Food Banks Take on Back to School: 4 Ways They’re Feeding Kids

The COVID-19 pandemic means back-to-school may look a lot different this year. Schools and parents are facing difficult choices about how best to keep kids safe this school year. Districts are choosing between in-person instruction, remote learning or a combination of both. And we are all feeling uncertainty about the future. Will my child be safe at school? Will they learn what they need to if they’re at home? How long will this go on?

Feeding America estimates 1 in 4 children could face hunger in the wake of the pandemic, and that includes many children relying on free or reduced-price meals at school. Parents of those kids are asking all the same questions everyone else is. But they’re asking one more: will I be able to feed my children this fall?

Feeding America and food banks across the country are busy making preparations to ensure kids have the food they need as they return to school; no matter what form school takes –virtual or in-person.

Four ways food banks are helping to feed kids and their families this school year:

1. BackPack Programs are providing kids with food to take home on weekends

Many food banks across the country run BackPack programs, which provide shelf-stable food for kids to take home on the weekend. If schools go virtual, families will be able to pick up this food at convenient community sites. Food banks are adapting to meet that challenge this year, including Northern Illinois Food Bank, which is providing students with bags that have sturdier handles to make picking up food or bringing it home from school even easier.

2. Drive-thru and contact free food pickup at local schools

Food banks are partnering with schools – even if they aren’t seeing kids in the classrooms – to give food to families of students using contact free pickups. Schools and food banks often give out fresh produce, meat, and pantry staples like pasta, peanut butter, canned fruit. At some pickups, families are not required to attend the school hosting the pickup.

For example, San Antonio Food Bank partners with a middle school that won’t be reopening immediately in the fall, but food distributions are continuing. “Pandemic or not, kids shouldn’t have to worry about going to bed hungry,” said Irene Alvarez, who manages the school’s food distribution.

Meanwhile, other food banks, such as Second Harvest Middle Tennessee, are adapting by providing schools with food each month that they can distribute to families as needed – including 30 schools in and around Nashville alone.

3. Bringing food directly to kids and families at their homes or bus stops

Food banks and their partners are working hard to make sure kids and families have food this school year and this sometimes means bringing food directly to homes or creating pop-up food pantries in neighborhoods.

For example, one pantry working with Feeding America West Michigan is using a school bus to deliver food to children in their school district. The pantry compiles a list of families that sign up in advance, they load the bus with food and make deliveries at three locations every week.

Similarly, Long Island Cares is delivering food to kids with a mobile breakfast program. Called the Aspara’Gus’ Food Truck, the truck stops at a number of community sites on Saturdays and Sundays, distributing free to-go cold breakfasts to kids.

4. After school meals are filling the gap in the evening

As school resumes, so do after-school meal programs for kids that help feed children who don’t have consistent access to food at home. Because many after-school programs before the pandemic included hot meals in a group setting, food banks are having to adapt to make sure kids still have a meal option without needing to eat with a group. Food banks like Capital Area Food Bank are keeping open all their after-school sites and are offering a to-go meal that kids can eat at home.

How can I help?

  • Volunteer at your local food bank. Volunteers are an important part of packing shelf-stable meals for kids or families when school is in session. Find your local food bank and follow them on social media to learn what they need most as children return to school.
  • Encourage parents who need a little extra help to reach out to their local school to learn what the qualifications are for meal programs. More families may be eligible for school breakfast and lunch programs this year.
  • Raise awareness about free meal programs for kids. Meals for kids are available, but often parents don’t know where to find them. Check with your local food bank and your school district about how you can spread the word.

By Feeding America

Côte at Home Shows How To Do Home Delivery With Flair Assuming Dinner Turns Up

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A Saturday night and my phone pings. It’s an email from a well-known courier company. Earlier that day they’d confirmed that my delivery from a high-street restaurant chain would arrive the next day. Now they were telling me it was cancelled: “Contact the sender directly for more information.” At 9.30pm on a Saturday night? Gosh, thanks. Last month, when I wrote about the enduring appeal of French food in Britain, I was emailed by a senior person from the high street bistro chain Côte. They had just launched their Côte at Home range, available nationwide. Would I like to try it?

I turn down over 95% of the freebies offered to me. Partly this is because I am drenched in enough privilege as it is. Wet through, I am. Also, where would I put it all? Mostly, though, I decline such because I’d prefer to experience products as other customers would. I’ve never eaten in a branch of Côte, but many people have told me they rather like them: a fair price point, reliable food and good service. (Complaints in 2015 about the unfair use of tips to top up wages led to a change in policy.) Accordingly, I declined the offer of Côte at Home for free and instead booked it myself. Now, here I was very much experiencing the gorgeous life of a valued customer: it was a Saturday night, I’d spent £85, and my planned dinner for Sunday night had disappeared, along with the contents of this column.

