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Next Announces 2014 Menus

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Following Chicago Steak, a modern take on Chinese food, and a reflection on Alinea

Next restaurant in Chicago teases its 2014 menus.

Grant Achatz has already provided us with a teaser for the Next: Chicago Steakhouse, following the Chicago restaurant's Bocuse d'Or menu, and now the rest of the Next 2014 lineup has been announced.

First up: Next: Chicago Steakhouse, running from January to April 2014, where Achatz and company will pay homage to a full-on steakhouse meal. Think dry-aged beef, lobster thermidor, shrimp cocktail, bisque, potatoes, vegetables, red wines, and a digestif with dessert. "Expect a party," their email says.

Following Steakhouse, Chinese: Modern will be served from May to August 2014. "What happens when a 1,000-year-old cuisine collides with the mind-set of culinary innovation? ... Noodles, buns, dumplings, seafood, poultry, pork — all the basics could be covered. ... Recognizably Chinese.... recognizably Next. Chinese takeout anyone? You never know...."

The last menu of the year will focus on the 10-year anniversary of Alinea, coming up in 2015. Titled "Trio, January 20, 2004," the Next version will "revisit the Tour de Force menu," which Achatz served Jan. 20, 2004, plus a couple of "classics" that were shelved. Tickets will go on sale soon.

Calories on Menus: Nationwide Experiment Into Human Behavior

Now it’s official. Starting next November, menus in many places where Americans eat — like chain restaurants and some movie theaters, convenience stores and amusement parks — will have to list calories.

Consumer health advocates were jubilant when the Food and Drug Administration announced the new policy on Tuesday. Many had fought for the rule for more than a decade, believing it would be a major weapon in the fight against obesity.

The evidence on whether menu labeling works — either to move the national needle on obesity, or to reduce the number of calories an individual consumes after looking at a menu — is pretty skimpy, in part because the practice hasn’t been around that long.

In the few places where menu labeling exists, like New York and Philadelphia, most studies have observed a few thousand people over just a few weeks and months — too small a group and too short a time to detect the subtle changes that economists expect the policy will prompt.

Brian Elbel, associate professor of population health at New York University’s School of Medicine, has spent weeks outside fast food restaurants talking to customers and collecting their receipts.

The findings have been uninspiring so far. In a study he did in 2008 in New York City, only slightly more than half of consumers even saw the posted calories, and of those, a little over a quarter (around 15 percent of the total) said the information changed what they ordered. He conducted a larger study in 2010 in Philadelphia after that city started requiring chain restaurants to post calories, and the results were similar.

When he delved deeper, he found that those who changed their ordering behavior tended to be the more educated consumers — in other words, not the target population. Americans with more education tend to be less likely to be obese than those with less, though there are exceptions.

The researchers could not tell whether this subgroup ordered less because of the calorie posting, or because they would have behaved differently anyway. Either way, their change was not enough to make the average number of calories everybody was buying go down.

“It doesn’t appear to be changing what people order for fast food at a population level,” Mr. Elbel said.

Until now, most studies exploring menu labeling have been of fast food restaurants, Mr. Elbel said, and are missing the growing slice of the population going to sit-down restaurants, such as Applebee’s and the Cheesecake Factory, where meals are believed to be even more caloric. The new policy has excited researchers because it extends their laboratory to the entire nation.

One of the largest studies to date, involving hundreds of millions of transactions at Starbucks, found a small but real decline in the number of calories consumers bought.


Starbucks gave a group of Stanford University researchers access to transaction data in New York, Boston and Philadelphia from January 2008 to February 2009. The company began posting calories in its New York stores in April 2008, and researchers looked at consumer behavior there before and after posting and compared it with the other cities where calories had not been posted. Average calories per transaction from food fell by 14 percent in New York, a calorie reduction that lasted for at least 10 months after the calorie counts were first posted. Average calories per transaction for drinks did not change much.

Bryan Bollinger, one of the authors, who is now an assistant professor of marketing at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, said his study’s large size gave researchers confidence in their conclusions. He says that when small studies find no effect, it is impossible to tell whether there really wasn’t any change, or if the sample was simply too small to detect it.

“We found strong evidence that calorie labeling does change consumer behavior,” he said.

But George Loewenstein, an economist at Carnegie Mellon University who has researched how behaviors affect obesity, was skeptical that menu labeling would have much effect on consumer habits.

“There are very few cases where social scientists have documented that giving people information has changed their behavior very much,” he said. “Changing prices and changing convenience have big impact. Providing information doesn’t.”

