The backlash from Donald Trump's anti-immigration comments finally hit the culinary world this week when José Andrés backed out of a deal to build a flagship Washington, D.C., restaurant inside Trump's under-construction hotel. With so many Hispanics working in the restaurant industry, we're honestly surprised the kitchens at all Trump hotels aren't already ghost towns. But so far Andrés, a recently naturalized U.S. citizen, is the only chef to speak out about Trump's comments. (A Mexican-owned brewery in Chicago also pulled its beers out of a Trump-owned hotel bar.)
In an effort to remain relevant in a third-wave coffee universe, Starbucks launched cold-brew coffee at all its American stores this week. The idea sounded so good (we admit we're kinda cold-brew freaks) that we actually walked into a Starbucks and ordered one, but it tasted like there are still some kinks to work out: Proportions were off, the flavor of the thick black liquid wasn't as smooth as the signage advertised, and the baristas themselves seemed confused on the flavor differences between that and their regular iced coffee. By comparison, their bitter iced coffee tasted like tea. Which means we're going back to Stumptown for our mass-produced cold brew.
A study released by academics at Harvard and Duke University confirmed that the eco-friendly trend of banning plastic bags is now making us junk-food junkies (well, more than we were before). Vice cites the study, which says that people tend to buy more snacks and sweets when they're using reusable bags because they feel like they're doing something good for the environment and should treat themselves. In related news, if you feel you deserve that junk food fix but don't feel like going to the store at all, Taco Bell launched delivery through DoorDash at 200 L.A.-area locations. So, there's that.
In case you couldn't tell from the abundance of stories by not only this publication but also national ones over the last few months, Filipino food is having a moment. The latest to weigh in on this is Food Republic, which posted a piece that gives a good breakdown of who's who in Filipino-American cooking in most of the country's major cities. LASA in L.A. gets a deserved shout-out as part of the pop-up set. Not mentioned is Rice Bar, which opened downtown on Monday. It could be the first place that actually brings traditional Filipino fare out of obscurity and straight to the masses.
Apparently cable network AMC is developing "a half-hour comedy set in the 'fast-paced culinary world' of Los Angeles" called (what else?) Foodies. It's bad enough that we have to actually stand in lines filled with L.A.'s trend-hopping, french-fry-shirt-wearing, food-Instagramming obsessives while trying to get a decent meal, but now we're expected to watch their antics from the comfort of our own home? Well, as long as it's not as bad as L.A. Beer , we guess it's cool.
We never thought we'd have to say this, but could you please stop kissing your chickens? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all you chicken and duck kissers and cuddlers are responsible for the most recent salmonella outbreak, which has affected 181 people in 40 states. "Many ill people in these outbreaks reported bringing the live poultry into their homes, and others reported kissing or cuddling with the live poultry," the CDC says. Gross. Please stop.
Tweets o' the Week:
If I'm ever put on death row my last meal will be cracker barrel biscuits and astronaut ice cream because i am 100% a garbage person.— Joanna Quraishi (@JQsTheBoss) July 7, 2015
Note: If you start to follow me and you have "butter enthusiast" in your bio I will follow back so fast.— John Birdsall (@John_Birdsall) July 8, 2015
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Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, July 12: California Hot Sauce Expo
Pucker your butts and get ready to slurp some of the hottest hot sauces in the country at California's first Hot Sauce Expo. Started in New York four years ago, this West Coast version celebrates the pepper and showcases freaky new sauces from the underground chile scene.
Saturday, July 11: L.A. Street Food Fest
The L.A. Street Food Fest brings a diverse swath of L.A. street food — not just from food trucks, carts, stands and pop-ups but also from celebrity chefs and brick-and-mortar restaurants — to the Rose Bowl for its sixth year. The fest gives exposure to L.A.’s most underrepresented food slingers, so expect bites from unfamiliar (but still delicious) names.
Saturday, July 11: The Garagiste Festival
For the last few years, a low-key revolution has been taking hold in California winemaking; a new generation of winemakers is striving for a return to balance and finesse. These small-batch, so-called "garagistes" will be on hand at the Wiltern pouring wines you can't find anywhere else.
Sunday, July 12: Los Angeles Fermentation Festival
A spinoff of the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival that started in 2011, this fest is the first to bring experiences like a Culture Petting Zoo, DIY Pickle Station and Farm-to-Bar seminar to Los Angeles. Taste your way through kefir, yogurt, sourdough bread, kimchi, kombucha and more while learning to make your own.