McDonald's reported a 13.4% US same-store sales decline in March after booking an 8.1% increase in January and February, as restaurants around the country closed their dining rooms due to the coronavirus outbreak. Globally, same-store sales fell 22% in March and the company said it will offer franchisees more help, cut executive pay and put capital projects on hold.
A Texas school district is keeping safe practices while serving drive-thru meals to students at several sites. The district's director of school nutrition, Brandon Reyes, says, "I personally believe it's much safer for our family members because our folks set the meals on the table, the family pulls up, they get out, we're able to maintain that social distance."
Cookbook author Grace Young has created a YouTube series called "Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories" highlighting the plight of Chinatown businesses in Manhattan, New York. Meanwhile, Jennifer Tam and Victoria Lee have started a Welcome to Chinatown initiative that collects funds to buy bulk meal orders to be donated to essential workers as well as lists restaurants still offering delivery, takeout and gift cards during the pandemic.
Guy Martin is the 3-star Michelin chef behind Le Grand Vefour, a Paris restaurant which dates back more than 200 years. Located just off the Gardens of the Palais Royal, Le Grand Vefour served as a gourmet rendez-vous for such notables as Victor Hugo, Jean Paul Sartre, Napoleon and Josephine. Here in the restaurant kitchen, chef Martin explains his cuisine, which he describes as modern, sensuous and daring. In the kitchen of Le Grand Vefour, he shows us his dish fresh scallops with caviar.
Pierre Gagnaire is one of the enduring icons of French gastronomy, and after 40 years still one of France’s most imaginative and well respected chefs. Gagnaire, began his cooking career at the age of fourteen, studying under Paul Bocuse in Lyon and Alain Senderens in Paris, before assuming the role of chef at his family’s restaurant, Le Clos Fleury in St. Etienne. Today, Gagnaire oversees a portfolio of restaurants that bear his name with locations in Tokyo, Dubai, Seoul, Hong Kong and Las Vegas. We sit down for an interview with chef Gagnaire at his flagship restaurant in Paris at the Hotel Balzac off the Champs Elysee.
Born in Flers, in southern Normandy, David Toutain is the grandson of farmers. At 20, he got a position at the Arpege restaurant just as Alain Passard was turning towards a vegetable-oriented cuisine. Within a year David became Alain Passard's sous chef. He later went to Spain (Mugaritz), and New York (Corton). His son's birth in 2010 brought him back to France. He joined the Agape Substance, an avant-garde restaurant with fine cuisine made out of authentic, fresh, top-quality produce. In January 2015, one year after opening Restaurant David Toutain, he received his first Michelin star and opened Identi-T next to his restaurant, a place to welcome groups and meetings.
Steve Jilleba, corporate executive chef from Unilever Food Solutions, shows us how to make a French classic: cassoulet. There are innumerable versions of cassoulet, and most are based on a stew of white beans and pork. In this version, Steve shows us how to make seafood cassoulet with white beans, bass, shrimp and scallops.
Chef Tamika Francis launched Boston's Food & Folklore pop-up dining experience as a way of honoring global food traditions, and the dinners so far have featured Peruvian, Iraqi and Islamic cuisine. Francis' long-term goal, although on hold amid the uncertainty of the pandemic, is to open a food hall in the city for patrons who want to "sit down in community and have a meal," she said.
Kentucky distiller Bardstown Bourbon Company is conducting an online search for the "World's Top Whiskey Taster" with a grand prize of $20,000, a scholarship to Moonshine University's Executive Bourbon Steward program and the chance to represent the company at global whiskey festivals next year. "Our competition is focused on the drinker themselves and judges their sensory skills," said Herb Heneman, Bardstown's vice president of brand sales and marketing.
Amid the closure of restaurants and bars across Russia due to the coronavirus, Probka restaurant sommelier Alexander Andreyev speculates that the public will support their favorite places and that the Moscow eatery will emerge stronger when it reopens. Ugolek sommelier Alina Mikhaleva has been using the time to assist private clients with their wine cellars while Leo Wine & Kitchen sommelier Sergey Podporin calls the period "an opportunity for self-development for those who really work on the floor."
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