A Taste Of Hogmanay

Many places around the world celebrate the changing of the year; however, nowhere is it quite as important as Scotland, where the celebrations held on December 31st  – known as Hogmanay – are the most important of the year.  As might be expected, these celebrations involve quite a bit of event planning and quite a bit of alcohol, with malt whisky the tipple of choice; however, they are also an occasion for enjoying Scottish culinary favorites – after all, a hearty meal can help to soak up the drink and ensure a better start to the new year. [...Read More]

An American History Of Food

For culinary enthusiasts in Illinois who find they have a little time on their hands over the holidays, there is a fantastic chance to learn about the history of American food production in an exhibition running at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Running until 27th January, Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture and Cuisine includes over 100 examples of sculpture and pictorial art exploring its subject, plus menus, cookbooks, posters and more. [...Read More]

The Cost Of Cooking

There is one advantage to working as a line cook or short-order cook that really stands out: the flexibility it provides in terms of location.  Good, reliable cooks have traditionally been able to find work almost anywhere in America and now that the restaurant sector is leading the economic recovery, these cooks are reaping the rewards in terms of opportunity; however, as the cost of living also rises, a problem is developing in some major cities.  Low-waged cooks can no longer afford to live there and neither can they afford to commute.  In some cities it is now very difficult for restaurant managers to find cooks, whereas in smaller places nearby, where the cooks have moved to, there are too many cooks for the available employment opportunities. [...Read More]

Parisian Cuisine Hails A New King

Paris is widely considered to be the gastronomic capital of the world, replete with fabulous Michelin-starred restaurants, bountiful patisseries, inviting crêperies and fine wines that just keep flowing; however, there is a new culinary craze in town and it is not what readers of this blog might expect.  Tucked in among the gift boutiques in Saint Lazare station, it has been attracting queues that sprawl right across the plaza.  The name of the place?  Burger King. [...Read More]

A Victualed Vacation

When people take time out to relax and get away from work during the festive period, it is tempting to think about vacations that might be taken later in the year.  For those who fancy a spot of Florida sun in the coming year, there is a new vacation option that will have particular appeal to food fans.  The Epicurean hotel, newly opened in Tampa, is themed entirely around eating and contains some real treats for guests to dig into. [...Read More]

Japanese Restaurant Chain Owner Assassinated

The Japanese culinary community is in a state of shock today following the assassination of Ohsho Food Services manager Takayuki Ohigashi, who was found bleeding in the car park in front of the company’s Kyoto headquarters.  Ohigashi, who was 72, is believed to have suffered multiple gunshot wounds.  Spent cartridges were found nearby and his belongings were still in his pockets.  There are reports of the killer fleeing the scene. [...Read More]

Cookies For Convicts

While most people look forward to Christmas, there are some for whom the day only enhances feelings of loneliness; this often includes those spending the day in prison.  Now a group of culinary students in San Mateo County, Ca, are aiming to make life on the inside a little bit cozier by baking a big batch of cookies for inmates in nearby jails. [...Read More]

Las Vegas Master Chef Competition Is A Hit

The stakes were high in Las Vegas last weekend as the second annual Culinary Clash Master Chef Competition took place in the Doge’s Palace Plaza at the Venetian and Palazzo.  It saw 16 chefs from nearby restaurants compete to create winning dishes from mobile food truck kitchens, with ingredients kept secret until the event began.  First place eventually went to Table 10 executive chef Tim Doolittle, but not before he had fought off some tough opponents. [...Read More]

Going Gluten Free: The Challenge For Restaurants

With increasing numbers of people seeking gluten-free options when they dine out, there is a big incentive for restaurants to provide such food.  This sounds like good news for those with serious gluten intolerance problems, but is it?  As efforts are made to bring in strict controls on what counts as gluten free, it has emerged that many restaurants are struggling to get close. [...Read More]

@tipsforjesus Brings Holiday Cheer

According to research, only one in 20 restaurant diners tips more than 25%; however, one man has been spreading cheer right across the country by leaving tips that defy all expectations – some of them as big as $10,000.  Paying by American Express with an illegible signature, he was known only by the tag he stamped on each bill – @tipsforjesus – and described himself as “doing the Lord’s work, one tip at a time.”  Last week, however, he was finally identified as multi-millionaire former PayPal vice-president Jack Selby. [...Read More]