Redefining ‘Airplane Food’

airplane, Food Trends, Gourmet, JetBlue, Restaurant

JetBlue is trying to prove an airline can provide an affordable “first class” experience, with all the bells and whistles, for a decent price. It’s not only the comfortable seats, early boarding and the free Wi-fi that are amongst the great amenities. The brightest has to be the food.

The JetBlue Mint service offers a menu worthy of a five star restaurant. JetBlue has consulted with New York City’s Saxon+Parole  executive chef to develop a menu composed seasonal, small plates. The menu also includes artisan sweets from Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery and Blue Marble Ice Cream. No corners are cut in table service here.

Hot Chocolate in the City

Bakery, Best Of, Chocolate, Food Trends, Hot Chocolate

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During the rough winter months, one thing to look forward to, besides a hot bowl of soup, is a cup of hot chocolate. And I’m not talking about a watered-down package of instant hot chocolate. I’m talking about hot chocolate that’s been brewed in a black kettle pot. During one of the coldest months, February, there’s a Hot Chocolate Festival at City Bakery in the Flatiron District. Each of the 28 days there’s a different flavor, like: Caramel Hot Chocolate, Banana Peel Hot Chocolate and Rum Raisin Hot Chocolate. It’s best to try to grab a cup of “magic” during the week or you’ll be waiting on a long line if you wait for the weekend at City Bakery. But when the party, er..ah, festival is over, this in New York City, and there’s no shortage of options for hot chocolate.

Food Truck Row

Food Trends, Food Trucks

I’ve noticed over the summer, a common occurrence every weekday around 4:00 p.m. at Union Square West, near 14th Street. This area becomes Food Truck Row. There are ‘Restaurant Rows’ of all types in New York City with various ethnic cuisines. This ‘Row’ is rather eclectic; the cuisine ranges from: Korean, Mexican, BBQ and Philly Cheese Steak with yogurt and ice cream food trucks thrown into the mix.  What more do you need? These food trucks, together, allow you to enjoy a three-course meal while you sit in the park and enjoy the outdoors. There’s always variety in the cuisine on a daily basis since the food trucks are never always the same. So you never know what to expect, but you might find a new food truck you want to follow!

Semiotics of Eating: Chick-fil-A

Food Trends, Marketing

There’s been a lot of talk in the media about Chick-fil-A and the gay marriage controversy. There was a declaration to go to Chic-fil-A and consume a chicken sandwich to support traditional marriage.  Everyone has a right to their opinion, and everyone has an opinion on either side of the table. But let’s step away from the political discussion and take a look at the meaning behind everyone sitting down at the table the eat in the name of traditional marriage. Food has been used for generations to symbolize more than just nutritious consumption.  With the influence of the media, and lately social media, it’s become even more prevalent. Usually we’re influence to use food to celebrate an occasion or holiday or as part of a cultural tradition. The media has put the meaning behind the consumption of food, with monetary rewards from advertisers, into a tailspin. We’re overloaded with images of food. Food is portrayed as a source of therapy and escape from our daily lives and troubles. A majority of the time food is used to bring people together to bond in social gatherings. But here we have religion thrown in the ring. Consume the chicken to symbolize your support of traditional marriage? Amen. Does this relate to Christianity and its practice of consuming body and blood of Christ by consuming bread and wine, respectively? But who’s the priest? Who’s handing out this ‘Communion’? Is it the politician or the media? In the end, the only one the truly benefits is Chick-fil-A’s bottom line! It seems to reinforce the mantra that any publicity is good publicity.

Trending Bites: Did You Say Bacon?

Food Trends

What’s trending in food? Lately, it’s all things bacon! It’s addictive with the perfect ratio of salt to fat.

One of my favorite taste combinations is salty and sweet. I’m not a fan of bread pudding, but the Dessert Truck makes an award winning (via the Food Network’s Throwdown! with Bobby Flay) Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding with a bacon crème anglaise – sweet chocolate with a creamy bacon sauce. It’s changed my view of bread pudding for the better…but it’s the only place I eat it. On the other side of sweet, Sir Francis Bacon has a Bacon Peanut Brittle that has a sweet and smoky taste; it’s more on the savory side. I have found memories of peanut brittle. It brings me back to the days of sitting in front of the television with my grandmother as she watched her favorite show, All In the Family, while nibbling on some peanut brittle. I think she would have enjoyed this bacon and peanut brittle combination.

Tailgating: Is that Salmon on the Grill?

Food Trends, Grilling

It’s Playoff time! What’s more all-American at a football game than tailgating? But it’s not just hot dogs and burgers anymore. Like their elaborate parking lot set up, these tailgate cooks have gotten very creative. I was watching the news broadcast on television last Sunday, and the reporter at the New York Giants game walked around the parking lot to see what was on the grill. I was more surprised than he was. There were mussels and salmon steaming on one grill. Another tailgater had bacon-wrapped scallops and lobster on his grill. The reporter asked, “Where’s the hotdogs and burgers?” The next tailgate cook he approached had veal cooking on skewers. I guess it helped that some of these cooks were inspiring or professional chefs. Tailgating food has come a long way baby!