‘A generous portion of for £4.95’: roasted asparagus.

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‘A generous portion of for £4.95’: roasted asparagus.

Sod that. What’s the point of being thickly glazed in privilege if you don’t use it? I emailed the Côte exec. Much hand wringing. Apparently six packages had been lost by the couriers. It would be reorganised. Of course it would. Five other people probably have me to thank for their delivery turning up that Sunday, because I do wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t made a stink.

I mention this partly because it would have been far less than full disclosure not to, but mostly because I want them to sort it out. The thing is that Côte at Home is really good. Not just “good considering they’re a high street chain”, or “not bad at the price”. It’s proper good, in the way you tell your neighbours about over the garden wall while dissing the government’s latest knuckle-dragging stupidity. The online selection is so extensive – not just ready meals but cheeses, wines and butchery – that I wondered whether a food service company was involved. Apparently not. Côte introduced a central kitchen for some of their dishes a while back and, with the additions of a few buy-ins, it all comes from there.

Be prepared for packaging that recalls hardcore M&S: recyclable film-sealed plastic trays with cardboard sleeves bearing the legend “Handmade in the UK.” The labelling is supermarket ready, from allergens, through nutritional advice to ingredients and barcodes, with a chilled shelf life of a week. Look closely at those ingredients. It’s what those in the food business call a “clean dec” (short for clean declaration). It’s all words you would recognise, rather than the sort of preservatives and emulsifiers that allow certain foods to outlive that kitten you just acquired. The pokey vinaigrette, with a generous portion of roasted asparagus for £4.95, is made with Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and oil, just as mine is. The gazpacho, more than enough for two, and again for £4.95, is made with such exotic ingredients as tomatoes, cucumbers, red and green peppers, garlic and olive oil. It tastes as if it has just been blitzed in my own kitchen. I check. I hadn’t blitzed it in my own kitchen. There are brioche croutons and basil leaves to add. It’s bright and fresh with a strident peppery kick.

Have you ever stood in a supermarket aisle peering at ready-meal portion sizes, muttering: “Which two people is this for? A couple of four-year-olds who are off their food?” No? Just me then. These dishes pass that test. The most expensive is the beef bourguignon at £13.95 for two including a portion of their mash, the arrival of which shames me. But then it’s part of the deal and I’m working, OK? It’s a proper serving for two of me, made with long-cooked boulders of shin, glugs of cabernet sauvignon, lardons, veal jus and a fat old dollop of time. It is ripe and unctuous and could stick your lips together on a chilly day. It gives Tom Kerridge’s recent beef cheek bourguignon serious competition.

‘It’s a proper serving for two of me’: beef bourguignon.

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‘It’s a proper serving for two of me’: beef bourguignon.

Other highlights: a lamb parmentier that the packaging translates as a shepherd’s pie, made with both mince and pieces of lamb that have disintegrated graciously. There is salmon with ratatouille, and to finish, an impressive lemon and Armagnac posset spun through with zest for £3.50, or a classy apple tarte fine for £4.50. Home preparation has been considered. The oven needs to be at 200C for all of it, and cooking times are in multiples of 10 minutes, making it straightforward to get the dishes out in the right order. A slight niggle: the mash that I hated myself for having and the minted peas, required a microwave, which I don’t own. I did them on the hob. They were fine. I’d be very surprised if this service didn’t continue once the crisis ends, and far less surprised if the products turned up in supermarkets, though they’ll be hard pushed to maintain the current price point once retailers take a cut.

One other delivery: the small Mumbai-inspired group Dishoom have launched a kit enabling you to make their rightly famed bacon naans at home for £16, delivered via Deliveroo from their three London outposts. This did come to me for free, because I was then outside the catchment area, but I made a donation to the charity Magic Breakfast, which provides breakfasts in schools to kids who need them. (Dishoom makes a donation to Magic Breakfast for every kit sold).

‘Rightly famed’: Dishoom bacon naans.

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‘Rightly famed’: Dishoom bacon naans. Photograph: Charlie McKay

It’s a lot of fun, and is now available nationwide. You get the three pots of dough, so you have one to screw up (or fill yourself). Roll the dough out, put it into a fiercely hot dry pan for 30 seconds then under the grill for a minute. Works a treat. There’s cream cheese, tomato chilli jam, coriander and very good streaky bacon from Ramsay of Carluke. The good things to have come out of this crisis are few, but a Dishoom bacon naan at home is one of them. Next week this column should find me eating in an actual restaurant. Or just outside one. Fingers crossed.