He gave a few examples: nutrition information on packaged food warning labels on drugs terrorism alerts airplane safety cards and the government’s pyramid symbol (recently replaced by a plate) that is supposed to show people, in simple terms, how to eat a balanced diet.

“They made a big deal about the plate and how it was so superior to the pyramid, but I just wonder if there is a single person in the United States whose behavior was changed,” he said.

He pointed out that the upper-middle-class people making menu-labeling policy often had little insight into how the lower-middle-class people whom the policy was aimed at would use the information. Just getting consumers to understand what the numbers mean is hard. Once they do, they might use them to maximize their calories per dollar, instead of reducing them.

“The people who most need the information don’t know how to use it,” he said.

The main benefit of the new menu labeling policy, Mr. Loewenstein said, would probably not be in changing the behavior of consumers, but in changing the behavior of companies that want to sell them things.

“To the extent that calorie labeling is beneficial, by far the most likely mechanism is that restaurants end up changing their offerings, for example reducing calories in the food they offer,” he said.

But health experts cautioned against writing off menu labeling as a policy tool.

Marion Nestle, a professor in the department of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, calls menu labeling “nutrition education for the public big time,” and said it would take a while for consumers to learn how to use the information.

“When it first starts, people will be shocked, like we were in New York,” she said. “Even I couldn’t believe it. A smoothie had 1,000 calories in it. That’s half the calories someone needs for a whole day.”

Professor Elbel said it was unrealistic to expect that any single policy would fix the nation’s obesity problem. An easing in the obesity rate will most likely come from a combination of different actions applied systematically over time.

IACP Announces 2015 Food Writing Finalists

The International Association of Culinary Professionals has announced its 2015 IACP Award Finalists, which focus on the year's best food writing — from cookbooks to videos to journalism. Chef Sean Brock's Heritage was nominated for three awards, in the American, Chefs and Restaurant, and First Book categories. In the Chefs and Restaurants cookbook category, Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes by Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns Heritage by chef Sean Brock The Slanted Door: Modern Vietnamese Food by Charles Phan and Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking by chef Yotam Ottolenghi all earned a nod.

The New Classics Cookbook: More than 1,000 of the world's best recipes for today's kitchen by the Editors of Saveur Magazine was one of the finalists in the General category. North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland by Gunnar Karl Gíslason and Jody Eddy was nominated in the International category. Pat LaFrieda's MEAT: Everything You Need to Know also got a nod in the Single Subject category.

Winners will be announced during IACP's 37th annual conference in Washington, DC on Sunday, March 29, 2015. Below, the full list of IACP Cookbook, journalism (the Bert Greene Awards), and Digital Media finalists.

IACP Cookbook Awards Finalists

Considered the gold standard among cookbook awards, IACP's Cookbook Awards have been presented for more than 25 years to promote quality and creativity in writing and publishing and to expand the public's awareness of culinary literature.

The B.T.C. Old Fashioned Grocery Cookbook

Editor: Ashley Phillips
(Clarkson Potter)

Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything
by Donald Link and Paula Disbrowe
Editor: Rica Allannic
(Clarkson Potter)

Farm, Fork, Food: A Year of Spectacular Recipes Inspired by Black Cat Farm
by Eric Skokan
Editor: Anja Schmidt
(Kyle Books)

by Sean Brock
Editor: Judy Pray

Baking: Savory or Sweet

The Baking Bible
by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Editor: Stephanie Fletcher
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere

by Dorie Greenspan
Editor: Rux Martin
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Flavor Flours: A New Way to Bake with Teff, Buckwheat, Sorghum, Other Whole & Ancient Grains, Nuts & Non-Wheat Flours
by Alice Medrich
Editor: Judy Pray

Beverage/ Reference/ Technical

Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering
by Adam Danforth
Editor: Carleen Madigan
(Storey Publishing)

Wine: A Tasting Course
by Marnie Old
(DK Publishing)

World Atlas of Whisky, 2 nd Edition
by Dave Broom
Editor: Denise Bates
(Mitchell Beazley)

Chefs and Restaurants

Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes
by Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns
Editor: Bill LeBlond
(Chronicle Books)

by Sean Brock
Editor: Judy Pray

Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi

by Yotam Ottolenghi
Editors: Sarah Lavelle and Kaitlin Ketchum
(Ten Speed Press)

