Nearly 200 People Sue UK Restaurant After Norovirus Outbreak

A beer-at-pub-406restaurant in Exeter in the United Kingdom is facing a lawsuit from 193 diners who say they were  sickened with norovirus after eating there just before Easter of this year.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit say that a franchise location of the Toby Pub & Carvery did not immediately shut down after becoming aware of a norovirus problem, but instead only cleaned the premises overnight.

According to the lawsuit, the first positive test from a patron came on March 29, and yet the restaurant stayed open until April 7. In the meantime, many more people reported dining at the restaurant and subsequently falling ill with vomiting and diarrhea.

Restaurant managers have said that they’re taking the matter seriously and that hygiene is of primary importance.


34 Sickened in Canadian Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Chicks From Alberta Hatchery

An investigation is underway in Canada to figure out the source of a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak linked to live chicks from an Alberta hatchery. According to news reports, the outbreak has so far sickened 34 people in three provinces.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-baby-chickens-image19791491The Public Health Agency of Canada is not releasing the name of the hatchery, which is reportedly located in northern Alberta. However, the agency did state that the unnamed hatchery planned to send letters to any customers who ordered live baby chicks as of March 1 onward.

The agency’s public health notice dated Monday, May 25, 2015, set the current case count at 34 and revealed that they are 17 people from Alberta, 13 from British Columbia, and four from Saskatchewan.

“Individuals became sick between April 5 and May 12, 2015. These cases have all reported contact with live baby poultry. Most cases have reported contact with live baby poultry from a hatchery in Alberta,” the notice stated.

Officials with the Alberta agriculture agency are working with this particular hatchery to determine the source of the Salmonella infections, the agency added. This is the third such outbreak that has occurred in Alberta since 2009, according to the chief provincial veterinarian.

In the U.S., the most recent national Salmonella outbreak linked to live birds sickened at least 363 people in 43 states, hospitalizing 33 percent of them. Cases began in May 2014 and continued to be reported through September of this past year.

Those most at risk for Salmonella infections include children younger than five, the elderly, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems.

Public health officials said that people should not snuggle or kiss live birds and should always wash their hands after handling live poultry.

“Young children are at higher risk of infection because they often enjoy handling and interacting with live baby poultry and may not wash their hands before putting their fingers or other contaminated items in or near their mouths,” the Public Health Agency of Canada stated in a news release.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection include fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea and vomiting.

Anyone who has been in contact with live poultry and develops symptoms of a Salmonella infection that persist or are severe should consult a health professional and mention the exposure to live poultry, the agency advised.

Salmonella infection is usually contracted from food. However, since live animals can transmit the bacteria in their feces, Salmonella infection can also be contracted from a bird, its droppings, or from environments where birds have been.


New British Pub Associated With Gastrointestinal and Salmonella Illnesses

Reports of food poisoning associated with a new pub in northeastern England are pointing toward a dual outbreak of both Salmonella and gastrointestinal illness.

Anson Farm pubSince the weekend of May 16-17, 2015, customers of Anson Farm, a pub restaurant at Thornaby which just opened a month ago, have been reporting illnesses.

Public Health England (PHE) reports 20 confirmed cases of Salmonella, while the number of pub patrons with intestinal disorders has reached 53.

Public health experts from both the North East Public Health England Center and the Stockton Council are investigating the illnesses. They said they expected the case counts to rise over the next few days.

Anson Farm is cooperating with the investigation, according to Dr. Deb Wilson, health protection consultant to PHE. The pub has implemented control measures requested by environmental health officers.

Anson Farm is operated by Farmhouse Inns, a unit of the Greene King chain. A spokesman said a deep and thorough cleaning was completed for all hard hand contact surfaces in public areas. The pub’s procedures were reviewed, he added, and Anson Farm continues to have a hygiene rating of five, which is the highest grade possible.

The restaurant is located on the Teesside Industrial Estate in Thornaby, which is in northeastern England near the large residential area known as Ingleby Barwick.

Wilson urged pub patrons experiencing diarrhea, vomiting or fever to contact a physician.

Salmonella can also spread by poor hygiene and not washing hands properly after going to the toilet or handling contaminated food,” she said.

Wilson said meat, eggs, poultry and milk are susceptible to Salmonella bacteria, which originate in the gut of many farm animals. Green vegetables, fruit, and shellfish can become contaminated by contact with manure in soil or sewage in water. Cross-contamination is possible if raw and cooked foods are stored together.


