Crack Pies, CBD Burgers, and Charitable Chefs
This week in food news is very drug-centric. Milk Bar has renamed its Crack Pie and Carls Jr. is releasing a 4/20 CBD Burger. Massimo Battura is working hard and feeding the homeless.
After being slammed by critics for “Crack Pie” being offensive, Christina Tosi of Milk Bar has changed the foods name to Milk Bar Pie. Milk Bar is the second establishment this year to replace the phrase “crack” in their food, the first being HopCat, a large gastropub franchise in Michigan, they changed their “crack fries” to “galaxy fries”. The year is 2019, and even though the crack epidemic has softened up, there are still thousands of people addicted to crack, and it is not something to make light of. Source
Fast Food Chain Carl’s Jr is releasing a CBD infused burger for one day to test it out and see if there is a demand. Tom predicted that a fast food chain would put a CBD infused item on their menu back in January. Carl’s Jr is only releasing the burger for 1 day(4/20, obviously) at one location(Denver, obviously) to see if it is something that they should pursue for the rest of the country. Source
Massimo Battura was nominated as one of one Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2019. He has started community kitchens all over the world that serve restaurant quality food and feed the homeless, refugees, and the food insecure. Feeding the food insecure is a big topic for this episode, as we interview Matt Jozwiak, the President of ReThink Food, an organization that dedicates themselves to feeding the food insecure. Source
An Ode To The Red Sauce Joint
This week Bon Appetit put together one of the most comprehensive pieces on Italian- American Cuisine. They titled their work Red Sauce America and put together over a dozen different articles addressing all sorts of Red Sauce culture from Six Degrees of Chicken Cutlets, to Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know about Rao’s, and even the History of Buca di Beppo
Tom and I talk about our favorite Red Sauce joints, the difference between Italian and Italian-American food, and what how both of our death row meals are Red Sauce dishes.
Tutto Bene translated to Everything Good, but more importantly, was the restaurant of my childhood. My father’s office was across the street from them and to this day is still probably where I’ve had the most meals of my life. Chicken Parmigiana, Veal Scarparella, Veal Sorrentino, and of course the Baked Clams. Writing this has me salivating over the memories of dipping crunchy bread into the leftovers of the baked clam tray, the oil, lemon, butter, parsley, and breadcrumbs. This is a visceral experience that can only be replicated at Red Sauce joints
In Italian Cuisine Pasta is not a side dish. It is its own course to be respected and appreciated. I think that this is something that Italian-American cuisine gets wrong. I understand how inexpensive pasta is, but to offer it as a complimentary side dish cheapens it. Pasta’s potential is limitless and can go toe to toe with any type of dish. To quote The Big Night “Sometimes the spaghetti likes to be alone”
Matt Jozwiak and Rethink Food Tackle The Problem of Food Waste in NYC
According to Feeding America, there are 42 million people facing hunger in the United States, with 1.4 million being in New York City alone. Astonishingly, research shows about 40% of the food produced in America today goes to waste; this is equivalent to 70 billion tons. Our goal is to make sure the wholesome excess food gets to hungry mouths.
Rethink Food NYC Inc is a non-profit organization working to recover nutritious excess food to provide low or no-cost meals to New York City families in need.
They transform unused food from grocery stores, restaurants, events, and corporate offices into ready-to-eat, nutritiously dense meals that are delivered to local human service organizations in New York City. With the initiative to run a community kitchen, their top chefs can both serve their community while developing entrepreneurial and leadership skills to help students establish an education that they will carry with them into future careers. Rethink Food NYC Inc goes beyond meals by using food as the tool to promote poverty solutions, participate in nutrition education, and convene food policy events.
After learning about the Rethink Food mission I reached out to its Founder and President Matt Jozwiak and asked if we could have him on for an interview. We lucked out and he came to visit us in Greenpoint to talk all about what Rethink Food is doing to help food insecurity in NYC.
Besides being one of the most impressive people I have met, Matt is also one of the most impressive chefs. He has trained at Noma, Alinea, and most recently Eleven Madison Park. He and his team tackled all the issues of restaurant food waste and food insecurity one by one to develop Rethink Food.
I asked Matt if he needs more volunteers, more restaurants to partner with, or anything else. He told me no, they just need more donations. So once again, support the end of food insecurity and donate to Rethink Food.