Happy Monday. Anthony Bourdain and President Obama are kicking off the week by having dinner together in Hanoi, and frankly it's hard to know who to envy more. (Fun fact: Said dinner cost a whopping $6.)
In other vital food news today: Rick Bayless won a coveted award; cold coffee is trending; the surprising truth about Kelis's "Milkshake"; and a San Francisco startup wants to change vending machines as we know them.
— Chicago's Rick Bayless has become the second-ever chef to nab the prestigious Julia Child Award. (The inaugural award, which "honors an individual who has made a profound and significant difference in the way America cooks, eats and drinks," went to Jacques Pepin.) The Mexican food guru will be honored at a gala event to be held October 27 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in D.C., and his Frontera Farmer Foundation will receive a $50,000 grant.
— And now, a shocking revelation from Kelis, singer of the 2003 hit "Milkshake": Despite being a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, she's never actually made a milkshake. (WTF?) Apparently she makes a mean smoothie, however; she also released a cookbook last fall that features recipes for everything from apple pie to jerk ribs.
— Cold coffee: so hot right now. An onslaught of new, ready-to-drink — and less sugary — chilled coffee beverages are hitting the market, from java giants like Starbucks and Illy as well as indie companies. Starbucks is launching bottled black coffee and cold-brew products this summer, Peet's now sells canned cold-brew, and La Colombe's foamy canned latte will soon hit grocery store shelves, ensuring there are no shortage of new ways to get caffeinated this summer.
— Vending machines have long served as a refuge for the junkiest of junk foods. But a San Francisco-based startup called Byte wants to change that by providing offices with new-school vending machines stocked with fresh foods, from Blue Bottle coffee and fresh juices to locally made sandwiches and salads. The small fridges dispense foods with the swipe of a credit card, and inventory is closely tracked so the machine's contents can be refreshed as necessary. They're already present in 100-plus Bay Area offices, and the company hopes to bring them to more metropolitan areas soon.
— Finally, this week we should all strive to achieve the sort of zen mastery displayed by this man, who kept calm and ate his pizza in the midst of a brawl at a West Virginia restaurant: