The scenario plays out something like this: I am sitting at home on a Sunday evening, talking with my beautiful wife, when suddenly I get inspired. My brain has had the weekend to relax, the caffeine level in my bloodstream is at its weekly low, and I’ve just gotten out of a long shower. It’s the perfect breeding ground for new ideas. In my case, the inspiration starts slowly, like a puzzle coming together, and then bam—it hits me. During the first wave of a new idea, for about a day or two, I am convinced that it is complete, unabashed brilliance.
A vice president of food and beverage for Morgans Hotel Group, <strong>Alan Philips</strong> manages the development, launch, and operation of food and beverage concepts in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East.
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Umami Burger is a highly successful chain of burger joints founded in 2009 by Adam Fleischman. Having read about umami (the “fifth taste”) in food blogs and books—and as a fan of In-N-Out Burger—Fleischman thought he could successfully apply its principles to the classic American burger. He was right; the restaurant became a runaway success, and two years later, Fleischman’s product and brand were so well recognized that he partnered with hospitality group SBE, Nimes Capital, and Fortress Investment Group to take Umami national.
We all have different types of friends. There is the friend you have fun with, the friend who is there when times are tough, and the friend you eat lunch with at work. These relationships can be categorized by the level of trust you have for each of them. You may talk about trivial things with the friend you have fun with (less trust) and when you need serious advice, you will reach out to the friend who is there when times are tough (more trust).
“Young people today have been marketed to since they were newborns, because cartoons are made to sell cereal. So as a consequence, they have the most sophisticated bulls*** detectors of all time. ... If something is created in a boardroom, if something is created by consensus, if something is created by a bunch of Baby Boomers who say it will be cool, like, ‘We are going to do skateboarding’ or something, it will not work.”
Restaurant models are generally imperfect. Ninety-nine percent of the time there are clear negatives to every model.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to hop into Doc Brown’s Time Machine and head back to good-old 1955. What I mean by this is that I visited one of New York’s hottest new restaurants, Carbone. Created by chefs Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone of the widely acclaimed Torrisi Italian Specialties, Carbone is an upscale dining experience that features high-quality interpretations of classic Italian American cuisine.
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The buzz has been consistent—thunderingly consistent. Not since Kogi BBQ has there been such excitement about a West Coast quick-service concept. But this one feels bigger to me; more important, more universal, less trendy, and at the tip of the innovation triangle. Like the iPad of food, Southern California restaurant Lemonade is where all the developments of the last decade have come together to form one world-beater of a product. Maybe I am overstating it, but I don’t think I am. I love Lemonade and I think it is the future of food.
A couple of years ago, I embarked on a journey into the world of pop-up restaurants. After almost a decade of consulting, I decided it was time to take on a project that was a pure representation of my passions: food, wine, and creating unique hospitality experiences. Not to be held up by things like good sense, I decided to take a shot and started planning the event that would eventually change my life.
My idea of “inclusive exclusivity” started in a boardroom many years ago in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I was making a presentation to a group of executives at the Borgata Hotel, Casino, & Spa to explain how they could import the feel of New York’s hottest nightclubs and restaurants to the Jersey Shore. Although this sounds like a glamorous undertaking, it is time-consuming and complicated. Atlantic City is both geographically and energetically another world from downtown Manhattan, and I was really concerned that our team would not be able to solve this problem.
There is gold in them fruits.
Once upon a time long ago, in 1996, Doug Green happened upon a storefront in New York’s East Village. He was young, passionate, spiritual, and committed to his dreams of owning a super-high-quality juice bar. That year he opened Liquiteria and became the original “juice-apreneur,” a combination of health fanatic and spiritual guru slinging all-natural, cold-pressed gold. Green’s Liquiteria was the mothership of the juicing business, the first mover in what has become the most valuable commodity since coffee.