Posts for May 7, 2012

Sprinkles to Give Away Free Cupcakes; MyMoon Debuts Molecular Menu

• Free cupcakes! Did we get your attention? Okay, you’ll probably want the details … Sprinkles Cupcakes will be giving away one free cupcake per customer this Thursday to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their New York opening. [Grub Street]

• Chef David Santos’s Um Segredo supper club, the clandestine, fourteen-seat dinner party that takes place in secret locations across the city, has announced its late-May events, including a May 17 Portuguese dinner and a May 18 vegetarian meal. The most mouthwatering date is May 25, for Santos’s “Duck, Duck, Goose,” whose savory menu is deliciously apparent. [Grub Street]

• Williamsburg’s MyMoon has debuted an inventive, all-new menu, courtesy of new chef Ivan Vilches. The el Bulli protégé has turned tapas slightly on its ear, offering smoked sea bass, octopus with potato foam, and salt-cooked foie gras. [Brooklyn Paper]

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Pepsi Really, Really Wants to Be Cool Again

We discussed last week how Pepsi, embarrassed by having fallen to No. 3 in market share below Diet Coke, was launching a big new global ad campaign featuring Nicki Minaj, a Betsey Johnson cameo, and a back-from-the-dead Michael Jackson in an effort to get soda drinkers' attention again. "While we might not be the leading cola, we have always behaved like we were," the company's new chief creative officer, Brad Jakeman, tells Ad Age, insisting that the new strategy is unlike the many that have come before it. "This brand does not need to be reinvented. It needs to be reignited."

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Modern Family Might Have a Drinking Problem

"I don't think there's anybody who doesn't drink in the cast. And only two true hardcore alcoholics, only two truly degenerating people. This is out of six adults. There are two people who are living so hard they're shortening their lives; and four who just drink more than they should." —Modern Family star Ty Burrell on the cast's boozing. [Daily Meal]

LES Tips From Russ and Daughters’ Owner

Josh Russ Tupper, co-owner of the incomparable and sublime Russ and Daughters, recommends Bacaro for date spots, An Choi for bánh mì, and Freemans for visitors. He's also nostalgic for naked women and druggies from visiting Bubby and Zadie way back when. [The Lo-Down]

First Look at Yunnan Kitchen, Opening Tonight on the LES

A few weeks ago, the magazine brought word of a burgeoning Chinese cuisine: Yunnan, whose influencers range from Southeast Asia to Tibet. Tonight, Yunnan Kitchen opens its doors on Clinton Street, with Franny's alum Travis Post's locavore spin on the province's traditional fare. Think lots of herbs, including mint and lemongrass — as in the pork belly with Yunnan spices and mint, or the lemongrass chicken. While owner Erika Chou waits on a beer-and-wine license, she's offering a selection of teas, many from fertile Yunnan itself. When the booze does flow, expect Sixpoint Bengali Tiger on draft (the better to go with a vintage tiger rug that hangs on the wall) along with three wines on tap, Finger Lakes Riesling among them. See the space and a few dishes straight ahead.

This way for the menu. »

Kosher Company to Pay $577,000 to Former Workers

After years of battling and boycotting, Flaum Appetizing, makers of Kosher hummus and other foods in Williamsburg, will pay twenty former workers, "most of them Mexican immigrants," the money they are owed in back wages: $577,000. [NYT]

New Report: Yogurt Gives Mice Big Balls, Lots of Swagger

Such a lustrous coat!

Is your hair limp? Are your testicles small? Don't despair! Yogurt might help. Researchers at MIT, following up on a Harvard study (that, it's worth mentioning, was not funded by Dannon), wanted to figure out yogurt's effects on obesity. Instead, they accidentally discovered that the stuff gave rodent subjects some serious swagger.

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Domino’s Launches Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

Greasy pizza for all.

