Bakery backed by Taiwanese celebs plots Staten Island location
Bake Culture — a bakery backed by three former Taiwanese boy band members — is adding a location on Staten Island, inside Empire Outlets, a massive retail center slated to open in April. Musicians and actors Chun Wu, Vanness Wu, and Calvin Chen brought the bakery to NYC last year, opening a store in Flushing and one in Chinatown in hopes of attracting Asian millennials. The trendy bakery serves pastries like egg tarts, “chocoholic” bread, and croissants. The city has gained a slew of Taiwanese options as of late, with hip restaurants like 886, Ho Foods, and TKK Fried Chicken opening within the past year.
The NYC styrofoam ban has arrived
A citywide ban of single-use plastic foam containers went into effect January 1, Grub Street reports. The ban extends to things like takeout containers and coffee cups, and restaurants have until June 30 to get rid of the stuff. There will be some exceptions, though. Small businesses and nonprofits that can prove the ban will significantly affect their financial state can continue using foam containers, as well as butcher shops. Everyone else will be slapped with a fine of up to $1,000 starting July.
Christina Lecki has left Reynard
Following restaurateur Andrew Tarlow’s departure from Wythe Hotel American restaurant Reynard is executive chef Christina Lecki. Lecki writes on Instagram that that she’s “looking forward to new beginnings and journeys,” but does not say what those might be. As for Reynard, Lecki’s chef de cuisine Charlene Santiago is taking over, and owner Peter Lawrence says in a statement that they are “working hard on a re-imagination” of the Williamsburg restaurant.
A discussion on food access in NYC
Tonight, a free panel hosted by the city aims to highlight ways to lessen local food insecurity. The panel will feature speakers like Barbara Turk, NYC’s director of food policy, and Michael Hurwitz, who runs several fresh markets across the city for an organization called GrowNYC. The city’s Economic Development Corp. and housing authority will also be included in the conversation. The panel happens tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 31 Chambers St., in room 111.
Acclaimed chef Paul Liebrandt is cooking at Shuko
Celebrated fine dining chef Paul Liebrandt is officially done with his Racines residency, and he’ll be dropping by upscale omakase spot Shuko on Saturday night for a collaboration dinner. It’s a 12-course tasting menu focused on seafood, priced at $235 per person, with some guaranteed nigiri. Diners can pair the meal with sakes, wines, and spirits for an extra $125. The dinner is happening one night only — January 5 — during three separate seating times, 6 p.m., 9 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are available here.