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REEF Technology may change how we think of restaurants post-Covid

A pop-up REEF kitchen.
A pop-up REEF kitchen.
(Here, notably not in a parking garage.) Photo: REEF Technology

Order up! One fried chicken sandwich appears on the digital screen. Batter, dunk, fry, assemble. The spicy habanero fried chicken gets gussied up with a few pickle slices and a slap of butter on a Martin’s potato roll. Paired with macaroni salad and daikon slaw. Like an orchestrated quartet, three chefs seamlessly construct David Chang’s famous Fuku Korean fried chicken sandwiches in a 200-square-foot kitchen. The sandwich is popped into a to-go box and sealed with a Fuku sticker. …


Natural gas cooking is more efficient

Photo: Maciej Toporowicz/Moment/Getty Images

Apartment after apartment that I saw when moving to San Juan, Puerto Rico, had what is widely considered most home cooks’ worst nightmare: electric stoves. I was lucky to find a place that even had an oven — a tropical fact I hadn’t considered — and so what I would have once thought a dealbreaker became my new normal.

The flat range offers two settings, raging hot or off, and scorches the bottom of my beloved cast-iron and stainless-steel pans. When making a simple syrup to candy citrus slices, I have to remember to immediately remove the sugar from the…


What role can or should VR play in food?

Photos: Gary He

Spillage was my biggest concern leading up to my first virtual reality dinner. I’d read horror stories of headset-clad guests at other VR events, some of whom had paid thousands of dollars for the privilege, missing their mouths entirely and dropping food across their clavicles instead. VR dinners don’t come around every day, and I fretted wildly about acquiring a case of butterfingers as I sat in the lobby of the historic James Beard House in New York last month awaiting entrance to Aerobanquets RMX.

Aerobanquets is a collaboration between Italian artist Mattia Casalegno and chef Chintan Pandya and restaurateur…


Experts say fast-food burgers will be made by robots in about five years

Photo by Eat at Creator Instagram

The burger robot is cool as hell. The elegant mass of machinery, color-coordinated in white, copper, and blond wood, represents some important, unanswered questions, such as how automation will reshape the dining industry. But before we address that, let’s be real about San Francisco’s Creator restaurant and its burger-making machine: This thing is far out!

Unlike the automated woks at Spyce in Boston, which fry up pre-sliced and portioned ingredients, the machine at Creator is fed whole brisket and chuck, peeled onions, pickles, etc. …


Kurbo doesn’t require rigorous screening for weight loss coaches — and more problems

Graphic by author (who thought it was clever)

On first impression, Weight Watchers’ Kurbo app, geared toward kids ages 8 to 17, looks friendly, cute, and simple. But then… wait, this is a weight loss app for kids! Suddenly, the same things that made it friendly, cute, and simple make it nauseating.

And I wasn’t the only person to think so.

Laypeople and health professionals on Twitter hashtagged #kurbokills and #wakeupweightwatchers to organize their outrage. A Change.org petition asking Weight Watchers (recently rebranded as WW) to remove the app now has nearly 110,000 signatories.

Even the National Eating Disorders Association issued a statement:

“Asking kids to…


It may seem a bland, standard flavor, but its history is deliciously rich

Credit: Brett Stevens/Cultura/Getty

According to legends of the indigenous Totonac people of Mexico, in a time before vanilla was cultivated, there once lived the beautiful princess Tzacopontziza of the Totonocopan kingdom. A young prince named Zkatan-Oxga saw her picking flowers for a temple offering one day. Overcome with passion, he whisked her away into the lush forest. But they were stopped by the temple priests and executed on the spot for their transgressions.

After several months, at the place where the two had been killed, the tendrils of a young, fragile green vine grew, reaching many feet tall in a few days. The…

Heated

Food from every angle: From Medium x Mark Bittman

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