Faves No. 199

favorite finds from the front lines of food

Smooth, creamy and totally worth the hype. No, I’m not talking about Mr. Hollywood.

Yes, I’m talking about the pastel de nata.

Pastel de Nata performed by Blue Dot Sessions in their album Orange Cat. Please support the artist by listening and sharing their songs. Thanks!

Bloomberg takes a look at why this simple yet amazing pastry is getting so much attention. It has become so popular that it has earned a spot on the Great British Bake Off contest, can cost as much as $4 in fancy cafes all while Lidl reported selling 2,000 nata an hour (in the UK) in 2018. (Bloomberg)

And while we are on the subject, this little jazz piece is just a smooth as nata from Belem.

What crop will be likely to do well in the face of climate change? The humble hazelnut, of course. In short - ‘Their deep roots search out nutrients and water, making them less susceptible to drought. Orchards hold dirt in place and keep fertilizers from washing off and fouling waterways. Nuts are also slow to spoil — which means they could be a year-round staple, rather than a seasonal treat.’ (Grist)

Impossible….Beyond….the fast food nation finally got the memo! A slough of burger brands, like Burger King, have embraced the Impossible Burger and later this week Del Taco will be launching a meatless “meat” taco line. (Vox)

Faves No. 198

favorite finds from the front lines of food

The Cannabis Edition

A glass bong full of porcini mushroom broth and smoke at the French Laundry in Yountville.  Photo: Soleil Ho / The Chronicle

A glass bong full of porcini mushroom broth and smoke at the French Laundry in Yountville.

Photo: Soleil Ho / The Chronicle

Its not just my opinion…..chefs have identified cannabis infused foods as a smoking hot top trend for 2019. Time to look into those private supper clubs and maybe a trip to Canada. (CNBC)

Firmly planted tongue -in-cheek creativity is on deck for insiders at the French Laundry. Amazing food writer Soleil Ho had the pleasure of being served “dirty bong water” and I am jealous. (SFGate)

But what to drink? CBD beer is making waves in Colorado and will hopefully lead to impactful change.

“The biggest challenge, by far, has been the convoluted legal environment,” says Mason “Dude” Hembree, president and co-founder of Dad & Dude’s International, an Aurora, Colorado-based company that operates a brewery and restaurant. The father-son pair make the CBD-infused beer General Washington’s Secret Stash, a 6.5% abv IPA brewed with 4.2-mg. of CBD per pint ($7 a draft pour at their restaurant; $16 a 6-pack of 12-ounce cans). The company debuted the product in 2015 at the Great American Beer Festival and faced legal repercussions soon after. They re-released the beer this past December, when the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill passed with provisions that officially removed hemp and its extracts from the controlled substance list. (Shanken News Daily)

Who else is in the mix? Lagunitas Brewing Co., owned by Heineken, has also experimented with CBD and THC brews. Southern California’s Two Roots Brewing makes alcohol-free, cannabis-infused beers, including an IPA, lager, stout, blonde ale, and wheat beer, all of which come in 2.5-mg. and 5-mg. THC varieties (all $8 a 10-ounce can; $38 a 6-pack).Keith Villa, creator of Blue Moon, is taking aim at the THC beer category with his Ceria brand. Ceria’s flagship Grainwave Belgian White Ale has 5-mg. THC per 10-ounce bottle. Launched in Colorado last year, Ceria partnered with Growpacker Inc., a contract manufacturer of cannabis edibles and beverages, to enter Southern California last month. Villa also plans to debut Ceria in Nevada and Massachusetts looking ahead. (Shanken New Daily)

Martha Stewart knows “A Good Thing” when she see it. She has hooked up with Canopy, the largest cannabis company in Canada. (CNN) Know what else is good? The chocolate cake trailer she did with Snoop. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! (YouTube) Here is Martha’s Snoop page (MarthaStewart.com)

The cannabis/food tipping point is HERE people!

Faves No. 197

favorite finds from the front lines of food

Do you really understand chopsticks?

