Traditional recipes

Alinea Opening Pop-Up in New York This Fall

Alinea Opening Pop-Up in New York This Fall

The Steelhead Roe dish, one of the many beautiful plates available at Chicago's Alinea that we might see this fall.

Start lining up now to secure your seat at the new Alinea location in New York. Grant Achatz just announced via an interview with Fine Dining Lovers that he will be opening a pop-up Alinea location in an undisclosed location in Manhattan this fall. Alinea in Chicago has consistently appeared in the Top 50 Restaurants in the World sponsored by San Pellegrino, and was just ranked number nine in this year’s list.

Achatz said that the Alinea pop-up will be very similar in menu and atmosphere to the location in Chicago, and will only be open for a short period of time, most likely a month.

“This will be taking Alinea and literally plunking it down in Manhattan,” said Achatz in the interview. “We want to bring the experience to the diner as opposed to the diner coming to the experience. We’re at the point where we feel that restaurants now have a global reach so why not bring the food and the service to different cities?”

If you’re worried about getting a table with only 30-ish days of reservations available (you should be), Achatz hinted that the pop-up could lead to a permanent New York City outpost.

“Let’s see how it works, let’s test the market, will New York like Alinea?” Achatz proposed. “It’s worked really well in Chicago but will it work in New York? If we can open a restaurant in New York — imagine Tokyo, Paris, Singapore, London — just imagine the experiences my team could gain from this.”

Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi


Fashion Diary: With Fashion’s Night Out, a new era

Even as a style-obsessed teen growing up in New York City, I had no idea when it was fashion week, the twice-a-year occasion when designers roll out their collections for a season hence for select store buyers and influential editors. But now, it’s impossible to ignore. There are banners on lampposts announcing the event and features on the taxi TV video loop promoting it. On Wednesday, Mayor Bloomberg even renamed the No. 1 subway line “The Fashion Line” for the week.

Which is all to say that this fashion week belongs to the city.

And why not? Fashion is one of the largest industries in the city, and it is everywhere — on TV, where the shopping extravaganza known as Fashion’s Night Out is a plot line on “Gossip Girl” in film, with J. Crew outfitting the cast in the upcoming Katie Holmes film “The Romantics” at the Museum of the City of New York, where the exhibit “Notorious and Notable: 20th Century Women of Style” opens Tuesday in bookstores, where “Project Runway” star Tim Gunn’s new title, “Gunn’s Golden Rules,” is making a splash and all over the Internet, with bloggers now being tapped to style shows, model in shows, host parties and even design collections.

The move of this Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week from Bryant Park to Lincoln Center, home to the New York City Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera, underscores fashion’s rising profile in the worlds of arts and entertainment. Last weekend, I was sitting on the steps of the plaza at the fine arts complex, watching the opera “Carmen” live on a big outdoor screen as part of the opera’s free “Live in HD” series. Forty-eight hours later, I was watching “Fashion’s Night Out — The Show,” the largest public fashion show in New York City history, which was taped for broadcast on CBS on Sept. 14. (Imagine if the regular runway shows were screened in HD on the plaza.)

Being at “Fashion’s Night Out — The Show” was almost like being in a music video. Produced by Vogue magazine and Spec Entertainment on Tuesday, the event drew 1,500 ticketed guests. The world’s top models (Gisele, Karolina, Chanel, Naomi — first names are appropriate for this bunch) were there, 150 strong, some descending from a double-decker bus on Columbus Avenue and others mounting the steps from the sidewalk to the strains of “Empire State of Mind.”

They hit the runway fast, a blur of full skirts, fur purses, bias-cut gowns and painted finger-wave hairstyles. In just 15 minutes they walked the crowd through this fall’s top trends, those available in stores now — including ‘50s flair, go-global and Jazz Age cool — represented by mix ‘n’ match looks from designers A to Z: Ann Taylor and Celine to Yves Saint Laurent and Zac Posen. Then the dance party started Pharrell Williams took center stage and got the crowd to its feet.

The usual fashion show hierarchy was largely absent. For starters, the ring-shaped runway made all of the seats either first or second row. (This was about being accessible, after all, bringing fashion to the people and jump-starting retail sales with in-season styles, not those that will hit stores months from now, as in the usual catwalk drill.) Still, there were enough familiar faces to satisfy a craving for eye candy — fashion designers, including Diane von Furstenberg, Tory Burch, Thakoon Panichgul, Phillip Lim, Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan, and celebrities representing a generous cross section of New York notables.