The Slanted Door: Modern Vietnamese Food
by Charles Phan
Editors: Jenny Wapner
(Ten Speed Press)

Children, Youth and Family

The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes
by Jennifer Tyler Lee
Editor: Lucia Watson
(Avery Books)

The Family Cooks: 100+ Recipes to Get Your Family Craving Food That's Simple, Tasty and Incredibly Good for You
by Laurie David, Recipes by Kirstin Uhrenholdt
Editor: Dervla Kelly

FutureChefs: Recipes by Tomorrow's Cooks Across the Nation and the World
by Ramin Ganeshram
Editor: Dervla Kelly
(Rodale Books)

Fine Cooking Roasting
by Editors of Fine Cooking
Editor: Carolyn Mandarano
(The Taunton Press)

The Great Outdoors Cookbook: Adventures in Cooking Under the Open Sky
by Elaine Johnson and Margo True
Editors: Elaine Johnson and Margo True
(Oxmoor House)

Holiday Cookies: Prize-Winning Family Recipes from the Chicago Tribune for Cookies, Bars, Brownies and More
by Chicago Tribune Staff
(Agate Publishing)

The Southern Living Community Cookbook
by Sheri Castle
Editor: Susan Hernandez Ray
(Oxmoor House)

Cumin, Camels, and Caravans: A Spice Odyssey
by Gary Paul Nabhan
Editor: Blake Edgar
(University of California Press)

Food in the Civil War Era: The North
Editor: Helen Zoe Veit
(Michigan State University Press)

Precious Cargo: How Foods from the Americas Changed the World
by David DeWitt
Editor: Jack Shoemaker
(Counterpoint Press)

by Julian Armstrong
Editor: Kirsten Hanson
(HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.)

by Vikas Khanna
Editor: Jennifer Sit
(Lake Isle Press)

At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well
by Amy Chaplin
Editor: Sara Bercholz
(Roost Books)

French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries, and the Beautiful Food Along the Way
by Jean-Pierre Moullé and Denise Lurton Moullé
Editor: Jenny Wapner
(Ten Speed Press)

by Sean Brock
Editor: Judy Pray

Citizen Farmers: The Biodynamic Way to Grow Healthy Food, Build Thriving Communities, and Give Back to the Earth
by Daron Joffe
Editor: Dervla Kelly
(Stewart, Tabori & Chang)

Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day
by Leanne Brown
Editor: Dan Lazin

The New Classics Cookbook: More than 1,000 of the world's best recipes for today's kitchen
by The Editors of Saveur Magazine
(Weldon Owen)

School of Fish
by Ben Pollinger, with Stephanie Lyness
Editor: Jennifer Bergstrom
(Gallery Books)

Twelve Recipes
by Cal Peternell
Editor: Cassie Jones
(HarperCollins Publishers)

At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well
by Amy Chaplin
Editor: Sara Bercholz
(Roost Books)

Vegetarian Dinner Parties: 150 Meatless Meals Good Enough to Serve to Company
by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
Editor: Elissa Altman and Dervla Kelly
(Ten Speed Press)

Vibrant Food: Celebrating the Ingredients, Recipes, and Colors of Each Season
by Kimberley Hasselbrink
Editor: Lisa Westmoreland
(Ten Speed Press)

Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere
by Dorie Greenspan
Editor: Rux Martin
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die
by Diane Kochilas
Editor: Dervla Kelly
(Rodale Books)

My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories
by David Lebovitz
Editor: Julie Bennett
(Ten Speed Press)

North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland
by Gunnar Karl Gíslason and Jody Eddy
Editors: Emily Timberlake and Jenny Wapner
(Ten Speed Press)

Literary Food Writing

Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: A Memoir of Food and Love from an American Midwest Familyby Kathleen Flinn
Editor: Patrick Nolan

In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker's Odyssey
by Samuel Fromartz
Editor: Kathryn Court

My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories
by David Lebovitz
Editor: Julie Bennett
(Ten Speed Press)

A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus: Menus and Stories
Photographed by: Jim Henkens
by Renee Erickson and Jess Thomson
Editor: Susan Roxborough
(Sasquatch Books)

A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse
Photographed by: Oddur Thorisson
by Mimi Thorisson
Editor: Rica Allannic
(Clarkson Potter)

Dessert Divas
Photographed by: Anson Smart
by Christine Manfield
(Lantern Books - Penguin Random House)

The Slanted Door
Photographed by: Ed Anderson
by Charles Phan
Editor: Jenny Wapner
(Ten Speed Press)

Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes
by Jennifer McLagan
Editor: Jenny Wapner
(Ten Speed Press)

MEAT: Everything You Need to Know
by Pat LaFrieda
Editor: Johanna Castillo
(Atria Books - a division of Simon & Schuster)

Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry
by Cathy Barrow
Editor: Maria Guarnaschelli
(W. W. Norton & Company)

Wine, Beer and Spirits

The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique
by Jeffrey Morgenthaler
Editor: Bill LeBlond
(Chronicle Books)

Kevin Zraly Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: 30th Anniversary Edition
by Kevin Zraly
(Sterling Epicure)

Proof: The Science of Booze
by Adam Rogers
Editor: Courtney Young
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Tasting Whiskey: An Insider's Guide to the Unique Pleasures of the World's Finest Spirits
by Lew Bryson
Editors: Margaret Sutherland & Nancy Ringer
(Storey Publishing)

A New Napa Cuisine
by Christopher Kostow
Editor: Julie Bennett
(Ten Speed Press)

Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails, with More than 500 Recipes
by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald, and Alex Day
Editor: Emily Timberlake
(Ten Speed Press)

Relae: A Book of Ideas
by Christian F. Puglisi
Editor: Emily Timberlake
(Ten Speed Press)

Entrée to Judaism for Families: Jewish Cooking and Kitchen Conversations with Children
by Tina Wasserman
(URJ Press)

I Like Pig: Recipes and Inspiration from New York City's Pig Island
by Jimmy Carbone
Editor: Rachel Wharton
(Jimmy Pots and Pans Promotions)

Tutka Bay Lodge: Coastal Cuisine from the Wilds of Alaska
by Kirsten Dixon and Mandy Dixon
Editor: Kathy Howard
(Alaska Northwest Books)

IACP Bert Greene Awards Finalists

The Bert Greene Awards were first presented in 1991 to honor excellence in food journalism. The awards were named after Bert Greene (1923-1988), a nationally renowned cooking teacher, cookbook author, and syndicated food columnist.

Publication of the Year

Cooking Light
Hunter Lewis, Editor

Food & Wine Magazine
Dana Cowin, Editor-in-Chief

Personal Essays/Memoirs

Kate Krader
"Are Big Flavors Destroying the American Palate?"
Food & Wine, May 2014

Meredith Goad
"Forged with an Iron Will"
Portland Press Herald

Mimi Sheraton
"The Goulash Cure"
The Wall Street Journal

Culinary Writing About Beverages

Kara Newman
"Whiskey & History"
Edible Manhattan

Jim Frederick
"Japan's Whisky Rebellion"
Roads & Kingdoms

Ray Isle
"Wine's Nastiest Feud"
Food & Wine, October 2014

Instructional Culinary Writing

Elaine Johnson
"Pie Season Pt. 1 & 2"
Sunset Magazine

Ivy Manning
"Go Wild!"
Fine Cooking Magazine

Culinary Writing That Makes A Difference

Ben Paynter
"Tiny Shrimp, Big Business"

Gretel Schueller
"Wild World Within"

Jane Black
"The Guru of Grass"

Kathleen Squires

"A Delicious Prescription"
The Wall Street Journal

Culinary Travel Writing

Francis Lam
"The Last Place on Earth"
Bon Appétit

Nino Padova
"Let the Spirit Move You"
Sunset Magazine

Peter Meehan
"Danny Bowien's Oklahoma City"
Food & Wine, September 2014

Culinary Based Column

Brian Austin with editing by Bryn Mooth
Edible Ohio Valley "Edible OH Valley"

David Joachim and Andrew Schloss
"The Science Of. "
Fine Cooking Magazine

Kristen Miglore
"Genius Recipes"

Narrative Culinary Writing

Carolyn Jung
"Snap Pea Sensei"
Food Arts

Margo True
"The Blacksmith Cooks"
Sunset Magazine

Steve Hoffman
"Of Links and Legacy"
Minneapolis Star Tribune Taste Section

IACP Digital Media Awards Finalists

The Digital Media Awards honor excellence and trendsetters in both traditional and emerging communications technologies, including culinary blogs, video, audio, and other digital forms.

Best Culinary Website

Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs
Editors: Kristen Miglore, Kenzi Wilbur, Marian Bull, Sarah Jampel
Food52 ""

Dinner And A Movie Ep 2: 7/27/14

Next week’s installment of Dinner And A Movie features Phish’s July 27, 2014 show from Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. The full show will play for free this Tuesday at 8:30PM ET at or Phish’s Facebook page.

