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Robot Restaurant on the Rise and More News

Robot Restaurant on the Rise and More News


In today's Media Mix, Honey Boo Boo's cooking, plus why you should travel young

Arthur Bovino

The Daily Meal brings you the biggest news in the food world.

Robot-Run Restaurant: Apparently, Robot Restaurant is actually doing really well in China. [Yahoo]

Benu's New Pastry Chef: The San Francisco restaurant pulled away a pastry chef from The French Laundry. [Grub Street]

Travel Young: One writer's defense of traveling, and eating, while young. [Converge]

Honey Boo Boo Cooking: The butter, sugar, and ketchup-based cooking makes us cringe, too. [Gawker]

Making Less-Boozy Wines: How are winemakers producing alcohol-free or low-alcohol wines? [Palate Press]


Marcus Samuelsson’s The Rise Places Black American Food at the Center of the Conversation

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IT’S the last day of July, and there’s a heat wave in New York City. I wake up at 7:30 a.m. to roast bell peppers and prepare my mise en place. I’m about to have a Zoom video cooking lesson with Marcus Samuelsson, chef and co-owner of Red Rooster and author of numerous cookbooks, including this month’s The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food.

Marcus is an old friend, and normally we would talk over a meal at Red Rooster, but we’re doing a virtual meetup because I’m in strict quarantine, and his landmark Harlem restaurant is undergoing COVID-related renovations (as the lockdown began last spring, it began providing meals to Harlem residents in collaboration with the hunger nonprofit World Central Kitchen). I arrive to our Zoom with oily fingers, having just peeled the last of the peppers Marcus, meanwhile, has his ingredients neatly laid out on the restaurant’s stainless-steel kitchen counter. Two assistants film him as he shows me how to pickle blueberries for Chilled Watermelon and Red Pepper Soup With Pickled Berries, one of more than 150 recipes in The Rise.

Marcus, in true pandemic fashion, is dressed casually in a baseball hat, black T-shirt, and drop-crotch sweatpants. He explains that I should bring vinegar, sugar, cardamom pods, mustard seeds, and water to a boil, and coordinates with his assistants to figure out which angle best allows me to see his mixture bubbling on the range. He points out that the peppers and vinegar should be the first things I prepare: “Get the time-intensive things out of the way first.” I proudly announce that I did my peppers in the morning. In terms of pickling the fruit, he says, it’s about celebrating the season you’re in—and since it’s summer, “Get your berry game on.”

He recalls pickling berries as a boy growing up in Sweden and then dives into talking about The Rise, a book he’s been working on since the 2016 election. “The moment of 45 shocked me to the core,” he says (he will not use President Trump’s name). “I always thought Red Rooster was my responsibility, providing jobs and connecting people. I felt like we were doing it. But the shock of 45 made me ask, ‘What’s going to be my contribution?’ For me it felt important to document the authorship of Black cooking and how diverse it is. If it’s not documented, that has consequences.”

Samuelsson's new cookbook is out on October 27th from Voracious.

The Rise is more than a cookbook it is a conversation, a collaboration, and, above all, a declaration that Black Food Matters. The recipes bear influences from southern cooking, West Africa, the Caribbean, and East Africa, and are accompanied by a collection of chef profiles and essays by Samuelsson’s co­writer, Osayi Endolyn. These introduce readers to figures such as the historian Jessica B. Harris, a personal hero of mine, whose work focuses on the foodways of the African diaspora chef Mashama Bailey of The Grey, in Savannah Michael Twitty, author of The Cooking Gene Leah Chase, queen of Creole cooking and former chef and owner of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, in New Orleans activist Shakirah Simley Stephen Satterfield, cofounder of Whetstone magazine winemaker André Hueston Mack and chef Nina Compton of Compère Lapin in New Orleans. The Rise begins with a look to the future, exploring where Black food is heading, and then pays homage to cooks on whose shoulders Black chefs stand, and the migration stories that make the cuisine so diverse and rich.

I ask Marcus which five ingredients in the cookbook he would advise people to put in their regular rotation. “Everybody should have a jerk mix at home,” he says, “a good Jamaican jerk you can rub on fish, you can rub on vegetables, you can rub on anything. A really good pickle, a southern pickle. The acid—whether it’s a Haitian pickle or southern pickle, I think there’s something universal about that. Grits: We learned how to have polenta at home why can’t we have grits at home? Broken rice came to us from South Carolina through slavery. The grain teff, so you can make injera, an incredible flatbread from Ethiopia.”

To appreciate how Marcus is uniquely positioned to push this particular conversation forward, it’s important to understand that his roots run through Ethiopia, Sweden, and a series of French kitchens in which he trained. Samuelsson moved to the United States in 1995, quickly made a name for himself, and, at the age of 25, earned three stars from The New York Times as chef at New York’s Aquavit. But the culture and foodways of Black America had been a preoccupation of his even as an adopted child in Sweden (where he was moved at age three). “He’s someone whose life has been shaped by migration,” says Endolyn, “some of which was not his choice and some of which was. The migration story is something he has thought a lot about, especially The Great Migration, and how much that impacted American food.”

“I’ve been on a journey since I came to this country,” Samuelsson explains. “I went to restaurants in New York, like Jezebel and B. Smith, and they were very different kinds of restaurants than the ones I cooked at in France. For me it’s ongoing work.” Nearly 15 years have passed since Samuelsson explored his African heritage in his book The Soul of a New Cuisine. “I had just met my family then,” he says. “I had just reconnected with my Africa. Today, I want to talk about the Black cooking family that is so large here in America and link the stories.”

The support of Black chefs played a significant role in his career. “When I came here, people like Patrick Clark [formerly of the Odeon and Tavern on the Green in New York] and Leah Chase showed me the way.” He has returned the favor in the years since, cooking with dozens of the chefs featured in The Rise. “I specifically opened Red Rooster in Harlem so aspiration and inspiration would take place in Harlem—that’s an amazing megaphone and stage for being able to cook Black food. I look at that as a privilege. I have to share these stories.”

