Friday Faves No. 183

favorite finds from the front lines of food

March 22, 2017 - World Water Day

The NGO WaterAid published their report called Wild Water: The State of the World's Water 2017 and the findings are not great.  "Across the world 663 million people still do not have access to water and the vast majority of them - over half a billion- live in rural areas."  That's right folks. It's time we all step up and do what we can to ensure access to potable water around the globe. (Guardian & WaterAid)

They are not the first but they are the biggest! Escondido, California-based Stone Brewing has stepped up to brew delicious beer out of waste water.  The epic California drought has challenged them to rethink how they use water and explore more ways to be responsible brewers. Want to know the name? Full Circle Pale Ale. After all it is a well known fact that we never own beer we just rent it.  (Grub Street)

The Economist reports that this year the sales of bottled water outpaced sales of soft drinks in America. It turns our that the bottled water market worth $147bn and has been growing 9% annually in recent years. Premium water is not new and it seems like everyone is in the game, but this is downright ridiculous.....You can now but Svalbardi, harvested from Norwegian icebergs that are up to 4,000 years-old for $99 a bottle.  It looks like an expensive vodka but actually gives new meaning to water of life. (Economist)

Farmers in California have had one of the wettest winters on record but that doesn't mean they will be getting 100% of their water allotment.  This coming year these farmers up and down the San Joaquin Valley will get two-thirds of their water allotment from the federal government, 65% to be accurate.  (Sacramento Bee)

And finally - In honor of World Water Day, Waves for Water and Red Bull have released an hour-long documentary recounting Jon Rose's story of how he is becoming the "new face" of social entrepreneurship. This is a great story of how this former professional surfer has been able to provide clean water to over 7 million people around the globe. (GrindTV

Watch it here on Red Bull TV



Friday Faves N. 182

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Special Celebration Edition

I have never heard such an eloquent celebration of the humble cucumber! Thank you, thank you, thank you Macka B for such fine words and delicious respect. 

Next up - a huge congratulations to A Year In Port on the recent James Beard Foundation nomination for the Best Food and Wine Film of 2017.  The other films nominated are The Birth of Sake and The Coffee Man. We are very proud to have been part of the InCA team for all of the Year In...films and have our fingers crossed! 

A Year In Burgundy (on iTunes, Netflix, Amazon & more)

A Year In Champagne (on iTunes, Amazon & more)

A Year In Port (on iTunes)

March 21st we celebrate Persian New Year and the coming of Spring. Time for new beginnings, friendship and a most delicious meal. Thank you to Samin Nosrat for such a fine collection of words in the NY Times: The Verdant Food of Iran Entices at Persian New Year.  (NYTimes)

And finally a personal celebration about a career milestone. This Coming Sunday I will be moderating a panel of chefs at the Seafood Expo North America keynote session.  It is called Delicious & Profitable: Chefs Discuss the Business of Seafood.  I am thrilled to be joined on stage with chefs Rick Moonen, Jeff Black, Ned Bell and Richard Garcia. 

Sing Along Snacks: Fish Stew

In honor of the Seafood Expo North America show taking place from March 19 to 21st in Boston, we have a special snack from one of our favorite chefs- the one and only Jamie Oliver.  It's not like our other snacks in that it is part music video and part recipe video.....and while it is fun and cute, Jamie, don't give up your day job!

Instead of lyrics, here are the ingredients:

Jamie Oliver's Fish Stew

  • 2 cloves garlic , peeled
  • 1 small pinch saffron , optional
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 250 ml low-fat mayonnaise , made with free-range eggs
  • lemon juice
  • 12 mussels , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger
  • 20 clams , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger
  • olive oil
  • 1 small wineglass white wine
  • 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes
  • 2 small fillets of sea bass or bream , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, cut in half
  • 2 small fillets of red mullet or snapper , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, cut in half
  • 2 small fillets of monkfish or other firm white fish , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger
  • 4 langoustines or tiger prawns , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, shell on
  • 2 thick slices crusty bread
  • 1 small handful fennel tops
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil , leaves picked and stalks chopped

Friday Faves No. 181

Our favorite finds from the front lines of food.

