Foodable Labs Ranks Sustainable Luke's Lobster as a Top 150 Emerging Brand

Foodable Labs Ranks Sustainable Luke's Lobster as a Top 150 Emerging Brand
  • Maine-inspired Luke's Lobster is growing sustainable seafood in fast casual.

  • Foodable Labs ranks NYC-based Luke's Lobster as a Top 150 Emerging Brand. 

 

Turns out, many people were looking for the fresh seafood taste just like Luke and were willing to pay more than they would at the average fast casual for the high-quality dish. Knowing the industry, Luke and Ben were able to ship in fresh from Maine seafood all while maintaining the level of sustainability they feel the product demands. Watch this episode of Foodable's Emerging Brand Series to see how the brand is growing and where they plan to go next. 

Luke's Lobster began in 2009 when Luke Holden, a self-defined Lobsterman from Maine noticed a gap in the dining scene of New York City. Working in the city as an investment banker, Luke longed for the Lobster rolls he'd grown accustomed to back home. But the only lobster he could find was at fine dining establishments and had a 30 dollar price tag. After joining forces with former food writer Ben Conniff, the duo took on the fast-casual seafood scene... and dominated. 

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Will Your Business Be Impacted By The Minimum Wage Hike of 2018?

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As 2018 approaches closer and closer, there are a few new policy changes that may impact your business if you live in one of the following places: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland and New York City. One of the biggest ones, however, is the increase of minimum wage.

The policy change will be benefiting low-income workers in a push by some government officials to ensure its constituents are able to earn a sustainable living.

As reported by “The Motley Fool,” one of the biggest minimum wage hikes is tied the fast-food industry in New York City. The populous city is implementing the first part of the two-year initiative to help workers make $15 an hour by 2019. So, by Dec. 31, if a worker was making minimum wage ($12) he or she will be able to add an additional $1.50 per hour worked that day and for the rest of 2018. The goal is that by the last day of the following year the second part of the initiative (another $1.50 increase per hour) can be implemented, so the city meets its 2019 goal.

Maine is the next location with the highest minimum wage increase, up one whole dollar. The move is part of a four-part measure and by 2018 it will be in its second stage. It is expected to continue hiking up a dollar yearly until it reaches its goal of $12 per hour by the year 2020.

Colorado, like Maine, has a similar goal of $12 per hour as its minimum wage by sometime in 2020, but to get there it will increase by 0.90 cents. In 2018, the hike will be the first of three annual increases.

For more details about the minimum wage increases in Hawaii, Maryland, D.C. and California, read “The Motley Fool.”

High Rents Are Clearing Out Fine Dining in NYC

High Rents Are Clearing Out Fine Dining in NYC

New York City is home to some pretty high rents. And while residents here might feel the pain of expensive rental agreements, so are restaurants. Well-known establishments are closing their doors because the lease is too high, especially in Union Square.

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Five Rooftop Bars in NYC To Try This Summer

Five Rooftop Bars in NYC To Try This Summer

New York City is known for its lively rooftop scene come summer. And this season, it's no different. Between new spots to hit the area, to the old staples we can't get enough of, there are many fun rooftop bars and lounged to check out. Here are five of the top outdoor places you'll want to be this summer. 

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Foodable Network Partners With Specialty Food Association

Foodable Network Partners With Specialty Food Association

The Foodable Network recently partnered with Specialty Food Association, a trade organization for members and the producer of the Summer Fancy Food Show. The upcoming show is a massive trade event geared toward the specialty food industry and the professionals behind it, being noted as the largest of its kind in North America.

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Hot Summer Menu Offerings in New York City

Hot Summer Menu Offerings in New York City

New York's dining scene is always thriving, and the summer months are no different. This time of year the menus and flavors tends to heat up even more. With new additions featuring light dishes and simple ingredients, there’s plenty to salivate over this season.

And it doesn't stop at the food. The city also boasts new craft cocktails that are worthy of your attention. Get ready to salivate over new summer menus in New York City.

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Hottest Food Tech Found in New York City Right Now

Hottest Food Tech Found in New York City Right Now

New York City is always in-the-know when it comes to food and the technology behind it. The city boasts some incredible food technology trends that involve anything from gadget-friendly restaurants to helpful at-home delivery systems. New York City has plenty of new food tech to check out, including these three trends you don't want to miss. 

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&pizza Takes a Slice of the Big Apple With $25 Million Investment

Happy National Pizza With Everything (Except Anchovies) Day. // It's a real thing.

A photo posted by &pizza (@andpizza) on

By Mae Velasco, Custom Content Editor

Looks like one fast-casual pizza chain is now rolling in dough. &pizza — a trendy, quirky brand known for the personality it packs and for the gourmet handcrafted pizza pies that come with it — landed a $25 million investment deal with private investment firm AVALT. AVALT has invested in foodservice giants such as Dunkin' Donuts, Domino's Pizza, and Outback Steakhouse before, hinting at the potential they see in this up-and-coming pizza star. 

And with big promise, where else to go but the Big Apple? Headquartered in Washington, D.C., and making its home in the surrounding area with 18 locations, &pizza is expanding into New York City. A brave move, considering New York and the diehard pizza fans who reside there appreciate the area's particular style of thin-crust, wide slices.