The timing is ripe for The Rise. In a year that brought the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee, and many others, as well as the subsequent civil uprisings and the centering of Black Lives Matter, food is playing a significant role in the movement for social justice and equity. Building on the legacy of Georgia Gilmore, a cook who helped fund the Montgomery bus boycott by baking and selling food, are 2020 groups such as Fuel the People, which feeds protesters on the front lines, and Bakers Against Racism, which has been staging virtual bake sales to raise money for organizations that support Black lives. “We need to know these incredible roots, techniques, and storytellers are around and inspire people to say Black food matters,” Samuelsson says. “It is a field that you can and should go into, and here are the storytellers and the chefs and the creators behind it. We deserve a day in the spotlight.”


Share All sharing options for: The Rise of the Grocerant

While sitting in the food hall section of New York City’s newest Whole Foods location, Natasha Beylis points out that most of the other people eating lunch in the packed space don’t have shopping bags. Like her, many have come to the supermarket solely to dine in.

“Either you come here to shop or to eat,” Beylis said. At this two-story Whole Foods, most of the second level is dedicated to dining, rather than shopping. On one side of the store’s second level there are cafeteria-style tables sandwiched between a Kano sushi bar and a Frankies Spuntino Italian restaurant. On the other side is a much smaller space with standard groceries. “I think they do a good job of separating the vibe,” Beylis added.

The concept of blending a restaurant experience with the grocery experience has been around for decades, according to self-described “supermarket guru” and food service analyst Phil Lempert. But the changing perspectives millennials and generation Z-ers have toward food and shopping are pushing more supermarkets to make their stores feel more like experiential food destinations than mere shopping markets. Analysts like Lempert predict that these “grocerants” will become the new standard for grocery stores in the more health-conscience future.

“You're still going to have stores that pile it high and sell it cheap. That's one type of consumer and that's one type of supermarket, but you're going to see less of those and more of this new hybrid concept,” Lempert said.

Lempert spends part of his time working with the National Restaurant Association to help grocery stores understand and jump on the trend. A slide during one of his presentations at the 2016 NRA Show, the association’s annual foodservice and hospitality trade convention, warned attendees that “The line between retail foodservice and restaurants will continue to blur.”

Data supports that claim. Revenue for prepared food service at supermarkets grew an average of 10 percent a year from 2005 to 2015, according to Technomic Inc., a research and consulting firm. And when dining out, more consumers are choosing their local grocery stores over traditional fast food and restaurants, the firm showed. As a result, grocers are seeing value in beefing up their prepared food experiences.

Representatives for Whole Foods were quick to clarify to Eater that Whole Foods Market locations have been offering salad bars, hot food, and casual dining spaces almost since the store’s inception more than 30 years ago. But Lempert distinguishes traditional kinds of prepared food offerings from the “grocerant” experience shoppers are seeing more of today. “The definition is a freestanding restaurant that is located either adjacent to or within a supermarket,” Lempert said. “It is not a prepared foods counter. It's not a pizzeria that is in a supermarket that has a little area that you can take your pizza and walk over to. It's more of a full-service type of restaurant or a semi-service type of restaurant.”

Essentially the grab-and-go salad bars and prepared foods counters are evolving and looking more like fast-casual restaurant spaces, designed to keep shoppers in the store. Some offer massive food court seating areas with booths and dark, cozy atmospheres, while others feature enclosed full-service spaces. They often include free wifi, bars, host stations, even menus for made-to-order meals. They are designed to encourage customers to linger, as a restaurant or comfortable coffee shop might. And this is what consumers will likely see more and more in their local markets.

The person in charge of bringing these options to Whole Foods is Tien Ho, the vice president of culinary and hospitality. Ho said that while Whole Foods has always offered prepared foods in casual dining spaces, he and the company are taking note of consumer demands and are looking for ways to offer even better culinary experiences.

One of Ho’s priorities is what the company calls “strategic partnerships,” or collaborations between local chefs and Whole Foods. Ho’s goal is to bring more well-known chefs and restaurants into the national grocer’s stores. The chain has already teamed up with nationally recognized chefs and brands like Roy Choi in Los Angeles, Erik Bruner-Yang’s Paper Horse in D.C. and Michael Solomonov’s Dizengoff in Philadelphia. But Ho wants more. “The response has been amazing, so well so that they’re starting to be in more of our stores,” he said. The chain already has 30 full-service restaurants with waitstaff and 250 quick-service concepts, with plans to open more. One new location in Atlanta is expected to feature a Brazilian build-your-own-churrasco-bowl fast-casual concept.

But not every community is the right fit for restaurant-centric grocery stores, Lempert says. The newest Whole Foods in New York, for instance, is located in Midtown, just blocks from Times Square. It’s easy to see why the grocery portion of the space is considerably smaller than the prepared food sections: tourist and office-worker foot traffic demands it, as do people like Beylis who are just looking for a quick, comfortable meal from a brand they trust. That concept is harder to pull off in other places in New York City, a town of bodegas and food carts, where space is limited and there are already so many alternative dining options to compete with. While New Yorkers are quick to point out Mario Batali’s and Lidia Bastianich’s Eataly as their example of the grocerant experience, there are only two in the city, and to some, the brand feels more upscale and touristy than a local community food hub like other grocerants. Beylis calls it “bougie.”

A pizza restaurant at a Whole Foods in Brooklyn, NY Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty Images

But for people in less congested communities, the grocerant experience has become more of the norm and isn’t as stuffy. The Midwest-based Hy-Vee grocery chain has incorporated Hy-vee Grille, a full-service restaurant, into dozens of its locations since 2012. In 2013, when Chicago grocery fixture Dominick’s closed all its stores, other grocery chains, including Whole Foods, jumped at the chance to snag up the vacant spaces.

Another one of those brands was Mariano’s Fresh Market. The chain was new to Chicago then, but quickly made its mark with a new kind of grocery experience. At Mariano’s, shoppers might be greeted with live pianists, grill outs, wine tastings, gelato shops, and more. Now with multiple locations in Chicago, Mariano’s has become a leader in the grocery store as food destination concept. Even Walgreens drug stores in Chicago have incorporated “UpMarket Cafes” featuring made-to-order smoothies, sushi and alcoholic beverages, in an attempt to be seen as “wellness destinations,” as the press release put it.