But the “real” people were there too, and happy to be. Nicole Gale, a 15-year-old from Manasquan, N.J., likened her luck at seeing the show to scoring concert tickets. For her, the models and celebrities were as exciting as the clothes.

Designers have upped the entertainment factor during fashion week in other ways too: opening pop-up shops (Elizabeth & James and footwear label Florsheim, to name two) and allying with music acts, both for Fashion’s Night Out events and for the designers’ shows and parties —Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa with Bryan Adams, Ralph Lauren with Janelle Monae, Cynthia Rowley with Nick Cave and Tommy Hilfiger with the Strokes.

The real challenge is how to capitalize on it all.

“Fashion’s Night Out — The Show” has a lot of potential. It was conceived as a companion to Fashion’s Night Out, the international global shopping event held Sept. 10 this year. But the broadcast that will take it into homes across America is not scheduled to air until after the fact. How much more powerful could it be if it were aired in advance, as a teaser?

Another idea: Since the show features in-season styles, why not incorporate a shopping element for viewers at home, perhaps with some kind of point-and-click mobile technology?

Wherever it all ends up, there’s no doubt that what we’re seeing with “Fashion’s Night Out — The Show” and Fashion’s Night Out, the event, is the beginning of a new fashion cycle, one that is oriented toward the subway-riding public rather than the chauffeured editor.

It’s a good thing for the industry because the more consumers watch, read and hear about fashion, the more they are going to want it — in a New York minute.


Battling Restrictions

Pop-ups also provide an avenue to navigate tough restrictions. Kingfisher in Durham, North Carolina, wasn’t allowed to operate as a bar, thanks to the state’s tight liquor laws. “We had to pivot to a restaurant,” says Sean Umstead, Kingfisher’s co-owner. He opened QueenBurgers, slinging smash burgers plus wine, beer and bottled cocktails in Kingfisher’s backyard. “We had to figure out what we could execute as bartenders consistently and quickly,” he says. “We were a full-service, high-touch cocktail bar, and now we’re a quick-service burger shop.”

Kelsey Ramage continues to battle government-induced restrictions. She shut her acclaimed bar Supernova Ballroom mid-pandemic. Its Financial District location in Toronto meant no outdoor patio and no foot traffic, reducing the bar’s ability to ride out the pandemic.

But Ramage has realized the Supernova Ballroom concept can exist outside the physical bar. She now leads an amped-up delivery program and is scheming up a series of high-octane socially distanced pop-ups in vacant properties around the city. But the ever-changing restrictions in the city continue to push back the pop-up dates. “The entire industry is going to have to get a lot more creative to survive,” she says.


Tupperware Is Opening an Instagram-worthy Pop-up in New York City

Everyone has some trusty Tupperware in their kitchen. It’s durable, reliable, and now, totally Instagrammable.

In honor of its 73rd anniversary, Tupperware is opening its first pop-up location in New York City called TuppSoho. This temporary store will be open through Dec. 22, and will be a one-stop shop for all your kitchen organization needs.

It’s also a gorgeous space filled with colorful displays and installations that are sure to please any social media lover. This store will house some of Tupperware’s best products to suit all kinds of functions in your home, including food prepping, storing, cooking, organizing, and entertaining. This isn&apost your mom&aposs Tupperware Party.

“The opening of TuppSoho marks a monumental point in our brand&aposs longstanding history. We are giving access to our brand like never before," said Asha Gupta, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer of Tupperware Brands in a statement. "Tupperware has been an important part of how people interact with their kitchen and their food for decades. In fact, we are a cultural touchstone and we&aposre embracing that now by opening our doors for more people to experience the magic and depth of Tupperware.”

Reusable food storage has become a must-have in households that are dedicated to helping the environment. For decades, Tupperware has provided some of the best containers and products that help people keep their food fresh for longer without having to throw items out after using them.

Some best-selling products that will be at TuppSoho include the FridgeSmart container, which helps preserve freshness even longer than a normal container, and the MicroPro Grill, which is an ideal, stress-free tool for grilling your food – even if you don’t have a backyard barbecue.

The Tupperware culinary team will also be on-site to do interactive demonstrations and provide handy tips and recipes to customers. In addition to the pop-up, Tupperware is also launching a brand new, updated website to make buying even easier.

TuppSoho is currently open at 227 Mulberry Street in New York City. For more information, visit the TuppSoho website or follow the hashtag #TuppSoho on social media.


Pop-up eateries a hit with New York’s hip

When it comes to dining like a Gotham insider, you probably know all about food trucks and the secret speakeasies. But what about pop-up restaurants?

Born of the flailing economy, pop-up restaurants arrived on the New York scene a little more than a year ago. Chefs and would-be entrepreneurs squeezed by the recession were looking for ways to gain exposure and test new businesses with little overhead.

FOR THE RECORD:
Pop-up restaurants: A story in the March 7 Travel section on New York’s pop-up restaurants--eating places that “pop up” in the site of another business and are not permanent--incorrectly reported the closing date of a temporary restaurant called Sandwiched. This pop-up inside the Whitney Museum of American Art will remain open through the fall.

The popularity of these restaurants and food shops should be no surprise. In a town that fetishizes the newest, the ephemeral and the “thing that nobody else has done yet,” a restaurant or shop that’s open only for a limited time has a built-in cool factor.

Sandwiched, Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Ave., N.Y. (212) 570-3600, www.whitney.org .The pop-up will remain open through the fall.

AsiaDog at Trophy Bar, 351 Broadway, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (347) 227-8515 asiadognyc.com. 7-11 p.m. Tuesdays starting about the first week of May.

Bep at Simple Café, 346 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718) 218-7067 beprestaurant.blogspot.com. Year-round on Monday, Thursday and Friday nights.

Like many food trends, pop-ups started largely in Brooklyn, where you can begin your tour in the hipster haven of Williamsburg.

Here, you’ll find Bep. At a little more than a year old, this Vietnamese restaurant operates out of an unassuming French coffee shop, Simple Café.

“I was supposed to open a place with a partner, and we split, so I no longer had enough money,” An Nguyen Xuan says.

“I was looking to find a way to test it out, and I walked by Simple Café and saw that they are closed on Mondays,” he explains. “The owner, she is French, and I am French Vietnamese, so I thought we would get along. We started off just doing Mondays, and after eight months we added more nights.”

Bep now takes over Simple Café three days a week. The menu is filled with fresh Vietnamese classics. Although the food is tasty, the allure, of course, is that it’s not really a restaurant. There’s no sign on the door announcing that it serves Vietnamese food.

Lesson No. 1: Don’t expect to stumble on a pop-up. Like the raves of the ‘90s, you have to know it’s there.

The same is true of AsiaDog, because it is seasonal. In the summertime, AsiaDog takes over Trophy Bar, a neighborhood watering hole in Williamsburg, on Tuesday evenings. AsiaDog serves hot dogs topped with Asian-influenced condiments. One slathered with Japanese curry and housemade kimchi apples is popular, as is the bánh mi-style hot dog and the bulgogi-inspired burger. The atmosphere is low-key, like a casual backyard barbecue, with chef-owner Melanie Campbell at the grill.

Lesson No. 2: Expect to wait at a pop-up, especially when beer is involved.

Trophy Bar was the first of many pop-ups for AsiaDog. Last summer, it appeared at different bars, mostly in Manhattan, almost every night. Campbell is getting ready to announce this summer’s schedule, but meanwhile, you can try the dogs every weekend at the Brooklyn Flea Market in Fort Greene and at Bell House, a performance space in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn that books AsiaDog whenever there are sold-out shows.

Like any underground event, these pop-ups are often announced at the last minute, and the only way to track them is on Twitter. Even the AsiaDog website doesn’t always have its latest schedule.

Lesson No. 3: Stay current on Twitter.

Bep and AsiaDog have had a longer shelf life than some pop-ups, which are by design short-lived. During Valentine’s Day week, two sweet shops popped up in New York City. Dorie Greenspan, the cookbook author, and her son Josh took over part of a hair salon on the Upper East Side to try out her cookie business. It wasn’t totally random Josh gets his hair cut at the salon, and Greenspan is known for her cookie recipes.

The under-the-radar nature of pop-ups means that sometimes the usual paperwork of brick-and-mortar stores is ignored. Although the finicky might wonder about the wisdom of selling — or buying — food in a salon, Josh says there were no issues. The cookies, individually wrapped in cellophane bags, were sold where no hair-cutting was taking place. They sold out progressively earlier each of the six days the pop-up was open, and now the Greenspans are looking for space to open a permanent bakery in the fall.

Lesson No. 4. Go at opening time.

Kumquat Cupcakery and Liddabit Sweets, two Brooklyn-based artisans that sell primarily at the Brooklyn Flea Market and on their own websites, temporarily popped up in the space previously occupied by a vintage clothing and housewares store in Greenpoint, another Brooklyn neighborhood. Kumquat too often sold out of its miniature “cakelettes,” and Liddabit hopes to someday open a more permanent brick-and-mortar business.

And, as with any good trend, the establishment has caught on.

Danny Meyer, one of the city’s biggest restaurateurs, has launched a pop-up restaurant at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Biennial exhibition. For the duration of the exhibit — which runs until May 30 — the temporary restaurant, called Sandwiched, is open inside the museum. Chefs from Meyer’s empire, such as Floyd Cardoz of Tabla and Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, have designed sandwiches for the menu, and pastry chefs from the restaurants have created sweets for the dessert list.

Underground? Probably not. But there are still plenty of wonderful things to eat — with an oh-so-trendy expiration date.

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The Museum of Ice Cream Is Coming to San Francisco This Fall

Even if you personally haven&apost had a chance to step into the Museum of Ice Cream&aposs famed Sprinkle Pool just yet, you&aposve no doubt heard of it𠅊nd seen it all over your Instagram feed. After all, it&aposs become the stuff of sweet, sugary legend.

Now, you have another chance to get one of those coveted &aposgrams for yourself𠅊ssuming you live somewhere near to San Francisco, that is, or are willing to road-trip there next month. The MoIC has just announced the debut of its third location in San Francisco, which follows in the sprinkle-coated footsteps of its New York City and Los Angeles locations. It&aposll have its grand opening on September 17, and will remain open daily from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. (closed Tuesdays).

Just as we saw in Los Angeles and in New York before that, the museum&aposs team of designers plans to create ten colorful installations for its new patrons. All of the fun will go down at 1 Grant Avenue in Union Square, smack-dab in the middle of The Golden City. The new museum will feature an interactive candy garden, rainbow unicorns, a push-pop installation, plus the Sprinkle Pool, which is "filled with over one hundred million custom designed sprinkles." Yes. One hundred million of them.

There&aposs a "Pop Rocks Cave," too, which will likely be equal parts fun and terrifying.

Oh, and there&aposs ice cream, of course! The Museum will feature scream-worthy cones from its local partners, who will respectively serve a "scoop of the week" on a rotational basis. There&aposs even talk of a "Museum of Ice Cream" flavor. What does a museum taste like, you ask? Well, folks, we&aposll all have to wait in line together to find out.


Pop-up eateries a hit with New York’s hip

When it comes to dining like a Gotham insider, you probably know all about food trucks and the secret speakeasies. But what about pop-up restaurants?

Born of the flailing economy, pop-up restaurants arrived on the New York scene a little more than a year ago. Chefs and would-be entrepreneurs squeezed by the recession were looking for ways to gain exposure and test new businesses with little overhead.

FOR THE RECORD:
Pop-up restaurants: A story in the March 7 Travel section on New York’s pop-up restaurants--eating places that “pop up” in the site of another business and are not permanent--incorrectly reported the closing date of a temporary restaurant called Sandwiched. This pop-up inside the Whitney Museum of American Art will remain open through the fall.

The popularity of these restaurants and food shops should be no surprise. In a town that fetishizes the newest, the ephemeral and the “thing that nobody else has done yet,” a restaurant or shop that’s open only for a limited time has a built-in cool factor.

Sandwiched, Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Ave., N.Y. (212) 570-3600, www.whitney.org .The pop-up will remain open through the fall.

AsiaDog at Trophy Bar, 351 Broadway, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (347) 227-8515 asiadognyc.com. 7-11 p.m. Tuesdays starting about the first week of May.

Bep at Simple Café, 346 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718) 218-7067 beprestaurant.blogspot.com. Year-round on Monday, Thursday and Friday nights.

