That’s the name of a contemporary, canned-water brand willing to help the thousands of bartenders without work currently. The name is silly, their new mission is not.
With every social post with the hashtag #BelchForBars and tagging @LiquidDeath on Facebook or Instagram, the brand will be donating $20 to the United States Bartender’s Guild. There’s up to $250,000 on the line for our bartenders, barbacks and hospitality staff affected by the new normal.
I know you’re just sitting at home, so… kick back a toast of sparkling water, or anything else that shoves air down your gullet, and do it already.
The new normal has pushed me to understand more about the inner-workings of the things we love. Getting together for a meal with friends and family is, without a doubt, what I miss the most. Anecdotally this seems to be similar with everyone I talk to – regardless of what industry they work in or the passions they pursue.
In my search of figuring out how both FOODBEAST and I could assist our friends, family, colleagues and networks within the restaurant industry, I’ve learned A LOT. That was especially so with my recent interview with Jot Condie: the CEO of the California Restaurant Association (CRA), the oldest advocacy group of its kind, originally founded in 1906.
For those unfamiliar with Restaurant Associations they’re a combination of marketing and lobbying, and in this case the CRA has been communicative with city, county and state governments and their officials, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti & California Governor Gavin Newsom.
As much as we’re all fiending to set a reservation, eat one of our favorite meals and support the establishment that has in turn supported us, Condie reminded me of the enormous impact restaurants have beyond serving food and drink. They are one of the largest segments of private employment, fund local communities (through sales taxes) and provide third places for us to gather, connect.
Restaurants Provide Employment – First Jobs, Second Chances, The Underserved
“The California Restaurant Industry was the second largest private sector employer in the state, 1.4 million work in the food service industry at about 100,000 restaurants,” – Jot Condie
More than 1 in every 30 people were employed by the food service industry at the start of 2020. In addition, restaurants have served as opening opportunities to first-time workers, a place to start anew for the formerly incarcerated and a ‘fallback’ for different industries in hard times. (Side note, read this great article on why those jobs shouldn’t be considered a backup solution).
Condie estimates that up to nearly ⅓ of all restaurants will close. If that ratio translates directly to restaurant employment – we’re talking about 400,000+ in job losses.
Restaurants Provide $7 Billion in Sales Taxes to The State & Counties of California
“You’re likely to see, [over] the next year to two years, state budgets and local budgets be affected by this [. . .] the tax generation stopped immediately.” – Jot Condie
State and County programs have large parts of the their budgets directly tied to sales tax initiatives, of which restaurants are historically the #1 contributor. According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office – money from sales taxes are earmarked across K-12 education, higher education, health programs, criminal justice, public safety, mental health, transportation and more.
Restaurants Provide ‘Third Places’ – Locations to Connect, Converse & Celebrate
“We’re the opposite of social distancing which is why the restaurant industry was called out first. This is the purpose we serve: a place to gather.” – Jot Condie
I’m ready for the opposite of social distancing (when it’s safe): longer hugs before a wonderful table of friends, family and food.
But to get there, there’s something we can do right now: organize. Many of us have a bit (or a lot) of time on our hands. Many of us have access to all types of technology to communicate safely (heck buy some stamps to save the post office??). We have our own networks connecting us to others.
Write a letter to your local mayor, county supervisor. Coordinate with your neighborhood to support a local small business. Write a thank you note to your delivery driver, your grocery clerk, the frontline worker you personally know. If there’s anything Foodbeast can do to continue to help, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re ever eating with famed comedian Bobby Lee, of both standup and TigerBelly Podcast fame, you’re going to want to finish your entire meal.
That’s because if Lee picks up the check, he declares the right to do whatever he wants with your leftovers. Co-host and girlfriend Khalyla Kuhn outed the former Mad TV star with an anecdote told to comedian Bert Kreischer on a March TigerBelly episode:
“I’ve secretly packed it in a box [. . .] he looked at it, smashed my sandwich. So it’s now all over the place and indedible.” – Khalyla Kuhn
“And the next time you pay for the meal – you can take it home, do whatever you want with it.” – Bobby Lee
POWER MOVE. Not only has Bobby Lee has taken a full ownership stake of your food, allowing him to put everything in a single box for his own pleasure – he takes it one step further by decimating it. Wait, there’s more?
“I leave it on the table, no one can take it,” said Lee.
Translation: when he doesn’t destroy your leftovers he’ll still make you leave the food on the table – completely intact. There is a certain type of person that doesn’t eat leftovers (read: privileged), but this, this is an extreme take that’s hilarious and simultaneously frustrating. Potentially starting a last-minute Venmo war might be your only hope.
For the full conversation check out Ep. 237 of the TigerBelly Podcast on YouTube and wherever you listen to podcasts.
