Anniversary Sale
pho

- This week the Internet got really mad at Bon Appetit and a chef named Tyler Akin, a non-Vietnamese chef in Philly who serves Vietnamese food at his restaurant, Stock. The reason for the furor? In a video by Bon Appetit and accompanying article (socialized online as "PSA: This Is How You Should be Eating Pho”) Akin tells viewers how to "properly" eat pho, including not adding hoisin sauce nor Sriracha to the broth and a horrifying chopstick twirling technique to get the most noodles at once. Bon Appetit also calls pho "the new ramen" in the piece. Urgh. Bon Appetit quickly took down the video and added an editor's note to the article, but you can see some clips from the video on Next Shark. (Bon Appetit; top photo by Kayoko Akabori)

- Speaking of appropriation... Nouveau Tiki bars are on the rise, which is good news for Mai Tai fans, but have you ever stopped to consider the cultural implications beyond the tropical drinks and kitschy decor? Tiki bars are more 1950s-60s Americana than anything actually Polynesian, harking back to a time when exoticism and exploitation of Asian cultures (or any non-white culture) was commonplace. Curator at the Smithsonian's Asian Pacific Islander Center Kalewa Correa puts it this way: "'So if we were to put that into a context that Americans would understand, it would be like going into a Christian-themed bar' with drinks served in glasses shaped like the Virgin Mary." (NPR)

- Remember that NY Times review of Per Se that was all over your Facebook feed in January? Yeah, that one, in which food critic Pete Wells compares a broth at one of the country's most lauded restaurants to bong water. Yikes! Just how did Per Se proprietor and chef Thomas Keller react to the devastating press, and what's the future for him and his empire? Town & Country catches up with him and quotes Walt Disney, who once said, "A kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." (Town & Country)

- Damon Baehrel, a 20-seat restaurant located in the basement of a woodland home in Upstate New York, is said to be one of the best in the country – if not the world – with a 10-year waiting list for a seating. Its namesake is a man who acts as sole "forager, farmer, butcher, chef, sous-chef, sommelier, waiter, busboy, dishwasher, and mopper" for the whole operation. He's said to make all his ingredients, except his animal proteins, from his 12-acre property, including flours from acorns, bark, and pine and dozens of cheeses made without rennet. Too good to be true? Quite possibly. Writer Nick Paumgarten, who visited Baehrel twice, plants seeds of doubt in the food fantasy of this most famous obscure restaurant. Whether or not Damon Baehrel is real, the story is extremely fascinating! (The New Yorker)






The Umami Reader: Mining the internet for stuff about food worth reading and watching