Visit coteathome.co.uk and dishoomathome.com

News bites

A London-based wine company, Nice, was due to launch an Argentinean Malbec in recyclable cans for the 2020 music festival circuit, to go with their sauvignon blanc and rosé that went on sale in 2019. Now, with a lot of sturdy red wine on their hands, they’ve bottled it and are selling it with all profits going to NHS charities. ‘Wine for heroes’ is available via selected retailers, Amazon and their own website, nice-drinks.co.uk.

One issue of the furlough scheme for the restaurant trade has been that income from service charges through ‘tronc’ schemes was not regarded as the salary upon which government payments were calculated. Many employees, already on modest salaries, saw incomes cut in half during the crisis. It’s shone a light on what many see as the problematical nature of restaurant staff depending upon tips, by their nature variable, to get by. Now London restaurants Oklava and Hill and Szrok have joined a few others by announcing the scrapping of all service charges. The headline price of dishes will go up, but there will be no extra to pay and staff salaries will be guaranteed. Let’s hope it catches on.

A survey of 2,000 people by research company Perspectus Global has found that Lady and the Tramp sharing spaghetti is the most loved movie restaurant scene of all time. The top ten also includes Meg Ryan’s faked orgasm at Katz Deli in When Harry Met Sally and Mia and Vincent going for a burger in Pulp Fiction.

 

By:

 

Source: https://www.theguardian.com

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This Just Might Be The Best Pizza In The World

World Champion Pizza Maker Tony Gemignani with his Pizza Romana.

As former New Yorkers, my husband and I are very snobby about pizza.

So, although we hate to admit it, we may have found the best pizza in the world in … San Francisco?

The pies at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary, are so good, they’re worth a trip from anywhere in the world. And you’d have to stay for a couple of days so you can really taste them all.

Owner Tony Gemignani has won many prestigious awards, including Best Pizza Margherita at the World Pizza Cup in Naples, Italy, and Best Pizza Romana at the World Championship of Pizza Makers in 2011. He was the first and only Triple Crown winner for baking at the International Pizza Championships in Leece, Italy, and was the first American and non-Neapolitan to win the coveted title of World Champion Pizza Maker at the World Pizza Cup in Naples in 2007. He was also a pioneer in bringing several different styles of pizzas and other Italian dishes to the Bay Area.

Since discovering Tony’s, my husband and I have come up with creative excuses for visiting San Francisco on a regular basis because we literally dream about his pizzas and can only go so long without one.

Today In: Lifestyle

Here’s what Gemignani himself had to say when I asked him about all things pizza. Warning: Do not continue reading if you’re hungry. 

How did you get started making pizza? 

I’ve been involved in the pizza industry since 1991. I started making pizza at my brother’s acclaimed Pyzano’s Pizzeria in Castro Valley. Eventually I began working with different independent pizza shops and later went to Italy and traveled a ton. After winning multiple world pizza competitions, I made my way back to the U.S. and started to learn regional styles (think New York, Chicago, St. Louis, New Haven, and more).

Leading with my mission statement, “Respect the Craft,” I’ve devoted myself to learning everything there is to know about pizza, and I’ve aimed to showcase my knowledge and passion with each person that comes in to experience our menu of thirteen regional styles of pizza. This craft has taken me on a great journey that I’m excited to continue.

Did you know right away you wanted pizza to become your life’s work? 

I always loved cooking. Even in high school I took Home Economics courses. Back then I didn’t think anything of it. Then, quickly after high school I started working at my brother’s pizzeria and fell in love with it right away.

I ended up getting my pizza certification in Italy and am an official U.S. Ambassador of Neapolitan Pizza by the city of Naples – a prestigious title only given to three people in the entire world. I am also the first Master Instructor in the United States from the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli and am the proprietor of the International School of Pizza where I certify chefs from around the world—all through Tony’s Pizza Napoletana.

I’ve had the pleasure of teaching so many great pizza makers, who have gone on to open up their own great pizzerias and make incredible pie. In a sense, they carry on the work for me and it’s a very special process to be a part of.

What is about pizza that makes it so beloved to people?  

Growing up, pizza is every kid’s favorite food. It’s communal, fun, and easy—you can make it your own, whether that’s creating something simple or complex. You can make round, square, thick, or thin.

I think that sense of nostalgia stays with you as you become an adult. Pizza brings people back to when life was a bit simpler. And let’s face it, pizza is delicious no matter how old you are.  

One of the things that makes your restaurant so unique is the variety of ovens. Can you give readers a quick education, please?

Our menu offers a wide variety of Italian and American pizza styles, all cooked in one of seven different ovens. We have the true Neopolitan pizza made in a burning wood up to 900 degrees, to a blistering 1000 degree coal oven, along with an assortment of gas and electric ovens, each perfectly suited to the particular style of pizza cooked in it.   

What are the most popular pizzas at Tony’s? 

