Food media was full of Thanksgiving turkeys this month. Still, a few choice news morsels rose above the pablum. The venerable Michelin Guide has bestowed its first set of stars on restaurants in Vancouver, BC, and updated its Spain and Portugal lists with two new 3-star restaurants. Elsewhere in the restaurant world, the final $83 million from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund will now be disbursed to 169 lucky US establishments. Let's hope they've already purchased sugar in bulk. Just in time for the holiday rush, the US has blocked imports of Domino sugar from the Dominican Republic. Why? Decades of alleged forced labor. On the other side of the globe, another labor-beleaguered country is in trouble with beer giant Budweiser. In a bungled beverage bargain, World Cup organizers banned alcohol sales just two days before the opening games in Qatar. "Well, this is awkward," tweeted Budweiser. The $75 million sponsor played along then requested a $47 million coupon toward sponsoring the next World Cup. And finally, in food science news, researchers have made a breakthrough discovery about aquatic mammal taste preferences: Dolphins don't give a shit if you put hot sauce on their food. At least, it won't stop them from chewing through nets to steal fish. Hunger is a powerful motivator. You want more proof of that? As you hunker down and get hygge for the holidays, have a look at two new food films: The Menu is a dark comedy about a celebrity chef who serves "foodies" their just desserts, and Love, Charlie is a long-overdue biopic of groundbreaking chef Charlie Trotter, who put Chicago fine dining on the map and inspired a generation of decorated chefs. Happy Holidays!
PS. Correction: In Issue 49, I misspelled ringer (s/b wringer). Thank you Ken Johnson for the callout! See another mistake? Reach out to me at [email protected].