This trend is largely driven by millennials, experts say. Forty years ago, baby boomers purchased food from grocery stores. Today, those places are competing with farmers markets, apps, home delivery, websites, and other options. Still, the concept of a “retail meal” is nothing new. Malls and department stores like Macy’s have had food courts for years. Then there is IKEA and its famous meatballs and cafeteria. Either in spite of or because of this progression, millennials have developed higher expectations for prepared foods at supermarkets. According to a recent Technomics survey, 52 percent of respondents said they see prepared foods as healthier alternatives to fast food. Meanwhile, a study by the NPD Group, which researches consumer behavior, showed that consumers rate prepared food higher in freshness and quality, turning to standard quick-service for affordability and convenience.

To keep up, grocery stores are transforming into destinations with food experiences. This feels more comfortable to young shoppers, who then become more connected to the brand, Lempert says. “It's about what's the kind of image and environment that you want to create,” Lempert said.

At Whole Foods, for instance, each store is tailored to fit its community, a representative with the company said. So pinpointing a specific strategy for all the stores is not really possible. Instead each store, whether food hall-focused, grocery-focused or events-oriented, centers around the brand and its mission of providing high-quality, natural food, even if that’s experiential. While the grocerant style may not take over every Whole Foods location, more may appear where they fit, grabbing the attention of loyal customers like Beylis who seek out a store’s prepared food.

While specific experiences may differ at grocerants, one thing most of them do have in common is booze. Alcohol plays a major role in the grocerant concept. It’s not only profitable from a sales standpoint, but a way to keep people in the store, Lempert said. At some Whole Foods, some of the internal tap rooms that sell beer also host trivia nights. One Mariano’s location in Chicago hosts Sunday mimosa parties.

The Parlor at Whole Foods, Savannah, Georgia Whole Foods/Official

“All the ones that I have seen have included [a bar concept], and I think for good reason,” Lempert said. “As we continue to see, people like being able to walk around the store more relaxed and have a glass of wine or a beer while they're shopping. The good news is for the retailer if they do that they’re slowing down and they’re taking more time in the store. They’re seeing more new products that maybe [they’d miss] if they’re just running in and out in 20 minutes.”

But happy hours, chef partnerships, and food courts might be just the beginning of the grocerant takeover. Supermarkets like Whole Foods are pushing the boundaries to keep communities and young shoppers engaged with their brands. And competition between grocery chains will only drive more experimentation.

“We’re not looking to [other stores] for inspiration, I’ll tell you that,” Ho said of Whole Foods’ approach. “We’re always trying new things to make the experience better for our customers. Wine tasting in a store? Dude, that was like early ‘90’s man. That’s nothing new. We’re pushing ourselves for the next new thing. I can only imagine that others will follow.”

Vince Dixon is Eater's data visualization reporter.
Editor: Daniela Galarza


The Rise of the Virtual Restaurant

Food delivery apps are reshaping the restaurant industry — and how we eat — by inspiring digital-only establishments that don’t need a dining room or waiters.

SAN FRANCISCO — At 9:30 on most weeknights, Ricky Lopez, the head chef and owner of Top Round Roast Beef in San Francisco, stacks up dozens of hot beef sandwiches and sides of curly fries to serve hungry diners.

He also breads chicken cutlets for another of his restaurants, Red Ribbon Fried Chicken. He flips beef patties on the grill for a third, TR Burgers and Wings. And he mixes frozen custard for a dessert shop he runs, Ice Cream Custard.

Of Mr. Lopez’s four operations, three are “virtual restaurants” with no physical storefronts, tables or chairs. They exist only inside a mobile app, Uber Eats, the on-demand meal delivery service owned by Uber.

“Delivery used to be maybe a quarter of my business,” Mr. Lopez, 26, said from behind Top Round’s counter, as his staff assembled roast beef and chicken sandwiches and placed them in white paper bags for Uber Eats drivers to deliver. “Now it’s about 75 percent of it.”

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Food delivery apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub are starting to reshape the $863 billion American restaurant industry. As more people order food to eat at home, and as delivery becomes faster and more convenient, the apps are changing the very essence of what it means to operate a restaurant.

No longer must restaurateurs rent space for a dining room. All they need is a kitchen — or even just part of one. Then they can hang a shingle inside a meal-delivery app and market their food to the app’s customers, without the hassle and expense of hiring waiters or paying for furniture and tablecloths. Diners who order from the apps may have no idea that the restaurant doesn’t physically exist.

The shift has popularized two types of digital culinary establishments. One is “virtual restaurants,” which are attached to real-life restaurants like Mr. Lopez’s Top Round but make different cuisines specifically for the delivery apps. The other is “ghost kitchens,” which have no retail presence and essentially serve as a meal preparation hub for delivery orders.

“Online ordering is not a necessary evil. It’s the most exciting opportunity in the restaurant industry today,” said Alex Canter, who runs Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles and a start-up that helps restaurants streamline delivery app orders onto one device. “If you don’t use delivery apps, you don’t exist.”

Many of the delivery-only operations are nascent, but their effect may be far-reaching, potentially accelerating people’s turn toward order-in food over restaurant visits and preparing home-cooked meals.

Uber and other companies are driving the change. Since 2017, the ride-hailing company has helped start 4,000 virtual restaurants with restaurateurs like Mr. Lopez, which are exclusive to its Uber Eats app.

Janelle Sallenave, who leads Uber Eats in North America, said the company analyzes neighborhood sales data to identify unmet demand for particular cuisines. Then it approaches restaurants that use the app and encourages them to create a virtual restaurant to meet that demand.

Other companies are also jumping in. Travis Kalanick, the former Uber chief executive, has formed CloudKitchens, a start-up that incubates ghost kitchens.

Yet even as delivery apps create new kinds of restaurants, they are hurting some traditional establishments, which already contend with high operating expenses and brutal competition. Restaurants that use delivery apps like Uber Eats and Grubhub pay commissions of 15 percent to as much as 30 percent on every order. While digital establishments save on overhead, small independent eateries with narrow profit margins can ill afford those fees.

“There’s a concern that it could be a system where restaurant owners are trapped in an unstable, unsuitable business model,” Mark Gjonaj, the chairman of the New York City Council’s small-business committee, said at a four-hour hearing on third-party food delivery in June.

Delivery apps may also undermine the connection between diner and chef. “A chef can occasionally walk out of the dining room and observe a diner enjoying his or her food,” said Shawn Quaid, a chef who oversaw a ghost kitchen in Chicago . Delivery -only facilities “take away the emotional connection and the creative redemption.”

