Dispatches from the Front of the House

“The restaurant server is never just serving food, they are also: the mediator, the buffer, the northern Italian wine expert, the allergy navigator, the appetite fulfiller, the charismatic leader, the caretaker, the recommender, the check splitter, the mutable chameleon oscillating between being sophisticated and distant and sassy on-demand entertainment.”

Independent Producer Sara Brooke Curtis spent six months interviewing restaurant servers in San Francisco. Here, she shares her observations.

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After 20 Years of Negotiations, American Apples Arrive in China

China is the biggest producer of apples in the world, but almost all of them are of one kind: Fuji. A recent apple trade deal means that now all American apple varieties are allowed into China. Before the agreement, only Red and Golden Delicious were allowed in.

Fruit is a huge part of the country’s gift giving culture, and this could mean huge business ahead of the holidays.

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Recipe: Massimo Bottura’s Spaghetti Caterse

Massimo Bottura is the chef at Osteria Francescana, a three Michelin starred restaurant in Modena, Italy. The restaurant is currently ranked second in the world on the San Pellegrino 50 Best List. The evolution of his restaurant along with an exploration into his twenty-five year career are documented in his book Never Trust A Skinny Italian Chef.

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Chanko-nabe, The Recipe for Sumo Success

One of the largest sumo competitions outside Japan will be held in California on Saturday. To the untrained eye, sumo may look like big fat wrestlers in underwear pushing and shoving each other around the ring. But there’s much more to the sport than meets the eye, including a strict training regimen and rigid diet.

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