Food Job: Ice Cube Carver

Gläce Luxury Ice is a meticulously designed and differentiated ice brand specifically designed for use in premium drinks and cocktails. The Gläce Mariko Sphere is a perfectly spherical 2.5-inch piece with a melting rate of 20-30 minutes. The Gläce G-Cubed, a symmetrical 2.5-inch cube, has a dilution rate of 20-40 minutes. Gläce Ice pieces are individually carved from a 300-lb. block to ensure flawless quality and a zero-taste profile, never contaminating the essence of premium liquors and drinks.”


They’ve been featured in drinks at Playboy parties, the Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance, and “uber-lux” car shows, and are now part of Sysco’s restaurant distribution chain. The company maintains that the true power of their cubes lies in “tastelessness.”


Stephen Colbert agrees. “When you spend 75 dollars for a bag of hand-carved ice,” the host told a studio audience, “that is totally tasteless…it’s conspicuous consumption: an hour later you’re literally pissing your money away.”

This post was written by Zachary Crockett Follow him on Twitter here

If Cows Could Swim

cowYou’ve heard about this new theory about butter?

It seems we have to update our nutrition knowledge (AGAIN).

So. There was this scheme called ‘The Great Cattle Reef Project’. The idea was, if we could teach cows to swim underwater, they’d stop producing all that milk and cream and butter and cheese that nobody wants anymore and instead make Omega 3 fatty acids that we’re all crazy about.

(Just checking to see if you are still listening…)

2013: The A-Z Food Year That Was


Airline food: There was no more pie in the sky. High in the clouds didn’t translate into haute (cuisine).

Amuse bouches were crafted to be picked up with our eyelashes. Mini morsels of oxtail perched on a sliver of sardine, topped with two petunia petals were presented as an itty bitty “gift” from the chef. A tasting menu in deed!

All socially responsible consumers and food companies hailed appetite for Fair Trade.


Bacon became the next sizzling fad. Bacon lipstick, bacon (de)oderant, bacon dental floss, bacon ice cream and other bizarre foolishnesses streaked along the highway of absurdity.

Bees buzzed off. Many feared there would be no more almond joy.

Broccoli was not adored properly. Continue reading

Brand Manager

Marcus Samuelsson, age 41, owns 6 restaurants, wrote 2 cookbooks and a memoir, appears (very) frequently on the TV, featured with full pages in the New York Times on Sunday…featured in Food Arts…employs 700 people…unintentionally leaves most of us in the dust?

When we think of Ben & Jerry we think of caring philanthropists who produce super ice cream. We think of Starbucks as earth-friendly folk who generously provide health benefits for their employees and make high priced coffee that is sold in a paper cup.

These images are creations of marketing experts who have specialized knowledge within specific fields.

A culinary brand manager understands the demographic profile of food television viewers, analyzes food trends, researches packaging innovations and coordinates the strategies of advertisers especially when it comes to “personalities” of the Anthony Bourdain genre.

Anthony Bourdain said, ” “Few things are more beautiful to me than a bunch of thuggish, heavily tattooed line cooks moving around each other like ballerinas on a busy Saturday night. Seeing two guys who’d just as soon cut each other’s throats in their off hours moving in unison with grace and ease can be as uplifting as any chemical stimulant or organized religion.” (His current net worth is estimated to be $6 million.)

How to Become a Brand Manager | › Job Search & Employment

Cleaning Up After Irene (and Lee)

Taliaferro Farm by Roy Gumpel, Chronogram

Chronogram Magazine is a fascinating magazine. Its mission is to report on the arts, culture and spirit of the many upstate New York counties abutting the mighty Hudson River, namely Ulster, Dutchess, Greene, Columbia, Orange and Putnam counties.

It also champions the farmers of the Hudson Valley, who cultivate the the rich and fertile soil formed by glaciers aeons ago.

While some Valley residents grumbled about sitting in the dark without electricity or water for a couple of days in late August, it was the farmers who truly suffered the wrath of Hurricane Irene (and later, Lee’s’) wrath.