Uber and other delivery apps maintain that they are helping restaurants, not hurting them.

“We exist for demand generation,” said Ms. Sallenave. “Why would a restaurant be working with us if we weren’t helping them increase their orders?”

D elivery-only establishments in the United States date to at least 2013, when a start-up, the Green Summit Group, began work on a ghost kitchen in New York. With Grubhub’s backing, Green Summit produced food that was marketed online under brand names like Leafage (salads) and Butcher Block (sandwiches).

But Green Summit burned through hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, said Jason Shapiro, a consultant who worked for the company. Two years ago, it shut down when it couldn’t attract new investors, he said.

In Europe, the food-delivery app Deliveroo also started testing ghost kitchens. It erected metal kitchen structures called Rooboxes in some unlikely locations, including a derelict parking lot in East London. Last year, Deliveroo opened a ghost kitchen in a warehouse in Paris, where Uber Eats has also tried delivery-only kitchens.

Ghost kitchens have also emerged in China, where online food delivery apps are widely used in the country’s densely populated megacities. China’s food delivery industry hit $70 billion in orders last year, according to iResearch, an analysis firm. One Chinese ghost kitchen start-up, Panda Selected, recently raised $50 million from investors including Tiger Global Management, according to Crunchbase.

Those experiments have spread. Over the last two years, Family Style , a food start-up in Los Angeles, has opened ghost kitchens in three states. It has created more than half a dozen pizza brands with names like Lorenzo’s of New York, Froman’s Chicago Pizza and Gabriella’s New York Pizza, which can be found on Uber Eats and other apps.

CloudKitchens, which Mr. Kalanick founded after leaving Uber in 2017, has leased kitchen space to several established restaurants in Los Angeles, including the farm-to-table chain Sweetgreen, to try the delivery-only model. The Los Angeles facility is one of several ghost kitchens used by Sweetgreen, whose chief executive, Jonathan Neman, has spoken enthusiastically about them.

And Kitchen United, a ghost-kitchen company in Pasadena, Calif., is working with brick-and-mortar restaurants to set up delivery-only establishments. It aims to establish 400 such “kitchen centers” across the country over the next few years.

When it comes types of food, “consumers don’t appear to be saying they’re looking for additional options,” said Jim Collins, Kitchen United’s chief executive. “They appear to be looking for new modes of consumption.”

For Paul Geffner, the growing popularity of food-delivery apps has hurt. He has run Escape From New York Pizza, a small restaurant chain in the Bay Area, for three decades, relying on delivery orders as a major source of revenue.

After he offered delivery through the apps in 2016, his business teetered. Two of his five pizzerias, which together had generated annual profits of $50,000 to $100,000, lost as much as $40,000 a year as customers who had ordered directly from Escape From New York switched to the apps. That forced Mr. Geffner to pay the commissions.

“We saw a direct correlation between the delivery services and the reduction of our income,” Mr. Geffner said . “It was like death by a thousand cuts.”

In May, he closed the two locations. Later that month, one was replaced with a kitchen that mostly does delivery.

Mr. Lopez opened Top Round, a franchise that originated in Los Angeles, in 2017 in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood. For the first eight months, he said, he lost tens of thousands of dollars.

Last year, Uber approached Mr. Lopez and told him there was demand for late-night orders of burgers and ice cream in his area. Uber, which does not provide financial help to virtual restaurants, has claimed that the digital operations increase sales for restaurateurs by an average of more than 50 percent.

Mr. Lopez said he figured he already had the ingredients for burgers and ice cream in stock. So it was a no-brainer to create the virtual restaurants for Uber Eats.

Now he uses Top Round’s kitchen to serve hundreds of new customers across San Francisco. Though he wouldn’t disclose financial information, Mr. Lopez said he had hired another employee to handle the influx of delivery orders. Those orders have stabilized the restaurant’s income so that he no longer works 110-hour weeks just to keep the business afloat.

“We used to close at 9 p.m., but demand has pushed us to stay open later — we close at 2 a.m. now,” Mr. Lopez said. “Most of the night, the kitchen is banging.”

Mike Isaac reported from San Francisco, and David Yaffe-Bellany from New York. Raymond Zhong contributed reporting from Dongguan, China.


Do People Gripe About Restaurants More When It Rains?

A new study finds a link between crummy weather and crabby restaurant comments.

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Some people take gripe-y restaurant reviews as gospel. Others take them with a grain of salt. A new study linking inclement weather and negative comments about dining experiences suggests you may want to take them with a drop of rainwater.

The odds of restaurant patrons giving a restaurant super negative reviews, as opposed to very positive ones, are 2.9 percent higher on rainy days than on days where the skies are clear, the researchers at the Ohio State University found in a study published in Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.

The study, which looked at customer comment cards in 32 Florida fast-casual restaurants and compared them to weather data for the days the customers had dined in them. High temperatures and barometric pressure, as well as rain, also correlated to a higher rate of negative comments, researchers determined.

“Restaurant managers may see more than the usual bad reviews on certain days, and it may have nothing to do with the service or the quality of the food,” study co-author Milos Bujisic, assistant professor of hospitality management at Ohio State, said in a university release about the study. “Restaurants can’t control the weather, but it may affect how customers review them.”

Two additional studies from the same team indicate that the issue may be a matter of mood.

“The mood of customers is going to change depending on the weather, and eventually that is going to influence how they are going to respond to their evaluation of the restaurant,” Bujisic in a video highlighting the study results.

The mood of restaurant employees as well as diners may play a role, he added, noting, “A rainy day may put employees in a bad mood, and that will affect their service.”


COVID cases rise in more than 20 states

At least 21 states have recorded at least a 10% increase in daily COVID cases, though nearly half of American adults have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine and about 30% of adults in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated.

The latest increase in cases is being reported by Johns Hopkins University, while the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is keeping track on the number of American adults vaccinated.

New daily infections in the U.S. have increased 11% in the past two weeks. Many U.S. states have lifted mask mandates and restrictions on businesses and public gatherings. But more sick people are being admitted to hospitals in some states, including Michigan, which leads the nation with nearly 8,000 new infections per day.

Earlier this week, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, President Joe Biden’s pick as CDC director, urged Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to “close things down” to help address the country’s worst coronavirus outbreak.