Waitress Knocks Out Idiot Customer After He Grabs Her Butt

As any woman who has ever worked as a server can tell you, harassment is unfortunately not uncommon in the profession. Customers can be real douchebags.

One thirsty restaurant patron in Russia tried to stuff money down a waitress’ shirt and grab her ass. He proceeded to get KOed by the waitress.

laaaaa

After she decks him, the man crawls off the floor, so she KOes him again (this time, with her check holder).lala


Intolerable restaurant patrons of the world, listen up: The next time you sit down at a MOOK steakhouse, order a $40 filet, and think that gives you the right to be rude to your server… just remember this video.


Food Recall Warning – Vasco Da Gama brand canned seafood products recalled due to potential presence of dangerous bacteria

Recall date:May 19, 2015
Reason for recall:Microbiological – Other
Hazard classification:Class 2
Company / Firm:Tavora Holding Co. Ltd.
Distribution:National
Extent of the distribution:Retail
Reference number:9838

Recall details

Ottawa, May 19, 2015 – Industry is recalling Vasco Da Gama brand canned seafood products from the marketplace because they may be contaminated with dangerous bacteria. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.

Recalled products

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
Vasco Da Gama Mussels in Marinade sauce 115g Es 1200559/PO CE
L 330 M11/2017
5 601105 090023
Vasco Da Gama Octopus and Squid in Garlic Sauce 120g L2639J-PTC 221 1P CE
11/2018
5 601105 225258
Vasco Da Gama Squids in Ravigot Sauce 120g LI351I PTC221 1P CE
08/2019
5 601105 071008
Vasco Da Gama Portuguese Sardines In Vegetable Oil 120g LI8460 06/2019 L050 C
07/2015
PT C 2211P CE
5 601105 011516
Vasco Da Gama Portuguese Sardines in Hot Tomato Sauce 120g L0851B08/2019,L3151 08/2019,L0151E
08/2019
PTC211 1P CE
5 601105 011561
Vasco Da Gama Polvo E Pota em Óleo Vegetal (Portuguese only) 120g L1120F PT 0221 1P CE
11/07/2017
5 601105 062006
Vasco Da Gama Mussels in Red Pickled Sauce 115g Es1200559/PO CE
L203M 07/2017
5 601105 090016
Vasco Da Gama Mackerel Filets in Vegetable Oil 120g PT C221 1P CE L30380
FCO 10/2018
5 601105 020402
Vasco Da Gama Mackerel Filets in Olive Oil 120g PT C2375 CE PT G2375 CE 5 601105 020501
Vasco Da Gama Portuguese Sardines in Olive Oil 120g L0551 E SA 08/2019 PT
0221 1P CE
5 601105 011523
Vasco Da Gama Octopus and Squid in Ravigot Sauce 120g L1831J PPC 06/2018
PT C221 1P CE
5 601105 061009
Vasco Da Gama Portuguese Sardines in Hot Tomato Sauce 120g L1850 I 51-P 07/2018
PT C221 1P CE
5 601105 011561
Vasco Da Gama Portuguese Sardines in Hot Sauce 120g L2850C SOP 07/2019
PT C 221 1P CE
5 601105 011547
Vasco Da Gama Small Sardines in Hot Sauce 90g L2041L POP 01/2019
PT C221 1P CE
5 601105 230047
Vasco Da Gama Small Sardines in Tomato Sauce 90g L2241L 01/2019
PT C221 1P CE
5 601105 230030
Vasco Da Gama Small Sardines in Vegetable Oil 90g L0344V PO 04/2019
PT C221 1P CE
5 601105 230054
Vasco Da Gama Horse Mackerel in Vegetable Oil 120g L0639B CARD
06/11/2018
PT C221 1P CE
5 601105 130026

What you should do

Check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

Food contaminated with dangerous bacteria may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, blurred or double vision, dry mouth, respiratory failure and paralysis. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

Background

This recall was triggered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) inspection activities. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled product from the marketplace.

Illnesses

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

More information

For more information, consumers and industry can contact the CFIA by filling out the online feedback form.

Product photos

Printer ready version of photos

Media enquiries

CFIA Media Relations
613-773-6600


Food Recall Warning – Farmer’s Market brand and Strang’s Produce brand Russet Potatoes recalled due to possible tampering

Recall date:May 22, 2015                                                                                                                                                    Reason for recall:Tampering                                                                                                                                                  Hazard classification:Class 3                                                                                                                                                      Company / Firm:Loblaw Companies Limited, Strang’s Produce                                                                                        Distribution:New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario                                 Extent of the distribution:Retail

Recall details

Ottawa, May 22, 2015 – Loblaw Companies Limited and Strang’s Produce Inc. are voluntarily recalling certain Farmer’s Market and Strang’s Produce brands of Russet Potatoes from the marketplace due to possible food tampering with nails and needles. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.

