Happy Monday. In today’s food news: Who will be on this season of Top Chef?; Pepsi is trying to make soda healthier; one of America’s biggest auto makers is getting into the burger biz; the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony is on the move; and a Minneapolis pastry chef boldly goes where no Americans have gone before.
— Top Chef will return for its fourteenth season on December 1; this time around it’s set in Charleston, and will pit newbies against veteran contestants from previous seasons. The new contestants have already been revealed — and now, word comes that one of the veterans will apparently be Dallas chef John Tesar. Known for his epic feud with a certain Dallas food critic, Tesar’s sure to bring some delightful reality TV drama.
— Some sugary sodas will soon be slightly less sugary: PepsiCo says two-thirds of its drinks will have 100 calories or less per serving by 2025. Newsflash: Whether it has 140 calories or 90 calories, soda is still terrible for you. Now go drink a glass of water.
— Today in #brands inexplicably getting into the restaurant biz: Ford — yes, the car company — is opening a restaurant in Detroit called Ford’s Garage that will serve burgers, beer, and milkshakes. It’s even more puzzling than Pepsi opening a restaurant in Manhattan.
— While controversial for its Eurocentric purview and lack of woman chefs, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants announcement is nonetheless one of the year’s more anticipated culinary events. The next list will be announced on April 5, 2017, with a ceremony to be held in Melbourne, Australia (this year’s took place in NYC, and the 14 previous events were held in London).
— Minneapolis pastry chef John Kraus (Patisserie 46, Rose Street Patisserie) just became the first-ever American to join a prestigious club of patissiers. Formed in France in the early 80s, Relais Desserts is comprised of the world’s top 100 pastry chefs — and frankly, it’s a wonder it took the U.S. so long to make it in.