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Alinea and Eleven Madison Park Collaboration Site Is Live and More News

Alinea and Eleven Madison Park Collaboration Site Is Live and More News

In today's Media Mix, a hilarious take on Guy Fieri's new restaurant, plus the Starbucks diet

Arthur Bovino

The Daily Meal brings you the biggest news around the food world.

Industry
• Good numbers for eaters: NPD Group finds that almost 1,000 independently owned restaurants have opened within the past year. [Forbes]

Restaurants
• The Eleven Madison Park and Alinea switcheroo is slowly falling into place. Their official website is live now (pre-register to expedite your ticketing process, since they're bound to go fast). No tickets are on sale yet. [Twenty First Century Limited]

Humor
• Here is a long, strangely insightful, often hilarious review of Guy Fieri's new Times Square restaurant. [Village Voice]

Food for Thought
• New England's groundfish depletion sparked the Commerce Department to issue a formal disaster declaration for the fishery industry. [NY Times]

Health
• A woman claims she lost 85 pounds just by eating everything from Starbucks (calorie counts, plus healthier options than fast food, probably helped). [USA Today]

Scandal
• Apparently, French cops felt the need to question chef Joël Robuchon about alleged embezzlement at a Parisian hotel chain, Relais & Chateaux. Grub Street notes they were probably hungry? [AFP]

Politics
• California is looking at a bill that requires the labeling of all genetically modified products. Surprisingly, organic brands are also fighting the bill. [NY Times]


Alinea and Eleven Madison Park to swap places

Chicago's Alinea and New York's Eleven Madison Park, two of the nation's highly acclaimed restaurants, announced Tuesday they will be trading places for a week this fall.

Alinea and Eleven Madison Park, both holders of three Michelin stars, will trade chefs, kitchens and dining rooms, opening in essence pop-up restaurants in each other's space.

Alinea and chef Grant Achatz will be New York beginning Sept. 26 for five nights, and Eleven Madison Park, with chef Daniel Humm, will be in Chicago beginning Oct. 10.

In the most recent "World's 50 Best Restaurant" rankings, a survey of 800 international restaurateurs and food journalists, Eleven Madison Park was voted the 10th best restaurant in the world. Alinea was No. 7 in the rankings.

Achatz and partner Nick Kokonas have refused several offers to open an Alinea outside Chicago. The swap is a chance to present their cooking in New York without making a full-time commitment.

"I can't tell you how many chefs have said to me, 'Yeah, you're a big fish in a small pond. The only reason you're so popular is because you're in the Midwest.' In a way, we're amped up," Achatz told the Chicago Tribune. "I want to introduce Alinea food to the jaded New Yorker. We're going to show New Yorkers what Chicago food is all about."

The collaboration is being called "21st Century Limited," a reference to the "20th Century Limited," a luxury passenger train that ran between Chicago and New York during the last century.

The idea was born last November at The Aviary, the cocktail lounge owned by Achatz and Kokonas, which played host to Eleven Madison Park's cookbook party, according to Achatz. He said it was a handshake deal, with both knowing it will be a tremendous amount of work.

Three days before the Sept. 26 opening night, Achatz and chef de cuisine Matt Chasseur will fly a dozen staffers to New York, and in a 72-hour crash course, train the Eleven Madison Park staff to replicate Alinea. The process repeats when Humm, general manager Will Guidara and their team arrive in Chicago on Oct. 7.

Foodies will pay a high price for meals at the restaurants — $495 in both cities, not including tax and service.

Despite the expensive cover charge, both restaurants will lose money from the project.

"People sometimes don't understand why we're doing this when there isn't an economic benefit," Guidara said. "Sometimes we do what we do because we love doing it."


Waiting Tables at Top-Tier Restaurants Is New Career Path for Foodies

It only took eight years and a bachelor's degree, but Leah Beach has finally stopped hearing her least-favorite question: What do you really plan to do for a living?

Ms. Beach is already doing it, as a server at restaurant L20 in Chicago. She meticulously assembles and arranges place settings for the restaurant's 14-course $210 tasting menu. She learns about foods and dishes like velvet crab, matsutake mushrooms and craquelin bread and curates it all into engaging talking points for each new party of guests. "I'm not just listing off a series of ingredients," says Ms. Beach, 31, who moved to Chicago from Minneapolis in 2011 to pursue her food career. "I'm telling them a bit of a story."

