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Friday, March 21, 2014

The Weekly Roundup: NYC Pizza 101, Starbucks Adds Alcohol, Goodbye White House Pastry Chef

The Definitive NYC Pizza Guide:
  • A Complete Guide to New York City Pizza Styles: Although New York City has long had a clearly defined and ubiquitous style of pizza, the city's appetite for the dish knows no bounds. While New Yorkers can certainly be parochial and protective of their home slice, they can also be open and accepting of different pizza points of view. Here is a look at the predominant forms of pizza found in New York City with information about how they developed over the years, and a glimpse at some of the more eclectic and disparate variations on the theme.
  • New York City's 25 Most Iconic Pizzerias: These are the establishments that have shaped our collective understanding of New York City pizza. Top hits include Joe's Pizza and Artichoke Basille's Pizza.  
  • The Secrets Behind Joe's Pizza in Greenwich Village: At 77, Pino "Joe" Pozzuoli is still a major part of the Joe's Pizza team. The founder of the iconic Greenwich Village pizzeria comes into the restaurant almost every day, and he always samples a slice for quality control. His grandson, Sal Vitale, oversees both the original location and the new East Village outpost. Hit play on this original video from Eater Moving Pictures to learn about the rich history of this New York pizzeria and the family that runs it. 
  • The Story of the Calzone: Did the calzone, like the pizza, originate in Naples? And why the hell would you want to order a calzone rather than a slice? According to Waverly Root, in his exhaustive Foods of Italy (1971), calzoni, like pizza, originated in Naples. Translated "pants legs," it represented a sort of "walk-around" form of pizza that could be carried out and eaten without utensils, while the damp-in-the-middle pies made in the same pizzerias had to be eaten on the premises with a knife and fork. 
  • Pizza at its Most Extreme: The parameters of pizza are well established: dough, sauce, cheese, plus maybe some other stuff. But within that simple formula, wide variation is possible, with pizzaioli sometimes given to pushing the doughy envelope. Here are a dozen slices, pies, and pizzerias that are, for better or worse, poised on the frontiers of pizza-making.
  • Sietsema's List of Pizza Surrogates: Ever since modern pizza was invented on the Lower East Side — big, communal pies heaped with a wide variety of ingredients, often delivered by small car — flatbreads originating in other places have groomed themselves to be like pizza for commercial purposes, proving that the appeal of pizza is undeniable — and international. Here's a selection of pizza surrogates from other nations found in the New York area.

  • Starbucks to Sell Alcohol in Thousands of Stores: Since 2010, Starbucks has been testing something called "Starbucks Evenings" — modified units meant to serve beer, wine, and tapas-like plates after dark — in select regions across the country. Today, on the heels of the announcement of their partnership with Oprah, the green giant confirms that it will be rolling out Starbucks Evenings in cities across the country effective immediately. Starbucks will expand its evening alcohol and light bites menu, which includes bacon-wrapped dates and Malbec wine, to thousands of stores. The rollout, which can help boost sales, will take several years.
  • Pastry Chef to Obamas Hanging Up His Whisk: White House executive pastry chef, Bill Yosses, is leaving. He is now headed to New York with an aim to teach children and adults about eating better. Mr. Yosses’ successor has not been chosen.
  • Here Are the NYC Finalists for the James Beard Awards: The James Beard Foundation announced the final nominees for the 2014 James Beard Awards. The awards will take place at a gala event on Monday, May 5 at Lincoln Center here in New York City. Here are the categories where New York chefs, restaurants, restaurateurs, and spirits professionals are nominated.
    • By the Numbers: The James Beard Awards Finalists and Women: The James Beard Awards Finalists for 2014 were announced yesterday, and, as with the Semifinalists announcement, Eater took a long, hard look at the gender breakdown within the chef categories. There is very good news: Women chefs make up 28% of the 2014 Finalists. This is the highest percentage of women Finalists since 2009; the next highest was in 2012 when women made up 25% of Finalists.
  • Health Food for Foodie: Chefs and doctors are teaming up to create healthy dishes you might actually crave. Dr. Eisenberg co-founded the program as "a place where nutrition scientists could teach medical providers what they need to know about which foods we should eat more of, or less of, and why," he said. 
  • Ferran Adrià on Closing elBulli, Starting a Foundation, and 'Decoding' Creativity: As part of his whirlwind book tour, legendary Spanish chef Ferran Adrià spoke at the 92nd Street Y about closing elBulli, his work with the elBulliFoundation, and, of course, his brand new seven volume Phaidon opusBelow, the top 10 quotes from Adrià's lecture.


  • Bar Bolonat to Open March 25 in the West Village: Einat Admony never set out to become an ambassador of Israeli cuisine. After spending her first decade in New York cooking in high-profile kitchens like Bolo, Danube, and Patria, she finally embraced her heritage by opening Taïm, the falafel joint that made her famous. Next came Balaboosta, where the Middle East met the fellow Mediterranean cuisines of Italy, France, and Spain. Now, at Bar Bolonat, her most ambitious restaurant yet, Admony plans to introduce New Yorkers to her personal take on modern Israeli cuisine.

  • The Quirky Passion of a 6-Year-Old Chess Prodigy: Lucas Foerster-Yalamas is not just any 6-year-old. He’s probably the best 6-year-old chess player in the United States. HIs coach, Pandolfini recently became a coach with Chess NYC, a company trying to introduce chess to children as more of a mainstream sport, rather than a secluded activity of a few.

  • Cooking Classes at Del Posto: Del Posto is launching a series of Italian cooking classes next month. The series of 10 "Passport to Italian Cuisine" classes will take place on Saturday afternoons and cover topics like mozzarella, olive oil, and wine. Chef Matt Abdoo, pastry chef Brooks Headley, wine director Jeff Porter, and wine writer Ray Isle will lead the classes, and participants can sign up for just one or for all 10. The first class takes place on March 29 and tickets can be purchased online. 
  • IACP Announces 2014 Food Writing Award Winners: Saturday night in Chicago the International Association of Culinary Professionals held its annual awards, honoring the best in food writing, photography, design, and journalism over the last year. Winners include "The Chelsea Market Cookbook: 100 Recipes from New York's Premier Indoor Food Hall." And over on the journalism side, Publication of the Year went to Food & Wine, and Saveur and Food52 tied for Best Culinary Website. 

  • The Red Sauce Juggernaut: “This is the year of Major Food,” said Jeff Zalaznick, flanked by his partners, the chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi. “This is an explosive year. All the things that we’ve been working toward are coming to fruition.” Plenty of restaurateurs are building empires, many of them spanning the globe. But so far these men, all in their early 30s, are confining their colossus-creation to the city that dazzled them when they were children — and they are doing so with distinctively New York style (a fondness for red sauce and raw oysters) and swagger.

  • 26 Must-Eat Dumplings in NYC: Jiaozi, pierogi, ravioli. Nearly every culture offers up its own take on the dumpling. Luckily, here in New York City, it's possible to try as many globe-trotting variations as your heart desires. To that end, we've made a list 26 different dumplings worth seeking out. The best part is that you can enjoy them all by traversing boroughs, not international borders.


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