Friday, May 4

Southern Six-Pack

There's a whole bunch of fancy clothes and competition in the air this weekend.  Tonight sees about half of the James Beard Awards handed out.  Saturday brings the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby and presumably the 138th wearing of fabulous hats.  Monday night, the James Beard folks will turn loose of the rest of their awards.  If you can't celebrate with a mint julep or a glass of champagne then a six pack will have to do.

1.  Ben and Karen Barker announced this week that on May 31, 2012 they are closing their Durham, North Carolina restaurant,  Magnolia Grill.  Reactions this week ranged from surprise and sadness to good for them. At the SFA, we're in the good for them camp and we're anxious to see what the next chapter in the lives of these SFA Founders and stalwarts of Southern food.

2.  The New York Times offered up an ode to Mason jars this week.  It's a little sad to know that John Landis Mason never got any real money from his invention.  Because, what a great invention!  Beyond preserving, any combination of flowers arranged in a Mason jar looks pretty.  Any beverage drunk from a Mason jar feels festive and fun (and sometimes naughty).  By the way, this isn't funny or cute.  Just tacky.  Word.

3.  Move over carrots,  there's a new motivator in town.

4.  Show up on time.  Show interest and a desire to learn.  Ask questions.  Know basic knife skills, safety, and sanitation.  Don't be afraid to use a mop.  Jeanine Williams did all that and more as she worked her way through the Careers in Culinary Arts Program offered at her high school.  Now she's on her way to Johnson & Wales University in Denver with a full four year scholarship.

5.  Going to the Derby?  No?  Billy Reid can help you dress like you are.  David Wondrich can help you drink like you are.  Who are we kidding?  You'll drink better and look better than anyone at Churchill Downs if you follow Wondrich's and Reid's advice.

6.  Lewis Black would like everyone to stop throwing the "a" word around.  Especially you, Dunkin Donutsowitz.