That’s a tough question. We have multiple award-winning pies on the menu, including our popular Margherita Napoletana (we only make 73 of them each day), Pizza Porto, Cal Italia, La Regina, Burratina di Margherita, and New Yorker which is coal-fired in our 1000 degree oven.

Which pie is your personal favorite?  

That’s like asking a father who his favorite son is. You know I have one, but I’ll never admit it. And, honestly, I love everything. That’s why I like to explore so many different styles of pizza.

Let’s talk about some other dishes like those incredible squash blossoms. How did you come up with those?

Being in California, we are very lucky to have access to some of the best seasonal produce. The California-style pizzas on our menu are a nod to these seasonal ingredients, and we have fun getting creative with surprising pairings. Last year, we launched the squash blossom & burrata pie inspired by the spring season featuring ricotta stuffed squash blossoms, burrata, prosciutto di parma, crushed red pepper, mozzarella, and shaved parmigiano reggiano.

Other than pizza, what are some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes? 

We make our own pasta and case sausages in-house, and offer a wide selection of pastas, antipasti, salads, and desserts. A few stand out crowd-favorites are the Coccoli (delicious rounds of sea-salted fried dough that can be filled with your favorite ingredients), Meatballs Gigante, Peroni Battered Fried Artichokes, and Housemade Bucatini Pasta.  

We should mention your wine awards, as well. What are they and what do they mean to you?

We recently received Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for the 5th year in a row, which is such an honor. Wine Director Jules Gregg ensures that our wine list is as thoughtful and expansive as our food menu. We offer 65 different varietals and 185 wines, highlighting intentional selections from Italy and California.

Mixologist Elmer Mejicanos also provides a full bar program featuring hand-crafted artisan cocktails and an extensive tequila and beer collection.  

Tell us about the process of coming up with recipes. How do you experiment?

To make the perfect pizza, it’s all about the ingredients. I start with flour as the foundation; it’s  the heart and soul of pizza. Balance is important, but it’s really about your dough, sauce, and cheese. I always want to make sure that my dough balances with the other pizza flavors, while taking you through a journey with each bite.  

Describe those award-winning pizzas so we can drool a little.  

·     One of our most popular pies is the Margherita Napoletana (we only make 73 per day), a World Pizza Cup winner in Naples, Italy. It features dough finished by hand using Caputo Blue flour then proofed in Napolitana wood boxes, San Marzano tomatoes, D.O.P., sea salt, mozzarella for di latte, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil.

·     Pizza Porto, my most recent award-winning pie, won the 2018 All-Stars Pizza Championship in Porto, Portugal. It features Portuguese chorizo, nduja, micro greens, mozzarella, top Sao Jorge cheese, port reduction, crema di port, and smoked sea salt.

·     Cal Italia, a gold medal winner of Food Network’s Pizza Champions Challenge, features asiago, mozzarella, Italian gorgonzola, Croatian sweet fig preserves, prosciutto di parma, parmigiano, balsamic reduction, and no sauce.

·     La Regina, a gold cup winner at the International Pizza Championships Parma, Italy, features soppressata picante, prosciutto di parma, mozzarella, parmigiano, provolone, and arugula.

·     Burratina di Margherita, a gold cup winner at the International Pizza Championships Lecce, Italy, features burrata, cherry tomatoes tossed with fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic reduction.

·     New Yorker, a gold medal winner Las Vegas, features mozzarella, hand crushed tomato sauce, natural casing pepperoni, sliced Italian fennel sausage, calabrese sausage, ricotta, chopped garlic, and oregano.  

How does it feel to have your pizzas named best in the world? How do you top that?! 

It is truly an honor and a blessing. It’s also a bit surreal—especially to have won internationally. It’s one of the best feelings ever, but I’m always trying to make it better. After I win a championship, I look at that pizza and think to myself—how can I make it better?  

What’s next for you?  

I hope pizza lovers will come visit us at our Bay Area and Las Vegas locations in exciting new venues. We also have Tony’s locations in San Francisco’s Levi’s Stadium and Tony G’s within the new Chase Center, and there are more to come soon.  

Do you ever get sick of pizza?

Never.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I believe the world would be a better place if we all traveled more, and I write about everything from luxury spas, cruises and hotels to quirky museums and street food in order to encourage people to get out and explore. When I’m not traveling around the globe—and even when I am— I blog at Midlife at the Oasis, my award-winning website. Over the past 20 years, I’ve written for dozens of magazines and was a Contributing Writer to Entertainment Weekly for more than a decade. In 2010, I was one of the Ultimate Viewers selected by Oprah Winfrey to accompany her to Australia. Since then, I’ve won three BlogHer Voices of the Year awards and become a Travel Expert at USA Today 10Best and a regular contributor to AAA Midwest Traveler and Southern Traveler. I’m a member of Society of American Travel Writers and North American Travel Journalists Association. Join me on my journeys on Instagram and Twitter @loisaltermark.

