Monday, June 22, 2009

Bipartisan bill wants counts in plain view

Calorie-count disclosures would be required on menus at chain restaurants under federal legislation that has the backing of the restaurant industry and nutrition labeling watchdogs.

The Senate backers of two competing bills on menu labeling announced bipartisan, compromise legislation Wednesday that would require chains with 20 or more locations to disclose calories of food items on their menu boards or menus.

The legislation also would require such chains to give customers additional written nutritional information -- including amounts of fat and cholesterol -- immediately upon request. And it would create a national standard that would supersede the growing number of local and state calorie-disclosure mandates aimed at curbing obesity.

Read more from the Chicago Tribune.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Food Truck Nation

A new generation of lunch trucks is hitting the streets. They serve high-end fare such as grass-fed beef hamburgers, escargot and crème brûlée. As they rove cities like Austin, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, they alert customers to their locations using Twitter and Facebook. Their owners include highly trained chefs and well-known restaurateurs. Read more from The Wall Street Journal.

Results: Best Food Trucks

Katy McLaughlin from The Wall Street Journal sampled the food at 10 lunch trucks around the country that serve gourmet fare, from braised skate cheeks to bread pudding. One thing she learned: If a truck is famous for a particular item or dish, order that -- and skip the rest. Read the results of her coast-to coast review.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Taking Stock in Fish

Over the past 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture -- programs in which consumers buy shares in a local farm to receive shipments of fresh produce -- has proven popular, with about 12,500 farms across the country offering farm-to-home services today. Now, the CSA model has made the evolutionary leap from land to sea. Nearly 1,000 Boston-area residents this month will receive their first batch of wild-caught fish through the Gloucester-based Cape Ann Fresh Catch Community Supported Fishery program. Read more from The Wall Street Journal.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Tour Guide Tames Lunch in Midtown

Julia Moskin reports in The New York Times on Zach Brooks, founder, editor, and chief correspondent of Midtown Lunch,, a three-year-old Web site that serves those who toil in Midtown and hope to find something decent and reasonably priced to eat on their lunch breaks.

The site brings a measure of order to the roiling chaos of the area, which has almost 3,000 food businesses — delis, pizza joints, trucks, carts and restaurants — and almost one million daily workers, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Read more

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Taste of the Nation Los Angeles

Anyone who's been to Taste of the Nation Los Angeles knows this is not the kind of fundraiser where one politely pays more for a dainty plate of food. It's a gourmet feast where a little gluttony can fuel a lot of charity, featuring some of Southern California's best-loved chefs, deftly uniting Taste of the Nation LA the culinary with the altruistic.

Sunday's 21st annual Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation, which takes place locally in Culver City, includes cooking demos from XIV's Michael Mina and Border Grill and Ciudad's Mary Sue Milliken, a silent auction, waiter races and a mole cook-off between well-known Mexican restaurants, Moles La Tia, Guelaguetza and Tlapazola Grill.

But the big draw are the 46 booths where many of Los Angeles' most highly regarded restaurants will hand out samples of their signature dishes, including the Bazaar by Jose Andres, Mozza, Lucques, Craft, Palate Food + Wine, Church & State and Rivera.

Friday, June 05, 2009

IACP's "Room in the Bowl"

"Room in the Bowl: The IACP Gumbo Giveback Project", 132 pages of beautiful visual and written ruminations on the ingredients and experiences associated with Louisiana’s iconic dish, combines the work of top photographers and writers in an effort to give back to the culinary community. Proceeds from the book are divided equally between the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFAB) and The Culinary Trust, the philanthropic partner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). Edited by Jamie Tiampo and David Gallent.

Read the Times-Picayune book review.

Buy your copy at SoFAB or today.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

How Women Are Heating Up the Restaurant World

Move over, Mario. Take a hike, Emeril. Look who's cooking now: A handful to ambitious and talented female chefs who are running their own restaurants and creating compelling brands, that's who. Unlike Lidia Bastianich or Cat Cora, who've traded restaurant kitchens for television sets, these top chefs haven't found celebrity. Instead, they are focusing on crafting menus that delight customers--and turning a profit in tough times... 5/29/09