Happy Friday. While you eagerly await the arrival of the weekend, take a moment to toast the legendary chef Fernand Point: Widely considered the father of modern French cuisine, he died on this day 61 years ago. Besides his culinary contributions, he also popularized Champagne as something that should be drank frequently, rather than solely for celebrations. (Cheers.)
— Starbucks customers are pissed after the coffee giant made sweeping changes to its rewards program, and Dunkin' Donuts is hoping to capitalize on that. The company's chief executive says they're "excited" about the Starbucks reward program shakeup, and have been luring in new customers with free $5 gift cards. Dunkin's own rewards program only requires customers to spend about $40 to get a free coffee, compared to Starbucks which now requires a minimum spend of $62.50.
— James Beard award-winner, chef of New York's hallowed Le Bernardin, and frequent Parts Unknown guest Eric Ripert is preparing to release a memoir. 32 Yolks: From My Mother's Table to Working the Line is being published by Random House and goes on sale May 17. It will chronicle Ripert's journey to becoming a superstar chef, beginning with his childhood and his years spent in some of France's toughest kitchens. Below, an exclusive look at the cover. Ripert's BFF Anthony Bourdain contributed this quote to the back cover, which, frankly, is somewhat intriguing: "Heartbreaking. Horrifying. Poignant. And inspiring. I've known Eric for years and I had NO idea that this was how it all started. If you want to get a clear picture of where one gets the drive and dedication to be a truly great chef, there is no better or more harrowing an account."
— New York State just hiked wages for tipped workers from $5 an hour to $7.50, and restaurateurs say they're feeling the pinch. To mitigate the increased labor costs, some restaurants are adding new surcharges to customers' bills. One restaurant, the Back Nine Grill in Pittsford, is tacking on a 3 percent fee that's printed on each receipt as a "Coumo Tax." Intentionally misspelling Governor Andrew Cuomo's name is apparently the owner's way of thumbing his nose at the politician, who pushed through legislation to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by the end of 2018.
— The Easter candy market is looking pretty bleak this year: Really, who wants Peeps milk or carrot cake-flavored Hershey's Kisses? Instead, stock your Easter basket with this super-creepy chocolate bunny featuring the face of actor Benedict Cumberbatch. The ideal gift for any Sherlock obsessive, it will run you a hefty £50 (about $70).
— You're not imagining things: The unfortunate Nickelback soundtrack at your local neighborhood sandwich shop really does make the food taste worse. Different sounds affect how we perceive the taste of food; for example, loud music (or airplane noise) reduces taste perception, which is one reason airplane food is so damn bland. According to a study, sweet flavors are associated with higher-pitched sounds, while lower-pitched sounds can enhance bitter flavors — so choose your dinner music wisely.