Get your weekend going in the read direction with this week’s best-of food writing from around the web. From the eccentric chicken taco shell to the frightening Dungeness crab news, we hope you’ll turn your eyes to these stories that got us reading.
+ Proof that the best is not always the biggest, this LA restaurant is another gem putting Filipino food on the map. At 275 square feet, DTLA’s Ricebar is no small inspiration. Read about the chef’s transition from cooking at Michelin-starred Coi, attending med school, to hosting popups before founding his own tiny kitchen specializing in heirloom rice:
“People would probably kill me for buying rice this expensive and selling it at this price point, but I was like, ‘We’ve gotta do it. I’ll make up the difference on my end,’” he said. “That’s what chefs do. If you want it, you make it work—somehow.”
+ Dungeness crab, the culinary saga, takes another quick turn for the unfortunate. According to The Seattle Times, the crustacean is one of the latest victims to oceanic acidification. A study released last week predicts that Dungeness numbers will decline by 30% by the year 2063. That certainly makes us crabby.
+ Check out the newest bar bubbling up in Hayes Valley: The Riddler, a champagne bar with at least 100 varieties of the celebratory bubbly.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) January 11, 2017
+ This week’s fast food invention has us asking: terrible or terrific? Neither carb-free or guilt-free, Taco Bell’s new eat-bait is a chicken taco whose shell is a flattened, deep-fried chicken patty. We’re lookin’ but we have not eaten. Will you?
+ Avocados are universally loved, so it’s not surprising that someone dug up some dirt about the California fruit. From their strange Aztec name (testicles!?) to their tendency to get sunburned, you’re sure to learn at least one new detail about the buttery berry.
+ The only woman in Flanders to have received a Michelin Star has returned it. Read Karen Keygnaert’s interview about how the rating system can is sometimes more of a curse than a blessing.
This summer, someone called me to ask if her husband could please come in shorts, because of an accident. Who am I to say he can’t? I don’t want to get those calls anymore. I don’t want people to come eat there because the chef has a star, but because it’s a cozy place. People have to be able to come as they are, just to have a nice conversation with good food. I want a restaurant where I would like to go out to eat myself, so I attract the kind of people I seem to feel comfortable with.
+ In this Lucky Peach interview with René Redzepi on the Future of Fine Dining, Redzepi echo’s Keygnaert’s same sentiment about comfort:
But the spirit of fine dining came from the royal courts, and it still feels like it’s been formulated with that aesthetic in mind, like you’re dining with the upper echelon of the bourgeoisie. Of course, that’s not how most people are comfortable, and there’s a new standard for how to be comfortable today. Luxury today is about being comfortable. Yes, you still have to wear clothes, but you don’t have to wear specific kinds of clothes to eat a delicious meal and sit for hours and talk with your wife while learning new things about food. You don’t have to perform that ritual in that way anymore; places have to allow people to be themselves and to be comfortable. If they don’t do that, I think the fine dining establishment will die out.
— Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) January 8, 2017
+ More proof that childhood classics never grow out of fashion: cronut creator, Dominique Ansel sits down with Thrillist to rank Girl Scout cookies. Spoiler alert: Tagalongs are #1!
I love peanut butter, it’s nostalgic for me. That’s what people call comfort food — the food that you grew up eating that makes you feel good. I’m a professional pastry chef so I eat pastries differently to most people. I analyze it, I think about it. But in the end I’m like everyone else. The way the food makes me feel is what’s important. That’s what I remember.