Like many food trends, pop-ups started largely in Brooklyn, where you can begin your tour in the hipster haven of Williamsburg.

Here, you’ll find Bep. At a little more than a year old, this Vietnamese restaurant operates out of an unassuming French coffee shop, Simple Café.

“I was supposed to open a place with a partner, and we split, so I no longer had enough money,” An Nguyen Xuan says.

“I was looking to find a way to test it out, and I walked by Simple Café and saw that they are closed on Mondays,” he explains. “The owner, she is French, and I am French Vietnamese, so I thought we would get along. We started off just doing Mondays, and after eight months we added more nights.”

Bep now takes over Simple Café three days a week. The menu is filled with fresh Vietnamese classics. Although the food is tasty, the allure, of course, is that it’s not really a restaurant. There’s no sign on the door announcing that it serves Vietnamese food.

Lesson No. 1: Don’t expect to stumble on a pop-up. Like the raves of the ‘90s, you have to know it’s there.

The same is true of AsiaDog, because it is seasonal. In the summertime, AsiaDog takes over Trophy Bar, a neighborhood watering hole in Williamsburg, on Tuesday evenings. AsiaDog serves hot dogs topped with Asian-influenced condiments. One slathered with Japanese curry and housemade kimchi apples is popular, as is the bánh mi-style hot dog and the bulgogi-inspired burger. The atmosphere is low-key, like a casual backyard barbecue, with chef-owner Melanie Campbell at the grill.

Lesson No. 2: Expect to wait at a pop-up, especially when beer is involved.

Trophy Bar was the first of many pop-ups for AsiaDog. Last summer, it appeared at different bars, mostly in Manhattan, almost every night. Campbell is getting ready to announce this summer’s schedule, but meanwhile, you can try the dogs every weekend at the Brooklyn Flea Market in Fort Greene and at Bell House, a performance space in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn that books AsiaDog whenever there are sold-out shows.

Like any underground event, these pop-ups are often announced at the last minute, and the only way to track them is on Twitter. Even the AsiaDog website doesn’t always have its latest schedule.

Lesson No. 3: Stay current on Twitter.

Bep and AsiaDog have had a longer shelf life than some pop-ups, which are by design short-lived. During Valentine’s Day week, two sweet shops popped up in New York City. Dorie Greenspan, the cookbook author, and her son Josh took over part of a hair salon on the Upper East Side to try out her cookie business. It wasn’t totally random Josh gets his hair cut at the salon, and Greenspan is known for her cookie recipes.

The under-the-radar nature of pop-ups means that sometimes the usual paperwork of brick-and-mortar stores is ignored. Although the finicky might wonder about the wisdom of selling — or buying — food in a salon, Josh says there were no issues. The cookies, individually wrapped in cellophane bags, were sold where no hair-cutting was taking place. They sold out progressively earlier each of the six days the pop-up was open, and now the Greenspans are looking for space to open a permanent bakery in the fall.

Lesson No. 4. Go at opening time.

Kumquat Cupcakery and Liddabit Sweets, two Brooklyn-based artisans that sell primarily at the Brooklyn Flea Market and on their own websites, temporarily popped up in the space previously occupied by a vintage clothing and housewares store in Greenpoint, another Brooklyn neighborhood. Kumquat too often sold out of its miniature “cakelettes,” and Liddabit hopes to someday open a more permanent brick-and-mortar business.

And, as with any good trend, the establishment has caught on.

Danny Meyer, one of the city’s biggest restaurateurs, has launched a pop-up restaurant at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Biennial exhibition. For the duration of the exhibit — which runs until May 30 — the temporary restaurant, called Sandwiched, is open inside the museum. Chefs from Meyer’s empire, such as Floyd Cardoz of Tabla and Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, have designed sandwiches for the menu, and pastry chefs from the restaurants have created sweets for the dessert list.

Underground? Probably not. But there are still plenty of wonderful things to eat — with an oh-so-trendy expiration date.


Foil and Triumph: A Pivotal Moment for Achatz and Alinea

It was the 17th of March when Grant Achatz was called to a meeting to be told the world of food was now different. His Alinea restaurant group in Chicago was facing disaster and the only way out was to hustle, and hustle hard.

