Jan. 26th, 2011, StarNews: “Fan of local eatery launches Man v Food bid”
It’s no secret that locally owned restaurants depend on their loyal regulars to keep the doors open. And Wilmington’s fortunate enough to have a slew of restaurants worth getting behind. Of course, the definition of ‘supporting your local business’ has changes some in this internet era, a fact that isn’t lost on the web-savvy crew over at Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen. While they’ve long been regular bloggers, facebookers, youtubers and tweeters (who isn’t these days…) this time they were pleasantly surprised to see one of their customers making online waves on their behalf.
Newly minted regular Jarrad Reynolds found the spot via their Twitter page, and has developed a singular obsession. Tackling their long-standing Large Stack Challenge. Which means downing about 146 pounds of chef Luben’s head-sized pancakes.
But Reynolds has grander plans than just landing his own name on the wall of fame. When Adam Richman of the Travel Channel’s popular Man v. Food show launched an online national casting call, his mission became clear. Bring Richman to town with the aim of tackling the challenge together.
So Reynolds did the only thing that made sense. He cranked out his own video response and submitted it.
And you know what? Richman took note. After a fashion, anyway. Reynolds received supporting comments from the celebrated devourer via Twitter.
Will anything come of it? Who knows. But Wilmington’s certainly no stranger to television, or hosting shows in restaurants either. It’s not unreasonable to think they have something very real to be excited about. And while having a camera crew overthrowing the eatery for a day would certainly present it’s own challenges, co-owner Kristen Lubben is stoked about the possibility.
“The crew and I would be thrilled about hosting a televised challenge! We are all so proud of our little restaurant and the huge loyal customer base that we have. When they choose to do things such as Jarrad has done, it is truly humbling,” she says.
Nov. 18th, 2010, StarNews: “A little out-of-this-world touch defines down-to-earth dining at Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen”
Hungry Wilmingtonians are always looking for a stellar meal. If classic tastes with a little stardust flair are what launch your taste buds into orbit, check out the culinary offerings of Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen. Their celestial menu pairs far-out specials with down-home favorites and is sure to satisfy even the most galactic appetite.
In three years, Chris Lubben, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and his tech-savvy wife have carved out quite a chunk of the cosmos to establish their rather fantastic Eastwood Road location. Whether it’s their sumptuous shrimp bisque, succulent homemade cheesecakes, house-roasted prime rib, or any number of their jazzed up spins on classic fare – the folks behind this funky restaurant are putting out some of the tastiest food in town… (click link to read article in its entirety)
Oct. 25, 2010, StarNews: “Budget Bites – Time-sensitive deals at area eateries”
You’ve got four days to take advantage of an out-of-this-world deal from Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen, 420 Eastwood Road. To celebrate its third anniversary this week, the restaurant has slashed prices on the Classic Burger by nearly 56 percent Tuesday through Friday.
That means you get an 8-ounce hand-pattied burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion with fries for $3 instead of the usual $6.79, a deal that takes prices back way before 2007 when CCK opened. Coincidentally, the amount you save is almost exactly the cost of a slice of the eatery’s handmade cheesecake.
So this week money is no excuse for eating fast food. Slow down and let chef/owner Chris Lubben, a 1995 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, feed you for less than what you’d pay at the drive-through window. The burgers are available from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. all four days.
On the Web: cosmickitchenonline.com
Oct. 14, 2010, StarNews: “Port City Foodies: Celebrate National Dessert Day”
Best cheesecake: Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen. Any flavor. Enough said.
Oct. 6, 2010, StarNews: “Port City Foodies: Local eateries embrace the internet”
But at least one other, namely Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen, is giving a peek behind the curtains. It’s nothing fancy, which is what I think has caught my attention. We get to watch as chef Chris Lubben (pronounced Loo-bin as I learned from this video) does everyday tasks like chopping potatoes or making an omelette.
While the web is full of how-to videos and behind the scenes interviews for hundreds of restaurants and cheffy types, there’s something satisfying about seeing a pair of local hands making a meal that I can sit down and eat.