Recalled products

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
Strang’s Chef Potatoes Jumbo for Chips 50 lb (22.7 kg) Julian dates between 060 – 135
followed by 11W or 12W
Examples: 11412W, 13011W
033383454900
Farmer’s Market Potatoes Russet 15 lb (6.8 kg) Julian dates between 060 – 135
followed by 11W or 12W
Examples: 11412W, 13011W
061483014779
Farmer’s Market Potatoes Russet 10 lb (4.54 kg) Julian dates between 060 – 135
followed by 11W or 12W
Examples: 11412W, 13011W
061483014786
Farmer’s Market Potatoes Russet 5 lb (2.27 kg) Julian dates between 060 – 135
followed by 11W or 12W
Examples: 11412W, 13011W
061483005920
Strang’s Produce Potatoes 15 lb (6.8 kg) Julian dates between 060 – 135
followed by 11W or 12W
Examples: 11412W, 13011W
3338345486
Strang’s Produce Potatoes 10 lb (4.54 kg) Julian dates between 060 – 135
followed by 11W or 12W
Examples: 11412W, 13011W
3338345485
Strang’s Produce Potatoes 5 lb (2.27 kg) Julian dates between 060 – 135
followed by 11W or 12W
Examples: 11412W, 13011W
3338345481

What you should do

Check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased. However, if you find a foreign metal object in a potato, please do not throw out the potato, metal object or the bag and any tags related to the product. Please contact your local police so the potatoes and related items can be passed along to the investigators.

Background

This recall was triggered by an ongoing investigation into consumer complaints of nails and needles which appear to have been inserted into potatoes. As tampering is a criminal offense, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are leading the investigation into this matter.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled products from the marketplace.

Illnesses

There have been no reported injuries associated with the consumption of these products.

More information

Loblaw Companies Limited: 1-866-727-0771; or customerservice@atlanticsuperstore.ca

For more information, consumers and industry can contact the CFIA by filling out the online feedback form.

Product photos

Printer ready version of photos

Media enquiries

CFIA Media Relations
613-773-6600


Subway Implements New Security System That Sprays DNA on Robbers

By Mark Solomons

   Is this idea a good thing?  Is it safe for other people that might find themselves in “the shower” of this unknown chemical mist?  What happens if an innocent person inhales this mist by accident?  Will it effect them in anyway after inhaling this DNA mist?  I think this will deter people from going to the restaurant due to health concerns from this system.  Hope it does not come up here.  I am not interested in inhaling some DNA tracing chemical.

____________________________________________________

In the new, maybe-gross system, authorities shine black light on possible criminals, looking for DNA traces.

Subway is rolling out a new security system to protect its tens of thousands of franchisees across the country, according to WATE. The Intruder Security System, produced by company SelectDNA, has been implemented in a Knoxville, Tenn. Subway store, the first of many planned installations by the Connecticut-based sandwich shop.

“It’s another tool in our tool bag to help fight crime, especially violent crime, which is what a robbery is,” offered Knoxville Police Deputy Chief Gary Holliday. This is how it works: a mechanism sits above the door of the store. In the event of a robbery or violent crime, something (it’s unclear exactly what) tips off the mechanism and releases a spray of traceable DNA onto the offender. Each store gets its own unique DNA spray.

That person is then marked, like Hester Prynne, and will glow when exposed to black light. A shower won’t get the stuff off, either; the DNA stays on the person for seven weeks. And that, in a nutshell, is the innovative, possibly suggestive new way Subway is protecting itself from robberies. By releasing a stream of DNA onto a person and then looking for traces of it with a black light. Let your mind run wild.


