Finalists for Beard Awards Announced (yawn)

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Beard Rise

The finalists for the 2018 James Beard Foundations Awards were announced this week. It was a nonevent for most of Central Florida given that for the first time in decades there were no semifinalists among the nominees for Best Chef: South. But seeing how there has never -- not once -- been a local chef on the long list make it to the finals, we're pretty much in the same spot we're always in.

The South region includes Florida along with Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Puerto Rico, and Louisiana. And by Louisiana, I mean New Orleans. Here are this year's finalists:

American Kitchen & Orlando Brewing Team Up for Beer Dinner Series

Written by Scott Joseph on .

AK and BHR Beer Pairing Flyer LINK copy

I'm definitely going to this and would love to see you there, too.

American Kitchen Bar & Grill at the B Resort & Spa is teaming up with Orlando Brewing, which was way ahead of the hand-crafted brewing phenomenon years before most others in Central Florida, for a beer dinner series. The first is Thursday, March 15, at the resort, 1905 Hotel Plaza Boulevard, Orlando. It will feature six courses and pairings with an Orlando Brewing brew. And it's just $55 including tax and gratuity. 

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and dinner will be at 7. Don't be late or I'll drink your first beer.

Tickets are available at I'll see you there. The menu is below.

Times Articles Deal with Important Restaurant Issues

Written by Scott Joseph on .

tip jar

In a front page article Monday and in the lead editorial Tuesday, the New York Times addressed the broad issue of tipping and gratuities, though in different contexts.

Monday’s article, The Tipping Equation, addressed how servers, usually but not always female, face sexual harassment and innuendo by restaurant customers who threaten to withhold or reduce a gratuity to justify lewd comments or actions. It isn’t the first incidence of sexual harassment in the restaurant culture since the beginning of the #metoo movement — see “Batali, Mario” —but it does bring to light the issues of one’s salary being affected by how she addresses the unwanted advances. (Still to come: the issue of the overall culture found in many restaurants where women are expected to dress seductively and the groping and inappropriate behavior among male and female staff workers.)

Tuesday’s editorial, Wage Theft in Restaurants, pinpoints just how paltry those tips are — nothing new there, either — and addresses the issue of paying servers less than minimum wage with the expectation that the difference will be made up in gratuities.

They’re both important issues. But in reference to a tip, there’s a very large iceberg beneath this surface.