Beer Belly, with locations in LA’s Koreatown and Long Beach, had long been on my list of restaurant bookmarks. So upon discovering Chef Wes Lieberher’s upcoming appearance at KCRW’s Music Tastes Good music and food festival — excitement ensued.
Such excitement doubled when I found out the dish he was preparing for the fest: Duck Hot Wing Confit.
“We’re known for our duck fat fries but we’re also known for our wings so we put them together,” said Lieberher.
The duck is confit’ed with garlic, rosemary, thyme, then topped with Cherry Buffalo sauce and plated with Oregon’s Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue and fried celery root. The duck wings are tender, crispy, and emulate everything you love with a nostalgic plate of wings whilst still surprising those taste buds with its complex flavor.
Lieberher described the paired cheese as the best he’s had in his life, and after only a few bites, became difficult for us to disagree.
The confit isn’t the only duck dish Lieberher is serving at the festival. His infamous ‘Death by Duck’ Fries and Bacon Whiz Fries will also be available for sale at Beer Belly’s general admission booth.
The duck fries are paired with a magnificent raspberry grain mustard, and the ‘whiz’ in the whiz fries positively points to Lieberher’s Philly roots.
Music Tastes Good takes place this Saturday and Sunday, September 30-October 1 at Marina Green Park in Long Beach, CA. GA Tickets ($75, buy your food!) or GA + Taste Tent Tickets ($150, food included!) are available here.
All you have to do is mention “Outback Bowl” to your server. That’s it. But today, Sat. January 2nd, is the ONLY DAY to do so. So get going already.
For ‘America’s Boldest Rivalry,’ the 2016 Outback Bowl in Tampa, FL matched a team from both the SEC and Big Ten conferences, represented by the University of Tennessee Volunteers and the Northwestern University Wildcats, respectively. A win from Northwestern and the Big Ten would have meant a free coconut shrimp appetizer from Outback Steakhouse. But a dominant, blowout victory of 45-6 by the SEC’s Tennessee Vols guaranteed a free Bloomin’ Onion® to any party willing to utter the phrase.
In 2015, Outback Steakhouse gave away over 75,000 orders of Coconut Shrimp after the Wisconsin Badgers victory. Considering the Bowl’s escalating popularity and this year’s 30th annual game, it is expected that the number of complimentary appetizers will be surpassed.
I’ve never made ice cream at home before, but the thought of creating ice cream with tomatillo, the green-Mexican-husk tomato used to make salsa verde, intrigued me.
Would adding sugar and dairy give the tomatillo another way to thrive? Or would it be a premier example of savory and sweet gone horribly wrong?
Tomatillo ice cream proved to be a subtle, neutral sweetness. Once combined with the sugar/buttermilk/cream mixture, it actually tasted like a new variation of vanilla. The flavor of tomatillo was present, but neither in a foul or delicious way.
This happy little guy is just trying to fit in… and he does so deliciously. Photo by: rcstanley / Flickr.com
I knew I needed a vessel. Something that could carry the ice cream, literally and metaphorically, while providing a crunchy texture similar to a cone. There was an attempt at fried cinnamon taco shells, but that created a conundrum of delicately placing ice cream inside a small, delicate shell. So instead, I turned to a churro tostada — a small corn tortilla, fried and doused with cinnamon sugar.
The avocado buttercream was added as a direct response to the tomatillo’s subtlety. The fact that tomatillo ice cream was so surprisingly good, it made me want to push limits and find a way to include another Mexican savory staple. And lastly, the crumbled Mexican wafer.
I can’t eat ice cream or frozen yogurt without a candy topping.
Ice Cream Maker
Tomatillo Ice Cream (Makes 1 Pint or 16 oz)
1 lb tomatillos, husked, cut into halves
1/4 cup of sugar
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 ounces of cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup sugar
4 oz crushed chocolate wafers
3 cups canola oil
1/2 cup cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Avocado Buttercream Frosting
Avocado Meat From 2 medium avocados, about 8 oz
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 lb of sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
Starting with the ice cream, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the tomatillos in a bowl and coat with 1/4 cup of sugar and the juice of 1 lime. Transfer to a baking dish and roast for 20 minutes until tender.
Cool for a couple minutes and then puree in your food processor. A strong blender may work as well. Use a 1/2 cup of the processed tomatillo for subtle taste, 3/4 a cup if you’re looking for more of a savory flavor.
Mix the cornstarch with a 1/2 cup of milk, thoroughly. Put the remainder of the milk with the sugar and heavy cream in a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 8 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the milk/starch mixture. Simmer for an additional 3 minutes. Combine the cream cheese and salt in a mixing bowl that can withstand heat. Slowly mix the hot milk/sugar mixture into the cream cheese and salt.
Then stir in the buttermilk and tomatillo puree. Cool the mixture with an once bath and transfer to the fridge. Chill the mixture for at least two hours and then churn the mixture (with crushed chocolate wafers!) in your ice cream maker. I then placed even more chocolate wafers on top.