According to Bizjournals, this investment is building on another $1.9 million investment the restaurant secured in 2014 and with the $10 million it raised in 2015. Along with joining in the New York competition, CEO Michael Lastoria anticipates further developing the company in D.C., North Virginia, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, the last two being the most recent markets it entered this year. &pizza will end 2016 with 21 locations and expects to open the first New York store in Midtown Manhattan toward the middle of next year. In total, between eight and 12 &pizza doors will open in 2017.

"We're not competing to put as many stakes in the ground as possible," Lastoria said. "We want to be as thoughtful as we can about smart growth."

No better day for National Iced Tea Day.

A photo posted by &pizza (@andpizza) on

Will this brand succeed? It wouldn't be surprising. If the millennial generation could be put into a pie, it might look like &pizza. Not only does the restaurant chain localize each store design and dedicate itself to the communities it serves by using local ingredients (not to mention the fact they use organic dough and have gluten-free dough available), its fun, inventive flavor combinations (such as the "Elvis," which features banana, bacon, chocolate-hazelnut peanut butter, and grape jam) and company culture are also high selling points.

Its team of more than 300 employees are referred to as members of their "tribe" and Lastoria has been an enthusiastic supporter of the $15 an hour minimum wage increase to support the living costs of his staff. Millennials are nothing if not attracted to the unique and socially-conscious. &pizza nails this to a T, especially with its &CHARITY philanthropy and various beverage options, whether it is craft soda or from their &WINE or &TEA lines.

"We wanted to create a brand built with purpose on the shoulders of our tribe and providing starting wage significantly above the minimum,” he said.

Where will this self-proclaimed "anti-establishment establishment" go from here? New York will find out and it'll be exciting toss up to see how it will break barriers.

Chef Cedric Vongerichten Personalizes Perry St’s Menu With Seasonality

Video Produced By Vanessa C. Rodriguez

In this “On Foodable Side Dish,” correspondent Agnes Chung spends the morning with Chef de Cuisine Cedric Vongerichten, learning about his background, the importance he places on seasonality, and finally, his signature dishes for Perry St, his father’s, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, elegant restaurant in West Village, located in the Richard Meier Towers in New York City.

Background and Inspiration

Each week, Chef Vongerichten draws his inspiration from the freshest ingredients available in the farmer’s market. This extra time spent researching and properly sourcing the organic and GMO-free ingredients can be expensive on the restaurant, however, Vongerichten says, “...in the long run, I think prices are going to drop and that [seasonal ingredients] is what people are going to ask for, anyway.”

Experiences abroad have also played an important role in Vongerichten’s professional life and his palate, elevating his knowledge and exposing him to different flavor combinations and cooking techniques that serve as inspiration on a day-to-day basis.

At the early age of 17, Vongerichten began his career as a chef at a restaurant in the Bahamas. He then worked at London’s Berkeley Hotel, Hong Kong’s Mandarin Oriental, and El Bulli in Barcelona. Later, after graduating from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, he worked through the ranks at several Jean Georges Restaurants. Previous to working at Perry St, he was the sous chef at Jean Georges.

“It was definitely challenging at the beginning, you know, it’s very different from being sous chef to chef. You don’t realize until you are put in that position,” said Vongerichten. After six years of building and grooming his team and menu slowly, he can finally call Perry St’s menu his own.

Dishes

For Vongerichten, it comes naturally to meld French, American, and Asian cultures into his food. He has a couple favorite dishes of his own, like the Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna with Sriracha sauce, that have been at Perry St since day one. Another dish he loves is the Butter Poached Lobster.

“I was born in Thailand, and this is a French version/Thai combo on a plate. French technique and Thai flavors, like lemongrass and kaffir lime. That’s another favorite of mine and people love it, as well,” he said.

In this episode, Vongerichten shows us how to make Perry St’s heirloom tomato salad and a slow-cooked salmon with market spring vegetables.

He explains, “Heirloom means coming from different gardens, coming from different farmers, different flavors, different sweetness, and almost different texture, also.”

The tomatoes are stacked on top of each other in a horizontal row before they are seasoned with olive oil and salt. Then, he likes to add avocado slices to add a layer of creaminess to the dish. The salad is topped off with 12-year-old balsamic vinegar for a sweeter taste, spring onions, green serrano peppers for a little kick, and sesame seeds. For the finishing touches, add purple and bush basil leaves along with a couple of edible flowers for a spring feeling.  

As for the second dish, Vongerichten slow-cooked the salmon in olive oil and kosher salt at 275-300 degrees fahrenheit in a conventional oven for 10-12 minutes. While that was cooking, he took care of the vegetables by cutting the pencil asparagus, broccoli, sugar snap and heirloom snow peas, and cooking them in boiling water for one minute. Vongerichten had already prepared a pea purée, which he layered over the cooked salmon. Then, he placed all the cooked vegetables on top of the purée, along with some almonds and nasturtium edible flowers, which give the dish a peppery taste.

Watch the full episode to learn more!