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

Tea Makes a Stir in New York City

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Christopher Day at EMP

In the past tea has not always been though of as a trendy drink but now the industry is noticing an increase in demand. Loose leaf teas from around the world, tea preparation classes and artisan teaware are now available from a myriad of online purveyors and tea salons. Chain stores are also popping up nationwide as Starbucks purchased Teavana in 2012 and now has expanded to 301 stores across the country. According to the Tea Association of the USA in 2014, Americans consumed over 80 billion servings of tea, or more than 3.60 billion gallons.

These days, tea is also making a stir in New York Restaurants.  New York’s elite are now offering extensive tea lists and some even offer matching tasting notes. Tea programs are now offered at Eleven Madison Park, Atera, Blanca and Betony providing diners a chance to experience some of the world’s best teas. Eleven Madison Park’s tea program currently offers a seasonal menu of 32 types of teas served by the pot. Christopher Day, the man behind Eleven Madison Park’s tea program told Eater “”tea represents more than a beverage meant to be drunk at the end of a meal…We regard it as with wine, spirits, and coffee — as something to be selected and prepared with the same attention to detail and concern for excellence as any aspect of the menu.”

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Iced Matcha Teas at MatchaBar

Fast causal concepts are also appearing across the city offering different variations of the beverage. Flushing’s Fang Gourmet Tea offers 70 teas at $5 to $10. In Williamsburg New Yorkers can enjoy the city’s first speciality matcha cafe at MatchaBar where they offer everything from classic matcha to specialty  seasonal drinks such as Iced Mint Matcha Lemonade.

To read more from the New York Times click here

Maple, the Momofuku-backed Delivery Service, Launches Today

Back in November, we posted about the news that Momofuku emperor David Chang had signed on to develop menus for a new, upscale food delivery app called Maple.  The major difference between Maple and its competitors like Caviar and Seamless is that Maple is going to produce all of the food itself, rather than sourcing from restaurants.

Maple has built a commissay kitchen in Brooklyn, which will, over time, feed into a network of delivery-kitchen hubs across the city.  Think Pret A Manger’s model without retail storefronts being replaced by a delivery application.  Maple has secured $26 million in funding to date–a portion of which has come from David Chang himself.

Today, the app is launching its service below Chambers Street with a mouthwatering menu.  In the kitchen is Soa Davies, a six-year veteran of Le Bernardin.  The operation is starting small with just three options, but plans to expand as the service grows.  Chang notes that America is somewhat behind with this trend, as there are “entire cultures… [that] base their food on deliverable lunches… Japan, Korea, Taiwan, India.  This is relatively new to us.”

To read more, click here.

Rebelle Launches on Lower East Side

The chef of Paris’ revolutionary Spring, Daniel Eddy, has returned to the States to open Rebelle with Pearl & Ash’s uber-successful wine director, Patrick Cappiello.  The duo see the bistronomy trend that bubbled up in the Parisian restaurant scene as the major inspiration for Rebelle–particularly given Eddy’s involvement in Spring, which helped usher in the movement in Paris.

The pair have opened a restaurant that pairs serious food with a casual setting–exploring French classics in a modern way.  For example, beet bourguignonne made with salt-baked beets in place of beef, and leek vinaigrette with soft-boiled egg, Dijon, and leek ash.  Cappiello is running the wine program with gusto; the list has 1,500 French and American labels.  Per Se and Guy Savoy alum Jessica Yang is running the pastry department and churning out grand finales such as rhubard, lemongrass, and vanilla in various textures.

Brooklyn-based hOmE, which is responsible for many of the austere, beautiful dining rooms around town such as Mast Brothers, Black Seed, and Telepan Local, designed the space with an emphasis on marble, custom textiles, and simplicity.  The dining room features a chef’s counter overlooking the open kitchen, and a bar with a separate snack menu and cocktails from master mixologist, Eben Klemm.

Rebelle is now open.  To read more, click here.

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