The Intelligence Brief is our weekly compendium of food and drink news sourced from outlets all over the world, including right here at home.
This past week marked 1 year since the first documented case of Covid-19 in the province. Since then more than 65,000 people in BC have contracted the virus. From restaurant lockdowns and reduced capacity to curfews on alcohol sales, the past year has been a roller coaster ride for hospitality businesses across the province. While the number of new cases in BC plateau and Canada experiences ongoing delays in vaccine deliveries, we continue to cover how the industry is fairing through so much uncertainty…
While current Covid restrictions have been in place since the Fall, some people continue to show a flagrant disregard for the rules, the worst among them being this guy running a makeshift nightclub out of a penthouse apartment in downtown Vancouver:
“Seventy-seven people have been fined and a 42-year-old man has been arrested after Vancouver police shut down a makeshift nightclub at a Richards Street penthouse in downtown Vancouver (…) The penthouse operation appeared to be running as a nightclub and show lounge, police said, and featured menus, tables, point-of-sale terminals and cash tills.”
As the vaccine rollout continues, Food and Wine explains why undocumented workers should be prioritized to receive the dose.
“If you work at a restaurant and your only choice is to risk contracting COVID-19 or lose your job, you should be prioritized for the vaccine, regardless of citizenship status. The labor of BIPOC, immigrants, and undocumented restaurant workers is the backbone of the restaurant industry—without them, nothing works. But they are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus and economic crisis.”
As more details come out about the January 6th insurrection at Washington DC’s Capitol Building, report indicate that Publix grocery store heiress Julie Jenkins Fancelli made large donations in support of the riots.
Commercial Drive’s La Mezcaleria is quenching thirst with their margarita flight. Why sip one cocktail when you could sample four?
Scout continues its tour of some of the best comfort food around town with a stop at Hundy for an order of their unique take on tater tots.
While you’re in the neighbourhood, consider heading over to Beaucoup to try their new golden yuzu chocolate bar.
With great spots like Beetbox, The Acorn and Virtuous Pie, it’s no wonder that Vancouver has been ranked one of the most popular cities in the world for vegans.
As mentioned, current dining rules have been in place for months but there still seems to be some confusion about who you can and cannot have dinner with:
B.C. remains one of the few provinces to allow in-person dining during the second wave. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says only members of the same household should eat together at a table, or if a person lives alone, their bubble of one or two people. But the reality, many diners say, is far different, with groups of friends, extended families and double dates populating tables. The disparity highlights a broader frustration around pandemic measures: those who adhere to them and those who don’t.
The more things change the more they stay the same: Eater explains how restaurant adaptations – initially implemented to comply with public health measures – may stick around well after the pandemic.
You can tune a piano but you can’t tuna fish…at Subway, at least.
According to a lawsuit filed by Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the filling is “made from anything but tuna,” and is instead “a mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna, yet have been blended together by defendants to imitate the appearance of tuna.”
Eater explains why Instagram is no longer optional for most restaurants:
“…whether businesses are trying to update their hours for the thousandth time this year or attempting to get the word out about a fresh and creative new takeout item, at the end of the day, Instagram is where their diners are scrolling, and therefore where restaurants can have anything resembling the conversations that used to happen in the dining room.”
As restaurants continue to struggle with high fees from third party delivery apps, more and more community-based options are popping up to fill a need while supporting the industry.
“Along with Black and Mobile, Chowbus, and others, Traillo is one of several new and growing food delivery services that are taking a more holistic approach to delivering food. Prioritizing community and guided by transparency, these apps are changing the rules by relying on less aggressive revenue plans and more on building relationships that last. They’re championing industry-wide change, and it couldn’t come at a better or more crucial time.”
Truth in advertising: This Montreal restaurant is taking a refreshingly honest approach to its menu.
As both the restaurant and the tourism industry have suffered significant losses through the past year, it makes sense that the two would partner for mutual benefit.
Finally, while the early months of Covid-19 lockdown were marked by homemade sourdough and cinnamon buns, we have now apparently entered the cardamom knot chapter of the pandemic.