FOOD TRENDS: The anti-celebrity chef; meat-infused cocktails; Ralph Lauren steaks

Nibbles is a compendium of food, dining and beverage information from the U.S. and the world edited by John Lehndorff

The Wall Street Journal recently chatted with chef Thomas Keller, 54,who maintains a three-acre garden at his French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley.   

 “I don’t understand the celebrity chef thing.  When I started cooking, it didn’t exist. There were certainly no national celebrities in the restaurant industry. There were a few associated with France where there has always been that deep respect for the culinary world. Our culture didn’t have that. Of course, what Americans do the best is to elevate things to unrealistic platforms without a lot of foundation behind it. We fall into this trap of having to have celebrities.”

Reported by Foodnavigator.com:

Currently, the African-American, Hispanic and Asian populations in the United States are responsible for about $299 billion of CPG (consumer packaged goods) spending, and Nielsen estimates that this could rise by as much as 25 percent over the next 10 years, to $373 billion in today’s money.

Time reports that the new wave among  mixologists is meat-infused cocktails. Here’s a recipe created by Eugene Shaw at Comme Ça in Los Angeles

The Butcher

1 strip beef jerky
1/4 oz. honey syrup
2 oz. aged rum
1 orange peel
dash of whiskey bitters

Soak beef jerky in aged rum for 30 minutes. Stir infused rum, honey syrup and bitters and pour into a martini glass.Flame an orange peel. Use slice of beef jerky for garnish. (To make honey syrup, mix 2 oz. honey with 1 oz. hot water. )

Reported by John Lehndorff:

The New York Times has reported that fashion icon Ralph Lauren is opening a new all-American eaterycalled Ralph’s serving burgers, steaks and crab cakes at his lavish new store in Paris. Ther restaurant will offer steaks made with Angus beef from the cattle on Lauren’s Double RL Ranch near Ridgway in southwestern Colorado. I think he got the idea from communications icon Ted Turner. The meat for the buffalo steaks, short ribs and burgers at Turner’s restauramt chain, Ted’s Montana Grill, come from Turner’s Montana ranch.

John Lehndorff is a Boulder, Co.-based food trend researcher, food writer and consultant. He is a former newspaper food editor and restaurant critic, author of a restaurant guide book, and executive director of the American Pie Council. Contact: lehndorffj@aol.com. Visit: www.JohnLehndorff.com.


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