— UNESCO released its list of World Heritage Sites — places in the world deemed "of special cultural or physical significance" — for 2015 and two bucolic regions in France made the cut for their terroir: Champagne ("The property bears clear testimony to the development of a very specialized artisan activity that has become an agro-industrial enterprise.") and Burgundy. Of Burgundy, UNESCO writes:
"This cultural landscape consists of two parts. Firstly, the vineyards and associated production units including villages and the town of Beaune, which together represent the commercial dimension of the production system. The second part includes the historic centre of Dijon, which embodies the political regulatory impetus that gave birth to the climats system. The site is an outstanding example of grape cultivation and wine production developed since the High Middle Ages."
— The New York Times published an enlightening article on gluten sensitivity, intolerance, and the evolution of the human gut this weekend. Why are many people now more sensitive to wheat than ever before in human history? "Perhaps the sugary, greasy Western diet — increasingly recognized as pro-inflammatory — is partly responsible. Maybe shifts in our intestinal microbial communities, driven by antibiotics and hygiene, have contributed. Whatever the eventual answer, just-so stories about what we evolved eating, and what that means, blind us to this bigger, and really much more worrisome, problem: The modern immune system appears to have gone on the fritz."
— Food TV person Carla Hall — of Top Chef and The Chew fame — is opening a new restaurant in Brooklyn, Eater NY reports. Hall is taking over chef Andy Ricker's (Pok Pok) Whiskey Soda Lounge space on the Columbia Street Waterfront. No word yet on what the new concept is or when it will open. Ricker has no plans to reopen Whiskey Soda Lounge.
— Danny Meyer and company have confirmed expansion plans across the pond: Two new Shake Shacks will open late this year or early next year in London and Wales, according to Big Hospitality. The location in Wales — the first in the region — will open inside Cardiff’s St. David’s Shopping Centre. The third London location will open on New Oxford Street.
— Sad news out of Spain this morning: Juli Soler, a former partner and director of elBulli died this morning at the age of 66. He was suffering from a degenerative disease. In a statement (translated, condensed), his family noted: "He was the one who signed Ferran Adrià, and together they endured the business in difficult times, revolutionized the experience of the diner in a restaurant of haute cuisine and crafted elBulli in a spirit and a character that has transcended the restaurant itself, even after its closure on July 30, 2011."