webmaster of GOT fan site Westeros.org, Elio Garcia, shared a few of his thoughts with "Making Game of Thrones" after he examined the contents of the box.  "The scents were... very interesting," he says.

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"Some are really quite beautiful, and others are unique (the crypt really does smell a bit like an underground cellar, perhaps with some mildew). Mixed together, the proportions really matter in layering the scents - and it really does layer, one might dominate and you detect the others underneath.  It's hard to describe, but it's quite cool.  I can't say we've found any other clues... but I admit, we'd been looking for them, just in case there was some hidden message.  (We've even examined the box to make sure there were no secret compartments!)"

After taking stock of the different scent vials in his box, the editor of Winter is Coming had this to report: "I would say the best smell in my box was the Godswood and the worst was definitely the Khal's Herd.  I didn't notice anything unusual, but I'm curious to inspect everything again and see if there is something I'm missing..."  He's been firing out images via Twitter and also posted a hi-res gallery of his box and all its contents, including detail shots of the scrollwork, over at Winter Is Coming.