Today in food news: Nick Kokonas's Tock reservation system continues to sign on new, high-profile clients; where to eat between LA and SF; how to sneak the fortune out of a fortune cookie (without breaking the cookie!); knife tricks at Benihana, and more.
— NYC's three-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park joins restaurateur Nick Kokonas's (Alinea, Next) Tock reservation system beginning next Monday, September 12. So long OpenTable, adieu phone calls. This means diners who wish to eat at Eleven Madison Park will have to pony up the cost of their meal in advance, sans beverages, in order to secure a table.
— Tickets to Texas Monthly's annual barbecue festival — which takes place on October 28 and 30 in Austin — are now on sale.
For many, the question is not how Alinea reinvented itself, but why. Achatz has said he'd tear the space apart every year if he could because, to paraphrase the chef, his restaurant is a shark that devours ideas, and if it doesn't keep swimming and eating, it'll die. I think he was simply bored. We've been blowing sunshine and stars up his behind for so long, he wanted to see if his team could do it all over again. They have.
— As Eater NY notes, a Brooklyn deli is now selling a "Trump sandwich" made from "baloney, Russian dressing, American cheese, white bread, and a 'small pickle' on the side." Ideally it's "served by a Mexican or Muslim."
— Finally, check out a Benihana chef's knife tricks: