News from the World of Food

Announcing The Great GoogaMooga Lineup

Today is a very exciting day in the development of the first ever Great GoogaMooga, a festival dedicated to food, drink, and music (in that order). The folks at Superfly, who are the organizers behind such festivals as Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, and Surperfly during Jazzfest, are planning to turn Brooklyn's Prospect Park into the biggest food extravaganza the world has ever seen on May 19 and 20. After spending the last few months letting details and hints about the festival trickle down to the public, Superfly announced the lineup of food vendors participating in The Great GoogaMooga this morning.

Primer: Barolo, Italy’s King Of Wines

A wine nicknamed centuries ago “The King of Wines” might seem intimidating. Indeed, Barolo is not for the feint of heart—or palate. There are plenty of entry-level wines out there. This isn’t one of them. Barolo is an advanced wine, best enjoyed by those who have long ago done away with their oeno training wheels. Not that I’m trying to scare you; I just want you to understand.

Beer Madness 2012 begins with 32 for the Washington Post

The beer universe continues to expand. There were 1,927 breweries operating in the United States for all or part of 2011, according to the Brewers Association, and 855 more in the planning stages. That’s an increase of almost 10 percent in a year’s time.

With such developments in mind, we probably could have doubled last year’s field of 64 for Beer Madness, our annual blind tasting to crown a king of the cooler, the results of which will be revealed over the next month or so. But we went in the opposite direction, condensing the pack of craft brews to 32. That made sense for several reasons, and it gave our judges the right amount of time to swish, swirl and determine a true champion.

Middle Ground in Decanting

WINE lovers rarely agree on the best methods of serving and drinking. Case in point: decanting, the practice of pouring wine from the bottle into another container before serving

In New Orleans, an Actor Turns Grocer

Had Emeril’s Delmonico been open for lunch, Wendell Pierce would probably have ordered the duck confit leg, served with a creamy barley risotto, roasted beets and snap peas. Instead, Mr. Pierce, a star of the HBO series “Treme,” ended up a few blocks away at Houston’s, where — given his perennial dieting — he made do with clam chowder and steamed spinach.

Many celebrities with a taste for good food veer into the restaurant business, but Mr. Pierce has taken a different tack. This summer, he and two business partners plan to open a grocery store called Sterling Farms, the first of several in New Orleans’s low-income neighborhoods, where supermarkets are scarce

The top 100 restaurant social media brands

Social media is the great equalizer, allowing smaller brands to battle the largest players in the restaurant industry for the attention — and hopefully the dining out dollars — of consumers. In the latest results from the Restaurant Social Media Index, brands from McDonald's to Mooyah Burgers & Fries and Starbucks to Peet's Coffee & Tea each sit in the top 20.

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Seattle's First Urban Food Forest will be open to Foragers

If you're a regular reader of The Salt, you've probably noticed our interest in foraging. From San Francisco to Maryland, we've met wild food experts, nature guides and chefs passionate about picking foods growing in their backyards.

Now, Washington state has jumped on the foraging bandwagon with plans to develop a 7-acre public plot into a food forest. The kicker? The lot sits smack in the middle of Seattle

The oily charms of West African cuisine

My egusi entree at Bukom Cafe does not exactly activate the salivary glands. The pieces of stewed, bone-in goat meat are slathered with a thick paste built from West African melon seeds called egusi. The seeds give the dish its name and its slightly nutty flavor, sort of a cross between peanut and sesame seed. Truth be told, though, the dish’s dominant flavor is palm oil, which covers my plate like a petroleum slick on the ocean’s surface, seizing all manner of organic matter in its clutches

Restaurant Planning: Actions speak louder than resolutions

Reflection time is over. Now, it's action plan time. We survived the worst of it. The New Year's mess is all but a memory, lingering in the dumpster waiting for pick-up. And, with it, the remains of 2011 and all of the good and bad are hauled away.

From all economic indicators the economy is getting better and the outlook for 2012 is brighter. But since the restaurant business will come to a screeching halt for a few weeks while people recover physically and financially, this is the perfect time to develop an action plan so your business and life will be better next year at this time.


Some ver y worrying facts about small business customer service

Travelling back to Paris recently, I experienced the full range of “customer experiences” – as I inevitably always do – and it is interesting to compare the declining standards of customer service in the UK with the almost non-existent standards in France. In fact my perception is that North America is suffering from the same maliase.

Maybe someone should share with these companies what I am about to share with you …