clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Best Long Reads of the Week, From the Importance of Salt to a Chef Turned Bank Robber

A roundup of worthy weekend reading material.

Salt flats in Bolivia.
Salt flats in Bolivia.

A Song of Beer and Weed

It was Lagunitas' biggest open house yet — at least a few hundred people, Ron estimates. An avid pot smoker then and now, he gathered a crew to help him burn the massive sushi-roller joint outside. After all, St. Patrick's Day was a cause for celebration. Ron lit the baton-like joint and inhaled a thick cloud of marijuana smoke. Not bad. Then someone pulled his left arm behind his back. He felt a pressure on his wrist and heard the click of handcuffs. "Who the fuck are you?" Ron recalls asking the man behind him. "Police," the man said.

At White Oak Pastures, Grass-Fed Beef Is Only the Beginning
The New York Times

Watching his calves get loaded onto an 18-wheeler for the drive west to a feed lot and slaughterhouse helped convince Mr. Harris that maybe he should stop raising cattle the way his father did. He knew that his animals would spend sometimes 30 hours on those trucks, with the ones on the bottom getting covered in feces and urine. "It’s like raising your daughter to be a princess and then sending her to the whorehouse," he said.

Is the Membership-Based CSA Model the Future of Restaurant Financing?

One of the challenges for any new restaurant is cultivating regulars — those people who come in multiple times a week, know the names of the staff, and recommend the restaurant to all their friends. But is turning diners into literal investors the shortcut to getting people invested in your restaurant? This seems to be the thinking behind community-supported restaurants, a phenomenon that has only started taking off in the last decade.

How Humble Salt Became the King of Ingredients
The Wall Street Journal

Thanks to the influence of tastemakers like Mr. Adrià, the humble substance has become a status ingredient not only in restaurants but in our own kitchens. We’re taking everything with a pinch of the stuff, be it smoked and sultry, coarse and colorful, or delicately interlaced with celery, truffle, cumin or chili.

The Brief, Extraordinary Life of Cody Spafford
Seattle Met

The revelation that her sous chef had died was devastating, but seeing the photos that police released the next day was almost worse. The guy whose goofy grin was such a fixture at the restaurant, who eased the sting of a chaotic shift with his signature dance, a gyration similar to the Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but more rubbery of limb—in what universe could he be the same person bank security cameras recorded pointing a gun at the teller?

A Restaurant Server Explains Why We Shouldn't Abolish Tipping

The day tipping is abolished and I'm making a guaranteed $20-$25 per hour — effectively taking a pay-cut — I am going to pick the career path that has room for growth and doesn't require me to run my ass off for eight-hour shifts. And I imagine many in the industry would agree, which would lead to a talent drain across the field. So you'll not only be paying 15 to 20 percent more for your meal (it just won't be an optional tip), but you'll also be getting worse service during it.