It would seem like giving up pizza is just part of the deal when one goes gluten-free — and that such a junky sacrifice would actually feel healthy and rewarding. But not anymore! Domino's introduces a gluten-free pizza crust today, proving that just because you're on a health-conscious diet, you can still eat like a stoned dumbass. This raises the question: Which sounds grosser — hot-dog-stuffed crusts from Pizza Hut, or gluten-free crusts from Domino's? [USAT]

Whip That Green Thumb Into Shape

Ah, spring ... the season for boot camp. Not the whipping-your-arse-into-shape kind (though we could use some of that), but the urban-farming kind. BK Farmyards has a three-session program for aspiring urban farmers/gardeners that begins later this month and costs $250 for two evening lecture classes and a hands-on day at Foxtrot Farmyards. If that sounds like your bag of mulch, head on over to Skillshare to sign up. [Skillshare]

Tiger Woods Once Paid $100K for a Ming Tsai Charity Dinner

Dinner will cost you.

With the recent news that a bidder offered $200,000 for a twenty-person charity dinner cooked by Eric Ripert (not to mention Edvard Munch's The Scream fetching an astronomical $120 million at auction last week), we had the subject on our mind at this weekend's Lucky Rice Grand Feast, held at the Mandarin Oriental. So, when we bumped into some of the chefs in attendance — Susur Lee, Gramercy Tavern's Michael Anthony, and Ming Tsai — we asked them, flat-out, what's the most money somebody's ever paid to eat one of your dinners?

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How LaFrieda’s Mark Pastore Trimmed His Meaty Physique

We already know that Pat LaFrieda president Mark Pastore likes to eat, so how does he trim the fat? Turns out it's not just table-hopping: The social butterfly got into spinning workout SoulCycle a few months ago and has lost 50 pounds turning and burning. "Now my skinny jeans don't fit me anymore," he says. Gotta look good for TV, right? [SoulCycle]

Thomas Keller Gets ‘Nervous All the Time’ Around Legendary Chefs

"I know what it's like."

On the more exciting side of Chef's Night Out, Grub Street spoke to Thomas Keller, who had just recorded his tribute to Julia Child and was in prep mode for the James Beard Awards tonight. “I get nervous all the time,” he tells us about public speaking, reminding us that he is a human being with actual human flaws, like struggling with intimidation. "Julia Child, Jean Louis Palladin, Jacques Pépin — the legends. I am never totally at ease talking to chefs of that caliber even though they are all incredibly gracious and nice,” he admits. “I know what it’s like to be on the other end and I always try to return the favor the greats did for me to the new, younger crop.”

Earlier: What Went Down at Chef's Night Out

Hot-Dog Hooker Sucks It Up in Jail

The Long Island mom who moonlights as a hot-dog-pushing hooker, and was already busted for the same slut-truck years back, has been caught again and is now rotting in jail. Kinda blows. [NYP]

What Went Down at Chef’s Night Out

Last night, the popular personalities of the food universe gathered at Chelsea Market for their annual, pre-JBFA Chef's Night Out. Considering the crowd, it could have been a rip-roaring rager. But damn, is debauchery dead? Seamus Mullen reminds us that he only gets wasted "once or twice a year," and Curtis Stone is all about the babies, not babes. “Life is so much better," he gushes to Grub about having a son. "Everything feels sunnier.” At least Andrew Zimmern had some fire in his eyes ...

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The Underground Gourmet on San Matteo Panuozzo and Taboonette; Will 7-Eleven Make Bodegas Extinct?

San Matteo Panuozzo in the EV.Photo: Danny Kim

In this week's New York, the Underground Gourmet turns its attention to two sandwich-y spinoffs: San Matteo Panuozzo and Taboonette. What is a panuozzo, you ask? As the U.G. explains, it's "like a supersize panino" — pizza dough that's baked, stuffed, folded, and baked again. At the shop in question, the specimens are "hefty and filling, ­although constructed in the minimalist Italian fashion, and served with an enthusiastic smile"; San Matteo Panuozzo earns two stars.

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Congrats to the James Beard Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Winners of 2012

A handful of hardworking writers and journalists are (hopefully) trading in morning meetings for mimosas today after winning James Beard awards on Friday. Among them are Amanda Hesser for Food52; Gabrielle Hamilton for Blood, Bones & Butter; and Alan Richman for, among other reviews, his famous/infamous takedown of M. Wells ("Diner for Schmucks"). Congrats to all the deserving winners! Check out the full list here!

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