Within hours he was in the kitchen. "I thought we would be able to do maybe 100 [meals] for pick-up," said Achatz, but his long-term business partner Nick Kokonas had other ideas. “He said if you can't sell 500 meals at $35 a pop then I guess you're just not a great chef."

When a man like Kokonas talks about restaurants, chefs listen. The seasoned restaurateur and creator of the Tock booking system has spent years watching restaurant traffic, and his hawk. “I’ve looked at it every different way,” he told Achatz. “I think this is going to be a big problem. We have to get ready now.”

Even if Achatz didn’t quite yet believe the restaurant world was about to fall apart, he decided to act with Nick’s words of warning ringing in his ears. “I’m like, 'of course I’m going to do 500'. And then in my mind I’m like, 'holy shit, 500 seems like a lot'.”

Within three days the team was kicking out pre-bake beef Wellingtons, Robuchon mashed potatoes, gravy, horseradish crème fraîche and creme brûlée desserts in tin foil boxes. Five hundred dinners sold out from the moment the online ordering system went live, and they sold out every night for the entire 14-day menu run.

Photo: Alinea pastry®Courtesy of Grant Achatz

“The menu thought process was, what would I like to eat, and what feels comforting for me to cook and eat? Immediately for me, of course, it was French food, iconic coq au vin, all those sorts of things.” Alinea transformed into a take out joint overnight. A queue of cars lined the kerb, and gloved and masked front-of-house staff welcomed diners hidden behind bumpers and steering wheels. A slick back-office operation managed the strict timings on orders from a dining room that now looked more like mission control, with a task force of expeditors armed with iPads.

People who just one month before had laid crisp linen, shined silver and all manner of gastro-gadgetry on the table were now packing tin foil containers, piping into plastic cups, tapping on screens and dispatching from the concrete in the car park.

Photo: Alinea Brigade®Courtesy of Grant Achatz

Fast-forward seven weeks, and what Achatz first saw as a "blip-on-the-radar" business interruption or novelty project became a lived reality without an end in sight. “We thought we’d do a menu or two. In the beginning, I remember being so naïve about it, but it’s here to stay forever in some ways. In the short to medium term, this is real.”

In May, Alinea turned 15 years old. But this pandemic wasn’t going to ruin anyone’s birthday celebrations. If the diners couldn’t come to the party, Alinea would bring the party to them. They created a special six-course take-out tasting menu, including the restaurant’s iconic tabletop dessert.

One of the most photographed dishes in the world of gastronomy - a grand finale of chocolate artfully arranged on a special tablecloth before awe-struck diners - has been the stuff of legend. Now it was being packed into containers and let loose to be scattered on dining tables across the city of Chicago. A chef with 30 years’ experience and three Michelin stars was suddenly trying to teach intimidated home cooks what to do with five ramekins and a bunch of paraphernalia via Instagram video.

Achatz had initially been sceptical. “I thought there’s no way I’m taking the risk of putting Alinea’s reputation out there for people to put their food in a microwave at home,” he said. But then he discovered a demand he didn’t know existed. People wanted Alinea ‘to go’. And so he embraced an idea that would see one of the world’s best restaurants have its 15th-anniversary dinner packaged in take-out containers.

Photo: Alinea Caviar Oysters®Courtesy of Grant Achatz
For the anniversary Achatz said the team shifted up through their kitchen gears in a “serious and dramatic way”. The smells and sounds coming from the kitchen reminded Achatz of the old days, as the team nimbly pivoted back from French comfort food to the level of the craft they loved to cook at. “This whole thing was like a magnification of the very essence of Alinea and what we set out to do 15 years ago.”

Meanwhile, people at home were getting creative. Alinea was inundated with photos of tables draped in linen, the best wine glasses were out and quarantine date night with Alinea food at home was born. “There was a very emotional, visceral thing that was happening,” said Achatz. They had managed to re-create the magic of the Alinea dining experience at home.

It was happening the way Kokonas had called it when the management team had gathered for the crisis meeting in that empty restaurant building all those weeks ago. For Achatz, the choice was simple: “If we rally together and embrace it, this is going to be great. If not, then we’ll be powerless. Together we’re going to be amazing. This is a creative group and we’re going to animate.”

