A longtime fixture of the New York dining scene, chef David Burke opened his latest venture on Monday. Woodpecker is located on the northern edge of NoMad on Broadway and specializes in American-style food roasted in wood-burning ovens.
True to its name, Woodpecker is built around two giant wood-burning ovens where much of the menu’s meat and vegetable offerings are cooked. Chef Carmine Di Giovanni of the recently shuttered Mulberry Project has taken charge of the kitchen. The space features a large 35-foot wooden bar that will eventually serve wine and beer. However, as of this week, Burke had not yet begun serving alcohol in the restaurant.
The food is mainly American, but some dishes have a Korean flair that hints at the restaurant’s close proximity to Koreatown. As culinary director, Burke has taken the popular Korean snack food of seasoned crickets and added it to the eatery’s mozzarella-drenched pizza. The pizza dough is made of flour mixed with ground crickets and the nutty-tasting insects are also used as a pizza topping. The menu also includes Korean-style chicken wings garnished with sweet kkwarigochu peppers.
Burke has had a long career in the kitchen. After studying at the Culinary Institute of America and training in France, he returned to New York to serve as executive chef at the River Cafe eatery in Brooklyn. In 2003, he started his own restaurant group, which opened 10 different restaurants in New York and other American cities. In 2015, he joined ESquared Hospitality group as a consultant and culinary partner, opening Tavern 62 and advising on the menus of the group’s BLT brand.
Burke has also been a constant fixture on culinary television programs, competing on Iron Chef and serving as a guest judge on Worst Cooks in America and Hell’s Kitchen. Both Burke and his restaurants have been featured on the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate and Reservations Required on Voom HD Networks.
The arrival of the Internet for the masses in the 1990s led to a determination by many to live their lives in a more positive and inclusive way which has been made possible by groups like Avaaz. The Avaaz group is one of the most influential in the world having won a series of battles based on the ideas and political awareness of its more than 47 million global members who engage in various forms of activism. Established in 2007, Avaaz has been seeking new ways of putting political pressure on leaders and groups who are engaged in works contrary to international law.
Expanding on the power of the Online realm to unite the world, Avaaz was created by a number of activist groups and individuals coming together to start a global movement which they believed had the power to change the world for the better. Among the founders of the movement are the U.S.-based MoveOn.com group and Res Publica who were joined by individuals including Ricken Patel and former Congressman Tom Perriello in forming one of the world’s largest activist groups.
As the desire to bring the political activism community back to its grassroots history by refusing donations from special interest groups and corporate entities intensifies Avaaz has operated in an ethical way since 2009. Much like a traditional PAC in the U.S., Avaaz refuses to accept donations of more than $5,000 per cycle from its members and refuses to accept donations from corporate groups who would like to influence the future direction of the group.
Along with its innovative approach to funding, Avaaz also brings a new way of sourcing the campaigns and causes it will back on a regular basis. Members of the activist groups have the chance to put forward their own options for fights the group should take on and looks to build on these by sampling the cause to a group of members. The desire to look outside the usual causes means Avaaz can have an effect on almost any aspect of political and humanitarian life across the world.
New York City has always been a melting pot when it comes to population, which has translated into any number of different national cuisines being represented on the restaurant front. The country of Guyana is one Carribean nation that has a minimal imprint on the taste buds of New York, though that will be changing.
The reason is connected to the fact that German’s Soup will be opening up next week. Having become hugely popular from its home base in Georgetown, Guyana, 58-year-old Clinton Urling decided to export that enthusiasm into the Flatbush area of Brooklyn. The end result is that local residents will now have the chance to sample some of the establishment’s most famous creations.
Soups are the obvious area of expertise for Urling, who runs the business after taking over for his father, Hubert. Armed with a collection of enticing recipes, the elder Urling unleashed items on a menu that included such things as cow heel soup. Variations of chicken or oxtail versions can also satisfy the palate. This merry mix merges split-pea broth, vegetables and the lower portions of the respective animals.
