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The Crumb for April 28th, 2017

Lori Bailey / April 28th 2017

Like food writing’s very own version of Scarlett Johanssen playing the lead role in Ghost in the Shell.

 

It’s Friday! Pour yourself a tall glass (maybe pass on the Soylent) and settle into this past week’s food news.

 

If awards ceremonies are your thing...

...This one’s for you. James Beard season is in its final stretch (chef & restaurant category winners to be announced May 1st), and this latest round revealed the winners of the James Beard Foundation’s Media Awards. From Dorie Greenspan’s Dorie’s Cookies to Erik Shirai’s The Birth of Saké, the media awards recognize the cream of the crop in food writing, documenting, reporting, and journalism of all kinds. So, if you enjoyed this past season of Chef’s Table, you can raise them a little celebratory toast.

 

Tough beans, Chipotle

Just when things were beginning to bounce back after their food safety debacle, Chipotle’s been kicked down once again... this time, by hackers. The data breach affected their payment processing system for transactions between March 24th through April 18th. According to the CFO, the company had rolled out some additional security measures that may have helped stop the unauthorized activity. Sadly, that didn’t stop their stock price from dropping after the bad news broke. There’s still hope for a happy ending, though—for your meal, at least, as Chipotle also announced the first of its long-anticipated dessert offerings.

 

Can’t stop, donut stop

Basically the punch line to “What’s Wylie Dufresne’s take on opening a sweet dough shop in NYC?” The chef who made his name at wd~50 turned his hyper-experimental attention to cake doughnuts, scrutinizing batch after batch in pursuit of nothing less than optimal taste and texture. Now satisfied with the results, he’s opened Du’s Donuts & Coffee with flavors such as Mexican Hot Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Yuzu, and Coffee Malt. Incidentally, he’s not the first big-name chef to start slinging doughnuts—Seattle’s Renee Erickson opened General Porpoise Doughnuts back in 2015, to much acclaim. Hey, if all the cool chefs are doing it...

 

Whole Foods, going once

Earlier this year, Whole Foods announced it was downsizing due to struggling sales, and yuppies everywhere went into mourning. Now, it may have a potential buyer. Albertsons, the supermarket operator that took over Safeway a few years back and recently considered a merger with Sprouts Farmers Market, now has its eyes on Whole Foods’ gleaming grocery aisles. Nothing’s official yet, but Cerberus Capital Management (the company that owns Albertsons—confused yet?) is apparently chatting with bankers about a potential bid. Cue the Jeopardy think music.
 

Gotta drink 'em all


The Pokémon Go craze may have simmered down a little, but AR is alive and well at London’s City Social, which is introducing a new augmented reality element to its bar program. Guests are asked to download MIRAGE (in all caps, as is tech-naming tradition) on their phones and watch as their cocktails transform into centerpieces of a fantastical digital wonderland. Restaurateur Jason Atherton says he’s hopeful this “crazy idea” will help put the restaurant’s cocktails on the global map and promote social media share-ability. Dubious critics call it “unnecessary” and “gimmicky.” Only one way to find out: cell phones out, bottoms up.


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