“So when you have an acute situation, extraordinary number of cases like we have in Michigan, the answer is not necessarily to give vaccine,” Walensky said, explaining it takes two to six weeks to see the effect of vaccinations. “The answer to that is to really close things down, to go back to our basics, to go back to where we were last spring, last summer and to shut things down, to flatten the curve, to decrease contact with one another, to test . to contact trace.”

Michigan hospitals on Monday reported treating about 3,900 adults with confirmed COVID-19 cases, which surpassed a previous peak from Dec. 1 and was close to the state’s record high from last April of roughly 4,000. The seven-day average of daily new cases was 7,359 as of Saturday, up from 4,661 two weeks prior, according to Johns Hopkins University. The seven-day average of daily deaths, 43, more than doubled from 20 in the same period.

Earlier Monday, Whitmer again said Michigan’s third surge is different because of vaccines and, unlike a year ago, it is known that masks are effective and the state has adequate testing and personal protective equipment. She has urged — but not required — a two-week suspension of in-person high school instruction, youth sports and indoor dining.

“We each have enough information to do our part,” she said after touring a vaccination clinic at Eastern Michigan University. “That’s what we’re calling on people to do — to do your part.”

Washington is another state that has seen a rise in cases. “We have knocked down this virus already three times, but we have to knock it down a fourth time,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday, as reported by CNN.

Minnesota, California and Maine are other states that have seen increasing cases, according to Johns Hopkins maps.

Even though half of U.S. adults are still completely unvaccinated, dwindling demand for coronavirus shots was reported by some hospitals in Alabama and Missouri.

In Alabama, only 37% of adults have received even one vaccine dose. Health care officials in Missouri are worried that not enough people are seeking shots. A large federally operated vaccination site in downtown St. Louis is administering less than half its capacity of 3,000 shots per day.

On Thursday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla predicted people who have received the company’s COVID-19 vaccine will “likely” need a third booster shot within a year to maintain protection against the virus. “It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus,” he told CNBC.

The pharmaceutical chief said it’s also possible that people will need to get inoculated every year against the coronavirus. Pfizer had said as early as February that it was testing booster shots in case it was determined they would be needed.

Moderna, the competitor whose vaccine uses a similar so-called messenger RNA platform as Pfizer’s, has also said it is testing booster shots.

Nonetheless, the U.S. has opened more distance between itself and much of the rest of the world, on Thursday nearing the 200 millionth vaccine administered in a race to protect the population against COVID-19. But the picture is still relentlessly grim in parts of Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia as variants of the virus fuel an increase in new cases and the worldwide death toll closes in on 3 million.

France on Thursday passed 100,000 virus deaths, becoming only the eighth country to do so.

India’s two largest cities, New Delhi and Mumbai, imposed business shutdowns and stringent restrictions on movement as new infections shot past 200,000. Some hotels and banquet halls were ordered to convert their space into wards for treating virus patients, and the surge forced India — a major vaccine producer — to delay exports of doses to other countries.

Japan also saw a rapid resurgence of infections just three months before it is scheduled to host the Olympics. The country’s western metropolis of Osaka reported more than 1,200 new infections Thursday, its highest since the pandemic began. A top ruling party official suggested the possibility of canceling the games if the infections make them impossible.

More than one-third of the world’s deaths have occurred in three countries — the United States, Mexico and Brazil, where a total of more than 1.1 million have perished. The virus is claiming about 12,000 lives each day.

The recent decision to suspend the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to preliminary reports of rare blood clots left South Africa without any shots in its battle against an aggressive coronavirus variant. South Africa has more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, including at least 53,000 deaths, representing more than 30% of all the confirmed cases in Africa’s 54 countries.

Meanwhile, Germany’s health ministry announced that the country administered a national record of more than 738,000 vaccine shots Wednesday, though authorities also warned that hospitals were seeing a dramatic rise in coronavirus patients.


The Rise of the Guest Chef

IN EARLY JULY, Blaine Wetzel flew halfway around the world to cook for a night in another chef’s kitchen. He traveled from the Willows Inn, his acclaimed locavore restaurant on a remote island north of Seattle, to the two-Michelin-starred Mirazur on the French Riviera. “It’s amazing to work with ingredients you’ve never seen before,” he said. Two days later, in an alien setting with a team he’d just met, he served paying guests an eight-course meal that included Mediterranean monkfish, clams and giant prawns, sun-kissed lemons, Italian bottarga and wild bitter greens.

The same night, July 10, in top restaurants across the globe, 36 other chefs were plating up food far from home as part of a synchronized stunt known as the Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle. “We wanted to take chefs out of their comfort zone,” said Italian food writer Andrea Petrini, the logistical mastermind behind the event, which sent Frenchman Alain Ducasse to Lake Garda in Italy, Italian Massimo Bottura to New York’s East Village and Mirazur’s Argentinean chef Mauro Colagreco to the most celebrated restaurant in rural Slovenia. Diners, who prepaid for their meal, only learned who was cooking when they sat down to eat.

The Gelinaz! dinners, sold-out worldwide, marked a moment in global food culture, one that could pose a threat to our old-fashioned notions of what makes a “restaurant.” From guest-chef dinners to new venues where chefs rotate through full time, restaurants aren’t always the static, predictable places they used to be. In fact, with so many chefs so mobile—hosting pop-ups, takeovers, collaborations and swaps—there’s often no telling these days who might be preparing your food.

The most hyped chefs now travel like rock stars on tour, flown around for limited cooking engagements. These may be impromptu one-off events or, more likely, part of an organized series booked months in advance. Can’t make it to hot ticket Maaemo in Oslo for dinner? Head chef Esben Holmboe Bang is doing two nights in New York this month.

But what can diners expect from chefs when they’re out of their element, far from the equipment, staff, ingredients and setting that make their restaurants click? The best guest appearances don’t even try to replicate the chef’s usual fare, delivering something entirely different instead. Like Mr. Wetzel at Mirazur, the chef might be experimenting with unfamiliar ingredients—the creative process on display—or with new cooking styles or techniques. Or a unique collaboration might be the draw, a few like-minded chefs riffing off each other in a jam-band meal.

There are all sorts of good reasons for giving up or sharing a kitchen for a night—or for traveling a great distance to cook somewhere new. Financial rewards are rarely among them. “We’re lucky if we break even,” said Matt McCallister, who collaborates on tasting menus once a month, alternating courses with a guest chef, at his Dallas restaurant FT33.