Yet the scope of that menu is much more broad-based, offering pepperpot that allows the bittersweet cassareep to connect with beef to deliver a creative stew based in the West Indies. Stewed pumpkin can be a vegetarian twist along with that pumpkin that’s mixed into rice, spinach and stewed okra. Guests even had the opportunity to indulge in the Guyanese version of barbecued chicken.
Washing down these foods can be accomplished with some mauby over ice. Here, using tree bark as its base, the drink also works in some spices and is properly fermented. Unlike some imported versions, this is made in-house. The restaurant itself is located at the corner of Utica and Linden.
Recently, Talos Energy LLC had a merger with Stone Energy Corp. the merger was worth $2 billion. The completion of the transaction happened on May 10, 2018. The new company has begun trading under a new ticker symbol (TALO) on the New York Stock Exchange. The base of the new company will be in Houston, Texas.
The CEO of Talos Energy LLC, Timothy Duncan, worked on this merger deal in between the Hurricane Harvey floodwater crisis. Before the merger, Stone had done poorly in the oil business where it was in debt and had become bankrupt. It recorded a loss of $189.5 million in 2014, $1.1 billion in 2015 and $590.6 in 2016.
The new company is estimated to bring in $900 million worth of revenue annually as it begins to trade. Per day, the new company can produce 48000 barrels of oil and even more. This merger also will benefit Talos since it has inherited a crucial asset known as the Pompano platform that had been acquired from BP at $200 million.
Talos’ CEO, Thomas Duncan, knows how to make most of any tough situation. He took over the Chevron’s field, formerly known as the Typhoon Field (the now Phoenix Field) after the Hurricane Rita (2005) destroyed Chevron’s activities on the field. It now produces a maximum of 16000 barrels of oil per day. Talos has a plan of making more discoveries in the Phoenix Field 3000 feet deeper than the current oil reservoirs.
Before becoming the CEO of Talos Energy, Duncan started off in Zilkha Energy as an engineer (1996). The founding of Gryphon Exploration happened with Duncan’s help in 2000. He then began the Phoenix Exploration as a co-founder (2006). In 2012, Duncan founded Talos Energy where Riverstone and Apollo raised $600 million for the company’s start.
Recently, Talos, in collaboration with the U.K.’s Premier Oil and Sierra Oil & Gas got acreage in the Mexican water. During drilling, they discovered a sandstone containing an approximated 2 billion barrels of oil. This discovery is an advantage for Talos since it will significantly boost the company’s oil business.
It takes a lot of hard work, responsibility, and no doubt a bit of luck on your side to succeed. It takes a lot more than that to become a global leader in your industry and to be considered a pioneer and an innovator takes even more. Make no mistake, however, all of those words, success, global leader, pioneer, and innovator can all be applied to OSI Industries, and they earned every one of them. OSI hasn’t always been the multinational, multi-billion dollar food supply chain originator that it is today, however, they started out like so many other mega companies, small and with one man doing his damndest to make it, not for his shareholders but for himself and his family. In the case of OSI that was Otto Kolschowsky, and he wasn’t interested in being the number one provider of protein products to food distribution chains all over the world. Otto just wanted to make a comfortable living for him and his family, so that the American dream that his father had when he emigrated from Germany would be a little bit closer to reality.
Otto came from a long line of butchers, it was a trade he had learned from his father who worked in the meat packing plants after arriving in the United States. For that kind of work, at the end of the 19th century and into the newly born 20th century, Chicago was the place to be. Otto knew the business and he knew meat, and he decided that there was no better way to make use of his talents than to open his own meat market in the Oak Park area of the West Side of Chicago. It was an area that was filled with people just like him, German immigrants, and their children. These were his people, and he knew what they wanted and needed to feed their families the kind of dishes that they were used to in the old world. He was right, of course, the people of the neighborhood took a quick liking to not only the quality of his meat but also the high standards that he had for customer service. Soon word spread and Otto was getting customers from other neighborhoods, other ethnic groups, and they all wanted the same thing, they all wanted Otto’s high-quality meat.
