Posts for December 12, 2012

Man Laid Off From Pink-Slime-Producing Company Sues ABC, Jamie Oliver

Oliver.Photo: Getty Images

Back in September, South Dakota's Beef Products, Inc. sued ABC News for defamation, claiming investigative pieces on "pink slime" made by the company crushed demand for the product and forced BPI to close three-quarters of its plants and lay off more than 700 workers. Now one of those laid-off workers, Bruce Smith, is also suing a group of people including ABC News, anti-pink-slime-crusader Jamie Oliver, and school-lunch blogger Bettina Siegel (who says on her blog that she hasn't yet been served with the suit). Smith is seeking $70,000 damages, a number he tells the Daily Mail is low enough to keep the case from going to federal court: "I want the people I have sued. I want them here in the locality where the damage is done," he says. "And if that means not suing for everything I can, so be it." [Daily Mail UK, Earlier]

David Katz Trading His Apron For a Sales Gig; Named Chef Chair For Taste of the Nation

Causing hard times for sucka' emcees: David Katz and Kevin Sbraga

If you wondered what David Katz was up to next, it looks as if he’s calling it quits, as far as being a chef and restaurateur goes. Since pulling the plug on his well received restaurant Mémé, the chef’s kept himself busy consulting at the seasonal riverfront spot Moragn’s Pier, and later at his good friend Terence Feury’s new Tavro 13 in Swedesboro, New Jersey. Prompted by Katz’s cryptic tweets of late that alluded to him bringing to a close his chef-ing life, Eater caught up with him to find out what’s on his horizon. Turns out he’s taking a sales gig with meat purveyor Creekstone Farms. That said, Katz was also just named the Chef Chair for Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation.

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Income Disparity Between Fast-Food Workers and Executives Keeps Growing

Billions served, millions of employees screwed.

Bloomberg brings us a frown-inducing story today about the income disparity between fast-food workers — like one McDonald's employee in Chicago named Tyree Johnson who works at two restaurants, still can't get 40 hours a week, and makes $8.25 an hour despite having been a loyal employee for twenty years — and recent former CEO Jim Skinner, who made $8.75 million last year. As they point out, depressingly, it would take Tyree Johnson working a million hours, or a hundred years, to make what Skinner makes. Worse: That's totally indicative of the growing wage gap between the one-percenters and everyone else.

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What’s Going to Replace Q BBQ in Old City?

Q BBQPhoto: Q BBQ

There’s a new, and ambiguous restaurant project coming together in the former home of Q BBQ near 2nd and Chestnut streets in Old City. Insider reports that Darren Hill, one of the owners of National Mechanics and the web and tech concern WebLinc, has plans to take over the property, and that no other details are available. In this post-bottle service era, what could possibly work at this address? Hill already has craft beer and pub grub locked down around the corner. So does just about every other bar in a 10-block radius. Hopefully he’s dreaming bigger than that. A craft-y cocktail joint would certainly shake things up for that part of town. So would a cozy brown spirits parlor like Village Whiskey. And as much as we would still like to get our tiki bar itch properly scratched, Old City’s the last place we want it to happen. Tell us what you would like to see go in there. [Insider]

Earlier: Q BBQ Calling It Quits in Old City

Dum Dums: Soda and Candy ‘May Reduce Brain Function’

Put down those Christmas cookies immediately: New research from UCLA concludes that consuming soda, candy, and sugary snacks for just six weeks could render you dumb, reports CBS. Apparently, in addition to causing things like obesity and diabetes, fructose slows cognitive functions, altering the "brain's ability to learn and remember information." This sounds like something we might have expected after, say, five eggnogs. But now Coke and Tootsie pops, too?

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Will Climate Change Wipe Out the World’s Pasta?

Possibly, says Newsweek (a mag that probably knows a thing or two about being wiped out). In a way-long story called "The End of Pasta," this helpful bit of info appears: "Pasta is made from wheat, and a large, growing body of scientific studies and real-world observations suggest that wheat will be hit especially hard as temperatures rise and storms and drought intensify in the years ahead." Scary! But here's the thing: If climate change gets so bad that it destroys the world's wheat crop, spaghetti will be the least of our concerns, as we'll also be unable to produce things like, uh, bread. [Newsweek]

Preservation Alliance Adds Three Historic Breweries to Its ‘Endangered Properties List’

Clockwise from left: Ortlieb's Brewery, Gretz Brewery, Poth BreweryPhoto: Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

Saying that beer plays an important role in the city’s history and culture is a lot like stating that cheesesteaks are popular here. Sadly, many of the historic brewhouses that wet the whistles for generations past have long since disappeared from the landscape. And the few that still stand are imperiled by progress as bombed-out, post-industrial wastelands give way to development and gentrification. This morning The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia dropped its Tenth Annual Endangered Properties List, a roll call of sorts that identifies historic properties throughout the region that are most at risk of being lost forever. Listed among the properties this year are Philadelphia Breweries.

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Employees Accuse Chickie’s & Pete’s of Skimming Tips

Why so crabby?

Looks like the fries aren’t all that’s getting crabby at Chickie’s & Pete’s these days. Past and present employees at the locally-based sports bar chain’s airport location have filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming that as tipped workers, they were forced to pony up two percent of checks, in cash, to the restaurant every time a guest paid a tab with a credit card, Newsworks reports. The suit claims the tips were used to cover credit card processing fees, which you’ll recall is a practice that was outlawed when City Council passed and enacted the Philadelphia Gratuity Protection Bill last year. Chickie’s & Pete’s head honcho Pete Ciarrocchi in a written statement contends he always tries to do “the right thing by our employees,” but more than a 100 of them (present workers and those employed at the airport outpost over the last three years) are included in the complaint. [Newsworks]

Earlier: Not Everyone Is Thrilled About the Passing of the Gratuity Protection Bill

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