Sustainable scheduling issues may hit restaurant industry

By Mark Solomons
      Below is an interesting article posted by Restaurant News.  It talks about “fair scheduling” in the restaurant industry.  Here in Ontario Canada, we have had regulations set by the government along these lines such as how many hours must be between shifts, how many hours a week is considered full time and part time.
      With the food industry in Ontario being short thousands of employees, it is hard to make schedules that provide an “even schedule” for everyone, while trying to keep labour costs down.  With many large companies paying high wages for kitchen staff no matter how long they have been in the industry or their lack of experience makes it hard for independent restaurants to keep going because they are being forced to pay the high wages they can not afford therefore, having to higher less staff into their kitchen to keep labour costs down the best way they can. This makes it difficult for owners/managers to write sustainable schedules that governments are trying to enforce.
      The big companies have no choice any more to pay the wages they are paying staff due to their earlier practices.  The governments need to understand the restaurant industries issues better and do things that will help owners/managers get more people into the industry instead of making it more difficult.
                       ———————————————————————————-
May 11, 2015
“Fair work week” efforts a problem for retail, soon a problem for restaurants

Joe Kefauver is managing partner of Parquet Public Affairs, an issue management, communications, government relations and reputation assurance firm that specializes in service sector industries. This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of Nation’s Restaurant News.

Just last year I wrote a cautionary column about the emerging issue of sustainable scheduling in the retail sector, and warned readers of a coming wave of “fair work week” legislation and its potential spillover into the restaurant industry.Fast forward to 2015, and it appears I might have a future in fortune telling.

Pending legislation is running the gamut from mandating the number of days or weeks in advance that schedules must be posted, to the number of hours off between shifts, and to punitive time-and-a-half mandates for transgressions. The efforts are advancing through the actions of retail-focused unions and their worker center partners. Today, up to 10 states have introduced bills surrounding scheduling of employees, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Minnesota, New York and Oregon.

The California bill, in particular, applies to food and retail employers with 500 or more employees and is designed to target the growing number of companies using “just-in-time” and “on-call” scheduling practices to minimize labor costs. It mirrors the fair scheduling bill that passed in San Francisco last year, which will take effect in July.

In addition, proponents of these bills have leveraged their connections within the attorney general community to engage and enforce “reporting-time pay” laws where they are on the books, which includes eight states and the District of Columbia. While these rules are all somewhat different, they basically require non-exempt employees to be paid a minimum amount whenever they report to work as required or requested by the employer — even if no work is performed.

Last month, New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman informed 13 major retailers that they are being investigated for “questionable scheduling practices.” You can be certain that other attorney generals will follow suit. Like the legislative efforts, if anyone thinks these types of investigations will stay limited to the retail sector, then they have not been paying attention.

The Fair Work Week provisions are a particularly tough issue for the restaurant industry. For one thing, there are business owners who have some questionable business practices.

“On-call” scheduling — the practice of having employees call in prior to a shift to see if they are needed — basically freezes that employee from scheduling social or family-related activities, or even other employment opportunities. Even more, if they are not needed, they are not paid. While rampant in the department store world, we have seen it used in the restaurant industry as well. Realistically, the practice is a tough one to defend publicly.

Other instances have surfaced where owners have intentionally overscheduled staff in anticipation of no-shows. If everyone happens to show up for their shift, some employees are sent home without pay. Again, this is almost impossible to defend in the public domain.

The supporters of change to this kind of workforce management and the proponents of legislation to enforce new rules can easily identify and publicly highlight workers who have experienced overscheduling or on-call practices. And of course, the media predictably eats it up.

Perhaps the biggest challenge we face is the fact that this issue polls better for the unions than any other we are currently facing. It polls better than minimum wage, better than paid sick leave and better than wage theft.

The bottom line is that we need to be better at publicly highlighting the reasons why job flexibility is a major component of what makes restaurant jobs attractive for millions of workers. We need to do an even better job internally to make sure we are not using practices in our workplaces that make us easy targets for attack. The industry is doing a good job quickly coordinating a defense against these work week proposals, but it is a huge mountain to climb.

Candidly, we knew this was coming for a long time. We have a propensity in this industry to be somewhat myopic when it comes to how we assess potential threats. For too many years, we dismissed the assault on Walmart’s reputation, business model and the subsequent labor protests as “Walmart’s problem.” Now look where we are. When that labor effort came to our industry, we spent far too long pretending it was “McDonald’s problem.” Now look where we are. For too long, we didn’t admit that threats to the 7-Eleven franchise model were actually threats to the entire restaurant business model. Now look where we are. And for the last two years, we, for whatever reason, decided that the scheduling issue was a retail problem. So here we are.

What scheduling practices have you found most effective at your restaurant? Join the conversation in the comments below.