Someone else took a notice of Otto as well, the restaurants and hotels in the area. They wanted Otto’s meat to be in their kitchens, and on their tables. They wanted to provide the best quality products to their highly discerning clientele, and in Chicago at that time, the best meant Otto. Soon Otto had to expand his business, bringing in his two sons, and growing out the operation to include a wholesale distributorship as well. It was a great time for the Kolschowsky family to be sure, but little did they know that there was one more major customer who had heard of them, and that customer was about to change their lives, and indeed change the world.
Roy Kroc was making quite a name for himself, serving up hamburgers from drive-in stands that he called McDonald’s. In fact, he was making such a name for himself and had done such a good job getting McDonald’s to be a household name, that the company could not keep up with the growth of its franchise operations in terms of product supply. They needed to increase their supply chain network, and as such began expanding their partnerships with local, regional providers of the high-quality ingredients that they needed, and that the customers who had quickly grown to love McDonald’s demanded. In the upper Midwest, they decided that Otto & Sons was just the kind of partner that they needed. It was a decision that would change both companies forever.
Soon, McDonald’s would expand their relationship with Otto & Sons to make them the sole provider of proteins to their entire system in North America, and eventually most major countries. This expansion led to not only a larger network operation for OSI Industries to serve the needs of McDonald’s, but also to begin expanding their customer base to provide product offerings to other large distribution outlets as well.
Today OSI Industries is the largest originator of proteins to the food service distribution sector in the world. The company operates 65 facilities in 17 countries on five continents. All told OSI Industries employs 20,000 people directly and thousands more when you take into account the jobs created upstream in their own supplier network. OSI helps to keep farmers and ranchers in business all over the world by giving them a guaranteed market outlet for their products that is independent of the ups and downs traditional commodities can be dependent on. OSI has become the largest producer of alternative proteins for special needs in areas such as India, where they offer beef alternatives, and Israel and the greater middle east where they provide pork and shellfish alternative, as well as foods which are able to be certified halal and kosher respectively.
Indeed, it has been a long journey over the last century, and a lot has changed for OSI from the time that Otto stood behind his meat counter and talked to the housewife from down the street. One thing has not changed, however, OSI is still committed to providing the best products of the highest quality to customers who demand and deserve the best and in doing so with an interest to treating everyone fairly and undertaking responsible and ethical business practices in everything that do every day.
For details: www.indeed.com/cmp/Osi-Group
The first thing you will notice about The Grill, the new restaurant in the reworked Four Seasons space in Manhattan, is the luxury. Waiters in expensive suits and lush decorations are obvious. It was designed to look like a 50’s New York Chophouse, and the vintage vibe is apparent. The vibe is cool, but people won’t keep coming back unless the food matches the vibe, and in this case, it does.
Named one of Eater’s “Best New Restaurants,” The first thing you notice is the bar. The bar is is, once again, one of the best cocktail destinations in Manhattan. Located underneath the iconic Richard Lippold sculpture, enjoy classic martini’s from crystal decanters.
Beyond decor and drink, the real star of the show is the food. The only thing innovative about the food is that it doesn’t try to be innovative. It tries to do Mid-Century New York cuisine to perfection, and comes very close to accomplishing it. Enjoy the refurbished trolleys from which waiters dispense sides and slice prime rib. Or consider ordering classic aged beef or taking part in the Chef’s award winning buffet.
Eater chose the “Pasta a la Presse” as the signature dish of The Grill. This excessive dish involves straining duck breast and bacon and using this as a sauce for egg noodles. Salmon and lobster are also available if seafood is your thing. The traditional lunch of lamb chops, poached eggs, or shrimp is still available, but under new management, dinner is where the talent is truly on display.
Maintaining the legacy established by some iconic New York City restaurants isn’t always on the agenda when an establishment is sold to new owners. However, in the wake of the sale of Eisenberg’s Restaurant in the Flatiron district, concerned diners don’t have to worry about the ambience of this classic place being changed.
