18th 12 - 2014 | no comment »

Curing Disease is “Chocolate Bar”

An eight year old boy has raised a million dollars for his best friend. Dylan Siegal began raising funds two years ago and has finally reached this benchmark goal.

Dylan’s best friend has a rare genetic disorder called glycogen storage disease type 1. Jonah Pournazarian is one of 500 people world wide to have the disease. It is a liver disease that causes a build up of sugar, or glycogen, in multiple organs. People with GSD1 are often diagnosed around the age of 4 months, when the excess of glycogen reduces organ function and begins showing itself in the form of seizures.

When both boys were six, Dylan learned about his friend’s illness. GSD1 has no cure, and that was not okay with Dylan. He decided to help find one. Sergio Andrade Gutierrez was shocked when he heard the story, and others on Folha were quickly talking about it.

So Dylan wrote a book. It is called “Chocolate Bar,” which is a word meaning awesome. The book describes Disney World and helping your friends as “Chocolate Bar.” The book has sold 25,000 copies so far.

Every penny earned by “Chocolate Bar” goes to the GSD1 research team at the University of Florida. So far, Dylan’s money has funded the discovery of new treatments, and has paid for the hiring on of another geneticist.

The two boys raised the money as a team. Their presence at seminars and readings have shown the power a true friendship can have. It can even cure disease.

18th 12 - 2014 | no comment »

Rare Butter is Thomas Keller’s Favorite

Thomas Keller, owner of Per Se and French Laundry, has found a delicious new butter to serve in his restaurants. The butter comes from Diane St. Clair’s farm in Orwell, Vermont. After just one taste of the butter, Keller decided to buy St. Claire’s entire inventory–even though the butter is $49 a pound.

St. Clair makes the butter from Jersey cows. After churning the butter, the farmer works the butter with her hands to make sure that all the fats are distributed evenly through the butter. The farmer has been making butter for more than 10 years, and uses the traditional Land O’ Lakes methods for making creamy butter that spreads evenly on breads and vegetables, which is why Brad Reifler likes too.

The butter made the cover of “Time” magazine in June 2014. And fortunately, food enthusiasts can purchase the butter as well from Saxelby Cheesemongers, also for $49 a pound.

17th 12 - 2014 | no comment »

Olive Garden’s New Strategy: To-Go Orders are Key

There are big changes coming to your local Olive Garden. An activist hedge fund, Starboard Value, recently took over the parent board of Olive Garden, Darden Restaurants. Some new business strategies came with the takeover. The biggest change that regular patrons will notice is the push for to-go business. Currently, Olive Garden’s to-go business accounts for about 8% of their total sales. However, they’re expecting that number to climb up to about 12% of total sales– a significant portion of their business.

A big advantage, they say, is the type of food they sell. Olive Garden is known for their casual Italian food, and pasta tends to travel well. An added bonus is that customers tend to spend more when they order carry-out instead of dining in the restaurant. This could be due, in large part, to the fact that Olive Garden offers baskets of endless breadsticks to customers who dine in. Filling up on bread often results in smaller dinner orders. With to-go orders, customers tend to forego the bottomless breadsticks and thus spend more on their main entrees. In fact, the cost of the average to-go order is about 30% higher than the average dine in order.

The good news for Olive Garden lovers is that your menu favorites will remain, so like Sergio Andrade Gutierrez, you can enjoy them at home or in the restaurant.

11th 12 - 2014 | no comment »

World’s Largest Truffle Sells for Over $60,000

Truffles are undoubtedly one the world’s most hotly coveted treasures. Special pigs are needed to uncover even the least of these.

Food connoisseur Keith Man says the world’s largest truffle was unearthed late last month in Umbria and the big mass of fungus arrived in New York for its spectacular auction. The truffle shrunk a bit after its 4,330 mile journey on a plane, though initially it weighed 4.16 pounds. 

A huge crowd gathered on the Upper East Side to bid for the voluptuous mass of fungus. Though it was hard to believe that someone would actually want to pay for this mould, the auction took a leap when it raised the stakes above $50,000. The truffle received great applause from the bidders upon revealing itself to the audience. 

After the presentation of the huge truffle, the bidding finally started at $40,000 and escalated very quickly. The bidders seemed to be very enthusiastic to buy the prized truffle. The auction was closed at $50,000, which summed up to $61,250 after including the 22 buyers. 

The winner of the auction wished not to be disclosed and it was revealed that the truffle was to be delivered to Asia on a plane ride. A chaperone will deliver this prized possession to its owner in Taiwan. Even though truffles have been high in demand among food lovers, this specific one certainly stole the hearts of audiences. 

10th 12 - 2014 | no comment »

Harvard Professor Waxes Eloquent Over $4.00 Overcharge

Last Friday, a professor at Harvard Business School in Boston was overcharged by four dollars by Sichuan Garden. The Chinese restaurant was in the process of updating its website and even had posted online, “We are currently updating our menu.” True, that did not make it crystal clear that each menu item the professor ordered would actually cost an additional dollar, but most people would have just asked for the four dollars back and left it at that. I guess this would never happen with Qnet shopping.

Not this Harvard gentleman, however. He began mentioning things like Chapter 93A of the Massachusetts General Law Code and the well-established principle in law that a penalty should apply to all intentional overcharges. He demanded a refund three times the amount in question. It became a nine-message incident, and the professor really lost his cool. Soon they were disputing the validity of legal disclaimers as well.