While we consider ourselves restaurateurs, we are actually food retailers. That means an assault on any retailer’s business model or reputation is an assault on or own. We tend to work within industries and not across industries when it comes to dealing with these threats. Interestingly, the other guys who are cleaning our clocks on this stuff look at retail and restaurants collectively, working across both industries to advance their activist agendas.

Which playbook seems to be working better?


Sliced apples and products containing sliced apples recalled due to Listeria monocytogenes

Recall date: April 29, 2015
Reason for recall: Microbiological – Listeria
Hazard classification: Class 1
Company / Firm: Sun Rich Fresh Foods Inc.
Distribution: Possibly National
Extent of the distribution: Retail

Recall details

Ottawa, April 29, 2015 – Sun Rich Fresh Foods Inc. is recalling sliced apples and products containing sliced apples produced in its Brampton, Ontario facility from the marketplace due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers should not consume and distributors, retailers and food service establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals and nursing homes should not sell or use the recalled products described below.

Recalled products

Brand Name Common Name Size UPC Additional Info
Sun Rich Apple Slices 57 g 0 60243 00453 1 Best Before (up to and including)
2015 MA 17
Sun Rich Apple Slices 3 lb 0 60243 00508 8 Best Before (up to and including)
2015 MA 17
Sun Rich Apple Slices 595 g 0 60243 01239 0 Best Before (up to and including)
2015 MA 17
Sun Rich Apple Slices 3 lb 0 60243 00458 6 Best Before (up to and including)
2015 MA 17
Sun Rich Apple Slices 3 lb 0 60243 00509 5 Best Before (up to and including)
2015 MA 17
Sun Rich Fruit Medley 1.05 kg 0 60243 01150 8 Best Before (up to and including)
2015 MA 04
Sun Rich Waldorf Salad Kit 10 lbs 0 60243 01295 6 Best Before (up to and including)
2015 MA 10
Sun Rich Apple Slices 57 g 0 60243 01359 5 Best Before (up to and including)
2015 MA 17
Sun Rich Apple Slices with Grapes 57 g 0 60243 01406 6 Best Before (up to and including)
2015 MA 04
Shoppers Drug Mart Apples and Grapes 284 g 0 60243 01398 4 Best Before (up to and including)
2015 MA 01
Starbucks Starbucks Seasonal Fruit Salad 170 g 7 62111 93198 6 Best Before (up to and including)
2015 MA 02
Subway Apples 68 g 8 25146 01418 3 Best Before (up to and including)
2015 MA 14

What you should do

Check to see if you have recalled products in your home or establishment. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the location where they were purchased.

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

Background

This recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled product from the marketplace.

Illnesses

There has been one reported illness associated with the consumption of these products.

More information

For more information, consumers and industry can contact the CFIA by filling out the online feedback form.

Product photos

Printer ready version of photos


Netflix’s ‘Chef’s Table’ Reinvents the Cooking Show

By Mark Solomons

This Series 1st season started  Sunday, April 26th on Netflix.  I have watched the first two episodes and am very impressed how it is laid out and the stories the chefs tell.  Hope they continue this past 1 season.  Below is a very nice review from indiewire.com

By Emily Buder | IndiewireApril 27, 2015 at 4:11PM

The director of “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” reinvents the cooking show by taking a deep dive into the mind of the chef in this Netflix original series.
Chef's Table

Unless you’re a veritable foodie, cooking shows can be a bore. Shows like “Chopped” and “Top Chef” try to reproduce the adrenaline-filled experience of the kitchen with contests, deadlines and absurd challenges (“Make a dessert using whelk snails and lemon bars in the next hour, and win against these five contestants!”). But the thrill is short-lived, and these reality show tropes grow tiresome as the act of cooking becomes just another component of a game show. On the other side of the spectrum is the dry process-oriented cooking show in which cooking becomes a skill learned by rote, effectively stripping the act of its personality and inventive spirit. Modern cooking shows too often eclipse the essence of being a chef.

Not “Chef’s Table.” David Gelb, director of the critically-acclaimed “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” has committed to entering the mind of the chef with this six-part Netflix original series. Each episode focuses on a different world-renowned chef, from a rogue chef cooking on remote island in Patagonia to a man who reinvented Italian cooking by infusing his grandmother’s recipes with modern art. “Chef’s Table” is less concerned with the mechanics of cooking or the heat of the kitchen than it is with the chefs themselves. In 45-minute segments, Gelb takes a deep dive into the forces that drive these obsessive chefs on their quests for sensory perfection. Its robust philosophical and visual flavor is a welcome sophisticated addition to Netflix’s slate. One warning, though: Do not watch on an empty stomach.