Far from biding time before the next acting audition, many of the newest generation of servers at the nation's top restaurants are waiting tables as a way to hone their chops for a career in restaurant management. They are coming out of top culinary and Ivy League schools, and they consider themselves professionals. To get a foot in the door at legendary establishments, many food-obsessed 20-somethings are busing tables.

High-end restaurants are boosting their service game as prices rise up over $100 for a fine meal and guests become more demanding. A sharp wait staff establishes trust before the food arrives. Josiah Citrin, chef owner of Melisse, a Santa Monica, Calif., French restaurant that offers a $125 prix fixe dinner, only wants to hire servers with a professional track record. "When waiting tables, there's no chance to fix the error" Mr. Citrin says. "It's not like in the kitchen."

The kitchen has been the customary entry point for the restaurant industry, with culinary and hospitality grads launching their careers in jobs as prep cooks or line cooks. But recently, ambitious grads are realizing they can earn more money working in the dining room.


The New Menu at Eleven Madison Park Will Be Meatless

The restaurant will no longer serve meat or seafood when it reopens, Daniel Humm, the chef, said. “The current food system is simply not sustainable, in so many ways,” he said.

Last summer, the chef Daniel Humm made a promise to himself. If he was going to reopen Eleven Madison Park, the Manhattan restaurant that has been called the best in the world, he was not going to return to importing caviar and braising celery root in pigs’ bladders.

On Monday, Mr. Humm announced that Eleven Madison Park, closed since last March by the pandemic, would reopen with a plant-based menu. It marks a striking departure for one of the most lavishly praised American restaurants of the past 20 years. An institution long known for the technical proficiency of dishes featuring suckling pig, sea urchin and lavender glazed duck will reopen with a menu free of meat and seafood.

Over the last 18 months, scrutiny of meat- and seafood-based diets for environmental and social reasons has intensified as the pandemic has exposed weaknesses in global food systems and underscored inequities in American life. Though Mr. Humm still offers plenty of red meat at his London restaurant, Davies and Brook at Claridge’s hotel, the move at Eleven Madison Park — which has four stars from The New York Times and three from Michelin — suggests how different fine dining may look as restaurants reopen and reimagine themselves.

Eleven Madison Park’s multicourse menu will keep its prepandemic price of $335, including tip. While a relatively minuscule number of diners will be able to afford such an expense at a restaurant where reservations have always been difficult to obtain, Mr. Humm is among a small number of chefs whose cultural influence extends beyond fine dining, said Paul Freedman, a professor of history at Yale University and the author of “Ten Restaurants That Changed America.”

He said that the new Eleven Madison Park will “have an influence on the best restaurants in places like Midland, Texas — affluent places that are not Los Angeles or San Francisco or New York.”

Ruth Reichl, the former editor of Gourmet magazine and restaurant critic for The New York Times from 1993 to 1999, said Mr. Humm’s example could influence the direction of American restaurant cuisine in the years ahead.

“A restaurant like Eleven Madison Park is basically a teaching institution,” Ms. Reichl said, likening its potential impact to that of Chez Panisse, the pioneering restaurant in Berkeley, Calif.

Mr. Humm said the decision is the result of a yearslong re-evaluation about where his career was headed, which reached its breaking point during the pandemic.

“It became very clear to me that our idea of what luxury is had to change,” Mr. Humm said. “We couldn’t go back to doing what we did before.”

While the restaurant’s ingredient costs will go down, labor costs will go up as Mr. Humm and his chefs work to make vegan food live up to Eleven Madison Park’s reputation. “It’s a labor intensive and time consuming process,” he said.

The restaurant will also help sustain Eleven Madison Truck, a mobile commissary kitchen Mr. Humm launched last spring, in partnership with Rethink Food, to address rising hunger needs in New York during the pandemic. Every meal purchased at Eleven Madison Park will provide five meals for that effort.

“I wanted everyone who comes into contact with Eleven Madison Park to become a part of doing good,” Mr. Humm said.

Jay Rayner, the restaurant critic for The Observer, in London, applauded Mr. Humm’s decision, but cautioned “there are limits to what you can do through the medium of a Michelin-starred restaurant.”