Sometimes the point of having visitors cook is to bring the restaurant world together. That was the motivation at Mandu, a buzzy Korean restaurant in Washington, D.C., where until recently rotating chefs contributed their own late-night bar snacks on the first Friday of every month. “The chef community here is insanely close-knit and very loyal,” said Mandu’s chef Danny Lee. “Those nights were a chance to work with each other without having to open an actual restaurant together.” The series became so out-of-control popular among chefs and diners that Mr. Lee wrapped it up last spring. “It just turned into a zoo,” he said.

&ldquo You get the most forward-thinking food from coast to coast in one restaurant. &rdquo

Chefs generally extend invitations to collaborate with colleagues they admire or respect. “It keeps my staff excited,” said Matt Lambert, of New York’s Musket Room, who has flown in three chefs from Europe to cook with him so far this year. For brand new restaurants, high-profile guests can help generate early buzz, or even put the kitchen through its paces to help work out kinks. Before officially opening Death & Taxes, a new Raleigh, N.C., restaurant devoted to live-fire cooking, Ashley Christensen had some top Southern chefs in to cook for a few nights. “We learned so many things from each of them,” she said, “watching them set up their stations, write their menus, their approach to the grill.”

Though many chefs host colleagues simply to shake things up for themselves—“I think of it like continuing education,” said Mr. McCallister—diners often respond well, happy to pay a premium to get up close and personal with a chef they’ve read about or seen on TV. (While prices vary greatly from venue to venue, visiting-chef dinners can sometimes run as high as nearly double the normal price of a meal at the host restaurant.) “People want to feel like they’re participating in something extraordinary,” said Christopher Kostow, who hosts an annual 12 Days of Christmas guest-chef series at the Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa. “They want to see the chef in the kitchen or coming out and saying a word or two.”

Novelty is part of the appeal of these evenings as well. With that in mind, a few entrepreneurs have begun to incorporate the guest-chef idea into a new restaurant model that relies entirely on rotating chefs, offering a blank canvas for an itinerant chef for a few nights, weeks or even months. These venues are as varied in style and motivation as the chefs who come through. At the Chefs Clubs run by Food & Wine magazine in New York and Aspen, anonymous house chefs execute recipes contributed by new stars of American cooking. “You get the most forward-thinking food from coast to coast in one restaurant,” said Food & Wine editor Dana Cowin.

Many of the new revolving chef restaurants, though, are about giving up-and-coming talent a showcase, serving as incubators for chefs preparing to branch out on their own. “I started to think about how much fun it is for me mentoring artistic people,” said veteran restaurateur Rich Melman, whose new Chicago restaurant Intro rotates through a new chef every three months. Diners get a preview of a young man or woman hoping to launch their own place. Mr. Melman sees it as a way of serving the “percentage of the population who always want to be first to discover something new.”

Where the Chefs Are

AT ONE RESTAURANT, the guest-chef concept gives diners the chance to sample the cooking of a celebrity from a distant city. At another, it’s an opportunity to catch a local star on the rise. The reasons for chefs to kitchen-hop are many, and the formats for these meals vary wildly. One thing diners are guaranteed: the element of surprise. Here’s a roundup of collaborations, swaps and guest-chef events worth taking a chance on.

Birch | Providence, R.I.

Birch

Since opening his ambitious restaurant two years ago, Ben Sukle has been regularly having friends from around the country in to cook—along with a few high-profile chefs he’s admired from afar. The tasting menu dinners focus on local ingredients, with Mr. Sukle alternating every other dish. birchrestaurant.com

FT33 Dallas

Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton and Greg Denton of Portland’s Ox

For his monthly collaborative dinners, DJ-turned-chef Matt McCallister brings hot chefs to Dallas for a night. Evenings are often themed. A monochrome dinner alternated black and white dishes. For a no-electricity meal chefs wore headlamps and cooked in a wood-fired mobile pizza oven. ft33dallas.com

Bulgari Hotel | Milan

A dish by René Redzepi

Andrea Petrini’s Epicurea series, which just concluded its second season, brings some of the world’s most celebrated contemporary chefs to cook in Milan for a couple of nights at a time. New York chef Danny Bowien (of Mission Chinese) kicked off the series in January René Redzepi (of Copenhagen’s Noma) passed through in June. bulgarihotels.com/en-us/milan/the-hotel/overview

Fulgurances | Paris

Chloé Charles

This fall the three young partners behind Fulgurances—a food-event organizer/food-culture-magazine publisher—will open a restaurant as a springboard for promising chefs. Kitchen lieutenants eager to launch their own place will get a risk-free platform for six months, with staff and décor in place. First up: Chloé Charles, sous-chef for the last two years at Paris hot spot Septime. fulgurances.com

Ikarus | Salzburg, Austria

Ikarus

Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz pioneered the revolving chef concept when he transformed an airplane hangar into Ikarus, a restaurant that for the last 12 years has highlighted a different star chef’s food every month. Chefs invited to contribute a menu spend a few days on site ensuring the food—executed by the Ikarus team—is just as it should be. The Restaurant at Meadowood’s Christopher Kostow is on deck for October. hangar-7.com/en/ikarus

The Table By | Madrid

A dish from San Sebastián’s A Fuego Negro

Spain’s first revolving-chef restaurant opened last year in Madrid’s Hotel URSO, with menu and décor changing every few weeks. The seasonal venture, open September-June, brings in chefs and their teams from across the country, offering acclaimed restaurants elsewhere access to a capital-city audience. thetableby.es

Carousel | London

Carousel

Four veterans of London’s pop-up dining scene launched the city’s first guest-chef restaurant last year, inviting up-and-comers from around the world to cook for a week or two at a time. The well-priced evening meals have a dinner-party vibe, with communal seating. So far they’ve served modern Spanish and Mexi-Asian, among other cuisines. carousel-london.com

Chefs Club by Food & Wine | New York

Chefs Club by Food & Wine

Every year, four of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs” are chosen to contribute dishes to the menu here, with culinary director Didier Elena filling out the rest. In the Studio, a more intimate space in the back of the restaurant, visiting chefs rotate through, cooking a few nights a week. chefsclub.com/new-york

Intro | Chicago

Erik Anderson

Last fall restaurateur Rich Melman transformed high-end L20 into an incubator for talent, highlighting a new chef every three months. Mr. Melman and his team share their experience—and profits—and offer free ongoing consulting when alumni move on. Erik Anderson, who just concluded his residency, is working on his own project in Minneapolis. Now at the stove: Aaron Martinez. introchicago.com

The Restaurant at Meadowood | St. Helena, Calif.