The recipe for the dinner part of the evening is from Mike Gordon. He’s sharing recipes for two small plates from Hen of The Wood, one of his favorite restaurants in Burlington, VT. The recipes below are from our friend and owner, chef Eric Warnstedt. As a reminder, please don’t feel the need to take a special trip to buy groceries to make this, and be smart regarding social distancing and staying at home. Feel free to post photos of your version of this dish, or share whatever you’re making. Tag us at #phishdinnerandamovie.

We have selected Meals On Wheels as our beneficiary for this webcast. All donations made via The WaterWheel Foundation that day will be given to that organization. You can donate any time at Vulnerable seniors are at the greatest risk amid COVID-19. Local Meals on Wheels programs are on the front lines every day, focused on keeping older Americans safe and nourished in communities across the country. For more information about Meals On Wheels, visit

Hen Of The Wood Mushroom Toast
Serves 4

1/4lb of your favorite mushrooms (we love wild Hen of the Woods. Cultivated Hens also are called Maitake)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 shallot, diced
1 tablespoon of finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
4 slices of your favorite bread (1/2″ slices)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
4 poached eggs (optional for on top, but Mike Says No)

Turn on your broiler
Brush the bread slices with good olive oil and salt/pepper

In a large saute pan, over medium/high heat, add the butter and oil and mushrooms. Toss a few times to coat with fat, season with a few pinches of salt and then let them sit and sear for several moments. Toss and leave alone again. When they are a little crispy on the outside and cooked through add garlic, shallots and parsley. Toss a few times to cook the garlic and pull from the heat. Add the vinegar.

While the mushrooms rest, broil your bread until toasted and dunk your eggs into simmering water and pull from the heat.

Mound the mushrooms on the hot toast. Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper.

Hen Of The Wood Heirloom Beans on Toast
Serves 4

1 cup dried VT Cranberry Beans or your favorite dried bean (soaked overnight in 4 cups of water or Brought to a boil, strained and chilled)
1 tablespoon salt
1 bulb fennel, diced
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sliced castelvetrano olives
3 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon chili flakes

Lemon juice
Fennel Fronds (optional)
Favorite bread cut into 1/2 in slices

Soak beans overnight in 3 cups water at room temp or bring beans to a boil, strain and chill.

Cook in a pot with a fresh 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil & simmer gently until creamy, adding 1 tablespoon salt after cooking for an hour. Add small amounts of water if needed to keep the beans submerged.

While the beans are cooking, gently cook fennel in the olive oil until soft and sweet. Season with salt & pepper and add the olives & chili flakes. Squeeze about a 1/2 lemon’s juice in the fennel.

When the beans are about done, add the fennel & oil, a bit more salt & basil.

Grill or toast your bread and spoon beans on top! Drizzle with more olive oil and chili flakes if desired and top with fennel fronds if available.

Chipotle’s Latest Menu Hack Is a Hack Within a Hack

The "Quesadragon" nearly brought an employee to tears.

Photo by: Photo courtesy of Chipotle

Photo courtesy of Chipotle

Chipotle’s sharing a genius secret! The Mexican-inspired chain took to TikTok on Monday to draw attention to a hack within a hack that it has cleverly dubbed The Quesadragon.

As you may have guessed based on this trick’s name, it combines two beloved Chipotle staples — the newly released quesadilla, which the chain debuted back in March, and Dragon Sauce.

For the uninitiated, Dragon Sauce is a hack in and of itself that combines Chipotle’s sour cream and hot salsa to create an unreal condiment that’s smooth, yet fiery and flavorful. It makes for a pretty tasty taco dip or burrito topping, and, according to TikTok, also adds a whole other dimension to a quesadilla.

In the clip, which has already earned nearly 200,000 likes and more than two million views, a Chipotle employee named Jack Early shares what he calls “the best freaking hack on the menu.” After performing the “underrated” task of combining sour cream and hot salsa to create a hearty helping of Dragon Sauce, Early takes a quesadilla and dips it in. He also added a touch of fresh guacamole, because why not?

Unsurprisingly, the result was pretty darn tasty. As Early put it, “I actually want to cry because it’s that good.”

In the caption the Chipotle TikTok account gushed: “This menu hack is ELITE.”

Dozens of TikTok users were quick to wholeheartedly agree. “I always get hot salsa and sour cream,” one declared.

