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Trans Fats

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Jacob the Jeweler, Sam Mason Want to Sell You Liquor; Farm Aid This Sunday

Jacob the Jeweler will debut his new vodka Bocaj (his name ba-zz-ackwards, yo) at the MTV Video Music Awards. Of course. [Snack] In more vodka marketing news, 360 claims to be the most ecofriendly spirit on the market as it’s bottled in recycled glass and made from local grains. Bet it doesn’t “shine like a sparkling diamond” like Jacob’s. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] No more one-drink limit at Sam Mason’s Tailor. Now you can drink as much as you’d like, but it’ll cost you. [Eat for Victory/VV]

Immigrant Pickers Scant for Apple Season; Whole Foods–Wild Oats Deal Delayed

Apples, apples everywhere, but not an immigrant to pick them, New York growers fear. [NYT] A federal appeals court has postponed the Whole Foods-Wild Oats merger "arguing that it would reduce competition and increase prices in the marketplace for natural and organic foods." And here, we thought "Project Goldmine" would benefit the customer. [NYT] Let us weep for the carnies: trans fats have been banned in Indiana. State fairgoers ate deep-fried Snickers and Oreos cooked in “healthier” oils. [NYT]

End of the Line for Ureña; Rocco Admits Douche-baggery

Alex Ureña is closing Ureña and turning it into “a bistro-style eater called Pamplona.” The modern Spanish curse continues! Now Suba alone carries the banner. [Eater] Rocco DiSpirito doesn’t seem to mind being called a douche bag: “I was thinking he must have worked for me to know I'm a douche bag,” the chef tells Nina Lalli. [VV] Related: Joey, Latest ‘Top Chef’ Non-Winner, on Why Rocco Is a Douche Bag On his Top Chef blog Tony Bourdain has some wise words to console Joey: “Joey's the chef of a damn famous restaurant in New York freakin' City. The place every ambitious cook and chef hopes to work — in the big leagues. So he's already a "Top Chef" — and already a winner in my book.” [Bravo] Related: Adam Platt Finds the Moral in Last Night’s ‘Top Chef’

Partly Cooked

20070803heds_sm.jpg • Something to ponder during your commute: The most recent federal survey rated the upkeep of the Brooklyn Bridge lower than its collapsed Minneapolis counterpart. [NYDN]

Bourdain Lays Into ‘Top Chef’ Hung; Restaurant to Open in Back of Setagaya

Anthony Bourdain jumps on Top Chef’s Hung even harder than he laid into Marcel last season: “‘Flavor’ counts for very little in a competition for ‘Top Chef.’” [Amuse Biatch] Related: ‘Top Chef’ Biases Finally Out on the Table ‘Top Chef’ Non-Winner Lia on What Went Wrong Kanye West is a soul-food connoisseur, when he’s not eating out in haute Asian eateries like Spice Market and Philippe. [WSJ] An unrelated restaurant will open Thursday in the back room of Setagaya and will feature Thai, Japanese, and Malaysian food. [Eat for Victory/VV] Related: New East Village Ramen Spot Insists It’s More Authentic Than Momofuku

Fireworks, Pools, Booze — Not Terror — Will Kill You Tomorrow

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• There's no reason to fear terror attacks on the Fourth of July, the mayor is insisting; the threat of terror, he says, is nothing compared to the dangers of unguarded beaches and pools. "Don't let the kids play with fireworks. Don't drink and drive," he advised. Oh, also, the NYPD is on its highest alert. [NYDN]

Le Cirque Scrambles for Relevance; P*ONG Expanding

A myriad of consultants and experts are surrounding Sirio Maccioni, giving advice on how Le Cirque can recapture its now-departed magic. [Insatiable Critic] Dessert bars are a hot enough trend right now that some restaurants and bakeries are transforming themselves at certain hours, while others, like P*ONG, are built expressly for the genre. [NYP] Related: Because Our Desserts Are as Good as Everyone Else’s Entire Meals Speaking of which, Asian dessert guru Pichet Ong will open a shop devoted to ice cream, pudding, and cookies next door to P*ONG on August 17. [Strong Buzz]

Pearl’s Oyster Bar Sues Ed’s Lobster Bar; Ducasse Taking Over Brasserie LCB

The owner of Pearl Oyster Bar sues the owner of Ed’s Lobster Bar for intellectual-property theft, accusing her former sous-chef of having stolen everything from the paint job to the Caesar salad dressing. [NYT] Alain Ducasse has taken over Brasserie LCB and is looking to convert it into a bistro along the lines of Benoit, his casual place in Paris. [NYT] It might not be such a good idea to hire a Top Chef. [NYO]

Pastis Atop Zagat Nightlife Ratings; City Trans-Fat Seminar Flops

Pastis sits atop Zagat’s just-released nightlife rankings, with Buddha Bar, Balthazar, and Spice Market following close behind. [NYDN] The city invited 33,000 restaurant and food-supply workers to attend their trans-fat seminar, and only 20 showed up. Half of them were city employees. [NYP] Maybe Tony Bourdain doesn’t hate The Next Food Network Star as much as he makes out. Today brings another suspiciously obsessive-sounding post by the acerbic chef-author. [Ruhlman]

