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McDonald's Finally Launches Its New App; MasterChef Starts Casting for New Season

Plus, all about Starbucks' "Star-bank" — a hybrid Starbucks and bank.

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Courtesy of MasterChef

— Struggling fast food chain McDonald's has somewhat managed to get with the times: The restaurant began rolling out its new mobile app this week in Southern California and New York City. The main feature of the app is a loyalty program for those who purchase drinks from the chain. It also offers a store locator and nutritional information for a number of menu items. However, unlike Taco Bell's and Starbucks' apps, customers cannot order or pay for food through the application. McDonald's plans to make the app available nationwide by October.

— Fox's hit series MasterChef is now casting for its seventh season. The series recently had a hosting change with pastry chef Christina Tosi replacing restaurateur Joe Bastianich as a judge. Open calls for the show will take place in 11 cities including Austin, Detroit, Jackson, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Louisville, Minneapolis, New York City, San Diego, and San Francisco. Head over to the official site to apply.

— While a number of chefs are launching restaurants aboard cruise ships, Food Network star and chef Geoffrey Zakarian no longer has one. Zakarian, who owns the Lambs Club in New York City, "quietly ended" his partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line a few months ago. He operated speciality restaurants aboard two of the cruise line's ships. The company tells USA Today: "After several successful years, Norwegian's engagement with Chef Geoffrey Zakarian has concluded... Geoffrey has been a great partner and we are very appreciative of his work."

— While Russia is bulldozing banned Western foods and giving McDonald's a hard time (due to Western sanctions regarding Ukraine), Starbucks is sitting pretty. The coffee chain opened its 100th Russian outpost this week. The opening celebrations include performances by jazz bands and master classes "devoted to the secrets of coffee brewing." Russia is also home to the first "Star-bank": A hybrid Starbucks and bank. The location lets customers "fill out papers for credit cards" while knocking back cappuccinos.

— Here's a sketch from The Late Show With Seth Meyers about a new delivery app by Portlandia's Fred Armisen from which you can order things like "pad thai and wallpaper" at the same time. Except, there's a catch:

— Finally, here is shouty chef Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen with Cookie Monster: