Our Greatest Hits of 2016

From chefs joining the fight against hunger to Brooklyn gypsy brewers these were our most read stories of 2016.

Chefs joining the fight against food insecurity, gypsy brewers in Brooklyn, a delivery app —as the year comes to an end we take a look back at the most read stories of 2016.

This is not a subjective list. It’s a look at the stories that you clicked, tapped, or swiped the most across Edible Brooklyn’s and Edible Manhattan’s websites. Re-read your favorites or catch up on the ones you missed. Here are the 10 most-read stories of 2016:

One Massive Produce Distributor Is Reinventing Its Approach to Food Waste by Jesse Hirsch

Baldor’s goal is nothing short of total: absolutely nothing sent to the landfills. Illustration by Haejin Park.

Baldor’s goal is nothing short of total: absolutely nothing sent to the landfills. Illustration by Haejin Park.

Thomas McQuillan has started seeing food waste everywhere, and it makes sense. This is the guy in charge of eliminating all food waste from Baldor, the massive produce supplier for our city’s commercial kitchens. Now when he eats at restaurants, dinner parties, even his own kitchen, the former construction magnate is near-obsessive about keeping food from the wastebin. Like the copy editor who wants to fix every misspelled subway ad, McQuillan struggles to shut down his work brain after hours. Read more.

Local Gypsy Brewers Grimm Artisanal Ales to Release Saison Beer Made in Belgium by Niko Krommydas

Grimm’s Belgium-based collaboration with Fantôme Brewery is a dream project for cult-beer fans.. Photo by Niko Krommydas.

Grimm’s Belgium-based collaboration with Fantôme Brewery is a dream project for cult-beer fans. Photo by Niko Krommydas.

On a sunny afternoon in the fall of 2013, I met with Joe and Lauren Grimm at their apartment in Gowanus to write a story about Grimm Artisanal Ales, the charming couple’s nascent gypsy brewery. It was shortly after their second release — Bees in the Trappe, a Belgian-style ale infused with local wildflower honey — and we spent a few hours sampling different hand-bottled homebrews in their kitchen, the site where each of these recipes had been developed. Read more.

Has Caviar Cracked the Food Delivery Code? by Ruth Temianka

Caviar’s partners range from budding food trucks and catering companies to established restaurants like Jack’s Wife Freda. Photo courtesy of courtesy of Caviar.

Caviar’s partners range from budding food trucks and catering companies to established restaurants like Jack’s Wife Freda. Photo courtesy of courtesy of Caviar.

Food delivery platforms are a hairy business. From groceries to ready made meals, a plethora of startups have found it hard to monetize and manage the complexity of fulfillment, delivery and contractors. For example, Instacart’s grocery delivery service was plagued by a lawsuit last year in California and faces more issues over wages this year while restaurant delivery services Seamless and Grubhub have dealt with their fare share of debacle and farmers’ market darling Good Eggs folded across three markets including New York in 2015. Read more.

The Long-Forgotten New York Pie That Was “The Cronut of 1946” by Regina Schrambling

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Petee’s Pie Company’s pies are exceptional, the ingredients locally sourced, the crust so flaky-tender it barely holds together. Photo by Scott Gordon Bleicher.

I could type up a baker’s dozen reasons why Petee’s Pie Company on the Lower East Side is a great story. Start with the fact that it was started using earnings from one of the founders’ days playing professional poker. Or the fact that the other founder is a second-generation professional pie baker on her second career. Or even, especially, that the pies it sells are exceptional, the ingredients locally sourced, the crust so flaky-tender it barely holds together, the fillings rich but balanced, every mouthful an amazement. Read more.

Can Tech Really Help Us Eat and Farm Better? by Brian Halweil

gotham greens

I can see all sorts of good, but I also wonder if all this tech isn’t just putting us one more screen farther from our food. Photo courtesy of Gotham Greens.

There are two food sayings that are getting lots of play in Silicon Valley these days.

The first is: “The time to eat the hors d’oeuvres is when they are being passed.” In other words, the time for start-ups to take money from investors is when they are willingly giving out money.

The second expression that I’ve heard a few venture capitalists, inventors, food scientists and others say is: “Everyone has three things: A food blog, a food allergy and a food start-up.” Read more.

Williamsburg’s Newest Brewery and Distillery Starts Delivering Beers This Week by Niko Krommydas

Photo by Brian Casse

Photo by Brian Casse

Brooklyn’s first brewery and distillery is opening this summer, just a few weeks after Kings County Brewers Collective released the first beer made in Bushwick in 40 years. Read more.

A Sober Lounge in Bed-Stuy by Jesse Hirsch

 Photo by Dorn + Carbone.

Photo by Dorn + Carbone.

Picture a squad of European tourists, roller bags in tow, searching Bed-Stuy for a taste of real Brooklyn nightlife. And oh, what’s this? A cozy, softly lit tavern, anchored by a long, dark wood bar, live R&B jams floating out on the night air. The bar, Canticles, might be a perfect place to spend an evening in Brooklyn.

Except it’s not a bar at all. Read more.

Can Dig Inn Create the Skilled Cooks It Lacks? by Ariel Lauren Wilson

2016_SMaraSturman_DigInn_01_ADJ
Dig Inn and its glossy New York peers—like Sweetgreen, Fresh & Co., Chipotle, Shake Shack and Chop’t—are some of the “fast casual” businesses driving the restaurant industry. They’re hybrids of fast-food chains and full-service restaurants—think a cafeteria-style format serving relatively healthy meals. Dig Inn specifically values rapid, scalable service along with simply prepared food made from seasonal ingredients that are often locally and sustainably sourced. Culinary director Matt Weingarten, previously of Savoy and Sodexo, describes them as being in the business of making “good food more available to all.”

But Dig Inn—and many of its fast-casual peers—is facing a problem that’s been vexing the New York restaurant business for years: They don’t have enough skilled cooks. Read more.

For the First Time in 40 Years, a New Brewery Opens in Bushwick by Niko Krommydas

Photos courtesy of Kings County Brewers Collective

Photo courtesy of Kings County Brewers Collective.

Bushwick was once one of the country’s major beer-making centers. At one point before Prohibition, one-tenth of all beer produced in the United States originated in Brooklyn, and the majority of it was from Bushwick. Now, for the first time in 40 years, a new brewery will open in the neighborhood. Read more.

Chefs Who Won’t Just Shut Up and Cook by Lori Azim

Tom Colicchio testifies before a Congressional committee. Photo credit: Mark Noble

Tom Colicchio testifies before a Congressional committee. Photo by Mark Noble.

Michel Nischan grew up in a family that relied on food stamps during hard times. Son of a school lunch lady, Tom Colicchio realized he should be doing more than fundraising for food banks when his wife made a documentary on American hunger that proved charity couldn’t solve the problem. And Bill Telepan saw the anemic salad served in his daughter’s public school cafeteria and knew he could help students eat healthier—even in the poorest neighborhoods. Read more.

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Bridget is the digital strategy editor for Edible Manhattan, Edible Brooklyn, Edible Long Island and Edible East End.