Yep, 66 Going Soba; Trans Fats on the Run in Long Island

66 will become Matsu Gen in “late spring” and specialize in soba noodles. [NYT] Related: Vongerichten May Deep-Six 66, Serve Sushi and Soba Instead [Grub Street] Landmarc, in the Time Warner Center, is wildly inexpensive relative to its location and the restaurants around it, and Steve Cuozzo is predicting boffo business. [NYP] Related: Will Landmarc's Downtown Cool Play Alongside Its Ritzy New Neighbors? [Grub Street] Think you'll get your lard fix in Long Island? Not so fast: Nassau County is planning a trans-fat ban. [Newsday]

Neroni Leaves Porchetta; City Hates Big Pink Cupcake

Chef Jason Neroni leaves Porchetta, citing “irreconcilable differences,” and claiming that pastry chef Mandy Brown and “most of the kitchen staff” are leaving with him. We don’t know the details (yet), but this seems pretty harsh: The restaurant gave him absolute creative license, as far as we can tell, for as long as it’s been open. [Eater] Related: Chef's Desperate Plea: Nominate Me for an Award! [Grub Street] New Yorkers aren’t really spooked by health violations: “If you take the subway, you know what’s down there.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT] The city wants Burgers and Cupcakes to take down its huge, incandescent pink cupcake sign because it's too close to a hydrant, saying, "This isn't a campaign against cupcakes." [NYP]

City Against New Rat Weapon; Fatty Crab Gets Liquor License, Special Cocktails

Some restaurant owners want to bring in garbage disposals as a weapon in the war on rats, but the city won’t allow it, claiming that the sewer system would be overwhelmed. [Nation's Restaurant News] Fatty Crab gets a liquor license and some original cocktails to go with it; meanwhile, McDonald’s will be giving away free coffee all day tomorrow. [NYS] Ernest Gallo, co-founder with his brother Julio of the much-maligned but enormously successful California winery, dies at 97. [NYT]

Trans-Fat-Free Labels: Not Just for Potato-Chip Bags

It’s good to see Café Martinique, the restaurant at the midtown Radisson, so eagerly embracing the trans-fat ban even before it officially begins on March 1. And should you want to walk in and toast to your health, there’s domestic swill with which to do it! Thank heavens it’s Coors Light. — Daniel Maurer

Trans Fats Versus Razor Blades; ‘Times’ Inspired by Our Restroom Report

Bruni ponders bathrooms, giving a shout-out to Grub Street's Restroom Report; apparently the Sultan had a pretty nasty encounter with the ones at Gordon Ramsay. [NYT] Hamptons officials loosen up and consider lifting the music ban in restaurants — if there's very tight regulation of it. [NYP] E! wrap-up on the Top Chef finale, including a plate-by-plate account of the competition’s Last Supper, which is more interesting, to us anyway, than whether Ilan got his money and new oven. [E!] Related: Ilan Won, Yes, But What Does It All Mean?

The Japanese Are Screaming for Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme may be in the midst of a sales slump, shareholder lawsuits, federal accounting probes, and a scramble to come up with a trans-fat replacement, but they can at least be happy that, according to our man in Japan, the store they opened in Tokyo last week has touched off a cross-cultural exchange unseen since Beard Papa hit the Upper West Side:
I was in Shinjuku last week. I was there just to hang out and found huge crowds of people … then I look up and there is a huge sign … Krispy Kream [sic]!! People are lined up for an hour just to get these!!!
We hear they go great with cod sperm. — Daniel Maurer Krispy Kreme Japan

City Speaks on Trans-Fat Enforcement; Empanada Mogul's Inspirational Story

Critics don't concern Danny Meyer much. Or so he claims. [Denver Post] The inspirational tale of an empanada mogul. [NYDN] Will healthier foods lead to a healthier restaurant business? [Axcess News] Labor organization mad as hell over economic inequities. [Brooklyn Rail] The Soup Nazi and David Bouley both come to Miami, but probably not to stay. [Miami Herald] City promises low-key enforcement of trans-fats ban. "This is not going to be, like, a 'gotcha' thing." [IHT]

The End of Krispy Kreme, Coffee, and Pizza? There's Always Denny's

The Board of Health's unanimous decision to ban trans fats from New York — on the anniversary of Prohibition repeal, no less — has, predictably, inspired a major and ongoing backlash. Libertarian organization Consumer Freedom responded with full-page ads in USA Today and the Post, warning that pizza, coffee, and corned-beef sandwiches might be next. [Center for Consumer Freedom] Even the Times has gotten in on the "we miss trans fats already" action, reporting on how hard it is to cook without them. "I can tell you in advance, the Crisco will make a flakier crust." [NYT] Krispy Kreme, the entity that serves trans fat in circular form, probably can't get with the program in time. [Winston-Salem Journal] But Denny's can. [Business Wire] Finally, restaurants wonder how the law will be enforced. [Dominican Today]

The Die Is Cast: Trans-Fats Banned in NYC

Well, now they've done it: The City's Board of Health has unanimously agreed to ban trans fats from New York City restaurants. Starting July 1, 2007, eateries won't be able to fry with the stuff. They will, however, have another year to make all their foods 100 percent trans-fat free. That means there's precious little time to enjoy delicious trans-fat-fried doughnuts and steak fries, and only a year more before we have to give up flaky empanadas and other goodies with the trans fat built right in. (The board also passed the less-publicized rule requiring chain restaurants to print their calorie information directly on the menus, assuring that New Yorkers will at least feel a pang of regret when they order a Burger King "Triple Stacker.") Trans Fat Ban Unanimously Approved [Crain's New York Business] Earlier: Trans-Fat Haters Winning Hearts and Minds Biscuit Battles ChipShop: Are White Castles Better Fried or Smoked? Trans-Fat Ban: The Restaurants at Risk