Food

Mango Tree: How The Thai Restaurant Plans to Take Over the World

Paul Ehrlich

“There's a big boom in Thai food globally, and we aim to be at the vanguard of that boom,” says Pitaya Phanphenonsophon, CEO of Bangkok-based Mango Tree, already considered the world’s biggest Thai restaurant brand. What Pitaya started in 1994 has grown into 70 locations in 16 countries worldwide, with expectations to double its existing annual turnover to reach US$100million within two years as it sets it sights on expanding to 100 restaurants by 2015 with further expansion throughout Asia Pacific, and the Middle East, but also China, Australia and, in the United States

The Culinary Scene: New York vs. Los Angeles

Beth Kaiserman

Los Angeles and New York are like two rivaling cousins. There’s always going to be something to argue about.One has captured the gritty, dog-eat-dog charisma of the family traits, while the other exudes a smooth, mellow, earthy nature. One can never seem to catch up with itself, while time moves fluidly in the other. One suffers the wrath of the seasons, while the other enjoys sunshine and breezy temperatures.

Debunking Labels: Does What We Eat Define Who We Are?

Beth Kaiserman

America has become a nation divided, one refrigerator at a time, as we have been bombarded with non-dairy options. Aside from the classic blue and red-capped milk jugs and white cartons, you might find soymilk, almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk and something labeled “nondairy beverage.” Don’t forget the vanilla and chocolate-flavored options. Next to that you might see yogurt: low-fat, nonfat, Greek, probiotic, soy, and almond. With such an array of options, how can we decide what’s best for our bodies? 

‘Boom Varietal’ is a Pleasing Documentary Up Front, But Unspectacular in the Finish

Nancy Lackey Shaffer

Despite a promising start, the rest of this film feels very much like a PR piece for potential investors. Which perhaps isn’t surprising: directed by Sky Pinnick, the producer is Kirk Ermisch, CEO of Southern Wine Group, a Latin American wine importer. Vineyards are beautiful, Mendoza seems like a fun and vibrant city, and it is nice that so many winemakers featured are given the space to talk about wine in their own words—other than a few notes that flash on the screen, the vintners basically tell the story. 

Tales From the International Food Police

Eugene Durante

Warning! Your brown-bagged lunch may be illegal. “Sounds Cheesy” you might think, but the Swiss or mozzarella cheese on your sandwich may be considered contraband if the international food police are successful. The same goes for many meats, salads, teas and hundreds of other foods produced without authorization. Food inspectors around the globe are engaged in a conflict over regulations for trade. Because of varied production standards across borders, food manufacturers have struggled to develop trade agreements to satisfy the global marketplace. 

America in a Bun: A History of Hot Dogs

Beth Kaiserman

By U.S. law, a hot dog can contain up to 3.5 percent non-meat ingredients, usually milk or a soy product. Most popular brands use cellulose casings, which are removed before the product is packaged. Some use natural casings, which stay on the hot dog and provide that delightful “snap” when you bite into the hot dog. In 2012, Americans spent $1.7 billion on hot dogs in supermarkets. But whether they come from a street peddler or at a ballgame, Americans have had a longstanding devotion to their hot dogs.

A Vegetarian in Paris

Sandra Canosa

I don’t know what I’d expected – all roads and recommendations had led us to Chez Gladines, a Basque-style restaurant in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. We’d gotten there early and still had to wait an hour outside for a table. After days of sightseeing fueled by crepe stands and baguette sandwiches on the go, a sit-down meal out of the tourist’s path was a welcome change. I carried a post-it note in my wallet, written on it the most important French phrase I hadn’t thought to learn before we came here: Je suis végétarienne. Que conseillez-vous?

‘The Restaurateur’ Features the Ever-Growing Culinary Empire of Danny Meyer

Beth Kaiserman

Meyer is a daunting figure in the restaurant industry. After all, despite some setbacks and two-star reviews, his restaurants are some of the most coveted in New York City, and the world. This documentary follows the progress of opening Tabla (now closed after 13 years) and Eleven Madison Park, recently placed number 5 on the list of best restaurants in the world. Watching the construction, delays and issues of these two major players in the New York dining scene is thrilling to serious food industry folks. 

Biodynamics and the Greening of the Wine Industry

Nancy Lackey Shaffer

Beckmen Vineyards is one among some 100 American winemakers who have become certified as biodynamic grape growers, and healthy soils are at the heart of the method. This accomplishment is not for the inexperienced: to achieve the soil revitalization and elimination of outside inputs that biodynamics demands, vineyard managers have to work harder, smarter and at greater time and expense to produce the crops they need for wine. 

A Brief History of Whisky, the ‘Water of Life’

Beth Kaiserman

“Whiskey” is used for whiskeys made in Ireland and North America.  “Whisky” is used for those made in Canada, Japan, Scotland, and Wales. Your best bet is to go by what’s on the label of the bottle. (For example, Maker’s Mark is labeled as bourbon “whisky,” even though it’s made in Kentucky.) Though “scotch” has become ubiquitous, it is simply known as “whisky” in Scotland.

 

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