For the churro tostada. Place your canolia oil in a frying pan. Place on high heat until boiling. Once boiling, move to medium heat. Carefully place a tortilla in the oil and allow 15 seconds per side. Tortilla should puff up. Repeat for as many tostadas as needed. Cover with cinnamon sugar.
For the avocado buttercream frosting, place the avocados, lemon juice and lemon extract in the processor and pulse (or stand mixer). Then slowly add the sifted powdered sugar until desired texture.
The arrival of cooler temperatures mean the inevitable return of two of our favorite pastimes: pumpkin-flavored everything, and football. By adding a boost of flavor to a hearty game-day favorite, we’ve got just the recipe for a monster of a dip that will make you the hero of any party. It’s time to feed the gang with Libby’s Layered Monterey Pumpkin Dip.
Serving this dip in a clear glass dish will show off those multiple levels of colorful, textured flavor—your finished product will resemble an effortlessly embellished autumn rainbow, and taste like the salty-sweet, creamy answer to your pumpkin prayers. Perfect for entertaining anyone, at any time. For further instructions and ingredients, see below.
– 1 pkg. (8 oz.) 1/3 less fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel,) at room temperature
– 3 tablespoons sliced jalapeño juice
– 1 container (8 oz.) reduced fat sour cream
– 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
– 2 tablespoons chopped, sliced jalapeños
– 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
– 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
– 1 can (2 1/4 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained
– 2 green onions, sliced
– 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
– Tortilla Chips
Combine pumpkin, cream cheese and jalapeño juice in medium bowl. Spread into 8-inch square baking dish.
Combine sour cream, chiles, jalapeños and garlic salt in small bowl. Spread over pumpkin mixture. Top with tomato, olives, green onions and red onion. Cover; refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.
With the seemingly endless supply of new coffee stouts coming to market, somebody, somewhere had to be innovating in the opposite direction. The hunt was on for coffee complimented by beer, not the other way around. At Elk Mountain Hops Farm in Northern Idaho, a lead brewer for Goose Island Beer company confirmed that two espresso beer drinks have already been created in a partnership with Intelligentsia Coffee: the Bourbon County Macchiato and the Bourbon County Black Eye.
The Speciality Coffee Association of America (SCAA) reported a 51 percent market share for specialty cups of coffee in 2014, passing non-specialty cups for the first time ever. SCAA’s data points to the growing segment of craft and speciality coffee in the midst of another beverage category experiencing ridiculous growth: craft beer. In the same year, the Brewers Association reported that the craft beer industry had practically doubled in total market share in just three years from 5.7% in 2011 to 11% 2014, totaling nearly 22 million barrels, or 44 million kegs bro.
So it should be no surprise when a former craft behemoth turned Anheuser-Busch golden ticket, Goose Island Beer Company looked to partner with Intelligentsia Coffee to shake things up. The company partnership actually extends back 13 years, most famously recognized for its Bourbon County Coffee Stout. But here I was, at Elk Mountain Hops Farm in Idaho, practically pleading Goose Island’s Brewing Innovation Manager, Mike Siegel, for any hints toward a beer-influenced coffee.
Siegel confirmed a coffee radler had been created by Jay Cunningham and Jesse Raub of Intelligentsia that included 3 oz of cold-brewed concentrate of the Kurimi Ethiopia Single Origin and 9 oz of the Goose’s 312 wheat ale.
“I don’t think anyone is making espresso and beer drinks with great espresso equipment, carefully filtered water and really well trained baristas,” said Cunningham. “Add to the fact that we had a keg of Bourbon County [Stout] to use too, it just doesn’t happen very often.”
We were getting closer. That was the first instance I’d ever heard of combining coffee and beer, versus coffee being part of the brewing process. But then Cunningham confirmed that multiple beer espresso drinks had been created in tandem with the radler. The White Rushing aka Bourbon County Macchiato (pictured above) included 2 oz of Bourbon County Stout, 1 oz of Black Cat Espresso and 1 oz of steamed milk. And finally the Black Eye aka Bourbon County Black Eye included 3 oz of Bourbon County Stout and 1 oz of fresh Black Cat espresso.
So they do exist. But to my knowledge, the drinks only exists during special events between Goose Island and Intelligentsia. There’s also an event series called Uppers & Downers by Good Beer Hunting, an event built on the combination of beer and coffee. This has so much promise.
More and more the drink two categories are collapsing into each other. Millions of corporate hours and dollars have likely been poured into the research and strategy towards Starbuck’s beer and wine program now at 70 stores nationwide. You bet there’s going to be a craft response. With the abundance of new craft breweries and artisanal coffeehouses, the opportunity for a marketing collaboration without leeching consumers from each other is to large for them pass up.