What would it take for hipsters to embrace junk food? Would it be as simple as a repackaging exercise? From Nerds to Slim Jims, artist Dan Meth reimagines some of America's favorites. (Bored Panda

In keeping wth the American food theme, the good, the bad, and the popular, social media platform Pinterest gives valuable insights into what people across the country are planning to cook. Food is the largest category on Pinterest, clocking in with over 15 billion pins. And, over the past year there has been a 24% increase of "Pinners" who engage with food. Check out this amazing geographic breakdown of the most popular foods on Pinterest across the country.  From survival bread in Alaska to banana pudding in North Carolina, it's all at your finger tips.(Buisness.Pinterest)

Visionary chef Dan Barber is taking on food waste with a laudable "everything old is new again" approach. (Guardian) 

There is a beef over the definition of "milk".  This question is coming up for debate in congress thanks to the Dairy Pride Act.  If passed, non-dairy "milk" producers would no longer be able to call their dairy alternative soy, almond, flax, cashew, etc. products "milk".   And, yes, this was presented by a senator and representative from Wisconsin and Vermont respectively. (Business Insider)

What is Paella? That's not just a flip question, its incredibly serious and a very difficult question. Enjoy this amazing story about the creation of wikipaella, an effort for paella lovers and chefs to actually define what paella is. It is a "way for a community of rice lovers to preserve a fundamental component of their culinary heritage." (Guardian)


Friday Faves No. 180

Our favorite finds from the front lines of food.


This summer will mark the 10th anniversary of one of the best (not just food) ads of all time. Created by director Juan Cabral, the 2007 idea was not popular but he ultimately prevailed.  "A brand needs to go to the heart and not to the brain. Gorilla is - in those 90 seconds- trying to take you somewhere".   How are you going to celebrate this landmark anniversary? (Guardian)

Algae here, algae there,  algae it's not the latest Dr. Seuss crazy, its what's in your food!  It's already in baking mixes, cookies, milk, non-dairy creamer, vegan eggs, salad dressings, ice cream, smoothies and so on. Are you ready for the algae revolution? (Fast Company)

We heard a lot of support last week across social media channels for "A Day Without immigrants".  One of our absolute fave chefs, Jose Andres,  stepped up to close his restaurants to make this very important point.  But it was not just the top chefs or the mom & pop shops.  CNBC reported that some McDonald's closed for the day in support as well.  (Washington City Paper, CNBC)

What is your favorite ice cream?  Coppa, a retailer in Juneau, Alaska, has their answer - Candied Salmon Ice Cream. Yup....they walked away with the Symphony of Seafood top prize this last week. Other winners included a pool and spa clarifier, a leather clutch,  coho salmon bottarga, salmon chowder, salmon bites (for babies) and Orca Bay's albondigas and jjamppong soups.  What a list!  (SeafoodSource)

It looks like Mexico's sugar tax is starting to have an effect on consumption but the jury is still out on how much impact it might have on obesity. (Guardian

Friday Faves No. 179

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Appetite For Change is a North Minneapolis nonprofit organization that uses food as a tool to build health, wealth and social change. "Grow Food" is the culminating project of Appetite For Change's Summer 2016 Youth Employment & Training Program.

I guess that the tag line of "favorite finds from the front lines of food" could be a bit misleading. Sometimes there are important finds that are not really "favorite" finds. This is one of those cases - it's time we discuss the state of kids here in the USA going hungry. 

This past week the Washington Post ran an article discussing the record breaking numbers of kids benefiting from the school breakfast program that is ultimately in the crosshairs of some conservatives in Congress. (Washington Post) 

Since this is such an important topic, I want to expand on it a bit more. The blog named The Lunch Tray has done a great job outlining the issues surrounding kids who rely on school nutrition programs. and what may happen to those programs under the new administration. Its a good read that anyone in the food business int he US should take a look at. (The Lunch Tray)

And for those out there who want to do something about this, the website We Are Teachers have outlines how to leverage social media to fight against childhood hunger.  remember all of us who work in food know that kids learn better, behave better and are healthier when they have a good breakfast. This is not rocket science, nor is it new information. (We Are Teachers) And major shout out and thanks to Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation & No Kid Hungry / Share our Strength

In other news...

More unintended consequences from recent voting....Looks like the UK fishermen won't be getting their waters back anytime soon. (Guardian)

Sing Along Snacks: Beer

It's SF Beer week y'all! Time to celebrate with one of my favorite groups - People Under The Stairs.  Now, I know they are LA-based....but NorCal represents never the less. 


Now who wants a 40? (We want a 40!)

Who wants a quart? (We want a quart!)

You want a 32? (No!) 

You want a whole keg? (Yeah!)

Sing Along Snacks: Grow Food

It's never too early or too late for a snack, so crank up that volume on your computer.

Major props to the kids at Appetite For Change! They deserve as much green as they can get. 

Appetite For Change is a North Minneapolis nonprofit organization that uses food as a tool to build health, wealth and social change.

"Grow Food" is the culminating project of Appetite For Change's Summer 2016 Youth Employment & Training Program. Urban Youth wanted to share their message - the importance of actively choosing healthy foods - with their peers in a fun, accessible music format. At AFC, we believe that youth are the truth. We hope this song will inspire you to explore new ways to eat, cook and grow food. 

