Every month, our Food Editor Nicole Douillet shares her top headlines from the world of restaurants, food and wine. Here are her quick news bites for the month of November 2018. Curious about other events in the world of food and drink this month? Click here.
Here are 5 headlines to know this month:
1. I hope you had a terrific Halloween! And, in that spirit, I want to share the news about a Tokyo popup restaurant that was open for two weeks at the end of October serving recreations of famous death row inmates’ last meals. Diners could choose between dishes requested by Gary Mark Gilmore (hamburger, baked potato, hard boiled egg and three shots of Jack Daniels), Judy Buonoano, aka The Black Widow, (asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, and strawberries), or John Wayne Gacy (bucket of fried chicken, fried shrimp, fries, and a pound of strawberries), among others. Although the popup has already closed, it received positive reviews from those who went, so perhaps we have more morbidly themed restaurants in our future?
2. In New York, the mercury has started to drop, prompting locals to turn to warm bowls of ramen, udon, pho, and shabu shabu. Luckily, there are great options for each of these. But one that has been receiving excellent reviews since it opened last fall is Shabushabu Macoron on Delancey Street in New York City. The chef, Mako Okano, has taken what is usually a diner-led experience of dipping various types of seafood, meat, and vegetables into hot broth, and made it a chef-driven experience for up to 8 diners at her counter. Ms. Okano and her all-women kitchen (which is usually either her and two additional cooks, or just her), present diners with between 8 and 10 courses in what is the is the world’s first shabushabu omakase for $128/person.
3. If you, like me, are a Top Chef and Chef’s Table superfan, you’ll be excited to learn about two new binge-worthy Netflix series. The first will cover “the most significant historical and cultural events in the worlds of fashion, food, space, sports, and entertainment.” The first episode was shot by the creators of Chef’s Table and is to be called 7 Days Out. It documents the week leading up to the reopening of Eleven Madison Park, the then #1 restaurant in the world, as the owners and team prepare to reopen after a summer of renovations in 2017.
Other episodes will include the Westminster Dog Show, the Kentucky Derby, and Chanel’s haute couture fashion show (official debut date TBA).
Netflix is launching a global cooking competition that combines elements of Top Chef and Iron Chef called The Final Table. The show will pit teams of two globally renowned chefs against one another to cook the national dish of a different country in each episode. The competitors will be judged by “the [featured] country’s greatest chef”, celebrity ambassadors, and food critics…until “the final table,” where they will be judged by culinary icons. Tune in November 20th for the series debut!
4. Are you planning a European vacation anytime soon? If so, you may want to add the Netherland’s second largest city to your list of destinations. The Independent recently named Rotterdam Europe’s coolest foodie destination. Chefs and restaurateurs in the city have embraced well-prepared local ingredients and prioritized accessibility over Michelin stars. Between great restaurants, such as De Jong by chef Jim de Jong or Aji by Michelin-starred chef Mario Ridder; craft breweries with beer halls and bars like Thoms or Kaapse Maria; and innovative food markets across the city, travelers should have no problem filling their trip with delicious stops.
5. Los Angeles’ non-profit, Twice New, is making a real impact on the problem of food waste. The organization was founded by Crystal Ortiz and Christina Rosenberg with the mission of collecting prepared food from events, stylists, and caterers that would otherwise go to waste, and delivering it to organizations that provide meals for the hungry.
The duo each have backgrounds in event production and saw an opportunity to curb the food waste so common after big events by partnering with event venues and caterers like Soho House, Lemonade, and The Butcher’s Daughter in LA. They then deliver the uneaten or excess food to organizations like The Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition (where Soho House employees now volunteer to serve Friday night dinners), The Midnight Mission, and others. Since August, Soho House alone has donated 1,200 pounds of food which translates to roughly 800 meals.
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Nicole Douillet is Dandelion Chandelier’s Food Editor. In addition to sharing her love of all things food with our readers, Nicole is a finance executive who has spent nearly 18 years on Wall Street in a variety of roles. She began her career as the first woman hired as a trader on the block trading desk at UBS. For over 13 years, Nicole was a quantitative trader and portfolio manager on the proprietary trading desk at Credit Suisse. She then served as Head of Product Innovation and LGBT Strategy for Wealth Management Private Banking New Markets at Credit Suisse. Most recently, Nicole co-founded Reboot Investing, Inc. where she served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. A recognized leader in socially responsible investing, Nicole created the ground-breaking Credit Suisse LGBT Equality Index ® and co-authored “What’s the Effect of Pro-LGBT Policy on Stock Price?” for the Harvard Business Review in 2014. Nicole currently serves on the Advisory Council for Action Against Hunger | ACF International. She is a former junior Olympic skier, food and drink aficionado, serial restaurant regular, and chili cook-off champion. She and her wife live in Brooklyn with their son, whose favorite restaurant is Lilia. Nicole is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.