As much as I love all things food——-this is just a hard pass! Ugly sweaters can be charming I guess, but no, keep the food themes off them! I mean - all I want for Christmas are tacos…no! (Food & Wine) (fine, tamales….maybe)

These do not look ugly! And, I now know what kind of cookies I plan on making this holiday season. Let the ugly frosting begin! (Williams Sonoma)

The road to hell is paved with….awww who cares! This road in Germany was paved with more than good intentions, it was covered with a literally a ton of milk chocolate. It took 25 firefighters armed with shovels to pry off this little “technical difficulty”. (Guardian)

The latest unfortunate Climate Change Round-Up (NPR the salt):

  1. Fishermen

  2. Raw Oysters

  3. Maple

In the DUH files - James Bond has a drinking problem. (Munchies)

Want to eat fries and stay healthy? No problem. But you can only have 6. Not six handfuls, not six orders, just 6 singular fries. Like this is going to happen! (Forbes)

And finally- the most googled foods in 2018:

  1. Unicorn cake

  2. Romaine lettuce

  3. CBD gummies

  4. Keto pancakes

  5. Keto cheesecake

  6. Necco Wafers

  7. Keto cookies

  8. Keto chili

  9. Keto brownies

  10. Gochujang

(The Take Out)

Faves No. 196

Halloween Horror Stories - 2018

The Museum of the world most disgusting foods….The museum of “Disgusting Food” has opened in Malmo, Sweden and the Guardian has a super gallery of some of the offerings. But, I have had quite a few of these and like them. Which ones have I enjoyed you ask? Guess…(Guardian)

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Unless you are Iceland temporarily hosting 6000 service men and women….

US troops visiting Reykjavic recently drank so much beer that they nearly depleted the entire city's sudsy supply

While en route to Sweden and Finland to participate in a NATO military exercise, roughly 6,000 US sailors and Marines made a pit stop in the port of Reykjavic last week and quickly overwhelmed the bars in the relatively small capital city of 122,000 residents. The troops were only there from Wednesday through Sunday, but managed to drink several establishments dry of their beer supply and even forced others to take drastic measures to replenish their stock. (Thrillist)


Sorry Not Sorry

This didn’t exist when I was a kid, nor did it exist when I was a mom shepherding my kiddos door to door, but DAMN! this could be a nightmare for some or a complete dream for others. You decide.

But I am curious- what is the exchange rate? (CNN)


And last but not least a creepy cocktail round up. TBH, there are some good ideas here but some real nasty looking libations as well. One person’s heaven is another one’s hell I guess. (HGTV)

Faves No. 195

Faves No. 194

favorite finds from the front lines of food

The Olive Oil Edition

Olive oil tasting at  Long Meadow Ranch  in Napa, California

Olive oil tasting at Long Meadow Ranch in Napa, California

Right now, in the middle of summer, there is really no better time to enjoy "simple" suppers that refresh and help beat the heat...for example a perfect heirloom tomato with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of good quality olive oil. Ahhh, so peaceful. So easy. Right? What? No....

Put simply, climate change is having a huge effect of olive production in the Mediterranean olive producing regions.  (New York Times)

In addition, the incredibly fast spreading disease, Xylella fastidiosa, I attacking olives, grapevines, citrus, almond, oak trees and more, across the region. According to the European Commission, "is one of the most dangerous plant bacteria worldwide, causing a variety of diseases, with huge economic impact for agriculture, public gardens and the environment."  

But you can't fight it is you can't see it. There has been a recent tech development which is giving some hope to farmers. A hyperspectral camera is being used to identify infected tress so they may be culled. The camera is flown 500m over the groves and each tree can be analyzed (250 bands of infrared light) to see how the trees are photosynthesizing.  Because there is no cure for this disease, it is vital that farmers be able to identify infected trees in order to cull them from the orchard.

Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterium, not a virus, and some farmers in Puglia are not happy with the practice of uprooting otherwise healthy trees to curb the spread of the infection. Some of the older farmers are looking to natural remedies such as fertilizing with cow manure, pruning and using copper and iron sulfates during the farming process. 

But not everyone agrees with this natural approach. Giovanni Martelli, a plant virologist at the University of Bari, who has conducted studies for the authorities and supports uprooting, said: “People who claim that Xylella can be treated with natural remedies are not right. There is no cure for Xylella. The immediate removal of infected trees and surrounding healthy trees is an indispensable measure to block the spread.”