“Chefs should obviously continue sourcing their ingredients responsibly, in light of the climate emergency,” he continued. “But at the end of the day, you’re still cooking for rich people, and you might question their commitment to these things.”

Mr. Humm, who was born in Switzerland and cooks in a style developed in Western Europe, is far from the first chef of his stature to shift his focus to vegetables. Alain Passard has been serving a vegetable tasting menu at L’Arpège, his celebrated restaurant in Paris, since 2001. Ms. Reichl pointed out that Charlie Trotter was cooking similarly in the 1990s, in Chicago.

Amanda Cohen, the chef and owner of Dirt Candy, a vegetarian restaurant in New York City, said Mr. Humm’s decision is significant because he had not been previously associated with plant-based cuisine. “It continues to move the conversation forward,” she said.


Top restaurants Alinea, Eleven Madison Park trading cities

CHICAGO -- Chicago's Alinea and New York's Eleven Madison Park, two of America's highly acclaimed restaurants, announced Tuesday they will be trading places for a week this fall.

Alinea and Eleven Madison Park, both holders of three Michelin stars, will trade chefs, kitchens and dining rooms, opening in essence pop-up restaurants in each other's space.

Alinea and chef Grant Achatz will be New York beginning Sept. 26 for five nights, and Eleven Madison Park, with chef Daniel Humm, will be in Chicago beginning Oct. 10.

In the most recent "World's 50 Best Restaurant" rankings, a survey of 800 international restaurateurs and food journalists, Eleven Madison Park was voted the 10th best restaurant in the world. Alinea was No. 7 in the rankings.

Achatz and partner Nick Kokonas have refused several offers to open an Alinea outside Chicago. The swap is a chance to present their cooking in New York without making a full-time commitment.

"I can't tell you how many chefs have said to me, `Yeah, you're a big fish in a small pond. The only reason you're so popular is because you're in the Midwest.' In a way, we're amped up," Achatz told the Chicago Tribune. "I want to introduce Alinea food to the jaded New Yorker. We're going to show New Yorkers what Chicago food is all about."

The collaboration is being called "21st Century Limited," a reference to the "20th Century Limited," a luxury passenger train that ran between Chicago and New York during the last century.

The idea was born last November at The Aviary, the cocktail lounge owned by Achatz and Kokonas, which played host to Eleven Madison Park's cookbook party, according to Achatz. He said it was a handshake deal, with both knowing it will be a tremendous amount of work.

Three days before the Sept. 26 opening night, Achatz and chef de cuisine Matt Chasseur will fly a dozen staffers to New York, and in a 72-hour crash course, train the Eleven Madison Park staff to replicate Alinea. The process repeats when Humm, general manager Will Guidara and their team arrive in Chicago on Oct. 7.

Foodies will pay a high price for meals at the restaurants - $495 in both cities, not including tax and service.

Despite the expensive cover charge, both restaurants will lose money from the project.

"People sometimes don't understand why we're doing this when there isn't an economic benefit," Guidara said. "Sometimes we do what we do because we love doing it."

In this June 19, 2006 file photo, executive chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, New York City, adjusts a grilled watermelon appetizer he's preparing in the restaurant's kitchen. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)


The high-end restaurant Eleven Madison Park is going vegan.

Eleven Madison Park, the Manhattan restaurant that has been called the best in the world, will serve an all-plant-based menu when it reopens after more than a year of being closed because of the pandemic.

Eleven Madison Park’s multicourse menu will keep its prepandemic price of $335, including tip, Brett Anderson and Jenny Gross report for The New York Times.

Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park’s chef, said the decision is the result of a yearslong re-evaluation about where his career was headed, which reached its breaking point during the pandemic.

“It became very clear to me that our idea of what luxury is had to change,” Mr. Humm said. “We couldn’t go back to doing what we did before.”

While the restaurant’s ingredient costs will go down, labor costs will go up as Mr. Humm and his chefs work to make vegan food live up to Eleven Madison Park’s reputation. “It’s a labor intensive and time consuming process,” he said.

It marks a striking departure for one of the most lavishly praised American restaurants of the past 20 years. Though Mr. Humm still offers plenty of red meat at his London restaurant, Davies and Brook at Claridge’s hotel, the move at Eleven Madison Park — which has four stars from The New York Times and three from Michelin — suggests how different fine dining may look as restaurants reopen and reimagine themselves.


