Fight for 15 in Action

New YorkFight-for-15 City’s fast food worker minimum will rise to $15 by 2018 and the rest of the state by 2021. The increase in wages is in efforts to improve the lives of chain restaurant employees whose wages can keep them reliant on taxpayer-subsidized welfare programs. This policy will apply to not only company-owned restaurants with thirty or more nationwide locations but to franchise locations as well. As wages increases, labor costs increases resulting in price hikes for consumer goods. In a recent survey of 924 fast food businesses in New York, 70 percent were “very likely” to raise prices in response to the increase in minimum wages, and 83 percent of respondents claimed they were very likely or “somewhat likely” to reduce hours of staffing levels. This increase in higher wages could potentially prompt competitive salary increases throughout the hospitality and retail industries to avoid drama of workers who’ll suddenly find fast food jobs more attractive.

The New York City minimum wage increases are scheduled to occur on December 31st of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 at $10.50, $12.00, $13.50, and $15 respectively. While the changes to the New York State minimum wages will be broken down from 2015 to 2021, at $9.75, $10.75, $11.75, $12.75, $13.75, $14.50 and $15 respectively.

To read more, click here.

NYC Restaurants are Required to Freeze Raw Fish

sashimi-resizedSushi restaurants have lured gourmands by boasting of the freshest fish. But with new regulations, published by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, restaurants are required that fish served raw, undercooked or marinated raw are to be frozen first to guard against parasites. This regulations has been approved by the Board of Health and will be set to take effect in August. The Health Department regulation is that fish will be required a minimum freezer storage time of anywhere from 15 hours to a week depending not eh temperatures and storage process.

Though customers might be distasteful at their “fresh” fish coming from a freezer, the truth is that many chefs in NYC’s top restaurants have long used frozen fish to prevent serving their raw fare with a side of pathogens. “We purposely deep-freeze at negative 83 degrees, and we use one of those medical cryogenic freezers, this way it’s kind of like cooking, but instead of using heat we use freezing to remove parasites or bacteria on the outer surface.” says Yuta Suzuki, vice president of Sushi Zen. Even with these public regulations, because many restaurants have already been utilizing freezing as a method of pasteurizing, chefs believe it won’t take too much effect on their process of cooking. Moreover, frozen fish are free of parasites, and also cheaper, available out of season and sometimes even tastier.

To read more on NYC’s new regulations on Raw fish, click here

Organic Food Waste Bill

In efforts to achieve zero waste in landfills by 2030, iStock-9013928_Kitchen-Waste-Composting_s3x4.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1707Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed a bill that would require businesses to separate food waste and regular trash. Hotels, arenas and large-scale restaurants would be required to create systems and comply to this proposal regularly.  The regulation applies to restaurants in hotels with more than 150 rooms, vendors in arenas and stadiums with seating capacity of at least 15,000 people, food manufacturers with a floor area of at least 25,000 square feet and wholesalers with at least 20,000 square feet. Mayor de Blasio believes “The commercial establishments in today’s proposal are already recycling plastics and metals, and by additionally recycling organic material, they will significantly contribute to reducing our city’s waste stream.” Exempt from this regulation are other food businesses like grocery stores, caterers, normal-sized restaurants and fast-food establishments. It is deemed that the sanitation department is set to publish this rule over the summer and is subjected to start after a 6-month grace period for businesses. Businesses will be given the option to arrange for collection by a private carter, transport organic waste themselves, or compost on-site, subject to compliance with the city’s sewer system. Business will be entirely liable for all costs and challenges associated with composting- space, price, arrangement.