Warren Chiu is that new owner and he bought the place on the condition that the restaurant would not be changed in any material way. Doing anything different would likely result in a backlash anyway, while Chiu reportedly has a soft spot for longstanding businesses like Eisenberg’s.
Enhancing the positives of what made the restaurant so great is the main focus, which could involve some minor tweaks along the way. As an executive with Warwick International Hotels, Chiu has the financial support to engage in wholesale changes if he sees fit. However, with decades in the business world, he knows when to stick with the knitting when it comes to running a business with this level of stature.
The former owner, Josh Konechy, had run Eisenberg’s since 2006, but had tired of continual pressure of dealing with the surrounding competition. In addition, having to work with the city government always hovering over them was an annoyance.
Prior to Konechy’s ownership, hamburgers weren’t on the menu. That changed when he installed an expensive upgrade to the restaurant’s vents. Yet with more fixes on the horizon, the financial investment seemed questionable.
Doing the basics well has always been a calling card for Eisenberg’s, with all of the past ownerships not interested in crafting innovative cuisine. Instead, long before the namesakes sold out during the 1970’s, the focus has been geared toward offering standards like egg creams. Chiu noted the appeal of buying a place that still produced the classic.
An awards ceremony was held on May 7, 2018, to honor New York’s James Beard chefs on achieving this great accomplishment. While many chefs were nominated, very few ever receive this honor. Therefore, you will want to check out their establishments very soon.
Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune took home the outstanding chef award. On top of being a well-known author and speaker, Hamilton’s Prune restaurant in the East Village offers an outstanding weekend brunch and dinner every night of the week. They do not take reservations for their weekend brunch, so you can expect a wait. Additionally, expect the tables to be placed closely together allowing this restaurant to serve as many as possible. While the restaurant is described as New American, there is a directness to the food that leaves a pleasurable memorable impression. This restaurant also does an outstanding job of classic cocktails.
Taking home best chef in NYC honors was Missy Robbins of Lilia. This Williamsburg restaurant has an industrial vibe paying tribute to the building’s former life as an auto-body garage. You will adore the small-plate pasta selections. A reservation can be very hard to obtain at this small restaurant. If you have trouble getting one to fit your schedule, then try stopping in during the day for a pastry and a cup of coffee in the back. The attached bar also serves delicious bar favorites with unique twists.
The James Beard awards are presented on an annual basis. While restaurants and chefs are nominated, the judges who are professional chefs with many years of experience vote on the winners by secret ballot. The honor of being named a James Beard award recipient comes with many media releases, a medal but no money is awarded to winners.
Vietnamese cuisine has expanded greatly over the past few decades, with diners embracing what was once an exotic choice and now serves as a viable regular option. In the Greenpoint area, a new restaurant that’s opening this week will focus a good deal of its menu options in the area of pho-based meals.
That establishment is Di An Di, which is located on Greenpoint Avenue, near Franklin Street. The name is roughly translates to “let’s go eat,” which diners will have ample opportunity to do as the trio of owners have their menu crafted to address such hunger pangs.
That threesome of husband and wife Tuan Bui and Kim Hoang, along with chef Dennis Ngo are bonded by their connection to another Bui restaurant, An Choi. Ngo served as that place’s first chef, with all three shaking things up in dining circles.
At Di An Di, the emphasis on pho includes a soup that has a poached egg and seared brisket on top. Known as Pho Thin Hanoi, it’s an acknowledgement of the owners’ culture and their fond rememberances of the classic Hanoi restaurant, Pho Thin.
Those looking for salad will have the opportunity to partake in banh trang tron, which merges green mango, sour sausage, quail eggs and shrimp floss with rice-paper salad. That certainly is a step up from the standard iceberg lettuce with tomato and French dressing.
Another available soup brings together water spinach stems, mushrooms seared in a woke, rice noodles and yuba that resembles a sausage. The soup itself is a vegetarian-based combination of spice and lemongrass noodles.
Those trying the rice-paper pizza known as banh trang nuong may be momentarily perplexed by being presented with scissors instead of a knife. That’s how this partial mix of ground pork, eggs and additional items is sliced.