How He Got 200,000 People To Buy Ugly Fruits and Vegetables

Imperfect Produce is a subscription home delivery service for "ugly" fruits and vegetables that are perfectly fine to eat.

“Four years later, Simon cofounded Imperfect Produce, a subscription-based home-delivery service for discounted “ugly” fruits and vegetables that are perfectly good on the inside, but otherwise rejected from the food supply chain for their looks.

“About 70 billion pounds of food is wasted annually in the United States. It’s from homes, cafeterias, farms, restaurants, grocery store and stadiums. Almost all of it is good food,” said Simon. “We wanted to think bigger about how to fight this food waste and create a more sustainable food system that was scalable.”
Simon partnered with his friend Ben Chesler, who shared his passion for social good, and the two homed in on farms as the starting point of their food recovery and delivery service. Up to 20% of the fruits and vegetables grown on farms in America is discarded because the produce doesn’t meet grocery stores’ aesthetic standards, said Simon.
“It’s often for discoloration, scarring on the surface caused by the fruit rubbing against a tree limb or an atypical shape,” he said. “Sometimes it’s the size. We see a glut of small avocados that go to waste because consumers tend to prefer larger avocados for guacamole.”

Read more here.

Innovative Filipino Dishes Come to the Lower East Side


“The flavors of the Philippines are interpreted inventively in the hands of Jappy Afzelius, a Filipino executive chef who worked at high-end kitchens in France, Italy and New York. Starters, called pica pica, include pinsit fritos or pork dumplings, fried vegetable spring rolls called lumpia, and kale laing sautéed with shrimp paste and replacing taro leaves with kale. Mr. Afzelius adds Filipino ingredients to a Caesar salad; uses French-cut chicken breasts in his chicken adobo with turmeric soy sauce; includes salmon in sinigang, a typical tamarind soup; and serves traditional Filipino milkfish belly called bangus, fried with chayote and quinoa. His halo-halo dessert uses coconut sorbet in place of shaved ice. Not only does the menu expand your Filipino vocabulary, but you may also note that the name of the restaurant is a play on the Spanish word chisme, or gossip. The intimate room has a tropical feel, a copper bar and a chef’s table with eight seats facing the open kitchen. Philippe Segura, the beverage director, selected the wines and sakes. The owners, Stephen Young and Reggie Aguinaldo, have Filipino roots.”

See more opening here.

Where to Eat Ice Cream in New York Right Now

“Visit the new Flushing outpost of the Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.
Since 1978, the Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory has been cranking out ice cream in flavors like durian, litchi, Thai iced tea, and pandan to critical acclaim. This year, the family-owned business expanded its footprint with a second location in the city’s second-largest Chinatown: Flushing, Queens. With the new location come exclusive new flavors, including gochujang chocolate as well as misugaru (a Korean grain powder) and cookies that’ll taste great after a self-guided Flushing food tour.”

See more spots for ice cream here.

 

Best NYC Mexican Restaurants To Celebrate Cinco de Mayo 2019

Taqueria Santa Fe

Topping the list is Taqueria Santa Fe. Located at 4708 47th Ave. in Sunnyside, it is the highest-rated Mexican restaurant in New York City, boasting 4.5 stars out of 305 reviews on Yelp.

See more restaurant here.

The Future of Hotel Dining Will Be Branded

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“Paris-based Accor is one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, with more than 4,500 places to stay (homes and hotels) in 100 countries and 10,000 dining outlets that — according to Accor CEO of food and beverage and lifestyle, Amir Nahai — generate more than 5 billion euros, or $5.7 billion U.S. dollars, in revenue on an annual basis.

And now that SBE, the Los Angeles-based hospitality group whose hotel and restaurant brands include the Mondrian, SLS, Delano, Cleo, Katsuya, and Umami Burger, is partly owned by Accor, you can expect to see more of those thousands of restaurants and bars being rebranded under SBE.

Over the next seven years, Accor and SBE plan to open at least 100 Umami Burger restaurants worldwide, as well as focus on opening other SBE dining and beverage brands such as Carna, SkyBar, and Dandelyan within Accor properties.”

See more here.

How Urban Development Shaped the Way 19th-century New Yorkers Ate

“New York City is famous for its food culture, whether it’s a $500 tasting menu at a Michelin-starred restaurant or a bodega bacon, egg, and cheese. It’s possible to find food from every corner of the world, no matter how obscure. Restaurants make, and sometimes unmake, entire neighborhoods.

This is a city that eats out. But that wasn’t always the case. Rewind just over 200 years, when New York was caught between being a Dutch colony and a city, and dining out was a rarity. As the city urbanized, how its residents ate profoundly changed.

An oyster cart, circa 1885

“Food serves as a nice medium to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of New York City history,” says Victoria Flexner, the founder of Edible History, a supper club that creates dinners themed around specific historical moments. Recently Flexner and chef Jay Reifel hosted a meal at the James Beard House that told the story of New York City’s urban development in the 19th century through how its residents dined out.

As the city became rapidly industrialized in the 19th century, a new system emerged to feed these workers: the mobile food cart.

While politicians, businessmen, and other white-collar workers went to oyster cellars and restaurants for their midday meals, lunch came to the working class. Vendors would park outside of factories and docks and, for a few pennies, would sell items like gingerbread, yams, oysters, and corn.”

Read more here.

Restaurant Menu Trends: What to Expect to See on More Menus in 2019

2019 restaurant menu trends

1. CBD (Cannabidiol) — up 99%!

It was only a matter of time before cannabidiol—or CBD—made its way into the restaurant industry. The non-psychoactive derivative from the cannabis plant has helped consumers looking for relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, spasms, and other conditions without the negative side effects of some pharmaceutical drugs.

According to the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) What’s Hot Culinary Survey, a barometer of U.S. food and beverage trends, 650 professional chefs—all members of the American Culinary Federation—said infusing food and drink with cannabis and CBD could create unique cuisine opportunities and potential new markets for experiential dining occasions. Of the survey’s respondents, 77 percent identified cannabis/CBD-infused drinks as the number one trend in the restaurant industry right now, and 76 percent tapped cannabis/CBD-infused food as the second most popular trend.

Data from Upserve customers revealeda 99 percent increase in CBD menu items in 2018, setting up 2019 as the year of CBD. From baked goods to CBD-infused beverages, restaurants across the country are responding to a consumer demand to chill out.

“There has been growing popularity and support around CBD, and if it makes people happier and less stressed, then why not give the public what they want?” says Nick Duckworth, owner of cafe Banter NYC. They currently only sell Dirty Lemon CBD, a packaged, CBD-infused drink, but will be expanding their CBD offerings in 2019, allowing customers “to add CBD drops to most beverages.”

View all 2019 Menu trends here.