Tartine Bakery New York Bound

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San Francisco’s most beloved bakery, Tartine, has announced that it will be joining forces with another San Fran favorite, Blue Bottle Coffee. Opened in 2002 by Chad Robertson, Tartine Bakery is highly renowned for their artisanal baked goods and their cult following. Blue Bottle Coffee, also celebrating its thirteenth year, was founded in Oakland, California by James Freeman and is best known for their extensive brewing guides and focus on single-origin beans.

Robinson will become CEO of the bakery which will now be a part of Blue Bottle. Blue Bottle founder and CEO James Freeman has been friends with Robinson for 10 years, but their alliance is only a recent and spontaneous development reports Inside Scoop. Tartine’s restaurant, Bar Tartine, will remain independent as it will be sold to chefs Nick Balla and Cortney Burns.

With the merger, the famed San Francisco bakery will be introduced to New York as well as Los Angeles by the end of the year. Previously, Tartine had previously announced their plans for an expansion that would bring them overseas to Japan, where Blue Bottle recently opened their first Tokyo based venture. This fall will also bring the debut of the bakery’s first ice cream shop, Tartine Cookies and Cream, which will open in the Heath Ceramics building in the Mission District. Blue Bottle currently has 19 locations throughout California, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Japan. In 2012 Blue Bottle made the news when it raised $19.6 million from investors and in 2014 they raised an additional $25.75 million.

To read more from the New York Times, click here

James Beard Award Chef and Restaurant Finalists Announced

After months of deliberation, the James Beard Foundation has finally honed in on the selection of finalists for this years’ Chef and Restaurant awards.  The awards will be held May 4 in Chicago–the first time outside NYC in 24 years! Here is a quick review of the local talent that made the cut:

  • Batard, nominated for Best New Restaurant
  • Jim Lahey, nominated for Outstanding Baker
  • Maison Premiere, nominated for Outstanding Bar Program
  • Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, nominated for Outstanding Chef
  • Ghaya Oliveira, Daniel, nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef
  • Christina Tosi, Momofuku, nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef
  • Momofuku Noodle Bar, Per Se, and The Spotted Pig nominated for Outstanding Restaurant
  • Marea, nominated for for Outstanding Service

To see the complete list, click here.

FDA Regulations on Artisanal Cheese Aging Process

A request was made for clarification from the FDA on their view on aging cheese on wooden boards. An FDA official responded that cheese shouldn’t in fact be aged on wooden boards without realizing the impact this would have on the cheese business. Within a couple of days the FDA retreated the statement due to the backlash of the press and the general panic of artisanal cheese makers.

Although the artisanal cheese business is quite small the potential regulation still would have had an enormous impact on their production. There is no indication however that this aging process which has been used for centuries could be harmful to our health. Critics of the FDA believe that more time should be spent focusing on bigger food production businesses that could pose more widespread threats rather than meddling with artisanal producers.

What started as a request for guidance on a policy created a stir that now may even go through congress. A Vermont Democrat, Peter Welch, has proposed an amendment that would prevent the FDA from banning the use of wooden boards in the cheese aging process. To read more about the issue and how people are getting involved click here

 

 

Chipotle to Add Tofu “Sofritas” to Permanent Menu

After a successful test run for Chipotle’s vegan protein option, tofu sofritas, in the West Coast last year, the soybean-based staple will be making its way to Chipotle’s permanent menu in New York and Boston locations beginning March 3, announces Grub Street. Chipotle describes sofritas as “organic shredded tofu braised with chipotle chilies, roasted poblano peppers, and a blend of aromatic spices. Hodo Soy Beanery in Oakland supplies Chipotle with GMO-free tofu.

José Andres to Break Into Fast Food Scene

José Andres revealed to Vanity Fair about his plans to enter the fast-food industry in the coming year and a half.

“Maybe I shouldn’t tell you . . . I’m not going to tell you why, but, I’ve been saying for a while that more and more chefs, we need to be [better at] influencing how to feed the many. We only feed the few. I don’t mean only on hunger issues, which I love to see the food community very involved in, solving the hunger and obesity issues in America and overseas, but I believe there’s an opportunity for chefs to have more of a say in how we’re going to feed the vast majority of this planet. You achieve that through the fast-food restaurants. I guarantee you that in the next 10 to 20 years we are going to see more and more fast-food restaurants lead by chefs.”

In response to the interviewer confirming Andres’ interest in exploring the fast food industry, Andres reasoned, “It would be right. Let me ask you: Who do you prefer, a clown organizing your menu—with all due respect to Mr. McDonald—or a chef? I do believe it’s a very simple answer.”

 

Chef Driven Market May Open in Union Square Park

As of yesterday, the New York State Court of Appeals ended a six-year-long battle which would determine whether a “Chef Driven Market” could open in Union Square Pavilion; they ultimately acquiesced to allowing it. It’s probable that restaurateur Simon Oren will open his planned full-service establishment with 200 seats; however, the Parks Department has the final say in authorizing the proposed menus along with other operational logistics.

Dave Pasternack to Join Forces with LDV Hospitality

Chef Dave Pasternack of B & B Hospitality Group’s Esca is partnering with LDV Hospitality (Scarpetta, American Cut) in an Italian fish restaurant venture. The restaurant will open in the old Promenade Des Anglais space. “I’m calling it Barchetta, which means small boat,” said Chef Pasternack. He continues, “It’s taken me 14 years, but I’m finally doing it.” Esca patrons need not worry, as Pasternack has no plans to leave.

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