For more information on the bill, click here

Whole Foods, Whole Paycheck

Whole Foods is a leading grocery market in New York City that is imagesnotorious for its high prices. While many consumers thought the produce was pricey because it was really healthy or organic, in actuality, after investigation from the Department of Consumer Affairs, it has been noted that Whole Foods is guilty of overpricing their produce. Whole Foods has been charged with over 800 violations during 107 separate inspections since 2010 for inaccurate consumer prices. Recently, inspectors weighed 80 different types of items at eight different locations and found that every label was inaccurate with many overcharging the consumers. Michael Sinatra, Whole Foods Spokesman, notes that the store always refunds any items found to have been incorrectly priced and likewise “never intentionally used deceptive practices to incorrectly charge customers.” Whole Foods employees remarked that corporate is held responsible for these incorrect labels because it is ordered by corporate. While just last summer Whole Foods agreed on a settlement of $800,000 in a California investigation regarding the same problems, Whole Foods, now, is potentially facing fines of more than $58,000 in New York City.

To read more on the investigation at Whole Foods, click here

Momofuku Ko uses Instagram for more

Instagram is frequently used as an outlet for companiesB2M7E5DIYAAy0fg.0.0 in marketing, but Jordan Salcito, the Momofuku Wine Director, utilizes Instagram not only as a distribution medium but as a base in creating Momofuku’s wine list. Instagram along with other social media outlets like Twitter is essentially numerous social circles created from following friends and “liking” interesting posts. Salcito theorizes that within social media social circles are aroused through similar interests and style. Similarly winemaker friend groups on social media are indicators of actual wine styles.Through this idea Salcito creates a wine list where every bottle of wine can be suggested through the relationship between its corresponding sommelier.

Momofuku Ko’s wine list attracts wine enthusiasts through its stark photography of sommeliers and a description of the relationship between wine bottles but also attracts customers on a smaller budget. Often wines that are buzzed throughout social media are rare and start at a high price range But, Salcito’s intentions with grouping similar styles of wine potentially allows customers to drink a Boisson for $85 instead of a Coche-Dury for $795.

To read more on Momofuku Ko’s Wine list, click here.

Babu Ji redefines NYC’s Ice Cream Wars

As the humidity and heat rises in New York City, social media feeds have been buzzing around trending ice cream parlors. In recent years, gourmet ice cream shops have been spurring up in New York City and this summer is no different. Babu Ji is the latest contestant in this “ice cream war” and isn’t shying away from challenging the market.

While Babu Ji offers an array of traditional Indian fCard, Pista, Honey Kulfi Mikey Pozarikoods, it’s trademark is the Kulfi Ice Cream. New Yorkers are no stranger to Kulfi as it has already entered the market in the past through grocery vendors and other traditional Indian restaurants. However, the Kulfi at Babu Ji is unique in that Jessi Singh, the restaurant’s chef and co-owner, invests almost an entire day into making a Kulfi. Continuous stirring of the milk base and adjustments of temperature create a consistency different from an average ice cream. Kulfi has a more chewy texture that is smooth, creamy and dense and in the last bites there is cardamom and pistachio. Babu Ji offers only one flavor right now but Singh intends to bring more flavors with local fruits and in “clove-and-ginger-charged chai.”

Not only does Singh invest hours into creating Kulfi but hopes to offer a nostalgic and traditional aura to his customers. Kulfi is “the only thing that cools you down in the afternoons in India where long summers days with 100 percent humidity and no proper electricity exists. Moms and grandmas often make Kulfi to cheer others up” says Singh. Singh also uses traditional metal molds directly from India to enhance the Kulfi experience to that of India.

To read more about Babu Ji’s Kulfi, click here.

Babu Ji – 175 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

New York Shines at James Beard Awards

Although this year’s James Beard Awards were held in Chicago, New York was the big winner of the night. The city that never sleeps brought home five awards showing that you can take show out of New York, but the winners are here to stay.  The James Beard Awards, deemed the Oscars of the culinary industry, celebrated its 25th Anniversary this year. Alton Brown hosted this year’s show, which was live streamed for viewers to enjoy at home. Congratulations to all of our New York friends!

  • Best New Restaurant
    • Bâtard, NYCScreen Shot 2015-05-07 at 9.16.23 AM
  • Outstanding Baker 
    •  Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery, NYC
  •  Outstanding Chef 
    • Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, NYC
  •  Outstanding Pastry Chef 
    • Christina Tosi, Momofuku, NYC
  • Outstanding Restaurant
    • Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY

To read the full list of winners, click here

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