Another added: “I wanna try it tomorrow.”

To sample The Quesadragon for yourself, simple order a quesadilla of your choice (which is only available via the Chipotle app and and make sure to ask for plenty of hot salsa and sour cream on the side. Since Dragon Sauce isn’t technically a menu item on its own, you’ll need to mix it yourself.

This marks the second time in as many months that Chipotle has used TikTok as a way to entice its customers. In February, the chain released some limited-edition apparel featuring Roy Murray, the “Chipotle Is My Life” kid. Murray became an internet sensation in 2014 when he famously exclaimed “OMG, I love Chipotle. Chipotle is My Life!” on camera. The clip has since made the rounds on TikTok and other video-sharing platforms.

Taste of a decade: 1840s restaurants

Eating places began to show a French influence as places called “restaurants” and “cafes” replaced “eating houses.” Many hotels adopted the European plan which allowed guests to choose where they would eat instead of including meals in the hotel in the room charge, a change that encouraged the growth of independent eating places. A “restaurant culture” had begun to develop, yet with stiff resistance from many who associated restaurants with vice and immorality.

Menus, particularly those of cheaper eating places, contained mostly meat, pastry, and ever-popular oysters. Meat production was still local NYC had 200 slaughterhouses in operation. Out-of-season fresh produce was beginning to come North by steamboat from the South, but still not in large quantities. Harvey Parker’s well-known eating house in Boston was celebrated for acquiring peas from Virginia in 1841, but strawberries remained a seasonal delicacy in the Northeast later in the decade.

U.S. territory grew substantially when Texas became a state. Oregon territory was acquired, along with a big chunk of what had been Mexico (New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and California). Gold was discovered in California and almost overnight San Francisco became a city of 25,000. San Francisco’s Tadich Grill, still around today, was one of the many restaurants that opened to serve the newcomers. The restaurant business was also doing well in New Orleans, home of generous “free lunch” buffets.

Among the middle classes in the Northeast the movement to discourage heavy drinking – or any at all — resulted in the establishment of “temperance restaurants” that served no alcoholic beverages.

Eating away from home remained a male activity mostly, as was true at The Alhambra in Richmond VA and Taft’s near Boston, but women sometimes made an appearance. Although an advertisement for the popular and inexpensive Milliken’s in Boston pictured men, it also advised it had “apartments [dining rooms] for ladies exclusively.” (As the illustration shows, a stout figure was admired then.)

1840 If a diner wants to leave his waiter a tip in a cheap eating house, the standard amount is 1 cent, which usually amounts to about 5%.

1841 The Colored American, a weekly newspaper dedicated to elevating the moral and social stature of free Blacks, declares it will accept no advertising for restaurants because they mostly dispense not “wholesome food for the body” but “liquid death, both for body and mind.”

1842 The Franklin Café and Restaurant, located in Philadelphia’s elegant Franklin House (hotel) announces it is serving Ice Cream, Sherbets, and Roman Punch made by a graduate of the world-famous Café Tortoni in Paris.

1843 When a group of temperance advocates visits the Eagle Coffee House in Concord NH to convince the proprietor to give up the sale of intoxicating drinks, he tells them that he would feel “very mean” if he had to refuse a visitor from Boston a drink.

1844 P. B. Brigham announces he has hired the best French and Italian “Artistes” for his Restaurant, Ice Cream, and Oyster Saloon in Boston and has a Ladies’ Saloon newly “fitted up in the Parisian style.”

1845 Harvard forbids its students, all male then, from going to Cambridge eating and drinking places without a guardian.

1846 In an era when Black men occupy an important role in the catering business, NYC society caterer George T. Downing opens a summer branch of his business in Newport RI.

1846 A journalist travels somewhere “way out west” and eats at a small town tavern where the fare consists of ham and eggs fried in lard, hog jowl and greens (called corndoggers), and brains with greens, washed down with corn liquor or sassafras tea.

1847 Luxury comes to Baltimore with the opening of the Parisian Restaurant with a “French Cook.” As in Europe, Ladies (accompanied by Gentlemen) are to be honored in a private parlor “where it is hoped that they will be able to enjoy the luxuries of Oysters, Game, etc., from which they have been heretofore excluded.”

1848 In his vivid newspaper series New York in Slices, George G. Foster writes that about 30,000 persons who work in mercantile and financial occupations eat daily in the restaurants of lower Manhattan, and most of them “gorge . . . disgusting masses of stringy meat and tepid vegetables.”

