Category Archives: Food & Drink

Analysis: Can Cheesecake Factory Recover From Covid? (CNBC Video)

Americans love The Cheesecake Factory. The restaurant known for its massive 21-page menu, dozens of dessert options and ancient Egypt-inspired decor was ranked as one of the top casual dining restaurants in the U.S. in 2019. But the eatery popular with everyone from NBA stars to cheesecake aficionados has fallen on hard times as the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the restaurant industry. In October, The Cheesecake Factory reported third-quarter sales fell by 12% and same-stores sales were down 23% from a year earlier. So after 40 years in business will The Cheesecake Factory be able to regain its momentum and will the chain’s takeout and delivery service be enough to offset the decline of the dine-in restaurant experience?

Tourism & Covid: 300-Year Old ‘Caffè Florian’ In Venice Faces Closure

As the oldest café in Italy—and the world, in fact—Caffè Florian recently celebrated its 300th anniversary on December 29 with no fanfare. It was a far cry from the 290th celebration in 2010, with cakes, an enormous party, and a live concert. The café famed for its celebrity clientele—from Charles Dickens to Andy Warhol—now faces closure since the pandemic has taken a toll on tourism.

The café was opened in San Marco Square in 1720 by Italian entrepreneur Floriano Francesconi (locals knew it as Floriano’s). It has been a gathering place for locals, a place to woo tourists, and a hot spot for A-listers for hundreds of years.

In 1895, the idea of the Venice Biennale was born here, to pay homage to King Umberto and Queen Margherita, and scenes from Hollywood films have been shot here, such as The Talented Mr. Ripley (starring Matt Damon) nd Summertime (starring Katharine Hepburn). Marcel Proust and Charles Dickens were frequent visitors, as well as Friedrich Nietzsche, Casanova, and Charlie Chaplin. Ernest Hemingway would sit out on the patio drinking coffee in the sun, while Claude Monet charmed the pigeons into standing on his head in the same spot.

Read more at Architectural Digest

Food & Dining: How ‘Olive Garden’ Restaurants Are Surviving Covid (Video)

When you think of free breadsticks, unlimited salad, and pounds of pasta one name comes to mind — Olive Garden. But the Italian eatery, known for its $5 take home meal, has fallen on hard times as the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the restaurant industry. In response, the casual dining chain trimmed its menu, pivoted to take out, and cut costs. But are those changes enough for Olive Garden to survive the pandemic and offset the overall decline of the dine-in restaurant experience?

Fermentation: What To Know About ‘Yeast’ (Video)

Whether you’re making a recipe for cinnamon rolls or French bread, yeast factors into the equation. Yeast is a required ingredient for almost all bread recipes. While we typically just buy yeast at the grocery store and toss it in our mixing bowl, yeast has quite an interesting backstory.

Yeast are fungi, living organisms found all around us, floating in the air. According to producer Red Star Yeast, yeast is made up of egg-shaped cells, only visible through a microscope. They’re fungi just like the molds found on blue cheese, mushrooms, or even in antibiotics such as penicillin. However, yeast grows in a different form than other fungi, which are typically composed of tubular chains of cells called hyphae. Yeast is found in small clusters of cells, or as an individual cell. And since it’s alive, yeast can also die.

According to Red Star Yeast, their yeast is stamped with a best by date of two years from when the yeast is packaged. Keeping it in a cool, dry place such as your pantry or refrigerator will ensure it’ll live up to that date. If you’re not sure if your yeast is alive, pour it over warm water with a teaspoon of sugar. If it bubbles, it’s still kicking, The Spruce Eats advises.

Also? Yeast has been around for longer than pretty much any of us. In researching the ancient tomb of the Egyptian ruler Scorpion from around 3100 B.C., archaeologists found 700 jars of resinated wine. According to Scientific American, the resin was used to slow the wine’s natural progression into vinegar. Researchers found evidence of the same species as modern-day brewer’s yeast in the jars. While that isn’t solid evidence the ancient Egyptians knew that the addition of yeast could turn their juice into alcohol, it certainly does show that yeast has been prevalent for a very, very long time.

Timeline: It’s alive, and ancient | 0:00 Hundreds of varieties | 1:52 Commercial production | 2:38 Adult beverages | 3:24 Ooh, that smell | 4:36 The amount makes a difference | 5:30 Yeast-free bread | 6:17 Sourdough starter is DIY yeast | 7:01 2020’s yeast shortage | 7:45

Wine & Spirits: Making Handmade ‘Fire-Charred Whiskey Barrels’ (Video)

Adirondack Barrel Cooperage uses traditional coopering methods to build spirit barrels out of American oak. Their one-of-a-kind barrel charring and toasting process imparts complex flavors in spirits, like smoke, coconut, vanilla, caramel, and more.

Website: https://www.adirondackbarrelcooperage…

Credits: Producers: Carla Francescutti, Pelin Keskin Director: Carla Francescutti Camera: Murilo Ferreira, Carla Francescutti Editor: Carla Francescutti

Dining: ‘New Orleans Magazine’ (Dec 2020 Issue)

New Orleans Magazine – December 2020

Food Lovers Guide

New Orleans is a food town, with a dedicated population that holds on tightly to old favorite haunts, while embracing and celebrating new traditions and new faces. For our annual December list of restaurant, food and drink “bests,” our team…

From the Editor

In New Orleans, we have a special relationship with food and dining (and, of course, imbibing). This year, due to COVID-19, our love affair with food took on especially new meaning, as many of us turned to comfort food, take-out…

Christmas Unwrapped

You can always tell who, in a Zoom meeting, is not wearing a bra. They are the ones you see just from the eyeballs up. My sister-in-law Gloriosa goes to a lot of them meetings, being socially active and all.…

Diet Study: The Top 250 U.S. Movies Depict Unhealthy Foods & Drinks (Stanford)

Stanford researchers examined the 250 top-grossing American movies of recent decades and found the on-screen foods and beverages largely failed U.S. government nutrition recommendations and U.K. youth advertising standards.

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