#GrowFood is NOW AVAILABLE on iTunes

Directed By Chancellor Tha Beast in collaboration with Beats & Rhymes.

Learn more about Appetite For Change at:

Friday Faves No.178

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Trials of plastic-free laser labels have begun with sweet potatoes and avocados. Photograph: ICA/Nature & More (Guardian)

Trials of plastic-free laser labels have begun with sweet potatoes and avocados. Photograph: ICA/Nature & More (Guardian)

Swedish supermarkets are now trying the replace those little plastic produce stickers with laser marking.  “By using natural branding on all the organic avocados we would sell in one year we will save 200km (135 miles) of plastic 30cm wide. It's small but I think it adds up," says Peter Hagg, ICA business unit manager (Guardian) 

Yes this is a bit grim....but its a good and necessary read.  A couple of gems from the article: Ans now opening a sit-down restaurant is like walking into one of those machines in roller rinks where you have 30 seconds to grab as much money as you can, except all the money is fake, minus the one lottery ticket taped to the bottom of one of those dollars. (Thrillist)

Love this story about this urban farming project taking over the top of the Israel's oldest mall in Tel Aviv.  They are using hydroponic systems to produce 10,000 heads of leafy greens a month, no dirt required! Besides the grow out area they have bird habitats, a tree nursery, a rooftop apart and a bat cave for native fruit bats to call home. (inhabitat)

Let them eat is a look into the impending inauguration menu. (CNN)


Sing Along Snacks: Peanut Butter Conspiracy

It's never too early or too late for a snack, so crank up that volume on your computer.

For all of those who think we might be revisiting those "hard luck days" in the near future...

Who's gonna steal the peanut butter
I'll get the can of sardines
Runnin' up and down the aisle of the mini mart
Stickin' food in our jeans
We never took more than we could eat
There was plenty left on the rack
We all swore if we ever got rich
We would pay the mini mart back
Yes sir! yes sir!
We would pay the mini mart back

Friday Faves No. 177

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Happy Holidays

Beware the dreaded "slotting fee". Take an insiders look at the "Hidden war for grocery shelf space". Shopping will never be the same! (Vox)

While we are in the grocery store, why not take a look at some innovative research on how to increase the shelf life of produce all WITHOUT gases, wax or other tricky techniques. (New York Times)

Its simple fizz-ics! A new study has found that champagne with bigger bubbles tastes better. It turns out that bubbles measuring 3.4mm across enhance the release of aerosols into the air above the glass. I think I need to do my own research just to make sure! (Guardian)

Here is a great way to round up 2016. Listen to the Munchies podcast - Holiday Martinis with Uncle Tony. Thats right, a little holiday cheer with Anthony Bourdain. (Munchies

Friday Faves No. 176

Our favorite finds from the front lines of food

What started it all.....The Slapfish Lobsticle

What started it all.....The Slapfish Lobsticle

Data is not delicious in and of itself. However, the clever folks over at Google New Lab and Truth & Beauty have created a very interesting view of Google search trends of popular foods. It is called the Rhythm of Food. They have taken the search terms and applied them to a annual clock map to show when people are looking for particular foods. Some of the results are surprising while others just confirm what we already know. Yes, it is confirmed, NOBODY cares about pumpkin spice outside of November and December. (Rhythm of Food)

Disturbing news about one of our favorite subjects — seaweed. In this case, carrageenan. In the story called Carrageenan Backlash, a committee that proposes rules for the organic food industry just voted to ban it from organic products. They site reports of intestinal problems etc, but no laboratory has every been able to reproduce these effects.  Here is to hoping that seaweed as a category is not being maligned. There is a lot of potential here and we need to support more seaweed cultivation. (NPR: The Salt

More in seaweed news, scientists are supporting the idea that adding seaweed to cow diets will help reduce the amount of methane they produce! (Inhabitat)

The Forbes "Supermarket Guru" Phil Lempert just came out with his 2017 trend list. The #1 trend, Silicon Valley & Food. There are estimates that over $1 billion dollars have been invested in food start-ups and food projects alone in 2016. Also on the list, enhanced foods and the decline of the traditional grocery store. (Forbes)

Congrats to one of our favorite seafood chefs, Andrew Gruel, founder of Slapfish. He is taking his successful concept to South Korea.  When will we get a Slapfish in  the San Francisco Bay Area? (SeafoodSource)

And last but not least — Looking for a couple of last minute gifts for the foodies in your life? If so, check out the latest book by Sarah Lohman, on the 'Eight Flavors' of American modern culture: black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG and, yes it had to be, Sriracha. (WBUR- Boston)


Sing Along Snacks: Fruitcake

It's never too early or too late for a snack, so crank up that volume on your computer.


