On Better Ways to Waste Vodka and the Great Restaurant Panic of 2020

The Intelligence Brief is our weekly compendium of food and drink news sourced from outlets all over the world, including right here at home.

After years of (rightfully) fawning over Japanese whiskey, mixing glasses and bar spoons, we all now have a new brand of bitters to look forward to.

How the Nashville hospitality community is coming together after a deadly tornado ripped through two of the city’s most beloved restaurant districts.

Forbes names seven under-the-radar foodie destinations across the country, including our very own Victoria.

JJ Bean’s Jesse Neate takes us on a tour of his favourite spots to eat and drink around Vancouver.

Perched atop contested land, Atlas Obscura shares the story of one of the oldest olive trees in the world and the man that has vowed to protect it.

“The Al Badawi tree is one of a handful of olive trees in the eastern Mediterranean that are more than 2,000 years old. In 2010, two teams, one from Italy and another from Japan, carbon-dated Al Badawi. They came up with an age range of 3,000 to 5,500 years old. The top end of that spectrum would make the Al Badawi tree the oldest olive tree in the world, but it’s impossible to know for certain.”

Who knew your $70k/year Ivy League education came with a minor in mixology? Punch shares the long-standing history of bartender education at some of the most elite schools in America.

Jif Peanut Butter partners with Giphy to settle the debate of hard g’s vs soft g’s, once and for all.

“By temporarily renaming their popular product with a “G’ rather than its iconic “J”, the company made their opinion on the subject clearly known – specifically, that there is only one “Jif”.”

Eating via Instagram honours this week go to @smccomm for capturing this vibrant Nuba spread with all the fixings:

How five Victoria grocery stores are teaming up to help fight food insecurity in the provincial capital.

As mental health awareness grows in the hospitality industry, restaurant owners look at new ways to better support their staff.

How increasing rent and property taxes are changing the face of the Vancouver’s restaurant scene.

True story: even well established restauranteurs are saying they can no longer compete with luxury retailers when it comes to renting in the downtown core.

Related: Saying goodbye after 35 years — Kitsilano’s legendary Bishop’s Restaurant will close its doors this summer.

The Costco run is real folks! Helen Rosner looks at our shopping habits in times of great panic.

Amid increasing concerns around Covid-19, Eater spotlights the increased vulnerability of restaurant employees who may not have access to paid sick leave to cover their wages.

“Writer Amanda Mull elaborated on the contradictory nature of advising people to stay home when they can’t afford to take a day with no pay, or risk being fired if they do….Restaurants will keep cooking and drivers will keep delivering (possibly to people under the 14-day quarantine), because they literally can’t afford not to. And, at least so far, restaurants and delivery services show few signs of changing these conditions.”

Case in point, The Vancouver Sun explores how B.C restaurant owners are grappling with the potential impact of Covid-19 both on business and on employees.

Meanwhile, living in Hong Kong, this Canadian restaurateur explains why she has chosen to stay put and focus on resilience rather than panic and fear:

“‘The most important thing right now is to rally and to try to work together to find solutions instead of panicking or cutting our resources,’ Ms. Jang said.”

Finally (and I really thought this would go without saying): vodka is not – I repeat, vodka is NOT – an effective disinfectant for your hands.

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