Thursdays are always a good day for looking back. And, I most enjoy looking back at iconic milestones in food history:
- Gaston Lenôtre, 44 opens a petit pâtisserie in Paris.
- The James Beard Cookbook is published
- Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream factory opened in the Bronx by Polish-born Reuben Mattus
- The Four Seasons restaurant opens for all.
1960 Domino’s Pizza opens in Detroit.
1961 Mastering the Art of French Cooking is published by Julia Child.
1961 Lutèce opened by André Surmain with chef André Soltner, at age 28.
1961 Sylvia’s restaurant opens in Harlem.
1962 Silent Spring is published by Rachel Carson.
1962 Taco Bell opens. Rings up big sales.
1962 Le Grenouille opens.
1963 Julia Child prepared boeuf bourguignon for her first TV appearance
1963 Elaine’s opens. Attracts a celebrity crowd with groupies
1964 Le Périgord opens
1965 Rock Cornish Hen is brought to the market by Donald Tyson, age 35. Cheap. Cheap!
1966 The Vatican rescinds the rule forbidding Catholics from eating meat on Fridays.
1966 Robert Mondavi harvests his first grapes in his own winery.
1966 Henri Soulé dies at age 62.
1967 Microwave ovens are introduced for home use. Slow to catch on fire.
1968 Restaurateur Stewart Levin takes over at Le Pavillon.
1970 Hamburger Helper is marketed by General Mills.
1971 Center for Science in the Public Interest founded by Michael Jacobson, 28. Some mutter darkly, it’s neither…nor…
1971 Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea introduced by Mo Siegel, 21.
1971 Chez Panisse opens in Berkeley, CA by Alice Waters, 27; dinner $3.95.
1972 Snapple is launched.
1972 Le Pavillon table d’hôte lunch costs $9 up from $1.75 in 1941.
1972 Gilbert Le Coze, 27 opens Le Bernadin in Paris with 35 seats.
1973 Egg McMuffin introduced.
1973 Dairy Queen opens in Japan.
1973 Cuisinart food processor introduced by Carl Sontheimer.
1973 Eli Zabar opens E.A.T.
1973 Ruth Reichl opens a restaurant in Berkeley named The Swallow.
1974 Cookies are baked by Mrs. Debbi Fields, 21. None crumbled.
1974 First supermarket scanner goes into operation in Troy, Ohio.
1974 Heimlich maneuver gains popularity. Some all choked up.
1974 American Fried is published by Calvin Trillin.
1974 Le Cirque opens with three-course luncheon for $12.75.
1975 Craig Claiborne bids $400 at PBS auction for dinner for two at Paris’ Chez Denis. Check comes to $4,000. Claiborne rates place ‘mediocre’.
1976 New York opens the first of 20 outdoor “green markets.”
1976 Blue Skies, No Candy is published by Gael Greene, 42. Sweet.
1976 Perrier comes to the US. Fizzled later.
1976 Windows on the World opens for the first time. Attendance is sky-high.
1976 Tavern on the Green reopens with maestro Warner LeRoy, 42.
1976 Gordon’s opens in Chicago.
1976 Anton Mosimann, 29 is named chef at The Dorchester Hotel, London.
1977 Dean and DeLuca opens in New York.
1977 Dietary Goals for the United States set goals for the U.S. Most Americans receive low scores.
1978 Smith and Wollensky is opened by Alan Stillman (names are chosen by random names from NY telephone directory.) Got the right numbers though.
1978 All but one New York Automat’s are closed. Labor problems cited!
1978 Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and Crêpes opens in Vermont.
1979 Sardines return to California after an absence of 40 years – they were not really missed.
1979 Nathan Pritikin opens Longevity Center. Outlived by Julia Child.
1979 Paul Prudhomme, 13th of 13 children, begatted child, opens K-Paul.
1980 Jean-Louis Palladin, 28 opens his Watergate restaurant. No leaks.
1980 Barry Wine opens The Quilted Giraffe. Sells beggars’ purses for small fortune.
1980 The Zagat New York City Restaurant Survey is introduced by wide receiver, Tim Zagat.
1980 Cook’s Magazine is launched by Christopher Kimball, 30.
1980 Paul Newman’s Own Oil-and-Vinegar Dressing is introduced by actor Paul Newman – no sting.
1982 The Silver Palate Cookbook is published by the Golden Girls: Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso.
1983 Named after photographer Alfred Stieglit’z gallery, An American Place opens with Larry Forgione calling the shots.
1983 Jasper ties on his White apron and opens his own place.
1983 Pino Loungo, 30 opens Il Cantinore.
1984 McDonald’s chairman, Ray Kroc dies at age 81, leaving behind a legacy of 7,500 fast food restaurants operating in 31 countries and a personal fortune of $500 million. Found the beef.
1984 Arcadia is opened by anthropologist Anne Rosenzweig, 27.
1984 Stars is opened by architect (Harvard) Jeremiah Tower.
1985 R.J. Reynolds acquires Nabisco Brands for $4. billion.
1985 Philip Morris acquires General Foods for $5.7 billion.
1985 PepsicCo acquired Kentucky Fried Chicken for $850 million.
1985 Coca-Cola announces it is replacing its 99-year old formula with a sweeter taste designed for younger tastes. Howls of protest lead to reinstatement of old, now named Classic.
1985 Boston Chicken rumbles down the pike.
1985 James Beard dies at age 81.
1986 Drew Nieperont is proprietor of the new New York Restaurant, Montrachet with chef David Bouley, 33.
1986 Danny Meyer, 27 opens Union Square Café. Runaway success.
1986 Bernard Le Coze and sister Maguy open Le Bernadin in New York.
1988 Philip Morris Co. acquires Kraft Foods for $13.1 billion.
1988 KKR acquires RJR Nabisco for $24.9 billion.
1988 Charles Palmer opens Aureole.
1988 McDonald’s opens first Moscow franchise.
1988 Pizza Hut opens shop in Beijing.
1989 Alar causes confusion when commissioner, who declared there was a “paradox,” was heard to say there was a “pair o’ ducks” at the heart of the problem. Consumers lost confidence in government declarations. (Apple sales were the pits.)
1989 Todd English opens Olives. Reaction – colossal.
1989 Lydia Shire opens Biba – organs played.
1990 Pino Luongo opens Le Madri with backing of Barney’s owners – later complains about their lack of style.
1990 Weight-loss industry finds itself in losing proposition with government inspectors.
1990 Wayne Nish opens March suggests winds of change advantageous.
1991 Girls Scouts sell 165 million boxes of cookies for $290 million. Receive accounting badge.
1991 Lespinasse opens in St. Regis Hotel. Restoration cost $100 million. Lunch goes for $38.
1991 Café des Artistes George Lang, 70 takes on Budapest’s Gundel’s, 81.
1992 President George Bush sees scanner for first time. Amazed. Loses election
1992 M.F.K. Fisher dies. If Bible had food pages, she would have written them. Sainthood pending.
1993 Coyote Café owner Mark Miller opens Red Sage in DC. Chili.
1994 Flav’r Sav’r genetically engineered tomato reaches the market. After company spends millions to develop new better tasting tomato, consumers say “Waaah, Waaaah, Waaah. Give us the old ones.
1994 André Soltner sells Lutèce. Left as he arrived; fired with enthusiasm.
1994 Beijing Government fires McDonald’s.
1994 McDonalds, serves 1 billion cups of coffee a year but is convicted. Some don’t like it hot. Jury awards plaintiff $2.9 million. Company imposes no-smoking regulations.
1996 Culinary Institute of America celebrates 50th anniversary at Windows on the World.