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:
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.