Kim Jong Il’s New Jersey Barbecue Connection; Starbucks Consolidating Power

Nirvana 54, it turns out, is named after the table where Richard Gere dined with threesome participants back in the good old days. [NYP]

American food will be better, healthier, and more “upscale” in the coming year, expert insists. [NYDN]

Whole Foods stock is tanking, despite the chain’s surging growth. [Slate]

Hackensack barbecuer a vital go-between for U.S. and North Korea when not tending pit. [Serious Eats]

Vongerichten’s son is a chip off the old block. [New York Restaurant Insider]

Eel or Amazonian superfoods? Three experts try to divine the hot ingredient of the year. [TONY]

Double Seven gets a reprieve, Boxers already replaced, Gusto expanding. [Eater]

Chicken-man arsonist admits he was drunk when he torched doughnut shop. [NYDN]

Starbucks is winning the fight against unions: “If they had faith in me and my motives, they wouldn’t need a union,” says chairman. [Nation’s Restaurant News]