Dan Barber sets the trend for ethical eating at Selfridges pop-up wastED: Dan Barber is worried. Earlier today, his team has been scavenging the Selfridges Food Hall for leftover and damaged foodstuffs to use at the wastED dining series on the rooftop of the iconic London department store. Barber has taken a sack of salt-beef ends from the 50-year-old heritage salt beef bar The Brass Rail and he’s concerned the owners will find out how good it tastes and take it back. “It’s the best bit,” he says, as he places carrot-stick-shaped ends of juicy meat into taco-sized crepes made from pig’s blood and off-grade bran for his Salt Beef Ends Burrito. “I’m scared they’ll find out.”
Restaurateur Danny Meyer: ‘Hospitality is a dialogue; service is a monologue’: 1. Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of Union Square Tokyo. How have things changed at the restaurant in the past decade? There’s been a lot of development. I think the food is better (laughs), but the restaurant has also become like a university of hospitality for the staff.
A Major Reservation Service Keeps a ‘No Show’ Blacklist: It’s no secret that, in this business of razor-thin margins, no-show diners can easily hurt a restaurant’s bottom line. Some chefs and restaurateurs have taken to publicly complaining about the issue; many more choose to charge a fee for diners who make a reservation, but don’t show up for their black-bass crudo. One Australian reservation service, however, has gone nuclear on no-shows, and created a blacklist that allows owners to bar diners who fail to cancel reservations for as long as a year.
You’re Using Recipes Wrong: I’ve been collecting cookbooks for (at least) 20 years, and I basically taught myself to cook amid sauce-splattered tomes. But even though I still love leafing through them for inspiration, I’ve found myself turning to them less and less for specific direction in the kitchen over the years. Why? On the Guardian website, the Australian chef Adam Liaw articulates a fundamental problem with recipes, the building blocks of cookbooks: Recipes teach a modern style of cooking that is focused solely on eating meals, to the exclusion of kitchen craft and home economics. Making a simple dish that’s over and done with in under an hour is all well and good, but it is also a very inefficient way to cook.
The Absolute Best Steakhouses in New York: It’s time to tackle the eternal, much-debated question of where to find the top steakhouse. The definition of this sacred New York dining institution has changed over the years, but the top ten on our list share certain time-honored qualities. The rooms should exude a familiar steakhouse verisimilitude; the side dishes should be numerous, familiar, and generally extremely rich; and the reason to visit the restaurant shouldn’t be the quality of the chicken, or the fish, or even the vegetables, but that of the judiciously aged haunches of American beef.
Meet the world’s best female chef: Ana Ros of Hisa Franko in Slovenia: On a chilly evening in late September, Ana Roš emerged from the dining room carrying a tray of tortellini filled with sheep’s cheese, and her cheeks flushed and eyes misty. While she is unfazed by the day-to-day pressure of running Hiša Franko, Slovenia’s most famous restaurant, a brief but heartfelt exchange with a diner had moved her to tears: after months saving up for the journey, the guest had travelled from a small town in Britain specifically to meet Roš and try her food.
Barcelona: On the tapas trial: What began as an inventive way to cover drinks in the fly-infested heat of southern Spain has turned into a style of eating that has fundamentally altered dining in this country and beyond. Tapas may have been born in Andalusia, but small plates reign all over the Iberian peninsula. From Basque pintxos to Galician seafood to Andalusian fry bars, regional styles abound, but the dishes below represent a tasty (if incomplete) snapshot of the titans of the Spanish tapas world.
How to drink wine: Wine is pleasure and conviviality, it is culture and it makes food taste better. But wine can also be intimidating. This guide takes the anxiety out of shopping, buying and drinking wine. You will learn the basics, from how to open a bottle to pairing it with food, along with the best language to use when talking about wine in stores, at restaurants and with friends.
Wine: the smart way to make space for new bottles: I’ve just spend the weekend with a friend who was bemoaning his wine glut. He had more bottles than he could easily drink, he said, so didn’t feel he could justify buying any more. First-world problems, you might think, but anyone who loves wine will have succumbed to the temptation to buy more than they need.