1849 The Home Journal is convinced that the presence of restaurants, cafes, refectories, and oyster saloons, “on almost every corner of the streets” in cities is certain to lead young men to lives of “sensual excesses.”

Instant Pot Funeral Potatoes

  • Author: 365 Days of Slow and Pressure Cooking
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 10 – 12 servings 1 x


Potatoes with a homemade cheesy cream sauce and then topped with a crunchy cornflake topping. The perfect side dish to go with ham or turkey dinner.


  • 2 ¼ pounds (36 oz) peeled and cubed russet potatoes
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream


  1. Pour 1 ½ cups of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add the cubed potatoes into a steamer basket.* Lower the steamer basket into the bottom of the pot. Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 3 minutes. When the time is up move the valve to venting. Remove the lid.
  2. Remove the steamer basket and set aside. Dump out the water in the Instant Pot liner and wipe out the liner. Place the liner into the Instant Pot. Turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting. Use the adjust button to set it to normal (the middle saute setting). When the display says HOT add in the butter and swirl around until melted. Add in the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Slowly stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broth and milk. Stir in the salt, pepper, thyme and garlic powder. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir frequently until the mixture is slightly thickened.
  3. Turn off the Instant Pot. Stir in the cheese and sour cream until smooth and creamy. Then fold in the potatoes. Serve as is or continue on to do the optional cornflake topping.
  4. In a medium bowl toss the crushed cornflakes with the butter. Pour the potato mixture into a 9吉 inch pan and then top with the cornflakes. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes.


I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. For the 8 quart make recipe as stated. For the 3 quart pot halve the recipe.

Next review: Trio menu explores Grant Achatz's early work in Chicago

After 10 iterations in which Next has looked outward, creating menus inspired by cuisine from turn-of-the-century Paris, street food from Thailand and the gastronomic wonders of El Bulli chef Ferran Adria, the shape-shifting Next has adopted an inward gaze, focusing on the early work of chef/partner Grant Achatz in a menu called "Trio."

"Trio" refers to the now-shuttered Evanston restaurant where Achatz became nationally famous. And it's there that now-partner Nick Kokonas first tasted Achatz's food, and without that happy introduction, there would be no Alinea, or Next, today. So in addition to a look at Achatz's work from 2001 to mid-2004, the "Trio" menu carries a certain where-it-all-began vibe think "When Harry Met Sally," minus the vocal accompaniment (though a dish or two had me considering it).

All this is a very unusual proposition for the "Trio" patron, who might feel as though he was crashing someone else's reunion. And it's a strange challenge for Next's executive chef, Dave Beran it's one thing to oversee homages to Adria and Escoffier, but quite another to helm an ode to one's boss.

Ten or so years doesn't seem very long ago, but consider this: Not a single cook in Next's kitchen, Beran included, actually ate at Trio. Thus, the re-creation of that restaurant's cuisine is as much an abstraction as any other idiom that Next has explored, and certainly more so than, say, the Thailand, Sicily and Vegan menus. But it's not an abstraction at all to "Trio" customers who patronized the restaurant in the early aughts, and know exactly what to expect.

Which fascinates me, because one of the givens in Achatz's restaurants is that one never knows what to expect. Over the years, there has been very little repetition at Alinea and, faint echoes aside, zero at Next if you're like me, the Achatz dishes you've had are one-shot experiences. And so I felt a rush of giddy recognition with the arrival of the Ice Cream Sandwich course, a note-perfect re-creation of the savory course (olive-oil ice cream between Parmesan-black-pepper cookies) that was an amuse-bouche I last tasted 13 years ago. It was like saying hello to an old friend.

Other bits of sensory nostalgia followed. There was the black truffle explosion, a single ravioli containing liquid black truffle (it was a quintet back in the day, but inasmuch as "Trio" embraces 21 courses, one is plenty), now augmented with a soupcon of charred romaine and chopped black truffle. There was the short-rib with root-beer flavors, a deconstruction that presents sassafras, anise and sugar as discrete ingredients to match with beef. One dessert course is essentially a deconstructed dark beer, layering dark-porter gelee, flaxseed-pistachio tuile, and soft dark chocolate, next to a scoop of yeast ice cream.

