$10,000 tip left by mystery diner

A generous diner in New Orleans left a lucky staff member a tip of $10,000 last weekend.  The bill itself came to a not insubstantial $9,000 at the city’s Galatoire’s restaurant and the $10,000 tip came to light when someone posted it on the Instagram account “Tips for Jesus”.

One commenter on the Instagram site, said, “I dined at Galatoire’s the same night and was there when his party arrived and after they left. He had a party of about 8 men and bought bottles of champagne (that ranged from $300-$600) for every table.”

Thankfully for the staff member the restaurant has confirmed it is not in the habit of withholding employee’s tips.

“The name on the receipt, if that’s the person it indicates, is a long-serving Galatoire’s waiter, somebody that people would recognize from the restaurant if they’ve been there,” said Ian McNulty, a local food critic. “It just causes a lot of speculation of who these people might be, what they might be up to,” said McNulty. “If they’re still in town it could be a coffee shop or an old po-boy joint next.”

There has been speculation that the mystery tipper is a former PayPal executive but no one has publicly come forward.


Restaurant staffed by prisoners proving a hit

A restaurant in Delhi staffed by prisoners from India’s largest prison has garnered praise for its hygiene and the politeness of the staff.

The “Tihar Food Court” in west Delhi, was started three weeks ago by Tihar prison as an attempt to help a rehabilitate its inmates.

Located just 500 metres from the prisoners’ dormitories, the 50 seat restaurant is decorated with paintings that the prisoners themselves have painted.

tihar-prisonOne customer, banker Gaurav Gupta,  had this to say “The food is average, but the hygiene factor is really good, very clean. And it’s a good thing they are employing prisoners.” Employees were trained by a nearby high class hotel and for their labour are paid just under a pound a day.

The vegetarian menu’s popular dishes include samosas,and kidney beans with rice. The most expensive  thing on the menu is the thali, costing the equivalent of around £1.50

Manager, Mohammad Asim, is a convicted murderer who spent 15 years inside for his crime said: “Those who come once to have our food come back again,” Only inmates with an unblemished record from their time inside are permitted to work in the restaurant.

Any profits are ploughed back into prisoner welfare and vocational training.

“The restaurant was set up to give employment to the inmates and project the positive aspects of prison work to the public,” said a prison spokesman Sunil Gupta.

Customers had few qualms dealing with the Tihar prisoners.”I think that Tihar authorities have observed them for years and have decided they can be placed in front of the public … so I don’t think there is a need to be worried,” said customer Atul Singh.

One employee Bal Krishan Grover, who has served 13 years  in the jail says he enjoys working at the restaurant  so much that he has plans to continue in the restaurant trade as soon as he is released. “My aim is to set up a branch of the Tihar restaurant,” said Grover.


Former Masterchef finalist to open UK’s first zero-waste restaurant

A  former Masterchef finalist is to open the UK’s first zero-waste restaurant in Brighton.

Douglas McMaster, will launch Silo restaurant in September Silo offering a minimalist daily menu , including one meat dish, one fish, one vegan, and a “wild card” dish.

After working in high end restaurants all over the world for the last 12 years, the British-born chef has come home with high ideal for his new venture: serve only locally grown,in season food and throw nothing away.

In high contrast to many restaurants that buy semi-prepared food , they insist on all the produce they buy being free from packaging. They intend to mill all their own  flour, waste water from the kitchen will be recycled  to flush toilets. They also plan on bringing freshly cooked food straight to the customer’s table instead of letting it languish on the pass under hot lamps until the entire order is ready.

Of course it is impossible to be 100% green but McMaster is doing his utmost to be as environmentally sensitive  as he can:”People might criticise the fact that we use electricity of course, but it’s all relative – we need to be able to see and cook the food.”

The UK throws away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink each year

The UK throws away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink each year

There are plans afoot  to install solar power and a  machine costing over £20k has been installed to turn unwanted food waste into  compost.

“Getting around the initial 95 per cent of typical waste was surprisingly simple,” Mr McMaster said. “The secret is to deal with the sources of the ingredients – local farmers and growers who work in a way we respect. We also use vessels that are endlessly reusable – to put it bluntly: things without a packet.”

“We live in a world where we expect avocados and pineapples all year round – foods which aren’t natural to our environment,” he said. “Then there are all the chemicals and stabilisers in our food, which are not natural to our diet and which our bodies don’t know what to do with. It’s no surprise that so many people are developing intolerances to food groups.”

We wish Mr McMaster and his team all the best in their new venture.

The world’s longest kebab straddles international borders

worlds-longest-kebabChefs from China and Russia have broken the record for the world’s longest kebab. It took more than 70 chefs from the China-Russia border city of Suifenhe more than 6 hours to cook the  a 112-metre long pork kebab today.

Consisting of  more than 300 kg of pork on what must be one of the world’s longest skewers the kebab beat the previous record of 107m which was set in Japan.

The kebab was cooked on an enormous burner made from an converted from a old rail section of the Chinese Eastern Railroad that passes through the city.

The record breaking event took place as part the Fourth China-Russia Tourism Festival held in the city.