Restaurant in a box, the life of a food stylist, haggling for wine discounts

Restaurant in a box, the life of a food stylist, haggling for wine discounts

• Move over poutine truck. Entrepreneur Daniel Noiseux has invented a solar-powered, 28-seat upscale restaurant in a box (actually a recycled shipping container). Müvbox, which is presently set up in Montreal’s Old Port, is still a prototype, but its combination of sustainable design, low cost (about $150,000) and adaptability has Russian investors asking “100 units, how much?” [Globe and Mail]

Top Chef is ruining food, says Village Voice blogger Robert Sietsema. Viewers judge the contestants based on elaborate presentations and daring combinations of ingredients, rather than how the food tastes. No one will know if the steak on screen was perfectly cooked or not, so the judges may be choosing a ratings-booster over a truly talented chef. [Village Voice]

• Small producers, like the friendly honey dealer at the farmers’ market, now have a new way to connect with customers. will allow chefs in one part of the country to browse through meats, cheese and preserves from artisans who are off the local radar. [Chicago Tribune]

• The job of a food stylist might sound like a dream, but it’s actually a lot of pressure, according to Susan Spungen. She was sweating when she had to fry and re-fry sole without a non-stick pan under the glare of lights on the set of Julie and Julia. She tells more tales from the film shoot to the New York Times. [New York Times]

Scaramouche used to uncork a couple bottles from personal collections during the average dinner; now they’re averaging 10 BYOB tables a night. Trend-setting New Yorkers have taken recession-time habits up a notch, haggling with waiters over the price of prized wines. If someone tried that at Scaramouche we’d call them cheap, but since they’re New Yorkers we applaud their chutzpah. [Globe and Mail]