On Sugary Bread, Sexist Drink Writers and How to Spot Indoor Dining Risks

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

The province recorded its second highest single day number of confirmed Covid cases on Friday with 161. Despite this, BC is down 47 total cases from a week ago and conducted a record 11,862 tests last Thursday. As Covid numbers fluctuate and we inch closer to cold and flu season, we continue our coverage of how the food and beverage industry is managing in the midst of this second wave of the pandemic.

While it seems that exposure events at bars and restaurants have slowed in the past few weeks, Vancouver Coastal Health did confirm potential exposure at Park Drive on Commercial Drive.

More sad news for the industry: after 21 years in business, The Reef announced its permanent closure as of October 4th.

This past week also came with news of Bestie’s permanent closure as the German sausage and beer joint completed its final service on Sunday.

The city is also saying goodbye to Keefer Street’s Goldstone Bakery and Restaurant after 33 years in business.

Meanwhile, Montreal has been forced to shut down all of its bars and restaurants for the second time this year after the province saw a sharp spike in Covid numbers.

Given all the stress they’ve been under, The New York Times’ food critic Pete Wells suggests it’s high time diners started asking how their servers are doing.

“One of my rules as a critic is to write about the performance, not the audience. I’m going to break that rule now. Too many New Yorkers are acting as if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic. The workers I talked to say that we are getting more careless by the week.”

Trick-or-treat! Although health officials haven’t cancelled Halloween, the BCCDC is providing some tips and recommendations for handing out candy safely during the pandemic.

Vox explains why reopening may be giving small businesses and restaurants false hope as many patrons remain cautious about time spent in public:

“With a deadly virus still spreading, many Americans simply aren’t falling over themselves to go out and consume. Millions of people have lost their jobs or are afraid they might, so they’re not as eager to spend their money on things they don’t perceive as necessary. That leaves small businesses fighting for their lives.”

A new report shows just how devastating the pandemic has been for people struggling with food insecurity across the country.

“The report, which was released Tuesday by the non-profit Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC), said that before the pandemic, an estimated 4.5 million Canadians experienced food insecurity, which the non-profit defines as inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints. In the first two months of the global outbreak, the CFCC said that number had grown by 39 per cent, meaning food insecurity affected one in seven people, particularly those in low-income and BIPOC communities.”

This week’s episode of All Things Considered covers a similarly concerning trend of food insecurity in the US.

Imbibe Magazine checks in with a few breweries to see how the beer industry has been fairing through the global health crisis.

Thanksgiving may look a little different this year but that’s no reason not to eat well. Check out what some of your favourite local restaurants have on offer.

Talk about spin! Amazon announced this past week that almost 20,000 employees have been diagnosed with Covid-19 since March and they’re trying to convince us that that’s a good thing?

Whiskey critic Jim Murray faces accusations of sexism which shouldn’t come as much of a shock if you have read any of his writing.

“Some distilleries and retailers have quietly refused to carry his books or use his reviews for promotion, saying that he shows a sexist and demeaning attitude toward women in his reviews and at public events. In the 2017 edition of “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible,” for example, he likened a single-malt Scotch to “a 40-year-old woman who has kept her figure and looks, and now only satin stands in the way between you and so much beauty and experience … and believe me: she’s spicy.”

Eater explains why landlords are playing such a critical role in the rise and fall of the restaurant industry in this moment.

They also detail the Glass Incident Fire and its devastating impact on the Sonoma wine and restaurant industry.

The Vancouver Sun’s Mia Stainsby pays a visit to Flourist and finds much to love about the coffee and bakeshop.

Raise those martinis high for Sheringham Gin. which won Product of the Year at BC’s Food and Beverage Awards.

From noise to crowds to table positioning, The New York Times shares some tips and tricks for spotting risk with indoor dining.

Finally, in case you could use a bit of a laugh this week, the Irish Supreme Court just ruled that Subway buns are more sugar than bread, because of course they are.

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