David Chang Gets Feisty With Momofuku Nishi

Momofuku Nishi – David Chang’s latest project in Chelsea – has finally opened, and Chang made the announcement today through his magazine Lucky Peach along with an interview. The restaurant was rumored to be an Italian-Korean fusion, but Chang balks at that description. Instead, he asks “what food isn’t fusion?” and says,

“There are Italian words on the menu but we’re not trying to make Italian food. We’re not trying to make a Korean restaurant. We’re trying to do something that we’ve never done at Momofuku. We’re inspired by Italy but we’re not using any Italian ingredients. Things are moving at light speed here.”

Momofuku Nishi will also add to the list of major New York restaurants operating with a no-tipping policy. Chang cited the greater parity between front of house and back of house wages as the primary factor in this decision, and made no apologies for charging more.

The real cost of selling food is not accurately reflecting the labor that’s going into it. In 2000, I got paid maybe $10 an hour. Inflation has definitely risen, but cooks’ wages haven’t. That’s one of our biggest issues. We want to be able to grow as a company so we can provide for more people. This is a way we might be able to do that. And if it doesn’t work, we can always go back to the old way.

The menu is not yet available online, but Nishi is now open Tuesday – Saturday from 6:00pm-11:00pm.

To read the full interview, click here.

The Government Wants You to Have Your Coffee and Drink it Too

The federal government just released their dietary guidelines for 2015-2019, and most of them should come as no surprise. The guidelines are updated every five years to reflect current research and recommendations in the interest of promoting public health. For the most part, they tend to remain much the same: eat more vegetables and whole grains, avoid sugars and trans fats. The updates this year include changes to the recommended sugar intake (which should now be only 10% of daily calorie intake),  increases in allowable salt intake for certain demographic groups (now up to 2,300 mg a day), and the removal of a daily cholesterol recommendation. There was no recommendation to avoid red meat, despite the studies from the World Health Organization earlier this year indicating that it has carcinogenic properties on par with tobacco. All this is great news for anyone looking to replace their sugary pancakes and waffles with an extra helping of sausage and eggs.

Even better is the news that the department of health has finally gotten on board with “moderate” (up to 5 cups a day) coffee consumption. Citing a growing body of research indicating that coffee can help prevent everything from diabetes to cancer, the new guidelines say that coffee can be part of a “healthy lifestyle.” Although research indicates that, unsurprisingly, genetics play a strong role in the effects of coffee on the body, the report still acknowledges the many benefits available from your morning cup of joe. Just remember to hold the sugar with that.

To read more, click here.