Achatz's fondness for subverting expectations of flavor and texture are on display. Lamb loin (a pure sous-vide preparation with no caramelization whatsoever) over orange puree sits alongside a cup of cold lamb consomme with orange the same flavors, but with completely different textures and temperatures. Audience participation comes into play in a dish of crab and coconut, surrounded by a dozen garnishes arranged like numbers on a clock, each playing off crab and coconut in differing ways. Aromas are prominent in many dishes, notably a bowl of lobster and roasted mushrooms under lobster-cream foam the bowl sits in an additional bowl filled with rosemary leaves, and when the waiter pours in hot water, the heady rosemary aroma becomes part of a dish that otherwise is rosemary-free.

And there are some dishes in which the focus is less on the food than on the contraption that presents it. A tempura rock shrimp with cranberry and Meyer lemon is suspended by a multiwired contraption (known in the kitchen as "the squid") and impaled on a vanilla bean, serving as the dish's fork. The menu's 21st and final taste is a hibiscus sphere — just a bit of frozen hibiscus tea and sugar — perched on a tripod that happens to be the first custom piece made for Achatz by Martin Kastner, the Crucial Details designer whose work includes The Aviary's now-famous Porthole cocktail flask. Here, and in some other courses, the dishes are less Trio in nature than they are early Alinea, which those who have eaten at both restaurants will recognize.

And, I swear, sometimes the kitchen is just messing with your head. The pizza course consists of a tiny, postage-stamp square of edible paper, seasoned with tomato powder, fennel and other ingredients meant to convey a pizzalike flavor. And not good pizza, either the flavor is like one of those tomato-paste-and-English-muffin disasters I tried as a kid, and that is the intentional joke. The pizza square is suspended midair by a pin if you've ever wondered how many pizzas can dance on the head of a pin, you now have your answer.

If you visited Trio when Achatz ran the kitchen, "Trio" will be a memorable nostalgia trip. If Trio the restaurant eluded you, "Trio" the menu is fascinating enough, and delicious enough, to stand on its own.

Watch Phil Vettel's reviews weekends on WGN-Ch. 9's "News at Nine" and on CLTV.

Grant Achatz Announces New 2015 Menus for NEXT

The new 2015 menus for Grant Achatz’s NEXT restaurant in Chicago have been announced with more exciting themes in store for the restaurant that is always changing.

January to May

NEXT will pay homage to the Bistros of Paris, places embraced by the city after the great flood of 1910 and a places that even today are having a large effect on the gastronomic landscape of Paris, think about Bistronomy.

Achatz and his team promise a’ 5-7 course chalkboard men’u with special and supplements alas available to order. The meal is expected to cost $80-$120 per person, excluding supplements.

From France the team will head quickly to Spain and the traditions of Tapas. What sounds like a relaxed theme of chatting, dancing and devouring small bites that hit the ‘savory, salty, bitter and sweet’ kick.

It will cost $70-$110 per person with the promise of modern and traditional takes on tapas with Achatz reminding us that “small bites in Spain of Tapas or Pintxos are in many ways the predecessor of the long, modernist tasting menus of today.”

September - December

Terroir will be the focus on the final menu of 2015 with a menu that combines wines from all over the world with classic dishes from the same terroir.

The team say the “juxtaposition of New World and Old World wines with dishes from the precise area where the grapes are grown and vinified allows for an incredible, delicious, and educational progression around the world of food and wine pairings.”

This is expected to be around 15 courses with 10 vintage wines and will cost $295-355 per person, including all food and wine.

Here's Achatz dicussing his work in the kitchen in an interview with Fine Dining Lovers.

After 25 Years, Food Arts Magazine Folds

Sad news today in the print media world: Glossy food title Food Arts has ceased publication. Rumors began swirling late yesterday that the magazine was shutting down, and today the publisher, M. Shanken Communications, Inc., confirmed the news on Facebook: "It is with great sadness that, after 25 years, we announce the closing of Food Arts magazine. We have loved working with everyone in the food industry—our writers, photographers, chefs, restaurateurs, hoteliers, and everyone else we've raised a glass with along the way. Thank you for all of your loyalty and support throughout the years. We wish you all the very best. Keep the kitchen fires burning!"

The trade magazine served the fine-dining restaurant community across the country with glossy photo spreads and in-depth recipe tutorials. It was founded by Michael and Ariane Batterberry in 1986, and was acquired by M. Shanken Communications, Inc. in 1989. Eater received separate confirmation of the news via a forwarded email from a former staffer who thanked her contributors and wrote, "Thank you so much for the many years of terrific work. I know this will be hard for all of you as well, since you have been part of the Food Arts Family as well."

Watch the video: Announcement of the host city for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in 2020


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