Eleven Madison Park: The Next Chapter, Revised and Unlimited Edition: [A Cookbook]

From one of the world's top dining destinations, New York's three-Michelin-starred restaurant Eleven Madison Park, comes an updated single-volume collection of more than 80 recipes, stories, food photographs, and watercolor paintings from celebrated chef Daniel Humm.

JAMES BEARD AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE ATLANTIC

Originally published as a two-volume, signed edition and limited to only 11,000 print copies, this revised edition of Eleven Madison Park: The Next Chapter refashions the deluxe slipcase edition into one high-quality, single volume. Of the 80 recipes and stories, more than 30 of the recipes are brand new and reflect the dishes being served at the restaurant now. Along with 30 brand-new food photos, there are also nearly 15 new watercolors and stories discussing the restaurant's recent renovation, among other topics. This collection reflects on the time during which Eleven Madison Park garnered scores of accolades, including four stars from the New York Times, three Michelin stars, seven James Beard Foundation awards, and the number one spot on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. In this fresh package, Chef Daniel Humm describes his unparalleled culinary journey and inspiration.


Eat. Watch. Do. Newsletter

When reached about the video, Nick Kokonas and Grant Achatz told the Tribune, albeit vaguely: "We're excited to be working on a project with Will (Guidara), chef (Daniel) Humm and the entire team at EMP."

Eleven Madison Park chef Daniel Humm and general manager Will Guidara were equally coy: "We've spent the last two years thinking how we can collaborate with them. We respect them so much. We're so happy we've finally found a way."

Both restaurants boast three Michelin stars, a bevy of James Beard Foundation Awards, and were neck-and-neck in this year's San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant List (Alinea was No. 7, Eleven Madison Park ranked 10th). For two restaurants working in an industry that validates itself with numbers of stars and medals, their relationship — they say — is anything but competitive. Last November, The Aviary (owned by Alinea group) hosted a party to unveil Eleven Madison Park's new cookbook.

"We always make a point to spend time with Will and Daniel," Achatz said. "We always hang out together. We're good friends."


This Fishmonger Will Ship Michelin-Quality Seafood to Your Doorstep

E-Fish delivers sustainably caught seafood straight from the dock to your house.

Matthew Henderson, who goes by the moniker Dead Fish Guy, has been supplying Michelin-starred restaurants like Alinea, Eleven Madison Park, Daniel, Jean Georges, Masa, and The French Laundry with just-plucked-from-the-ocean seafood for a decade. He nabbed that gig by staking out chefs and then sneaking into kitchens armed with samples offloaded that morning from docks in Cape Cod.

His ballsiness paid off. Henderson&aposs ability to avoid time-sucking supply chains allowed him to deliver his haul within hours. Big commercial enterprises often leave fresh fish on ice for days he works exclusively with specialty fishermen and boutique harvesters. The pristine product combined with Henderson&aposs passion (see his energetic Instagram), and the fact that the catch was sourced using traditional hooks and line traps, made him somewhat of a pesca-celebrity in the fine-dining community. 

When the pandemic forced restaurant closures, Henderson needed to find another way to support the indie fishermen and women who rely on him to get their product into the world. Since chefs like Dave Pasternak and Jean-Georges Vongerichten had routinely put in personal orders with their restaurant purchases, he reasoned that regular folks with a penchant for top drawer food might treat themselves to, say Gulf of Maine Sea Scallops (the very ones served as sashimi at Manhattan&aposs 3 three-Michelin-star MASA) while stuck at home. 