Source: This Just Might Be The Best Pizza In The World

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21 Incredible Pasta Dishes To Enjoy On National Pasta Day

 

Bucatini Cashew-Kombu Cream at Osteria 57 in New York City.

National Pasta Day is coming soon. While October 17 may be a great excuse to try a new pasta dish, these options are so incredible that we recommend enjoying them all year long. Starting today, ideally.

At Osteria 57 in New York City, this is a vegan pasta dish with incredible Japanese Umami flavor. The dish is made with cashew-kombu cream, Mediterranean pesto, Sorrento lemons and breadcrumbs to give it a fresh, satisfying Mediterranean taste with rich, savoriness from the umami flavor. “It’s uncommon to think ‘vegan’ when you hear of Italian cuisine since most dishes have meat and/or cheese. So I thought of a pasta that I can serve my customers that’s packed with flavor and combines ingredients from my two favorite cuisines- Italian and Japanese. Knowing that a majority of umami flavor in Japanese cuisine stems from kumbu, I decided to create a cashew-kombu cream sauce and flavor it with ingredients that reminds me of the southern region of Italy. There’s fresh basil, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, white fennel, capers from Sicily, lemons from Sorrento with the cream sauce as a clear tribute to the magic of ingredients,” said chef Riccardo Orfino.

Wagyu Pappardelle

Wagyu Pappardelle at Margot Los Angeles.

Margot

At Margot Los Angeles, this dish is made with Einkorn wheat and ragu Bolognese. “Our Pappardelle is the most unique pasta dish on offer right now at Margot. It’s made from heirloom einkorn wheat that is milled weekly for us by a local grain mill. It’s served with a Bolognese sauce made with wagyu beef that’s simply delicious,” says executive chef Michael Williams.

Today In: Lifestyle

Blue Crab Carbonara

Blue Crab Carbonara at The Wilson in New York City.

Jenna Murray IGC Hospitality)

At The Wilson in New York City, this dish is made with spaghetti, guanciale, Calabrian chilies, basil crumbs. “We make ours with rustichella spaghetti, EVOO, guanciale, garlic, calabrian chilies, and blue crab. Finished with butter, parmesan cheese, black pepper and chives. Garnished with pangrattato, which is bright green basil bread crumbs, and grilled lemon. It’s a fun and modern spin on an already delicious classic,” said executive chef, Stephany Burgos.

Chickpea Pasta

Chickpea Pasta at Electric Lemon at Hudson Yards in New York City.

Electric Lemon

At Electric Lemon at Hudson Yards in New York City, the Chickpea Pasta is a linguini type noodles topped with a fresh tomato sauce made à la minute. Chef Kyle Knall roasts garlic, shishito peppers and basil in a pan then squeezes skinless sun gold tomatoes to make a fresh, vibrant sauce that coats the gluten free pasta without being too rich. The dish is then garnished with fresh basil and halved sun gold tomatoes.  “We wanted to make a true chickpea pasta that was actually gluten free. So we took the ratio that we would normally use for our traditional dough with farm egg yolks and switched out the pasta flour for chickpea. This keeps the dough soft and rich,” said chef Kyle Knall.

Squid Ink Linguine

Squid Ink Linguine at Siena Tavern in Chicago.

Siena Tavern

Forget the lobster roll and the bisque because black is the new… black at Siena Tavern in Chicago with Top Chef alum, Fabio Viviani’s Squid Ink Linguine. Having a celebrity chef behind the Italian restaurant’s menu guests know dishes served there are going to be amazing and delicious which includes his Squid Ink Linguine served with a lobster tail and spicy lobster sauce. Not only is this dish one of the most popular entrees served at Siena Tavern, but it is also eye-catching with its shocking color. Although, the silky black-hued pasta is not the only reason this dish is so popular; the flavor of the dish also credits to its acclaimed fame. Given the extra dimension the squid ink linguine gives off, chef Viviani complements it with a grilled lobster tail served on top while a spicy lobster cream sauce is mixed in with it. “As much as I love making traditional pasta dishes, I knew I needed to make Siena Tavern’s Squid Ink Linguine a little different,” said executive chef Fabio Viviani. “Mixing the squid ink’s rich and briny flavor with a lobster’s mild and sweet flavor, there needed to be a spice to make a lasting impression which I made the sauce to be a spicy lobster cream sauce.”

Duck Confit Risotto

Duck Confit Risotto in New York City at ATRIO Wine Bar & Restaurant.

