Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Remembering Anthony Bourdain

After the runaway success of his hit food documentary show at CNN, what would every “foodie” view as the lasting legacy of Anthony Bourdain? 

By: Ringo Bones 

It came quite as a shock to me after hearing that Anthony Bourdain died of an apparent suicide back in Friday, June 8, 2018. It seems that most of his fans the world over are oblivious to the inner demons his battling and eventually succumb into. Fortunately, Bourdain managed to bequeathe to his legions of fans his books and a food documentary urging everyone to be more adventurous when it comes to dining. 

Born in New York, New York back in June 25, 1956, Bourdain is no stranger to cultural diversity growing up in one of the most culturally diverse part of the United States. He gained fame after publishing his first book titled Kitchen Confidential that documented his twenty-plus year experience as a high-end restaurant chef. When CNN decided to pick up his Parts Unknown, a documentary focusing on various cuisines around the world and the salient theme of which is based on his quote: “Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.” Anthony Bourdain even became more famous when the then US President Barack Obama invited to dine with him in a Vietnamese noodle restaurant in downtown Hanoi called Bun Cha Huong Lien back in May 2016 during President Obama’s state visit to Vietnam. 

To his fans the world over, Anthony Bourdain will be remembered for making cultures that are exotic to the average Westerner more familiar. It might not be just me, but Bourdain probably made the most palate cautious foodie to explore those exotic fermented fish dishes found in Scandinavia and East Asia. And given his focus on the exploration of international culture, cuisine and the human condition, Bourdain probably redefined what it means to be a so-called celebrity chef.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Foodhini: The Right Way To Make America Great Again?

While Donald Trump’s support base are very busy bedeviling non-white Anglo Saxon immigrants, is the Foodhini business model the right way to make America – the country of immigrants – great again?

By Ringo Bones 

Located in Washington, DC – the business model behind Foodhini seems like a poke in the eye of US President Donald J. Trump’s far-right policies and of his support base – and a very tasty poke in the eye it is. Foodhini delivers homemade meals from immigrant and refugee chefs to your doorstep. The Foodhini delivery service brings more than just “authentic ethnic meals” to the table, this culinary startup hires immigrant and refugee chefs to prepare dishes from their home countries. 

In the end, everyone benefits: Customers can enjoy authentic meals, while the chefs are provided with a living wage and a chance to share a taste of home with their new country – namely the United States of America. Foodhini’s core mission is to create sustainable jobs for immigrant and refugee communities, while at the same time provide epic tastes from around the world for everyone to enjoy. 

Foodhini partners with budding home-taught chefs from America’s diverse immigrant communities and celebrate their stories, heritage, and cultures through their delicious foods. You, the customer, can support these talented undiscovered chefs by preordering their specially prepared dishes delivered to your doorstep.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Strip Club Buffets: Safest Place To Eat Out In America?

Despite being viewed with an unsavory nature from conservatives, are America’s strip club buffets the safest place to eat out from a health inspectors’ perspective? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Since 2010, strip club buffets across America have received favorable – as in 100-percent rating - health inspection ratings from state-level restaurant health inspectors. Even back when David Letterman was still hosting the Late Show often joked about it that he’d rather eat at a strip joint buffet to avoid a norovirus infection. But why are strip club buffets remained America’s safest place to eat from a health perspective for a little over 6 years? 

Given that such places are viewed with an unsavory nature from America’s conservatives and prudes, this had spurred on strip club owners to put it upon them to keep their buffets as sanitary as humanly possible. Thus, these places have become the cleanest places to eat out in America and strip joint buffets are even spared from the norovirus epidemic of 2014 which appear to specifically target cruise ship buffets. And according to a recent interview of various health inspection boards across America, other places that can compete with strip club buffets in terms of sanitary ratings are Italian restaurants.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

What Are The Most “Popular” Restaurant Pet Peeves?

Even if you only dine out on occasion have you ever wondered some the “most popular” restaurant pet peeves that could even be disconcerting to the most intrepid restaurant connoisseur? 

By: Ringo Bones 

I admit I only seldom get peeved during the time I frequently dine out back in my more affluent days during the Clinton-era dot-com boom before it went bust, but fortunately, it seems that what bursts my bubble has most in common to the six “most popular” restaurant pet peeves that are still prevalent this day and age. Unfortunately, I think a few of them could even make the most intrepid working restaurant critic go ballistic faster that a 1950s era Saber jet go supersonic. 

Pests on food is the probably the most unnerving of the restaurant pet peeves. Unless of course you are checking out an insect serving restaurant whose entomological cuisine are approved by the local agricultural or health department, this is indeed a really risky business – especially for health reasons - for those who dine out. 

Nasty bathrooms that is way dirtier in comparison to a “closed for maintenance” public latrine in a Nairobi slum. If the bathroom is this dirty, imagine how dirty the kitchen could be – so goes the old adage that proves true time and time again. 

Restaurant with crappy table layout – I mean with the emphasis on “crappy” especially if you are assigned a dining table within a smelling distance of the bathroom, never mind the trash bin. From a “Western perspective”, crappy table arrangements are endemic in the Chinese restaurant world adhering to the arcane and rigmaroley geomancy of Feng Sui. Sadly, only liberal Jewish restaurant critics proudly voice out such kerfuffle – Feng Sui-Schmeng Sui indeed. 

Disorganized reservation queues where the 27th person behind you suddenly gets front in line just because he or she is cozy with the owner. In my own experience, restaurant establishment like these usually takes 18 months to go bankrupt before their regular patrons can take no more of the owner’s 22 year old Kim-Jong-Un-like son demands royal service or else – I say 18 months is too long to wait for a “ people’s revolution”. 

Noisy and disruptive customers can be disconcerting to the most intrepid outdoor diner. Ever notice those kids throwing tantrums whose belligerence rivals that of leading Islamist terror groups like Boko Haram or ISIS? Thus the rise of child-free restaurants in France five years ago that is still growing and growing. 

Late and forgotten orders and forgotten orders you are billed but never got. This probably takes the cake as the top restaurant pet peeves, forget tipping, if this is how a particular restaurant stays in service, maybe the proprietor doing money laundering services for the local mob is the more economically viable option. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Norovirus: The Greatest Threat To Restaurants?

Given that this “stomach flu virus” makes 20 million people fall ill to it just in America alone, is the norovirus the greatest threat to the global restaurant industry? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Even the exemplar hygiene standards of America’s Italian restaurants – given they are statistically the least likely to give their customers food borne illnesses in a recent study – whenever that rare but inevitable food born illness incidence finally occurs, chances are it is caused by the norovirus, commonly known as the “stomach flu virus” that causes gastroenteritis in people. Primarily spread whenever restaurant workers still report to work even if they are sick with the virus and therefore have a full-blown infection of the virus because they badly need the money that they can’t avoid to skip reporting to work and recuperate at home just because of a bearable yet very contagious viral infection. Given the prevailing austere economic environment of America and the rest of the world, will norovirus infections in major metropolitan areas across the world likely to reach epidemic proportions sooner rather than later? 

Given the notoriety of most restaurant proprietor’s inability to compensate their workers during sick leave – even mandatorily required ones by prevailing public health codes – norovirus “stomach flu” or gastroenteritis incidences across America’s major metropolitan areas and the rest of the world could reach epidemic proportions. Making norovirus the current least discussed public health threat by policymakers. Lack of proper sick leave compensation is the very reason why the norovirus is currently very prevalent in the United State’s restaurant industry since the September 2008 global financial crisis.