So what to do?  from a recent article in the Guardian: 

“I am very encouraged by this new research,” said Richard Buggs, a plant health research leader at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the UK, and not involved in the new study. “Plant pests and pathogens are on the increase around the world, and we desperately need new tools.”

“Xylella can infect a very large number of plant species, including cherry trees, plum trees, lavender, and rosemary,” Buggs said. “When you buy a live plant for your home or garden, you should make sure you know where it has come from and avoid buying a plant that has not been grown [domestically].” (Guardian)

So folks, as you eat that tomato with the drizzle of oil, just remember the challenges that the farmers face to bring it to your table. Don't take any of it for granted.  That means, the oil, the tomato, the salt or the dining companion you might be sharing it with.  Enjoy all of it. Give thanks and eat with awareness and recognition because these are changing times.

Faves No.193

Favorite finds from the front lines of food.

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 12.49.18 PM.png

This brings meal planning to a whole other level! Recently visionary chef Dan Barber and his partners launched a new seed company, Row 7 Seeds.  Instead of ability to be transported, uniformity and yield, these plants are bred for flavor.  "The beginning isn't the farm," said Dan Barber. "The beginning is the seed, because that's the blueprint that sets the stage of what the farmer is able to do with good farming."  (Eater , New York Times )

Possibly the coolest thing you will see this week.....or longer! A WATER WHEEL POWERED SPIT!!!!

In other crazy news, LIDL is now selling a new product at their check out counters.....locally grown cannabis.  It's a good thing they have all kinds of deals on munchie-able snacks!  (Guardian)

Michelin Stars? James Beard? What is the difference? Well, here you go - a handy dandy guide to restaurant awards! (Eater)

Fresh? Frozen? Fresh Frozen? Most consumers don't go for items down the frozen aisle, but why? Is it time to become an arctic explorer? (NPR The Salt)

Friday Faves No. 191

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

All about this crazy clear pumpkin pie! Alinea team, you have indeed done it again! 

All about this crazy clear pumpkin pie! Alinea team, you have indeed done it again! 

It's turkey season but what about all the turkey tails? Where do they actually go and why don't we get to gnaw on them here? (Smithsonian Magazine)

Love food puns as much as I do? Well, you are in luck. NBC's comedy  The Good Place is chock full of background shops sporting names as food puns along the lines of: Beignet and the Jets, Lasagne Come out Tomorrow, The Pesto's Yet To Come and so on and so fourth. For a longer list check it out here. (Nerdist)

Looking for Christmas gift ideas for that favorite foodie? Check out the Inspect a Gadget product reviews to match up who gets the Doughnut Mug, the Penneli garlic peeler or the Bacon Express toaster. Important stuff here. (Guardian)

VINDICATED Rule 47 in Jon Bonné's New Rules of Wine says I can drink rosé any time of the year! This is THE book for the holiday season!  (NPR's The Salt)

I have to say I know people who just might wear these....No, no names. Check out the cheesy video. (FoodBeast



Friday Faves No. 190

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

"You put so much oil in this, the US wanted to invade the f**king plate!" - so beautiful that it brings a tear to the eye. John Legend & Chef Ramsay duet for the new album: 'Gordon' "...OK It's not new but I love it just the same!  (The Nightly Show)

Speaking of food-based insults....food coming in and out of the UK could come to a screeching halt if there is no Brexit deal. Ummm...duh! (BBC)

Sebastien Bras, third-generation chef based in Laguiole, France, has just renounced the coveted three Michelin star ranking. He will continue to cook, but "without wondering whether my creations will appeal to Michelin's inspectors." According to the Munchies article he is not the first to do so. In previous years Olivier Roellinger and Alain Senderens (who passed in June) gave theirs back over a decade again. And let us not forget the amazing Marco Pierre White who said, "I was being judged by people who had less knowledge than me, so what was it truly worth? I gave Michelin inspectors too much respect, and I belittled myself.  I had three options: I could be a prisoner of my world and continue to work six days a week, I could live a lie and charge high prices and not be behind the stove, or I could give my stars back, spend time with my children and reinvent myself." (Munchies)