ATRIO Wine Bar & Restaurant

In New York City at ATRIO Wine Bar & Restaurant, a combination of sautéed butternut squash, wild mushrooms, dried cranberries, and wilted kale folded into arborio rice that is immersed in a rich duck broth. White balsamic pearls are dotted on top for a tangy finish. A major trend we’ve noticed that has returned is the use of duck on culinary menus. This is a bold and flavorful meat that can be used in a wide variety of dishes; we have added duck to our risotto and flatbread for fall,” said executive chef Enrico DeOcampo of Conrad New York Downtown.

Chicken Sausage Rigatoni

Chicken Sausage Rigatoni at Thalia in New Orleans.

Thalia

At Thalia in New Orleans, chefs Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus just gave a seasonal update to the chicken sausage rigatoni. The fall version of the beautiful pasta dish is made with housemade sausage and pasta served with pumpkin, shiso, and sage, then finished with shaved parmesan. This dish embodies what we love about fall. The pumpkin and sage add those flavors that we love about fall, while the shiso adds a brightness.

Not Your Nonna’s Bolognese

Not Your Nonna’s Bolognese at Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar in south Miami.

GBHG

At Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar in south Miami, this twist on a classic Bolognese over delivers on the pasta. Featuring two (!) types of pasta, a slow braised veal, pork and beef Bolognese sauce is mixed throughout pappardelle and ricotta gnudi before being topped with parmesan cheese and fresh basil. The hearty sauce pairs well with the light gnudi, and bright pop of basil. “Italy has always astounded me with its culture and beauty. That beautiful sun-filled country is a huge source for culinary inspiration for me, and Mi’talia dishes are my versions of these flavors,” said chef Janine Booth.

Carbonara in a Jar

Carbonara in a Jar at Siena Tavern in Chicago.

Siena Tavern

If there is something Top Chef alum Fabio Viviani is an expert on making, it’s pasta. The Italian chef’s Carbonara in a Jar served at Siena Tavern is not only cooked perfectly al dente and tastes delicious but also an interactive dish as it is prepped and finalized at the table utilizing a mason jar. The ooey and gooey pasta dish initially fills the mason jar with gemelli noodles and then layers of crispy pancetta, parmesan cream, spinach, egg yolk and pecorino are added on top. The mason jar is served to the table in its deconstructed form and ready to be finalized by the chef who shakes it tableside, ultimately breaking the egg yolk and mixing the other ingredients to finalize the Carbonara in a Jar. “One of my favorite things to do as a chef is go out in the restaurant and talk to the guests who are eating my food,” said executive chef Fabio Viviani. “The Carbonara in a Jar not only allows me to talk to my guests, but I also get to serve them their meal.”

Zucchini Pasta

Zucchini Pasta at HandCraft Kitchen & Cocktails in New York City.

HandCraft Kitchen & Cocktails

At HandCraft Kitchen & Cocktails in New York City,  this is zucchini noodles, roasted kale, charred tomatoes, portobello mushrooms, pistachio nuts and Asiago cheese.  If you follow the Whole 30 diet, you can ask the chef to hold the cheese. If you want to add a little protein, you can request the addition of chicken, steak or pulled pork.  “Our Zucchini Pasta is one of our best sellers and I think it’s because it’s so versatile. It’s a vegetarian dish that you can easily make Whole 30 compliant by ordering it without the cheese, or you can add chicken, steak or pulled pork if you’re a meat-lover.  All these options and it’s delicious no matter how you order it,” said Chad Gaudet, co-owner of HandCraft Kitchen & Cocktails.

House-Made Campanelle 

House-Made Campanelle at The Hive in Bentonville, Arkansas.

21c Museum Hotels

At The Hive in Bentonville, Arkansas, they showcase the unique culinary identity of Arkansas and the region’s farmers and producers. Chef Matt McClure’s cooking pays homage to the High South, highlighting local ingredients such as wild mushrooms, basil puree and pistachio found in the campanelle.

Siamese Agnolotti

Siamese Agnolotti at Casa Nonna New York.

Casa Nonna New York

At Casa Nonna New York, the filling of this house-made two-sided ravioli pasta consists of veal ragu on one side with spinach and taleggio cheese on the other side. The ravioli rests on top of a truffle pecorino fonduta sauce and is finished with beech mushrooms and a drizzle of marsala glaze. “Siamese Agnolotti is one of our most popular pasta dishes as you can experience a vegetarian and meat option in just one bite! The beech mushrooms add a cashew-like flavor and when combined with a drizzle of the marsala glaze and truffle oil, you get a sherry sweet taste. Plus, it’s a great pasta that pairs really well with most known Italian wines like Chianti, Montepulciano and Sangiovese,” said Atilio Ramos, chef de cuisine.

Spaghettini Freddi Benedetto Cavalieri

Spaghettini Freddi Benedetto Cavalieri at La Cucina at Il Salviatino in Fiesole, Florence.

