Wednesday, July 28, 2021

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The Dish

You can take the cook out of the kitchen…


The suicide of writer/television star Anthony Bourdain devastated the food world in June. No other journalist has
changed the way people think about food, travel and culture, at least not since the death in 2006 of R.W. Apple,
the New York Times chief political analyst and food correspondent at large. Bourdain rose from dishwasher to chef
before shocking the food world with his expose “Kitchen Confidential” in 2000. He made several TV series then for
food, travel and news networks. Unlike many TV stars in the food/travel genre, he showed great respect for the cultures he observed and trailblazed war zones in places like Myanmar and Lebanon. He popularized Vietnamese food, organ meats and stinky cheese in America more than anyone else.

Des Moines chef and radio personality George Formaro felt that Bourdain’s suicide reflected a curse of the restaurant business. “You work long hours, never have Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve with your family, work standing for 12 hour shifts, make less money than wait staff, and move between 112 degree stoves and freezing
coolers. Bourdain escaped that and seemed to have made a happy life. It’s scary. You can take the cook out of the
kitchen but you can’t take the kitchen out of the cook,” he said.

Ingersoll’s appetite for new food and drink options continued to expand. As Fabricio Floriani’s BAH Brazilian
steakhouse prepared an for imminent opening in a new complex at 23rd Street, occupying the real estate formerly used by China One Buffet. It will be on the ground floor of the new residential development at 2301 Ingersoll. Moberg Gallery launched a beer and wine bar music addition to its repertoire with an impressive act from Columbia. That also expanded the Avenue’s reputation as a Midwest music center. “It’s one of the most compressed venues in the Midwest for music, particularly free music — Stam’s, The Yacht Club, The Greenwood, Star Bar, The Waverly all have regular scheduled acts,” explained Moberg manager and musician Ryan Mullen… Nikone Sisomphane, Gary Baccam and Kobe Vathanonh expected to open Fusion Bistro in the old BW Burger venue on E.P. True by press time… Django planned to reopen, this time in the former Magnolia space, with former Centro executive chef Derek Eidson moving west on Locust and becoming a partner… At press time, Jesse’s Embers owner Marty Scarpino was recovering from a stroke in a Sioux City hospital. God bless him.

Dairy farmers pressed government for aid, saying that rising costs and stagnant prices for milk have created an industry crisis. As of press deadline, Hy-Vee was running a milk sale with half gallons going for less than 70 cents. Wisconsin alone lost 500 dairy farms last year and another 150 by April this year, according to Milwaukee Journal. That state’s total number of dairy cows is down 20 percent in five years. Ironies move in multiple directions. The price of beef has risen as milk prices slid. Chapter 12 bankruptcy, which is rampant in Wisconsin, was created by Congress 40 years ago in response to another farm crisis.

President Trump shifted some blame to Canada. “Canada charges the U.S. a 270 percent tariff on Dairy Products!
They didn’t tell you that, did they? Not fair to our farmers!” he tweeted in June.

Prep Iowa

IHOP 5-1 over IHOb. Goodbye pancakes, at least as an identifier for the iconic International House of Pancakes.
In June the company changed its name to IHOb, for International House of burgers. Obviously, the chain wants to
attract more customers between late morning and late night, but aren’t there already enough places branding their
burger options? Ever see a child who was denied a pancake? Customers are children.

Chicken 200-1 over vegetarian chicken. KFC introduced a new line of vegetarian chicken products. This is not
interesting to any vegetarians I know.

What is a street taco? I always thought that meant tacos one buys on the street, from a cart or a truck. How can Taco John’s claim to make them? ♦

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