The coronavirus pandemic has been catastrophic for the hospitality industry and the delay to the June 21 unlocking has led to more uncertainty. The FT’s Daniel Garrahan and food critic Tim Hayward meet Harts Group, the business behind Soho institution Quo Vadis and tapas chain Barrafina, as it opens a new Soho branch of its El Pastor taquerias
With more than 1.9 billion drinks served every day Coca-Cola is one of the world’s largest beverage companies. From its humble beginnings selling a single product at a drugstore for 5 cents a glass, the company now has a roster of 200 brands that includes Coke, Fanta, and Sprite. But with health and wellness trends on the rise, the company has been forced to pivot. So after 135-years in business, can the soft drink giant stay on top? And what will the secular decline of sugar-sweetened beverages in the U.S. mean for the future of Coca-Cola?
For today’s episode I am at Greywalls – an Edwardian Country House Hotel in Scotland, for Afternoon Tea. Join me for a tour of the house and garden, followed by Afternoon Tea. At the end of the video I share how to make a delicious lemon & poppyseed cake.
Overlooking Muirfield golf course, this posh hotel in an Edwardian country house dating from 1901 is 2 miles from Dirleton Castle.
Full Scottish breakfast is included. A haute French restaurant includes a whisky room, and a lounge bar offers pub fare and afternoon tea. A 6-acre walled garden features tennis courts, a croquet lawn and a putting green; massages are also available.
Coffee prices are heating up, and experts say an even bigger price hike could be coming. WSJ explains the web of economic forces that help determine the cost of coffee. Illustration: Mallory Brangan/WSJ
Day 1: Nashville to Oxford, Miss
Land in Nashville the afternoon before the drive to explore the new National Museum of African American Music (510 Broadway, nmaam.org). Its imaginative interactive displays explain the evolution of genres from gospel to R&B to hip hop. Find fresh air in Centennial Park and a to-scale replica of Greece’s Parthenon (nashvilleparthenon.com). Stashed inside the temple: a 42-foot-tall gilded statue of the deity Athena whose lips are allegedly modeled after Elvis Presley’s kisser. Music City’s other current goddess is Dolly Parton. Her image is sprinkled throughout the candy-colored country-music themed Graduate Hotel (from $169 a night; graduatehotels.com).
Day 2: Oxford to Natchez
After chicken and waffles at Oxford’s popular Big Bad Breakfast (bigbadbreakfast.com), drive east toward Pontotoc then south toward Troy to rejoin the Trace. A stop near Milepost 221 affords a glimpse of the Old Trace, a forest trench worn deep into the earth by countless feet. For lunch, seek out Saltine, an oyster bar in a former suburban Jackson elementary school (jackson.saltinerestaurant.com). Approaching its Natchez terminus, the Trace grows wilder. Wisps of Spanish moss, dangling vines and the nearby Windsor Ruins, an immense mansion burned in 1890, evoke a lost world. Windsor’s surviving columns with their ornate, crumbling capitals resembling a plantation Palmyra.
Day 3: Natchez to New Orleans
Before heading to New Orleans, walk the promenade on Natchez’s Bluff Park overlooking the Mississippi. Head south to Baton Rouge on Highway 61, the famed “Blues Highway.” (Most of the musical history lies further north in Mississippi’s Delta.) The landscape rolls by fast: The 90-minute drive should get you to Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s capital, by lunch. Visit the deli at Tony’s Seafood market (tonyseafood.com) for to-go oyster po’boys and ginger cake, then eat them in the landscaped grounds of the Louisiana State Capitol. Conceived by rabble-rousing populist governor Huey Long, the 1932 building is a 34-story art deco skyscraper, the country’s tallest state house and a monument to the Kingfish’s Kong-sized ego. Bullet holes from Long’s 1935 assassination remain just off the ornate lobby.
Would you pay hundreds of dollars for the best cut of steak? What about a cup of coffee or a bottle of wine? From steak to caviar, CNBC Make It breaks down whether luxury foods are worth their high prices.
00:00 — Intro
01:01 — Wagyu Steak – This is the best Kobe steak ever imported to the United States. It costs $450 for 13 ounces and if it was sold in a restaurant it would cost $900. That’s about $90 a bite. That’s because It’s an A5 Kobe steak with a BMS of 12. In the Japanese beef rating system BMS stands for Beef Marble Score. The BMS scale ranges from 3 to 12, with 3 being a normal amount marbling, think what in the butcher shop at your high-end grocery store. The highest rating is 12. Steaks that reach that level are almost white with fat. Very, very few cuts of meat reach a BMS of 12. Over the last 10 years, just five BMS 12 beef loin sets have been imported into the U.S.
05:27 — Nobu Sushi – The omakase menu option at chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s namesake sushi restaurants runs nearly $200 per head. With locations in Beverly Hills, Aspen, and NYC, his restaurants count celebs like Justin Bieber and the Kardashian-Jenner clan. That’s expensive, but it’s by no means the most expensive sushi in the world, let alone New York. We set out to answer whether Nobu is worth the price and how does the quality of Chef Nobu’s menu compare to an average New York City sushi restaurant?
11:59 — Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream – It seems like pricy artisanal ice cream is everywhere these days. Once limited to brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen-Dazs, the premium ice cream freezer at the grocery store is crowded with ice cream that’s handmade and includes top dollar ingredients. While brands like Halo Top, Ample Hills, and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are for sale in a larger number of stores, the price can result in sticker shock. A pint of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream retails for $12 a pint. Here’s why pints have sky-rocked in price.
17:48 — Coffee – Personal finance experts like Ramit Sethi and Suze Orman are split on whether buying coffee is a waste of money, but what about paying $100 for a cup? Elida Geisha Natural 1029 is currently the most expensive coffee in the world at $1,029 per pound. Is it worth the money?
26:12 — White Truffles – There is something undeniably intoxicating about the smell of truffles. In fact, that potent smell is a major part of why truffles are so expensive. In 2019, someone paid over $130,000 for just over two pounds of white truffles. Interestingly enough, there’s a scientific explanation behind the intense reactions to the scent.
Tipping is a quintessential American custom. In the U.S. consumers tip for services ranging from baggage handlers at the airport to housekeepers at hotels. But according to some analysts, tipping has created an environment where restaurant servers are subjected to sexual harassment and low pay.
About 70% of tipped workers in the restaurant industry are women and about 45% are people of color. In a recent study by One Fair Wage and UC Berkeley’s Food Labor Research Center over 78% of restaurant workers reported witnessing hostile behavior from customers who were asked to follow Covid-19 safety protocols, more than 40% noticed a change in the frequency of unwanted sexual comments from customers and 83% said their tips had declined during the pandemic.
With Covid-19 leaving millions to do essential work for low pay there have been renewed calls for a $15 minimum wage and the elimination of the tipped minimum wage — the base salary for many restaurant workers. Forty three states, including Georgia, North Carolina and Texas, have a tipped minimum wage for workers who in some cases are paid as little as $2.13 an hour by their employer.
But many in the full-service restaurant industry oppose the proposed changes, saying they would lead to higher menu prices and fewer hours for workers. According to the National Restaurant Association, the pandemic has already enacted a devastating toll on the industry, wiping out 2.5 million restaurant jobs and more than 110,000 eating and drinking establishments in 2020 alone. Watch the above video to find out what the $15 minimum wage and the elimination of the tipped minimum wage would mean for restaurants and their employees.
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?
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.
We list the most iconic restaurant in every state. Each place earns its title based on its history, fan base, and popularity.