Sept. 27, 2010, StarNews: “Budget Bites – Where to go when a hangover’s got you feeling low”
Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen
The whole hangover discussion was promoted by someone tweeting from Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen, 420 Eastwood Road, about the food’s healing properties for such situations. Others agree as it, too, came up multiple times on Facebook. It’s open until 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday, and you can get breakfast anytime, including sandwiches for less than $4 and three huge pancakes for $4.95 or five for $5.95. There are also several omelets for about $7. Join the CCK Club to get monthly savings in your e-mail inbox, too.
July 20, 2010, StarNews: “Budget Bites – Facebook users share favorite Wilmington restaurant deals“
Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen
Fellow Foodies writer Paul Stephen said his wife is a big fan of the Cobb Salad at Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen, 420 Eastwood Road. It’s a house lettuce mix with grilled chicken, tomatoes, red onions, green peppers, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs and bleu cheese crumbles for $7.29.
“It’s a salad but also a proper meal with the ton of chicken and egg he (chef/owner Chris Lubben) tosses on there, especially if you get a slice or two of toast along with it,” he said.
June 2010, Encore Magazine: “Meet Chris and Kristin Lubben of Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen“
e: Why did you decide to pursue an independent business in Wilmington, NC, and why in your chosen profession?
KL: After being in the restaurant business for over 20 years, from fast food to fine dining, we naturally wanted a place we could call our own. It had always been a dream of ours to open up our own restaurant. My parents, who were also restaurant owners, had been in the area since the late ‘80’s. After several years of working and opening high end restaurants up and down the East Coast, we decided to move closer to family. Once Chris saw Wilmington, and the surrounding areas, he was hooked! Several years after living here, a twist of fate had us more seriously considering taking the leap of faith required to open up your own business… and the rest is history!
May 3, 2010, StarNews: “Local restaurant’s Twitter contest has gracious responses“
Kristin Lubben, of Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen on Eastwood Road, caught on to the benefits of using social media to promote the restaurant early in the game. Her husband is the chef there, and Kristin manages the marketing and promotion for the restaurant, largely through Twitter, Facebook and now her blog.
After reflecting on what the restaurant has meant to her and her husband (Chris Lubben), Kristin decided to launch a Twitter contest and treat one lucky winner to lunch for two. “I asked all my Twitter followers to complete this sentence, “I love Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen because…,” Kristin said on her most recent blog post. Kristin said her responses were overwhelming.
April 20, 2010, StarNews: “Restaurant training helps put former inmates on new path“
March 18, 2010, StarNews: “Kitchen Saboteurs – Win the battle against dry chicken“
At Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen restaurant in Wilmington, chef Chris Lubben cooks chicken breasts various ways. Whether it’s grilled for a chicken Philly sandwich or dolled up in chicken Marsala, the meat is delectable. So why is it so hard for the rest of us?
Overcooking is the big mistake, Lubben said.
“I think it’s from the fear of eating undercooked chicken,” he said, noting that consuming raw chicken can result in food poisoning. “And that’s been pounded into us as far back as I can remember.”
January 11, 2010, StarNews: “Budget Bites – Restaurant email lists offer significant discounts“
Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen
Located at 420 Eastwood Road, Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen has been around for more than two years, but its CCK Club is brand-new. The owners are kicking off 2010 by starting a mailing list full of e-mail-only deals for those who sign up… Members of the club will receive an e-mail on the second Tuesday of every month with a rundown of what’s new, including offers such as buy one, get one 50 percent off on entrees, free beverages, free upgrade to shrimp bisque as a side and $7 off whole cheesecakes.
November 9, 2009, StarNews: “Budget Bites – cool weather means comforting soup“
Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen, 420 Eastwood Road, has just one soup on the menu, but it’s a really good one. The thick, creamy Shrimp Bisque is $3.75 for a cup, $5.75 for a bowl or $10.75 for a quart. Get it as a side with a sandwich for $1.50 extra.
Television – March 30, 2010, Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen was featured on WECT News in Wilmington, NC: “Cosmic Kitchen uses social media to attract customers“
We hope you’ll click on these links to find out more about Chris’ Cosmic Kitchen, as well as other local businesses and media outlets. A huge thanks goes out to the StarNews and encore Magazine for all their support of our locally owned & operated restaurant! – Kristin