E-Fish was born on February 26 with a simple mission: superior, sustainably caught fish straight from the dock to your door. No chemicals—grocery store seafood is often shot up with sodium tripolyphosphate to extend its shelf life. No mystery about where, when, and how the fish was harvested. Briny-bright Lovepoint oysters (Ben Hamilton and Cameron Barner&aposs farm in Harpswell, Maine, uses floating oyster bags that naturally tumble in the Casco Bay). Day Boat Sea Scallops plucked from Cape Cod Bay by septuagenarian scalloper Philip Michaud and a particularly juicy black sea bass trapped by Jamie Sullivan in Nantucket Sound arrive on food-safe gel packs with a card spotlighting the producer as well as a QR code specifying the harvest date and location. The connection forged between supplier and customer delivers a feel-good warmth a la interacting with the folks sourcing your food at a local green market. The site also features a small but mighty selection of flavorful accompaniments from Rare Tea Cellar, a Chicago-based purveyor of esoteric pantry items. To wit: Emperor&aposs Genmai, a Japanese roasted brown rice, Belazu Chermoula paste, Kanzuri paste, and Golden Kaluga Caviar which is known for its dramatic pop. In the coming weeks, E-fish will continue to build out its roster of recipes from  chefs (the site now includes some from Boulud alum Travis Swickard, and Coppa&aposs Jamie Bissonnette) and develop interactive chef-led video content. As for the cost, it&aposs surprisingly reasonable, on par with what you might pay at Whole Foods for lesser quality seafood. Two pounds of Gulf of Maine Pollock and Mussels goes for $76.49, two pounds of Day Boat Fresh Sea Scallops is $82, and 50 Lovepoint oysters is $100.

Almost a year into this pandemic, it&aposs essential to find joy where you can. For many, that has meant kicking predictability and lackluster to-go meals to the curb and elevating at-home dining with standout ingredients. The recent evening that I spent slurping Lovepoint oysters from their craggy grey shells (no condiments necessary) took me to a happy place of flavor and coastal memories. Fresh fish can do that to a gal. 


How To Bring Your Travels Home With You

Growing up my siblings and I LOVED souvenirs. You know, all of the tacky cups, shirts, magnets, etc. I still have a keepsake box of some of my favorite souvenirs from trips I took as a kid. The box is filled with post-cards, pressed pennies, t-shirts and anything with my name on it. It was so fun to pick out something to help me remember a trip.

I still love the idea of trip souvenirs, but as an adult I don’t want the clutter and tackiness of typical souvenirs filling up my home. Travel is one of my favorite things so I truly do love having a special piece of each trip in our home. Over the past few years I have tried to find ways to bring a memory home without compromising the decor or organization of our home.

The most obvious way to bring travel memories into your home is travel photos. I love capturing photos on the trips we take to look back on. While I don’t love having pictures of myself throughout our house we have a few of our favorite scenery/landscape shots hanging in our living room (from Connecticut, Muir Woods & Napa). I’m also in the process of creating an photo book for each trip we have taken.

Whenever we travel I constantly try to take note of the way certain places and settings make me feel. For example, one of our first mornings in Napa for our honeymoon I put on the comfiest robe and sat on our deck drinking my coffee. It was a feeling I will never forget. I was obsessed with this robe (truly the most comfortable robe EVER! If you asked Andrew he would jokingly say that was my trip highlight) so I ordered one of the robes to bring home with me. Now in the mornings I can wear my robe and enjoy a cup of coffee and reflect on that perfect morning in Napa.

I also love getting design ideas while traveling. Certain places we visit have had aesthetics that I absolutely love and create a special feeling. It is fun to gather inspiration and try to recreate that in our own home.

On so many of our trips we have tried different drinks, foods and treats that we end up loving. Its always fun to bring a few of those favorites home with you or find a way to order them later on. This could be anything from a local coffee brew, treats from a bakery, or a regional confectioner. While it may not be the same as experiencing those flavors for the first time, its fun to bring those treats into our home on occasion. A few favorites that I will order throughout the year are Stumptown Coffee (Napa) , Cartwright & Butler Toffees (London), La Foret Salted Caramels (Napa), & Jacques Torres Hot Cocoa (NYC).

ExperiencesWhen we travel we plan a lot of our trip around dining experiences. From cooking together early on in our relationship to trying new cuisines together food has held a special place in our relationship so it is definitely a love language for us and something we love experiencing together. When we go to a new restaurant that we end up loving we always look to see if he restaurant has a cookbook for purchase. Its a fun way to remember the meal and get the chance to re-create the dining experience we had by trying to re-create that meal or a favorite dish. These have become some of our favorite cookbooks that we use regularly from places like Bouchon (Napa), Nopalito (San Francisco), Balthazar (NYC). We even have cookbooks from our trips to Meadowood, The French Laundry, Alinea & Eleven Madison Park. It is fun to try recreating dishes we had or just looking through to reminisce about our favorites.


Watch the video: 21st Century Ltd: Alinea and Eleven Madison Park (January 2022).