As a result, team morale at Alinea has never been so high, and neither has the momentum to keep going been so strong. “This moment will be iconic,” said Achatz, knowing that these last few weeks of collective toil and triumph will forever be a part of the Alinea legend. “Yeah, it’s really cool, you hear it all the time, when people go through these shared experiences. We were lucky, we furloughed everyone and then three days later we hired back 37 per cent. Then a couple of weeks later we were at 60 per cent and now every employee that chooses to come back is back full-time with the company.”

The prospect of a future re-opening after the coronavirus spike has got Achatz equally excited. “It’s a creative opportunity, a jumping-off point. We might be serving stuff out of plastic containers but it’s still Alinea. And that’s yours, that IP [intellectual property]. You own that. Whoever the chefs are, whatever they’re doing. That’s theirs, that creativity.” For a chef who enjoys working with the creativity of constraint, instead of cranking out 130 covers a night, there is suddenly the chance to become an 'enigma'. “To have all those creative juices flowing, I have this whole property that’s still here, everything’s the same, but my guests are 60 per cent fewer and it’s a great creative range.”


The Inauguration Of An Empire - Grand Opening of Pop Pie Co.

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A subtly sweet and delicately flaky crust that conceals an explosion across the palette of your choice between sweet and savory or anything in between. That's what a pie is, and that's what people came to Pop Pie Co. in hopes of experiencing.

Ming-Ray Liao

Although Pop Pie Co. advertised the start of their Grand Opening Celebration as beginning at 7 AM, we encountered a rather long queue of eager neighbors and friendly locals at just 7:10 AM.

Ming-Ray Liao

After over an hour of waiting, we finally made our way inside the monochromatic shop and were immediately greeted by the pungent aroma of freshly-ground coffee beans and the welcoming scent of buttery pastry dough.

Ming-Ray Liao

While there were ten tantalizing flavors of savory and sweet pies available, and we would have liked to select all of them, each customer was allowed to order a maximum of two because #SharingIsCaring.

Ming-Ray opted for the savory, vegetarian option of a Jackfruit Pot Pie and the sweet, matcha option of a Green Ceremony Pie whereas I opted for the Steak & Ale Pot Pie as well as the Coconut Cream Pie.

Ming-Ray Liao

The Jackfruit Pot Pie was the acclaimed option among vegans, and as I bit into the luscious morsels, I understood why. Pop Pie Co. uses young jackfruits before they develop the nectarous sweetness of a fruit and it works amazing as a meat substitute.

The young jackfruit has the substantial texture and absorbent quality of chicken, and I thought I accidentally ordered the chicken pot pie instead.

Ming-Ray Liao

The Coconut Cream Pie was a greatly appreciated surprise as what I assumed to be empty, lackluster cream turned out to contain chunks of young coconut flesh!

Artificial or substitutes pales in comparison with the real deal. The flesh gives the pie a more solid and satisfying bite, and carried a very natural and inviting sweetness that tempted me to order another one.

Ming-Ray Liao

Pop Pie Co. also offers a diverse assortment of coffee from local roasters Bird Rock and James Coffee, to Heart Coffee from Portland. The cortado was a desirable ratio between milk and espresso, allowing the two spectrum of aromas to fuse into a much needed pick up on an early Saturday morning.

Ming-Ray Liao

During our breakfast, we even encountered the pastry mastermind and co-owner behind this hot, new concept - Suebtrakarn Suebsarakham (Gan).

Despite being raised in Thailand, Gan started making American pies at a very early age and mentions taro as being his specialty. Over the years, he has worked tirelessly to perfect his crust recipe with just three simple, secret ingredients - something he greatly prides.

Ming-Ray Liao

As his empire is taking off, Gan is armed with 16 savory tastes and 20 sweet tastes for his pies that he hopes to begin rotating once all of the administrative matters settle down. He even hinted to us a debut of his famous taro pie.

#SpoonTip: Try the more unique flavors like jackfruit, green curry, and coconut to experience the fusion of Southeast Asian staples with the American classic.


Saratoga Performing Arts Center Gets Updated (Capital-Saratoga)

Your favorite outdoor performing arts venue in Saratoga Springs is getting some much-needed upgrades, including new ramps and lighting with modern compliant designs, improved visitors&apos services areas, two new buildings for concessions and restrooms, and new event space that will weather all seasons in the Main Plaza. Updates to the center are ongoing.

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Watch the video: 24 Hours at Alinea (January 2022).