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News The Katchup

Foodbeast CEO Boycotts Food Delivery Apps Amid Controversies

 

Quotes used in this article have been transcribed from the Foodbeast Katchup podcast episode “#87: Snoop Dogg Headlining A Noodle Festival.”

After a heated podcast discussion involving food delivery apps, and their continuous questionable practices over the years, Foodbeast CEO and The Katchup co-host Geoffrey Kutnick vowed to boycott all food delivery apps.

A lot of the conversation was centered around the recent news of food delivery apps such as Door Dash using its driver’s tips to cover a promised base pay, instead of adding on top of it, as most tipping systems usually do.

“I’m not going to use delivery service apps,” Kutnick proclaimed. “I’ll take a stand right here. I do not like what’s happening. And the only way I can contribute to ‘I don’t like that,’ is ‘Cool, I won’t use it.'”

While DoorDash CEO Tony Xu promised to make changes to its pay model, the controversy might still haunt them for a little while, as a class action lawsuit has been filed against DoorDash, with it reading:

“DoorDash financed its growth by taking tips paid by its users and meant for hard-working delivery workers. Mr. Arkin and all other class members that used DoorDash should recover, at a minimum, all tips that were never paid to the delivery workers.”

While DoorDash has been the company under fire of late, the other digital food delivery services don’t exactly get a pass, as the podcast episode also delved into a past lawsuit accusing Postmates’ delivering In-N-Out without the restaurant’s consent, Grubhub’s alleged tactic of creating tens of thousands of restaurant websites without consent, and how all these apps prey on cash-strapped people with promises of high payouts.

Only time will tell where the future of these delivery services goes from here. From the possibility of self-driving cars taking over to threats of workers unionizing, it’s an interesting wrinkle in the industry that is having its bumps at the moment.

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Culture The Katchup

How To Eat Sticky Rice Without Embarrassing Yourself

“Mexicans always love sticky rice,” was a saying my Laotian friend and his older brothers loved to exclaim, as a 12-year-old me learned the parallels between it and tortillas, and grasped the concept with their help.

The glutinous rice is prepared in different ways throughout Asia, but if you find yourself in a Southeast Asian restaurant such as Thai, Lao, or Vietnamese (but primarily in Laotian cuisine), it is meant to be grabbed with your hands and used as an edible utensil.

To this day, I’m thankful that my dear old friend and his family taught me about his culture’s dishes, as I often order sticky rice at Southeast Asian-based restaurants and get a, “Wow, you actually know how to eat sticky rice!” from the servers.

Apparently the way you handle sticky rice can easily expose your familiarity with Southeast Asian cuisine, according to Chef Saeng Douangdara, who spoke on the matter during the Foodbeast Katchup Podcast.

“So when I go to a Lao restaurant and I see non-Lao people come in, I can see if it’s their first time or not by the way they eat the sticky rice,” Chef Saeng said. “With sticky rice, we use that as a spoon.”

Saeng specializes in Lao cuisine, and has been an advocate for exposing the U.S. palate to the often-suppressed Lao flavors.

If you’re not familiar with sticky rice, it’s not unusual to start sticking your fork into it, serving it on the side of your plate and eating it as you would most other types of rice. But if you really want to look like a pro, Saeng laid out the steps plainly:

“You just take like a quarter size… play with it for a bit, clump that up until all the grains of the rice come together and it’s all mushy. Once you have it in that sticky form, you could make it flat if you want or just use it as a ball to just scoop up that extra jalapeno dip or that extra stew or beef. That’s kind of like your spoon, unless you’re eating like a noodle dish, then that’s where you use chopsticks.”

Similarly to how my fellow Mexicans like to rip apart tortillas and use them as scoopers or how pitas are used for Mediterranean food, sticky rice applies the same concept.

While it sounds simple, it could be a little intimidating to see that rice-filled bamboo basket come to your table and not be 100 percent confident with how to eat it.

Alas, it is all part of the beauty of learning about other cultures, respectfully enjoying their traditions, and expanding your palate in ways you never have before.

If you’d like to learn more about Chef Saeng, Laotian cuisine, and its subtle connection to Thai food, listen in to The Foodbeast Katchup, episode #76: Lao Chef Calls Out Foodbeast. If you enjoy the podcast, feel free to subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or even YouTube for more in-depth food conversations that you will not hear anywhere else.