José Andrés to Open in NYC

With the recent controversy of Donald Trump’s10-questions-jose-andres_608 disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants in his recent campaign post for the upcoming Presidential elections, José Andrés has backed out of a contract with Trump Hotels in Washington D.C. José Andrés says Trump’s stance makes it “impossible” for him to move forward with the restaurant on Trump property because more than half the team is Hispanic, and the chef himself is a Spanish immigrant. Donald Trump Jr. claims that José Andrés will still be held responsible for their 10-year leased contract and other fees for terminating their contract including possibilities of opening The Bazaar in another property within Washington D.C. However, José Andrés was surely able to find alternative measures to open a new restaurant, and instead of D.C his EL Bulli-style spherical olives and his Spanish restaurant The Bazaar has been rumored to be opening a SLS property in NYC. It is no surprise that José Andrés will be partnering with Hotel chain SLS as they have been longtime partners from the opening of his first location of The Bazaar at one of SLS’s properties in Beverly Hills. José Andrés is also serving as the hotel chain’s culinary director. While the rumor of José Andrés opening a restaurant in NYC still remains, some speculate that José Andrés is only advising in the development of the new Hotel SLS restaurant in NYC and has no intentions of opening in NYC. Nonetheless, many speculators are excited to see which new location José Andrés will enter.

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July 16th

One of the biggest summer food CJbAFC2UEAA5N1Ktrends is fried chicken sandwiches and Shake Shack is taking their approach to this market with their ChickenShack. This fried chicken sandwich is “limited edition” and can only be found in three locations in Brooklyn. While this “limited edition” burger was available for a short span, the success of the burgers have encouraged the sandwich to be offered in a larger span. On July 16th, the ChickenShack will be available for more consumers.

While a fried chicken sandwich is only recently a trending food buzz with openings of Fuku Chicken sandwiches, Shake Shack claims to have already been investing in creating the perfect fried chicken sandwich from almost two years ago. The sandwich has been tested a number of techniques including marinating, grilling and even sous of the chicken breast before deep frying. Mark Rosati, Shake Shack culinary director, uses a slow cooking method similar to sous vide cooking, using buttermilk for their chicken. They’ve tried whole wheat, pretzel and other substitutes to the Martin’s potato bun, the buns on their burgers, but claim that the Martin’s bun was the best combination for best displaying the flavors of the chicken itself. The ChickenShack was inspired by Southern buttermilk fried chicken where breast meat is used.

As much as a lot of time and effort was invested into creating a ChickenShack, a lot of social media, and consumers are buzzing about the “limited edition” sandwiches and are enthusiastic about its return on July 16th.

To read more about the ChickenShack, click here.

Pomme Frites asks for Help

PommesFritesThe beloved belgium fries shop Pomme Frites is getting ready to reopen in its new location on MacDougal St. Pomme Frites was a victim of the 2nd Avenue fire this past March. While this fry shop was a legendary fries shop in the St. Marks area, fry lovers are anticipating the shop’s return. In attempts to quickly reopen the shop, the owners Omer Shorshi and Suzanne Levinson are asking for donations to help buy fryers, fridges and appliances needed to make their famous fries and sauces. While the original location was insured, the equipment is dated from 1996 when the store first opened that claims won’t be enough to cover new appliance costs and legal claims are a slow process.

Pomme Frites are estimating a goal of $64,000 in equipment funds. A total of 180 people have donated so far at an average of $10 which is slightly 10 percent of the full goal. Pomme Frites is giving vouchers to those that donate for an order of fries with three toppings, something that would sell for $9 at the old shop, so it essentially allows people to pre-pay their first order of fries. Shorshi and Levinson are hoping to reopen the shop by October and are constantly asking for their beloved followers to donate.

To read more on Pomme Frites, 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

The Big M loses it’s Size

For the first time since 1977, one of the largest restaurant chains inMcDonalds-Closing the world, McDonald’s, is projected to close more stores than open in the United States. Over the past two years, McDonald’s has been suffering from decreasing revenue and drops in profit from stores worldwide. Increasing numbers of competitors in the United States, economic instability in Europe and strict food safety regulations in Asia have effected the performance of McDonald’s. Already in the first quarter of 2015, McDonald’s closed 350 stores performing poorly in Japan, United States and China hoping it will drive profits upward. McDonald’s CFO Kevin Ozan is implementing turnaround strategies to “win over the millions of burger-eaters.” The company’s approach within limited service fast food is labeled to be outdated and far from trending dietary factors. This generation, the Millennials, are prone to be more health-conscious and interested in key words like “organic, free range, locally grown” which are areas that McDonald’s is incoherent with. With McDonald’s lagging attempt to follow trends, competitors continue to grow like Chipotle which caused the biggest drop in sales to McDonald’s with its entrance into the limited service industry. McDonald’s has not officially disclosed the number of stores closing but it is speculated that a target of 700 restaurants with poor sales will be shutting down this year.

To read more from grubstreet, click here.

Dine – In Traffic on the Rise

In recent years, diners have been choosing to take out meals or eat at home, but a recent study from The NPD Group shows the tides are changing. Consumers are enjoying more meals at restaurants as sit down traffic has grown 2 percent in 2014, in addition to 1-percent growth in 2013. Dine-in visits currently account for 39 percent of industry traffic and generate more than $233 billion dollars a year. For years there has been growth in the take out segment, which offers lower profit potential to restaurants as NPD analyst Bonnie Riggs told Nation’s Restaurant News “When you dine in the restaurant sales are much higher, you order more items”

One reason for dine-in growth is that restaurants are taking into account customer’s wants and taking the time to understand their target demographic. One industry spotlight of this is the national fondue chain, The Melting Pot. The chain began hosting focus groups with current and past consumers who gave much insight to the wants of their target market. Through these groups they found out that the restaurant was being used mostly for specialty occasions and consumers wanted a more approachable venue that they could frequent more often. By using the consumer feedback the Melting Pot made radical changes to their menu and operations that resulted in increased sales in 2014.

To read more from Nation’s Restaurant News, click here

Food Companies Come Clean

Over the last six months multiple food companies have announced plans to be more transparent with their ingredients and Panera Bread is the latest to jump on the bandwagon. The bakery-café chain Panera_Logo_announced that by the end of 2016 they plan to remove over 150 ingredients from their inventory which can be found on the “No No List” published on their website today.

Other companies that have made similar commitments include Nestle, Hersey, Pepsi and General Mills promising to eliminate a variety of artificial preservatives, flavors and colors, different kinds of sweeteners and meat from animals raised with antibiotics. Chipotle Mexican Grill also announced this week that all of their restaurants are GMO-Free meaning that none of their ingredients have been genetically modified. Chipotle co–CEO told CNN Money that “Chipotle is really showing that there’s a better way to dUnknowno fast food.”

In the past years, GMO’s have become a hot button issue, as there is concern regarding the safety of these genetically modified crops. According to the USDA GMO’s are in about 80% of conventional processed food in the United States. With little research confirming the negative effects of GMO’s many wonder if companies putting forth such effort to go natural is necessary. Additionally, most of the companies have been very careful with their placement stating that such changes are to meet consumer demands rather than taking a stance on the issue.

How do you feel about GMO’s? Do you think it’s necessary for these food giants to change their recipe for success? Leave us a comment and let us know!

To read more from the New York Times, click here

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