The waters here have now receded to their former levels but the farmers are still suffering. The fruits and vegetables they grew and whispered to and nurtured from tiny seeds have drowned. Their once fertile fields have fallen silent and there are few outward signs of life.

To put this in stark terms, and to quote Brian K. Mahoney, editor of  Chronogram:

“Ulster County’s devastation was on par with a one-hundred-year meteorological event…Three thousand acres of vegetables were ruined in Ulster County alone. Taliaferro Farms in New Paltz lost 80 percent of its crop. At RSK Farm in Prattsville–the true ground zero of the flooding damage–not only was there total crop loss, but “Potato Bob” Kiley lost all his topsoil as well. The Schoharie Creek rose and swept it all away, leaving only the bedrock underneath.

For those of us who care about farms, the agricultural apocalypse visited upon the Hudson Valley and Catskills is a call to arms. Farms are not just a scenic addition to the landscape but an integral part of our communities–primarily as sources of locally grown food whose provenance we can be sure of, but also as a robust sector of economic activity…”

I have met some of these farmers in the many local farmers markets I visit from spring to late fall. I’ve munched their juicy apples and savored their baby greens, just-dug potatoes and newly harvested tomatoes and berries.

Simply because Irene has left, we still need to chip in,  clean up after and help the farmers who have fed us with their bounty. I urge you to visit Chronogram‘s Farm Aid page, to see how you can help the farmers buy the seed and soil and move on from this meteorological event.

This is the time to value the hard work and dedication of  farmers everywhere and contribute to co-ops wherever we live.


The Duck Stops Here

You’ve probably noticed how the media gets stuck on a word, or a phrase, and in no time at all, it is hovering on the lip of every pontificating pundit on the Sunday morning chitter chatter shows.

I first noticed this phenomenon when David Stockton, former Secretary of the Treasury, denounced Ronald Reagan’s economic policy by declaring. “If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it probably is a duck.”

Clearly, without coming right out and saying so, he was implying the proposed budget was a dead duck. Stockton was fired soon after delivering his shockingly disloyal opinion.

Dead ducks are not what any one wants — even as economic indicators. Sitting ducks are something else again. (A variation on this duck business lately has become, “If it looks like a duck and talks like a duck — shoot it.”)

Some time ago a terrible controversy about apples erupted. There was furious suspicion of behind-the-scenes hanky panky. Yet another scandal had surfaced.

Washington Fuji Apple

Washington State Fuji Apple

It had been revealed on the Sunday evening program, 60 Minutes that apple growers in Washington State were using Alar to promote the growth of their fruit.

A representative of the US Food & Drug Administration was invited to cower before star correspondent and unofficial finger wagger Mike Wallace, who more or less accused the government of planning to poison all the innocent little children throughout the land.

The first words that tumbled from the lips of the hapless scientist were: This is a par-a-dox…” He got out not one word further. He had aroused the ire of the nation that thought, (incorrectly as it turned out), he was belittling the problem by describing the impending disaster as simply “a pair of ducks.”

In so doing he cooked his goose. Apple pie, the salt of the earth, was clearly endangered. The nation howled.

As voters’ confidence in Congress continues to unravel, it is reassuring to learn there are still a few (food) visionaries in the world…


Create Jobs for USA

Starbucks is planning to do something inspirational to restore our faith in our institutions.

Here’s the idea: Starbucks Coffee Co. next month (November 1) is planning to ask customers to pay $5 or more toward a national fund for community business lending in a move aimed at creating jobs.

The Seattle-based coffee chain is partnering with the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), to launch the “Create Jobs for USA program.

And, starting Nov. 1, Create Jobs for USA will begin accepting donations online or at Starbucks’ nearly 6,800 locations throughout the U.S.

Donors who give $5 or more will receive a red-white-and-blue wristband with the word “indivisible” inscribed.

Starbucks said all of the proceeds will go to the OFN to help fund loans to businesses. The coffee company also will contribute $5 million in seed money from its Starbucks Foundation.

“Small businesses are the backbone of America, employing more than half of all private sector workers — but this critical jobs engine has stalled,” said Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. “We’ve got to thaw the channels of credit so that community businesses can start hiring again.”

I’m sending in my contribution right now. How about you?

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