Il Salviatino

At La Cucina at Il Salviatino in Fiesole, Florence, an upscale twist on a classic, this chilled spaghetti dish features fresh prawns tossed in Tuscan citrus fruit delicately served over al dente spaghetti, garnished with colorful edible wildflowers sourced from Il Salviatino’s orto — organic orchard and herb garden.  “I love how refreshing this dish it. We are really lucky to have a big organic garden right on our property grounds where we source fresh herbs and vegetables daily. Almost 100% of our ingredients are sourced from Tuscany; generally we don’t need to go far to find the best quality, most of the time it is right around the corner,” said executive chef Silvia Grossi.

Fettuccine

Fettuccine at La Ventura in New York City.

Alex Staniloff

At La Ventura in New York City, housemade fettuccine with poblano peppers, littleneck clams, garlic, chili flakes and lemon. “Our fettuccine is the perfect way to celebrate National Pasta Month because it gives a nod to classical old school pasta and white clam sauce. It is super garlicky with chili flake, butter and lemon that keeps it packed with flavor the entire way through,” said executive chef Peter Lipson.

Cacio E Pere

Cacio E Pere on New York City at Felidia.

Felidia

In New York City at Felidia, pear and pecorino ravioli with crushed black pepper. “After all these years, I love to make this; it’s such a simple yet delicious dish and is still a favorite among the guests year-round!” said executive chef Fortunato Nicotra.

Rigatoni with Heritage Pork Ragu 

Rigatoni with Heritage Pork Ragu in New York City at OTTO Enoteca e Pizzeria.

OTTO Enoteca e Pizzeria

In New York City at OTTO Enoteca e Pizzeria, rigatoni with Heritage pork shank braised with onions, Calabrian chilis, and tomato sauce. “This is one of our signature pasta dishes that’s perfect to celebrate with on National Pasta Day! There’s no shortage of flavor here, and as a butcher, I love using high-quality meat from our longtime purveyor Heritage Foods!” said executive chef Gaetano Arnone.

Spaghetti Special

Spaghetti Special at Carmine's.

Carmine’s

At Carmine’s, already known for their massive portions, the legendary Carmine’s is serving up a Spaghetti Special for the entire month of October. The special comes with five pounds of spaghetti served alongside a gallon of sauce – pomodoro, bolognese, marinara or vodka. The dish is designed to feed eight-ten people. “What Carmine’s does best is massive portions of food served family-style so this special is designed for even bigger groups to gather and enjoy heaping platters of pasta with their favorite sauce!”  said director of culinary operations Glenn Rolnick

Mezzelune Pasta 

Mezzelune Pasta At Lupa in New York City.

Lupa

At Lupa in New York City, a seasonal pasta dish made with honeynut squash stuffed lune with sage brown butter and toasted hazelnuts. “Honeynut is my favorite Autumn squash. Specifically bred for their sweetness, they make an incredible filling for ravioli. Mezzelune pasta is a great shape because of the crescent moon shape which resembles the fall months and looks amazing on the plate” said executive chef James Kelly.

Pistachio Pesto Spaghetti 

Pistachio Pesto Spaghetti at Gelso & Grand in New York City.

Gelso & Grand

At Gelso & Grand in New York City, toasted pistachio, fresh basil, Parmigiano Reggiano mixed with spaghetti. “Since our restaurant is located in the heart of Little Italy, we wanted to offer a bright-tasting pasta that would whisk guests away from the hustle bustle of New York for a moment and to let the flavors of the dish sink in. The pasta itself is a delicious twist on an Italian classic, that’s traditionally prepared with pine nuts, and perfectly balanced with the freshness from the basil,” said owner Nima Garos.

California Sea Urchin and Angel Hair Carbonara 

California Sea Urchin and Angel Hair Carbonara at Tocqueville in New York City.

Tocqueville

At Tocqueville in New York City, this signature appetizer at Tocqueville has been on the menu since the restaurant opened in 2000. The dish features California sea urchin and angel hair carbonara with sea lettuces and lime-soy butter. “In my opinion Sea urchin and egg yolk is a perfect match, the velvety texture of the softly scrambled yolk with the sauce is pure decadence, against the al dente pasta, it all really works well together!” said chef and owner Marco Moreira.

Linguine ai Frutti di Mare

Linguine ai Frutti di Mare t Primavera Ristorante.

Primavera Ristorante

At Primavera Ristorante, a family-owned and operated Italian restaurant located in Coronado, Calif., will celebrate National Pasta Day with a featured entrée swimming in flavor: linguine ai frutti di mare, made with fresh tomato, shrimp, mussels, and baby clams atop linguine with light saffron sauce. The restaurant will also have an array of signature pasta dishes available, including: portobella alla bianca, portobello mushroom-filled ravioli with sundried tomato and dill cream sauce; pappardelle alla Bolognese with veal, pork and beef ragu, dried chile oil and mascarpone; and spaghetti alla carbonara with sautéed pancetta and sweet peas in a rich parmigiano cream sauce. Buon appetito!

Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer with over a decade of experience covering travel and food.

Source: 21 Incredible Pasta Dishes To Enjoy On National Pasta Day

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It’s National Pasta Day and what a better way to celebrate than learning 5 interesting pasta facts! Created with icons designed by Alice Mortaro – “Pasta” · Anna Bearne – “Noodles” · Federico Falaschi – “spaghetti” · Lemon Liu – “Noodles” · Thomas Uebe – “Noodle” from The Noun Project Bushwick Tarantella by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-…… Artist: http://incompetech.com/ __ Like our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TriviaTrifle/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TriviaTrifle

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New DoorDash Payment System Means Customers Who Tip Up Front Will Get Their Food Faster

A month ago, facing widespread criticism over DoorDash’s policy of reducing pay to delivery workers who receive tips, DoorDash CEO Tony Xu promised to introduce a new payment scheme in which delivery workers could keep their tips without seeing their pay reduced. Now that new model is here, and it’s a powerful incentive for customers ordering DoorDash deliveries to add a tip when they order. Preferably, a generous one.

Under the old system, a DoorDash delivery person (or “Dasher”) would be promised a certain fee, say $7, to make a given delivery. If the customer tipped zero, DoorDash would pay $7. If the customer tipped $3, DoorDash would pay $4, and the Dasher would still receive a total of $7. (If the customer tipped more than $7, DoorDash would pay its minimum fee of $1, and the Dasher would keep the entire tip.)

According to some accounts, the majority of customers who use a food delivery service such as DoorDash don’t tip–perhaps believing that most of the fee they pay to the service goes to the deliverer–while others do tip. Thus, the old system created greater predictability for drivers when deciding whether to accept a delivery. (Dashers are independent contractors who accept or decline each delivery as they see fit.)

Some Dashers liked that model, and New York Times reporter Andy Newman, who spent several days as an undercover deliverer for DoorDash, PostMates, and Uber Eats, found that he generally earned more from DoorDash than from the other two services. There was just one problem with that model, which Xu identified in a series of tweets announcing the change: “What we missed was that some customers who *did* tip would feel like their tip did not matter.”

Want your food to arrive hot? Add a big tip.

Well, it’s about to start mattering big time. The new model is short on essential details, but this is what DoorDash has announced: From here on out, all Dashers will keep 100 percent of their tips and DoorDash will no longer reduce their base pay when they do. Xu has vowed that the new scheme will increase Dashers’ pay overall, and to that end the company is doubling its minimum pay from $1 to $2. The company is adding “promotions,” bonus pay for Dashers to work at busy times, and also “challenges,” in which Dashers who work frequently will receive extra pay for reaching certain goals. DoorDash has not yet released the details of these promotions. It also says the new payment system will roll out to all Dashers by the end of September.

The company has made one thing very clear. DoorDash will give every Dasher 100 percent of the customer’s tip without reducing the Dasher’s base pay, and if a customer adds a tip when placing the order that tip will be included in the pay offered for the delivery. Although the Dasher won’t be able to see the tip amount, he or she will be able to see the total payment for the delivery, including the tip, which obviously will be higher than for an untipped delivery job.

Thus, if a customer ordering a DoorDash delivery adds a big tip when ordering, Dashers will likely scramble to grab that delivery job, knowing it will pay better than usual. Conversely, customers who doesn’t add an upfront tip will likely wait a bit longer for their food to arrive since those jobs will be much less attractive to Dashers. A customer may be planning to tip after the food arrives, but since the Dasher can’t know that in advance and most customers don’t tip, he or she won’t bank on it.

That’s what many people who posted in a Reddit forum for DoorDash drivers are saying. For example, one Dasher posted, “The nice part about this is that you will be able to see what the customer tips up front before accepting the order so those big fat 0 tippers even if they’re gonna tip afterwards I’m not risking it.”

And here’s a comment from another Dasher: “My thinking also is that the low-paying offers (from non-tippers) are going to be passed over repeatedly, so the food may be cold and will arrive late. So not only is it a low-paying job, but the odds are likely that you’ll get 1 star for taking the order. Wow, sounds great, huh?”

For the moment, there are more unknowns than knowns about this new payment scheme, but one lesson is clear. If you’re ordering food via DoorDash and you want it to arrive hot, add a tip when you first order. Preferably a big one.

Source: New DoorDash Payment System Means Customers Who Tip Up Front Will Get Their Food Faster | Inc.com

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