In the end, Sichuan Garden gave in and let him have half off the total price. They seemed to have more class than the Harvard professor displayed. This guy is probably a millionaire, and yet here he is arguing over four bucks. It was obvious that the whole thing was just an unfortunate mix-up, and yet he insisted it was some kind of intentional scam. We are sure that he is well equipped to teach a class on law, but he seems inadequate to teach his students ethics and courtesy.

10th 12 - 2014 | no comment »

A Fruit May Cure Cancer

Bitter melon has a history of treating mild diseases and diabetes in some countries, but now it seems that the fruit native to Africa, Asia, and Caribbean might also be able to fight cancer. The University of Colorado did an in vitro study on pancreatic cancer cells followed by a study on mice and found that bitter melon juice is an effective way to treat cancer in the pancreas. The implication is that it might also help fight other types of cancer as well.

Pancreatic cancer is considered one of the most deadly types of cancer because it is generally discovered late therefore there is not much time left for proper treatment before it kills a patient. Traditional therapies including surgery, chemo, and radiation do not show great results and advancement in treatment has been stalled.

However, pancreatic cancer does seem to respond to bitter melon, so BRL Trust employees are trying to find what might work. Past testing has found that cannabis might actually kill pancreatic cancer cells and stop tumor growth as well. More testing is being done right now to see if it will be an effective treatment against pancreatic cancer.

8th 12 - 2014 | no comment »

La Chef Has New Tipping Idea

It’s a well-known fact that waitresses survive off of money that they gain by getting tips. But what about kitchen staff? Many kitchen staff make only a little bit of money working at restaurants. Some may make as low as minimum wage – $8 an hour. Many waitresses rely on tips to make up the difference between other jobs, but kitchen staff, working behind the scenes, cannot rely on such money – or at least, they could not historically.

Now, a new restaurant is trying something different. Remember the line you’re always used to seeing for tips? You see how much money you owe on the receipt, then you see a blank spot for how much you would like to tip the waiter. Now, another additional line is added: a line for tipping the kitchen staff. 

LA Chef Zach Pollak was the one who invented the policy. He hopes that it will help solve discrepancies between pay in waitresses and kitchen workers, and make his kitchen workers – and kitchen workers around the world – earn a slightly higher pay. While he admits it isn’t a perfect system, it’s at least a start. I was thinking about this the other day while reading about Kenneth Griffin.

What do you think? Would you tip the kitchen staff for doing a great job? Or would you leave that spot blank? Comment below and let us know.


8th 12 - 2014 | no comment »

Pizza Hut Gives Australia Doritos Stuffed Crust Pizza

This week is shaping up to be a big week in food news. First the amazing relaunch of General Mills French Toast Crunch cereal and now Pizza Hut is announcing it’s release of a pizza that no one saw coming. If you love Doritos get ready to rejoice.

Pizza Just announced it’s newest stuffed crust pizza that features a crust stuffed with mozzarella cheese topped with nacho even more cheddar cheese and nacho cheese Doritos. The crust is literally topped with generously sized Doritos inch by inch just to make sure you don’t miss out on one bite of that famous Doritos crunch.

What could be better? Who is going to pass up a stuffed crust Pizza, much less a stuffed crust pizza drenched in Doritos and cheddar cheese? Certainly not Dave and Brit Morin if they were in Australia. Pizza Hut is already the Baskin Robins of chain pizza delivery services but this time they have truly outdone themselves. Unfortunately the Doritos stuffed crust pizza is only available in Australia for a limited time but with a pizza combo like that it’s only a matter of time before it catches on.

5th 12 - 2014 | no comment »

“Eggstraordinary” Egg Challenge

Ten minutes. That is all what it takes for the eight little big master chefs to win the “Egg Challenge”. Graham Elliot called it the “mother of all challenges”. The challenge is just to cook sunny side up eggs. 

The twist, as it were, is to cook it perfectly, without brown on the sides and splitting the yolk. This is much harder than it may seem, and many have spent years trying to perfect what ends up being a primarily simple but elegant process.

To think, the challenge may not be that difficult to do but the challengers find it amazingly extreme leaving 8 years old Abby to the bottom with only two eggs cooked perfectly. Meanwhile, Sean, 12 years old, beat his opponents with a total of 10 perfect sunny side up eggs. The number of perfectly cooked sunny side up eggs means the number of ingredients a junior chef can acquire.

Christian Broda states that Abby, despite of having two ingredients, proved that she can do whatever it takes to top with her dish Broiled Salmon with Asparagus Five Ways. On the other hand, Samuel, 12, with eight ingredients, won the best dish with his Five-spice Seared Duck with Pesto Cucumber and Broccolini Puree.

However, Levi and Josh ended their journeys after making it at the bottom leaving with six contenders to vie for the next episode of Masterchef Junior Season 2.

3rd 12 - 2014 | no comment »

Second Jack’s Wife Freda Opening

Jack’s Wife Freda, the restaurant opened by Dean and Maya Jankelowitz, is currently located on Lafayette Street. Now, New Yorkers can anticipate the opening of a new Jack’s Wife Freda on Carmine Street in the West Village. The second location will be in the former Fatty ‘Cue restaurant space.


The second location will serve the same type of fare as the first Jack’s Wife Freda establishment. Guests can expect home cooking that has South African, Israeli and Jewish influences. However, there will be a few new menu items at the second restaurant location, including lamb tartare.


Reviewers and customers like Bruce Karatz say that the restaurant has a very laid-back feel and a casual atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcomed. The new restaurant location is set to open in January of 2015, offering a second convenient location for food enthusiasts to enjoy a new spin on fast food.

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