Here is a nice autumn read - Fasting and Feasting by Adam Lederman.  This biography of the "almost forgotten culinary star", Patience Gray.  She did Slow Food, off the grid living and self sufficiency before it was a "thing". A must read. (Guardian)

Friday Faves No. 189

favorite finds from the front lines of food

Looking for disruptive dining? Just go to some dinner theater. No, that's not a cheeky suggestion, it's truly a thing. New productions such as Beauty and the Feast, put on by The Vaults, are offering a fun on three-course delightfully eccentric theatrical culinary performance where the audience participates in the Beauty's journey through the initially bleak foodscape. These are much more than your ol' murder mystery dinner productions!

We kindly request to amuse your bouche with some fine art feasting.    It is with the most sincere pride and overwhelming pleasure that eloquent designers Darling & Edge invite you to be their guest for a palatable pantomime.   Your Godmother, Fairy Liquid, has invited you to attend the Beast’s palace to help break the spell. Fairy Liquid is tired of regal dancing, mute dinners and the same old conversations; she needs you to help get the party started. This re-telling sees you follow in the footsteps of Belle, arriving at the Beast’s grey palace where the serving staff, desperate to satisfy, transport you into this modern fairytale. You’re invited through to dinner, where the Beast, and the Feast, awaits. As the booze flows and dinner goes, you are more and more integral to the breaking of this romantic curse. Except, you should expect, this is not a fairytale task. Should you manage to break the spell, the celebration will go on late into the night. The thigh slapping will begin, disco balls will spin and the chandeliers will swing. Forget sipping on soup, abandon regal dances and leave your manners at the door. Come as a beauty, leave as a beast. (Suitable for ages 16+)     official description of the production - The Vaults

We kindly request to amuse your bouche with some fine art feasting.

It is with the most sincere pride and overwhelming pleasure that eloquent designers Darling & Edge invite you to be their guest for a palatable pantomime.   Your Godmother, Fairy Liquid, has invited you to attend the Beast’s palace to help break the spell. Fairy Liquid is tired of regal dancing, mute dinners and the same old conversations; she needs you to help get the party started. This re-telling sees you follow in the footsteps of Belle, arriving at the Beast’s grey palace where the serving staff, desperate to satisfy, transport you into this modern fairytale. You’re invited through to dinner, where the Beast, and the Feast, awaits. As the booze flows and dinner goes, you are more and more integral to the breaking of this romantic curse. Except, you should expect, this is not a fairytale task. Should you manage to break the spell, the celebration will go on late into the night. The thigh slapping will begin, disco balls will spin and the chandeliers will swing. Forget sipping on soup, abandon regal dances and leave your manners at the door. Come as a beauty, leave as a beast. (Suitable for ages 16+)

official description of the production - The Vaults

Network, a performance put on by the National Theater, based in London, has a ballot system where winning participants will actually dine onstage during the performance (the audience gets to eat too). This production, which stars Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad fame, even has a name for this on-stage restaurant, it's call Foodwork.  Diners will be directed through a secret passage and enter the scene as if entering into an actual restaurant.  You can enter here.

Gingerline is producing the Chambers of Flavors v2.0, where the audience experiences five parallel realities and each is a different course. 

In other food news, Costco is expanding into China through the Alibaba subsidiary Tmall.  While Costco in China is not new per se, this deal almost doubles the number of SKUs. This includes wine and food products as well as furniture, electronics, huge teddy bears and the like. Another aspect to this new arrangement, it now means that Costco is licensed in China and can now set up brick and mortar locations throughout the country.

Interesting note, Costco set a Guinness World Record for selling 7,238 tons of mixed nuts during singles day in 2015.  (Alizila)

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! 