Christopher Kostow and Grant Achatz plating food.

Christopher Kostow’s annual 12 Days of Christmas guest dinner series—now in its eighth year—has become one of the most prestigious invitations for a traveling chef. The roster of heavy hitters last year included top chefs from Belgium, France and Peru. This year’s lineup will be announced on August 5. meadowood.com/dining

Momofuku Ssam Bar | New York

The occasional guest-chef dinners held at this raucous restaurant are served family style at a long communal table, with loud music and free-flowing alcohol keeping the energy up. Originally targeting a restaurant-industry crowd—with only late-night seatings at 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.—the hours have now been expanded to include the whole night. momofuku.com/new-york/ssam-bar

More in Eating & Drinking

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Disney unveils new insanely lifelike animatronics, but it will be awhile before the technology comes to Orlando

There has been plenty of focus on the theme park arms race currently underway in Orlando, but another arms race is presently happening in Japan.

Tokyo Disney’s owner, Oriental Land Company, has its own attack plan that includes huge new additions to both of its theme parks, along with two new hotels. Japan, with a land mass roughly that of California, will be hosting both the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and the 2025 World Expo in Osaka.

Tokyo Disney is preparing for significant expansions that will see new additions throughout the early 2020s benefiting from the expected influx of visitors to the already highly populated nation. In the Disneyland park, both Tomorrowland and Fantasyland will be receiving updates as part of a $656 million investment. The flagship attraction of this expansion is a Beauty and the Beast mini-land with a unique dark ride, which will be the first for the iconic cartoon.

Less than two weeks after Osaka was announced as the host city for World Expo 2025, and just one week after a second new hotel was confirmed for the resort, Tokyo Disney sent shockwaves across the internet when it, in collaboration with Disney itself, released a video showing the next generation animatronics that will be used in the new high-tech Beauty and the Beast dark ride.

Disney Imagineering, who is overseeing the new additions, have developed what will be the next signature ride system for Disney parks. Ratatouille and Mystic Manor, both with six seats, are Disney’s first truly modern, autonomous trackless ride systems. This first-generation system will likely be what Disney chooses to use on Epcot’s upcoming Ratatouille ride. A larger capacity and slightly reworked 8 passenger ride vehicle will be used on the upcoming Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride.

Now Disney has unveiled its largest modern trackless ride vehicle. Seating nine passengers, four in the front row and five in the back row, the Beauty and the Beast ride vehicles will interact with each other, spinning and dancing, in large stunningly detailed show scenes. While no manufacturer has been officially announced, numerous aspects of the new ride vehicles point to Oceaneering the same company behind the trackless ride vehicles used on the Antarctica ride at SeaWorld Orlando.

While the massive ride vehicles are impressive enough, Disney also debuted what looks to be a brand-new generation of audio-animatronics. Gone are the interior lit, projection mapped faces that have been used on recent animatronics, such as those in Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Frozen Ever After. The smooth, non-stop movement seen in Pandora’s Na’vi River Journey has been kicked up a notch with multiple animatronics.

Since debuting in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora expansion last year, Disney has shown off the cutting edge Na’vi figure in multiple tech conventions and events. With the openness to share the numerous advancements that Disney had made via the Na’vi animatronics, it is clear that the company has moved on to some new, even more advanced technology. With insane fluidity of motion and nearly photo-like realization, the new Beauty and the Beast characters point to new uses of the Na’vi technology.

It might be this same generation of animatronics that Disney plans to use in the upcoming Rise of the Resistance ride, which is expected to house dozens of animatronics in a high-tech attraction which will also feature screens and possibly even augmented reality style projection glass technology.

Back in Japan, the new Beauty and the Beast mini-land will draw a lot of inspiration from Orlando’s New Fantasyland version. The meet-and-greet and restaurant found in the Magic Kingdom version have been replaced with the large, indoor dark ride. A Gaston’s Tavern restaurant and a separate LeFou’s food counter along with three small retail stores round out the mini-land.

Some have speculated that Disney may eventually bring the high-tech Beauty and the Beast dark ride to Walt Disney World, but typically new attractions in the franchised or co-owned Asian resorts include an exclusivity agreement for at least five years. The previously co-owned Disneyland Paris resort had a similar contract with its Ratatouille ride. That ride will see its five-year anniversary in July of 2019, just a few months ahead of the Epcot version’s opening. One of the few remaining expansion areas for the Magic Kingdom is directly behind Fantasyland, the most obvious place for the ride at Walt Disney World.

Again though, with multiple investments in the park ahead of the 50th Anniversary in 2021, including the addition of the Tron-themed roller coaster, any significant new attraction likely wouldn’t be until much later, possibly not until the late 2020s at the earliest.

The Tokyo ride will open in 2020.

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Chef Leah Cohen's ultimate beef short ribs

One thing you can count on in New York is variety, and that helps explain why Chef Leah Cohen, a New York native, has such eclectic tastes.

Half Filipina and half Russian-Romanian Jew, she's competed on Bravo's "Top Chef" and traveled to Asia, sampling street food everywhere.

Star Chefs named her a "Rising Star Chef." She's the chef and co-owner of Pig & Khoa, a unique restaurant on Manhattan's Lower East Side that focuses on Southeast Asian cuisine.

On "CBS This Morning: Saturday," Cohen shared some of that fare on "THE Dish."

Check out the recipes for those dishes seen on the broadcast:

Braised Beef Short Rib with Massaman Curry, Potato Puree and Kale

4 pounds Bone-in beef short ribs
1/2 C canola oil
Kosher salt for seasoning meat

Season the beef liberally with salt. Heat up a large pan and add enough oil to sear the meat on all sides. Once meat is seared remove from pan and add it to the braising liquid. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in oven at 300 degrees for 3-31/2 hours. When meat is tender, remove the meat from liquid and strain the braising liquid. Return the meat back to the liquid and cool down overnight.

