– Never pay $135 for a cab when you can hitchhike: A cancelled flight. A broiling afternoon with nothing to do. A serious need for margaritas. Yes, BiteClub hitched it 10 miles out of Aspen to hit the Woody Creek Tavern, one of Hunter S. Thompson’s favorite watering holes. The journey is the destination, baby. Stay tuned for the full story-
– The recipe for beer milkshakes is on its way, according to the Sam Adams folks. Just in time for summer.
– We’ve seen the future, and it’s drive-through. Well, sort of. Thomas Keller, along with Tom Colicchio (Craft, SF’s ‘wichcraft), Chipotle CEO Steve Ells and Drew Nieporent (of the Nobu empire) were mostly in agreement that ‘Fast Casual’ dining is the wave of the future. Don’t worry, McDonald’s probably won’t be going away anytime soon, but casual dining restaurants with a commitment to quality (respect and standards for the food, according to Keller) are gaining serious ground. Case in point: Keller’s success with Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery and Ad Hoc, down-tempo versions that cash in on Keller’s well-known fastidiousness about high quality ingredients and great food, serving up killer meals for the rest of us. Though still a bit cryptic about plans for his burger joint, Keller says he’s still looking to find the right place for the project.
– Best Chef 2010? Amber Nishimoto, who was raised in SF and learned the art of Japanese pastry here in the Bay Area, is a young chef to watch. Now working in New Orleans (to help rebuild, she says) Nishimoto was singled out with several other CIA students to assist top chefs at the Food & Wine Classic.
– The Zen Shepherd: A big, burly rancher from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, Keith Martin doesn’t immediately strike you as the type to say something like, “We have to listen to the voice of the lambs” and espouse a radical, wholistic philosophy of raising and slaughtering animals. But ideas like that have made him one of the French Laundry’s favorite meat purveyors. Stay tuned for more about Martin and other purveyors with a conscience.
– And a final thought from the weekend: I really wish I would have drunk more. A lot more. From Eater: NYC “-most of the Best New Chefs were there (at a private party for the Who’s Who of the food world), even the one from Seattle who’d slept in the field after going shot-for-shot with Mario the night before. Mario and Spotted Pig contingents notably absent on Saturday night.” All I got was a clog keychain. Damn.