Well, yeah, kinda. We have seen all kinds of disasters these past few weeks, including natural, man-made and political. (the salt - NPR)

Hurricane Irma ruins crops

Smoke from wild fires in the PNW could damage this years vintage

French fishermen who catch 70%+ of their fish in British waters are scared of Brexit

Friday Faves No. 188

favorite finds from the front lines of food


"Live your life as if everything you were going to do could be put on a cake." - Kat Thek, Troll Bakery & Detective Agency

No, it's not a light summer read, the Troll Bakery & Detective Agency really exists.  Baker/Detective Kat Thek makes internet trolls eat their words literally by turning posts into actual cakes and sending it to the troll in question through the mail.  Kat has a great little piece of advice on her site: "See something? Cake something." (Cnn Money - video-, NPR, Troll Cakes)

CHEERS! Well at least I think that is the saying du jour chez Clooney.  George and his partners just sold their boutique tequila brand Casamigos to Diageo for beaucoup de dinero.  Word of caution-  enough of this tequila and you start mixing up words and languages.  (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Big news this past week about the possible Amazon-Whole Foods acquisition, but those in the supermarket industry are now asking all sorts of questions and taking a hard look at their business model. One thing we are looking at is how Gen Z will react. Will they purchase groceries online? (Supermarket News)

Here is a good news story from Morro Bay.  We have been aware of this effort since the beginning but it is great to see some national coverage. These fishermen are working together and that is encouraging. (Marketplace)




Friday Faves No. 187

favorite finds from the front lines of food

Its been a very busy spring and this just shows how busy we are feeling lately! 

Happy Mother's Day weekend folks!  Find you mom, a friend's mom or just a girlfriend and head out for brunch and/or cocktails! Seriously...it will be better than this Mother's Day gift from the Colonel.  That's right, KFC has done it again. We have seen and documented the "Extra Crispy Sunscreen", the fried chicken room candle and now its the publication of "Tender Wings of Desire", a Colonel Sanders romance novel. Just in case you thought we were joking....here is what the cover looks like. (AdWeek

We knew it! Cheese is not bad for you and we have the science to prove it! 

The findings, from an international team of experts, contradict the view that dairy products can be harmful because of their high saturated fat content. The experts dismiss that fear as “a misconception [and] mistaken belief”. (Guardian)

So if a daily dose of cheese and exercises is the order of the day, one can always try their hand at Stilton Cheese rolling. That's right, cheese rolling. Every year, in May, people congregate in the village of Stilton to watch teams made up of 4 persons roll a whole stilton down the street. Each team member must "roll" the cheese during the course. You know what, just watch the video! (BBC)

Earlier this past April, the Aquarium of the Pacific came out with a short film about perspectives on the state of California Aquaculture. It features prominent scientists and experts on the topic of marine aquaculture in California and the U.S. In this film the experts discuss marine aquaculture’s role in the global food supply and as a conservation tool, the state of domestic marine aquaculture, and the future of marine aquaculture in the U.S. and California. Experts featured are:

And last but not least, don't become an avocado statistic! Stay safe out there folks. (Munchies)



Friday Faves No. 186

favorite finds from the front lines of food

Yup...it's an actual recipe folks! 

Bon Appétit Baby!

Congrats to all the 2017 James Beard Award winners! While we are sad that A Year In Port didn't make it to the win, it was an honor to be nominated.  In case you were wondering The Birth of Saké walked away with the win. (James Beard Foundation)

And just because I think more people should be watching documentaries about wine - here are the two trailers for your viewing enjoyment.

Film is a great way to communicate, it's almost like having a seat at the table...at least it gets the conversation started.  The good people over at Perennial Plate know this and make it their business to bring people together while bringing attention to issues that concern us all. Each short film will showcase a family originally from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America or the Middle East. 

Francisco and Lucia are Guatemalan refugees who came to Colorado in the 80s, through farming with their community and growing certain plants indigenous to Guatemala, they are able to hold on to a piece of their home.

British retailer Co-op has starting to sell only British bacon and has thrown down a real challenge to other UK retailers to do the same.  That means that their almost 5,000 outlets have removed Danish bacon and New Zealand lamb making them the first supermarket chain to sell fresh meat exclusively from the UK. The National Farmers Union is pretty excited about it as one can imagine. (Munchies & Farming UK

And here is an article of how San Francisco chefs are navigating the intersection of food and politics. (SF Chronicle)

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. 

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 everywhere.....no 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)

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 could....eat 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)