Chef's Table

“Every time I open a cheese like this, I get emotional. In my blood, there’s balsamic vinegar. My muscles are made by Parmigiano.” Meet Massimo Bottura, Ben Shewry, Niki Nakayama, Francis Mallmann, Dan Barber, and Magnus Nilsson. For these Michelin Star chefs, food is not just necessary to sustain life — it’s life itself.

Read More: Watch: Whet Your Appetite With the Trailer for Netflix’s New Documentary Series ‘Chef’s Table’

Indeed, there’s little difference between the processes by which these chefs craft their cuisine and the way in which they live their lives. This is the compelling current that runs through every episode. “I use cooking to send this message about a way of living,” says Mallman, the off-the-grid chef from Patagonia. “I’m always cooking in these remote places with wild fires. So my message is get off your office chair or your sofa and go out.” A food critic says of farm-to-table sustainable chef Dan Barber, “his goal is more than to just feed people in a restaurant. He wants to change his community and ultimately, the world.” Every chef has his or her own credo, and the meat of each episode is devoted to unpacking both its origins and its manifestations in the food.

Chef's Table

Our conception of food is deeply rooted in identity; this is what drives much of its cultural hype. In “Chef’s Table,” the influence of personal history is overwhelming. Childhood memories and a deep sense of place drive the innovation process across the board. “I’m trying to take you back to when you were a child,” Massimo says of his culinary ethos. He recalls sitting under his grandmother’s kitchen table as she sculpted tortellini, watching the flour cascade onto the floor. (One of Massimo’s most famous dishes is based on this memory.)

Potent visuals like these help us enter the chefs’ subjectivities in order to understand how creation takes root: Mallman, too, says eating his food is like “going back to those times of childhood.” He imbues his dishes with a sense of home. “It’s a land that you learn to love very slowly. You understand the winds, storms, solitude,” he says. “Once you understand how she is, you start to love Patagonia.”

Read More:  ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ Director David Gelb On Capturing One of Japan’s National Treasures

But the chefs aren’t simply trying to recreate the past. Embedded in this nostalgia is a burning desire for reinvention. Though he’s now an iconic figure in the country, Massimo’s attempts to modernize the Italian home-cooked meal were initially considered “a type of treason.” His plates, which look like pristine miniature sculptures, are informed by his exposure to modern art. “Only with a kind of sensationalism and provocative attitude, am I going to break through the convention of the Italian kitchen,” he explains. Like Massimo, the other chefs remain true to their origins while simultaneously reinterpreting them.

Chef's Table

Another characteristic that unites the chefs is a fiercely independent spirit. When asked what draws him to cooking, Mallman says, “It’s the freedom of believing only in myself, not letting myself be led by anybody. I wanted to be my own. I wanted to do whatever I wanted.” But this pursuit of freedom comes at a cost. As each of the chefs strives for self-actualization through the creation process, something important is sacrificed. Two of the men admit to neglecting their children in favor of the kitchen; another takes a step back from his career to be present in family life. Dan Barber, for his part, muses that being a chef entails “being attracted to a certain kind of abuse. It’s exhilarating, and the challenge is: How much of it can you stand? Is that the way to live a happy life? I don’t have the answer.”

“Chef’s Table” is a one-of-a-kind meditation on creativity. In exploring the identity and artistic process of each chef, the series transcends the genre of the cooking show. Gelb masterfully delves into the nuances of the craft while staying rooted in universal themes through the personal lens. It’s remarkable, if you think about it, that human beings have transformed a necessary element of life into an extension of personhood.

There’s one mantra that every chef shares: “You have to respect what you cook.” Thankfully, David Gelb respects more than just the food—he respects the chefs, too.


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Deadline

Hollywood Entertainment Breaking News

theCHIVE

Funny Photos and Funny Videos - Keep Calm and Chive On

Carlsbad Food Tours Blog

A Taste of Carlsbad

Raine's Recipes

Cooking on a Budget. Let's Talk About Food!

Griffin' s Grub

Adventures in grilling and barbecue

Quartz

Quartz is a digitally native news outlet for the new global economy.

Harvest America Ventures

culinarycuesblog

Books I've Enjoyed (and some I haven't)

I give informal summaries and opinions on the books I read.

PornBurger

Burger Perverts Welcome

Inside Paula

My Insider Perspective as a Celiac, Customer & CEO

A Game of Diapers

Strategic Parenting From A Working Mother Of Three

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