The holidays are here and if you haven't made your fruitcake yet it might be too late. But don't worry, here is a catchy little B-52's inspired ode to those rum-soaked, fruit studded doorstops known as FRUITCAKE!

Happy Holidays

They are all nuts,
Citrus peel, lots of stuff,
Add what you feel!
Sticks of butter, cinnamon,
Molasses, lots of dark rum, 
Artificial color, artificial flavor,
If your family don’t want it, 
Give it to a neighbor!
It’s fruit cake! 
It’s fruit cake!

Friday Faves No.175

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

What a great idea! ReGrained is a start-up making Honey Almond IPA & Chocolate Stout bars from spent grain originating from some our favorite local Bay Area brewers: Magnolia Brewing, 21st Amendment Brewery and Triple Voodoo Brewery.  And, wait for it....they are talking about developing cookie mixes from this stuff eventually! (Munchies)


We were sad to hear the news of the recent passing of Chef Peng Chang-kuei.  He was the creator of the all-time American favorite and Chinese menu staple, General Tso's Chicken. Also, for those who have not seen it, we highly recommend the 2014 documentary "The Search for General Tso" - you can find it on Netflix. Chef Peng was the real deal and he left a huge impact on the culinary landscape. He was 98.  (New York Times)


A lot has been going on in the wacky world of food delivery system. Dominos Japan tried to train reindeer to deliver pizza but despite the sophisticated GPS tracking system and such it is just not going to work. Turns out that reindeer are too difficult to control.  Really? (Eater)


In other delivery news, in the South London neighborhood of Greenwich, a local Turkish restaurant will be starting a droid delivery program. How is that going to go? Apparently, to thwart attempts to ride and/or steal them,  the droid are outfitted with alarms and there are robot handlers in Estonia who can talk to people through a built in microphone. Easy!  What could go wrong with that? (Guardian)



Friday Faves No. 174

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

To the ovens! OK its not just a holiday battle cry, but the result of a recently published study that proves that cooking or baking can help you feel better.  We knew that of course, but these days when a lot of people are feeling down from post-election to holiday stresses, we could all turn to our kitchens to conjure up a bit a hearty helping of homemade 'feel-good'. (Smithsonian Magazine & Munchies)

Not that you should....but you it that is JetBlue just came out with an edible ad campaign just in time for holiday travel. Yes indeed, don't let winter travel delays worry you. Just eat the paper made out of potato starch, water, vegetable oil and glycerin (adWeek)

Have we got a stocking stuffer idea for all the Canadians out there! Yes, it's here! Poutine flavored lip balm!  Well, if KFC can come out with fried chicken scented sunscreen, we really have nothing to say about this lip balm. Just please Canada, don't make poutine your new favorite pumpkin spice replacement for the holidays. (Munchies)

And finally some good news for bees. General Mills just announced a $4 million dollar commitment that should help plant over 100,000 acres of pollinator habitat through 2021.  This is a deal, bringing together GM along with the non-profit Xerces Society and the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service, will help farmers plant and protect pollinator habitat including native wildflower field edges and flowering hedgerows.  Since bees are responsible for an annual $25 billion in agricultural production, it's nice to see companies that understand that good environmental practices make good financial sense. (Food Business News)

Friday Faves No. 173

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

How do you eat your Nutella? 

How do you eat your Nutella? 

It's a dessert! No, it's a spread! No, it's a __________! The FDA is asking people to weigh in (pun totally intended) on how Nutella is enjoyed. Is it more like a honey, a dessert topping or a fruit spread? The FDA's public commenting period is open until January 3, 2017. (NPR)

While on the subject of sweet spreads, producing Manuka honey has become downright dangerous! Thefts, vandalism and poisonings are occurring across New Zealand's far north. In one instance 300 hives were mysteriously killed causing beekeepers to fear for their well-being. For simple honey? Not really simple honey when you consider that Manuka honey can fetch as much as NZ$100/kg. (Guardian)

Sensing a sweet theme here? Let's keep going then! New Belgium Brewing and Ben & Jerry's have teamed up for climate change....and chocolate chip cookie dough beer. Some of the proceeds from the beer sales will go to Protect Our Winters. Maybe pair it with a fancy buche de noel this holiday season. (Thrillist)

Did we just say buche de noel? Why yes indeed! French blog Atabula just published a rather fancy buche round up for this holiday season. From Anne-Sophie Pic's London telephone boxes to realistic mandarine shaped "buche" this year there is some amazing craft and creativity on display. Here is a peek. (Atabula)