Today Dunkin' Donuts launches a coffee counter attack. While all the Starbucks are closed this afternoon, Dunkin' Donuts is having a 99-cent sale on all small lattes, cappuccinos and espresso drinks from 1PM-10PM. Fully caffeinated press release after the jump.
If your local Starbucks is your office or favorite rendez-vous point, and you're planning on spending some quality time there tomorrow afternoon, be advised you will need a Plan B. Tomorrow from 5:30PM to 8:30PM (local time) every single Starbucks owned store around the country will be closed for a massive synchronized staff training program. Likewise - if you're a coffee shop located next-door to a Starbucks, you might want to plan for some additional traffic. This has been a Snack PSA.
The official corporate press release can be found after the jump.
While Jean-Georges Vongerichten himself is in South Beach readying his big tribute dinner, his Culinary Concepts brigade is working on four restaurants slated to open later this year in the new W Hotels in Atlanta, Istanbul and Doha. Each property will get an outpost of Spice Market, and the Doha W will also get the new concept Market by Jean-Georges which is an amalgamation of his Mercer Kitchen in NYC and Market in Paris. NYC firm AvroKo has been tapped to do the design. Get all the details in the complete un-edited press release after the jump.
I went to visit the New Museum of Contemporary Art on a recent Thursday evening, when admission is free from 7PM-10PM if you're looking for something to do later tonight.
I loved the bright minimal building designed by Tokyo-based architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA. The the super-tall, slim metallic elevator doors that open up to a lime green interior were a fun dramatic surprise. While cruising up to the fourth floor I noticed even the LED readout on the number panel was lime green. Very matchy-matchy. About 8-feet up on the wall elegant silver letters announce that the elevator had been paid for by a sponsor. As I toured through the museum it seems every possible available space was sponsored, from hallways to stairwells to random niches between floors. I've never quite seen this level of paid sponsorship in a building before and found it both impressive and inspiring. If you can brand a hallway - you can probably brand just about anything. Makes me think there is much fertile ground to till for my favorite charity.
I was less enthusiastic about the exhibit Unmonumental which my friend aptly suggested should be called "college dorm room" and I thought "inside a dude's locker" was equally fitting. I always love a good museum Gift Shop and this one while small is well stocked. In fact I regret not buying the set of miniature Japanese tea cups, which I think warrant a return trip.
There are four days left to bid online at the Photography for Philanthropy: An Art Auction to Benefit City Harvest, consisting of 18 color photos of dishes from star chefs like Lidia Bastianich, Johnny Iuzzini, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Francois Payard, Eric Ripert and Laurent Tourondel. Each print, like Daniel Boulud's "culinary masterpiece" pictured here with a current bid of $600, is 27"x 33", archive framed, and autographed by the chef.
One of my favorite winter dishes is my 12-hour pork butt. It is an attempt to make an acceptable facsimile of the Hawaiian dish Kahlua Pig, a childhood staple. In the authentic island version a whole pig is roasted for 24-hours in an underground pit called an Imu. Being an urban apartment dweller this is quite impractical. My solution is one of the easiest, fool-proof recipes in my repertoire.
Take one piece pork butt (which is actually the shoulder) and lay it on a large sheet of tin foil. I wouldn't use anything smaller than a two-pound piece, I usually get one that's about three-four pounds. In this recipe fat is good, so don't let the butcher trim it off - and don't you either. If you're looking for fat-free, you're on the wrong blog.
Poke it all over with a fork. Pour natural liquid smoke over it, using about 1-tablespoon per pound of meat. Sprinkle with Hawaiian salt (or other flavorful coarse salt), again using about 1-tablespoon per pound of meat. Wrap it up in foil, being sure to fold over the edges and seal it well. Wrap in a second piece of foil if you're not sure. Put the foil wrapped butt onto a baking sheet and place in a 200-degree oven. Let cook 12-hours.
I usually start it at night before bed, so when I get up in the morning it is finished. I just turn off the oven and let it cool to room temperature. It is almost impossible to overcook, so don't worry if the time goes long because you've really slept in after a late night at the Spotted Pig.
Open up the foil and using your hands, start to work through the butt, gently and systematically pulling off the fat and discarding it, and pulling off the meat and puting it into a pot. Add the cooking liquid pooled in the bottom of the foil to the meat.
At this point you can put it into the fridge to keep until you're ready to eat. To serve, heat it slowly on the stove, adjust the salt and it's done. To eat it Local-style you'd make a big pile of white rice and sauteed cabbage topped with the pig. But the soft smoky shredded meat is not a bad pulled pork substitute either. You could easily opt for adding BBQ sauce and throwing it onto a bun with some cole slaw. And before the BBQ fanatics go loco on me - I did say substitute not authentic.
UPDATE 3.24.08: A new variation. Sauté the pork with a chiffonade of Swiss chard and a little barbecue sauce and serve over Falls Mill stone ground white corn grits.
The way the process works is last fall there was an open and public call for nominations. This pool of candidates was culled down to about 10-12 nominees in each category. This long list was put onto the JBF website and the 400+ national judges were given a password to go in and vote electronically. The votes on the long list will be tallied to arrive at the final five contenders in each category.
I'd guess the JBF is taking this in a good news/bad news kind of way. Good news is all of the critics and perpetual complainers who grouse that the same people are always nominated, can now see how many chefs and restaurants are actually considered. Indeed the Eater post is getting beaucoup traction online everywhere. The bad news is one of the official judges, while skilled in turning a web-page into a pdf file, is less proficient at keeping a secret.
And what about hacking the long list for the journalism awards? Well there is no long list or on-line voting. The judges for the journalism awards simply have to slog through reading every one of the 700+ entries that were submitted.
For the final list of nominees, there will be a petit déjeuner and announcement on March 23rd at the James Beard House.
4PM UPDATE: The strikeouts above were added when I realized Eater had not in fact published the list. Hacking and breaking news accolades rightfully go to Grub Street. Apologies Josh! My bad. Though I guess now you get to swap spots on the blacklist with Ben and Lock.
UPDATE 3.10.08: The JBF release the list of semi-finialist and awards protocal. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.