225 g shallots quartered
50 g garlic cloves
10 g kaffir
2 g bay leaves
50 g cilantro root
150 g lemongrass smashed
2 QT Chicken stock
2 cans chefs choice coconut milk
250 g fish sauce
32 g salt
100 g sugar
5 g cinnamon stick
4 g star anise
5 ea cardamom

400 g massaman curry paste
150 g canola oil
150 g tamarind paste
150 g palm sugar
6 cans chefs choice coconut milk
2QT beef braising liquid
t.t. Fish sauce
4 ea star anise
4 ea cloves
4 ea cardamom

In a large pot combine 2 cans coconut milk, canola oil and curry paste. Fry curry paste over medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Deglaze with fish sauce and add palm sugar and tamarind paste. Add the braising liquid plus 4 remaining cans of coconut milk and spices. Bring up to a boil and then turned down to a simmer and cook for 30 min on low. Remove spices and cool down.

10 g coriander seed toasted
15 g cumin seed toasted
1 g cardamom
6 g ground cinnamon
100 g roasted unsalted peanuts
200 g shallot
150 g garlic cloves peeled
150 g dried Thai chili, seeded
90 g lemongrass
120 g fresh galangal peeled
36 g fresh red Thai chili
7 g kaffir lime leaves
1 tbs shrimp paste

In a robot coupe blend dried Thai chili to a powder. Then combine the rest of the ingredients and blend until it forms a smooth paste. While blending add just enough ice water to help blend.

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes medium diced
1/2 C cream
1/2 pounds unsalted butter

Boil potatoes in a pot of salted water until tender, about 25 minutes.

In the meantime combine cream and butter in a saucepan and heat up until butter melts.

When potatoes are cooked pass them through a food mill. Slowly add cream and butter mixture into the potatoes and season with salt t.t.

Heat up 2 tbs of canola oil in a pan and add 1 tsp minced garlic. Add 1 bu kale (stems removed) 1/4 C water and cook until kale is tender. Season with salt to taste.

Thinly slice 3 large shallots on a mandolin. Coat sliced shallots with rice flour and fry at 300 degrees until light golden brown and season with salt.

Heat up with short ribs in Massaman curry sauce. Once meat is hot and tender turn off the heat and season the sauce with fresh lime juice and fish sauce to taste.

Spoon potato puree on the bottom of the plate then place kale on top. Place short rib on top of kale and garnish with crispy shallots and cilantro leaves.

Mussels in Pineapple Curry Broth

2 pounds pei mussels
2 Tbs canola oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp sliced Thai chili (less if you don&rsquot want spicy)
1/2 ea limejuice
t.t. fish sauce
15 ea Thai basil leaves

In a wok (or large saucepan) heat up oil and saute garlic and Thai chili for 1 min. Add mussels and deglaze with pineapple curry broth. Cover the wok with a bowl or lid and let mussels steam open. Once mussels open turn off the heat and season with fish sauce and lime juice. Garnish with freshly torn Thai basil leaves.

250 g Yellow Curry paste
44 g canola oil
94 g Fish sauce (squid brand)
2.5 Cans Chefs choice coconut milk
1094 g Pineapple juice
11 g Kaffir

In a pot heat up oil and fry curry paste for 5-8 min (until you smell spices toasting) stirring constantly to prevent burning. Deglaze with fish sauce and cook for 1 minute.

Add pineapple, coconut milk and kaffir. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer and cook on low heat for 20 min. Remove kaffir leaves.

8 g coriander seed (toasted)
136 g Lemongrass sliced
38 g Thai red chili
25 g fresh yellow turmeric
75 g shallot
75 g garlic
1.5 tbs kosher salt
2 tbs shrimp paste
ice for blending

In a robot coupe combine all ingredients and blend until it forms a smooth paste. While blending add ice cubes one at a time to help blend.

Grilled Pork Jowl and Brussels Sprout Salad:

1.5 pounds cooked pork jowl
2 ea shallots sliced
1/4 C mint leaves
1/4 C cilantro leaves
1 pound Brussels sprouts (trimmed and quartered)
1/3 C Dressing
2-3 tbs toasted rice powder
salt t.t.

Grill pork jowl until slightly charred and hot. Slice thin

Fry the Brussel sprouts at 350 degrees until crispy but still retaining some of the green. Drain on paper towel and lightly season with salt.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix will and garnish with toasted rice powder.

22 g Fresh Chilies, rough chopped
10 g Garlic
370 g Lime Juice
205 g Fish Sauce
112 g Sugar
325 g Water

In a food processor buzz chilies and garlic while adding some of the lime juice to help the process. The garlic and the chilies should be well pureed but you can still see some of the seeds from the chilies.

Transfer the mixture into a bain and mix everything together

Cooking the jowl sous vide:

The jowl is cooked in a vacuum-sealed bag in a water bath for 12 hours at 145 degrees Celsius. Once jowl is cooked cool down in ice bath. Once cool remove jowl from bag and place in marinade for 3 hours or overnight.

46 g Cilantro Root
17 g Garlic
5 g Salt
1.5 cans Coconut Milk (Chefs Choice)
86 g Fish Sauce
37 g Sugar, granulated
3 g White Pepper, grounded

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Spicy Mango Dylan Cocktail

1.5 oz Thai chili infused tequila
1.5 oz grapefruit cordial
.75oz mango nectar (Gina brand)
.75 oz lime juice

Served over ice in garnish with lime wedge

1 bottle clear tequila
15 ea Thai chili diced

Combine tequila and Thai chili for one hour and then strain.

Mango Sticky Rice
Serves 4

1 C Thai sticky rice soaked for 2-4 hours and rinsed to get rid of extra starch
1 C Chaokoh canned coconut milk
1 C granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 ea ripe mango peeled and sliced
2 tbs crunchy mung beans

Line a steamer with cheesecloth and steam rice over medium heat for about 20 minutes.

While the rice is steaming, combine coconut milk, sugar and salt in saucepan and heat up until sugar and salt dissolve and mixture is hot.

When rice is cooked put it in a bowl and mix in coconut mixture. Mix gently so you don&rsquot break up the rice. Cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes

Serve sticky rice with fresh sliced mango and garnish with crispy mung beans

Soak yellow skinned mung beans in water for 1 hour, drain and dry on paper towel.

In a small saucepot heat up enough oil to shallow fry the mung beans. Fry until golden brown and crunchy and drain on paper towel.