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Celerity's Journal
Celerity's Journal
January 9, 2023

Noma: World's Best Restaurant Set to Close in 2024


Noma, the Copenhagen fine-dining institution widely considered the best restaurant in the world, is set to close for regular food service in 2024.

“To continue being noma, we must change,” a post shared on the restaurant’s Instagram page on Monday read. “Winter 2024 will be the last season of noma as we know it. We are beginning a new chapter; noma 3.0.”

In an interview with the New York Times, chef René Redzepi said Noma would instead become a full-time food laboratory with the dining room only opening occasionally for pop-ups. “It’s unsustainable,” Redzepi said of the modern fine-dining model. “Financially and emotionally, as an employer and as a human being, it just doesn’t work.”

His $500+ per person, three-Michelin-star restaurant topped the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants for a record-breaking fifth time in 2021.



Read it at New York Times

January 8, 2023

9 Things You Should Know About Filipino Food

From savory to sweet, the flavors of the Philippines are as vast as its islands.


Growing up in the Philippines and stewing in the centuries-old roots of its colonizers—Spain, the United States, Japan—I always looked outwards, dreaming of elsewhere. I scoffed at most things local. But now, a decade after living far and away from my motherland, I realize that I was wrong. Why was I oblivious to riches all around me in that tropical paradise? My cuisine, often maligned, misunderstood and pigeon holed here in the West, is as vast and diverse as its over 7,000 islands. But there are hallmarks of its distinct flavor, recognizable across the diaspora, singing to our lonely souls in our homes away from home. Let’s break them down, element by element, these building blocks of Filipino food.

Rice is life

Kanin, or rice, is the staff of life for Filipinos. No meal, including midday merienda (a snack or light meal), passes muster without rice on the plate. It is a blank canvas, steamed plain, to be painted with the accompanying ulam (main entree) or jazzed up with garlic as seen in sinangag, which is a dishof garlic-potent fried rice. White rice is also the foundation of kakanin, the category of sticky sweet bites, including the varieties of suman, puto, and bibingka, enjoyed as breakfast, dessert, or snack.

Coconut reigns in dishes both sweet and savory

From the root to the trunk to the leaves and fruit, every element of the coconut (niyog) serves a purpose, including in Filipino cuisine. Coconut meat, juice, and milk are key ingredients in both savory and sweet preparations. Coconut juice is good to simply drink, of course, but it also makes the brothy base in dishes such as Binakol Na Manok, a.k.a. chicken in coconut soup. Then there’s an entire spectrum of guinataan dishes—which is to say, foods cooked with gata, or coconut cream or milk. Grated coconut flesh often accompanies rice cakes, otherwise known as kakanin. Or sweetened and transformed into macapuno, this coconut component makes its famous appearance in the iconic shaved iced dessert halo-halo.

Sour flavors are always welcome

Filipinos are suckers for the pucker of asim, or sour, flavors. From the generous use of vinegars of all kinds—sugar cane, palm or coconut—in adobo, paksiw, kinilaw or extra sawsawan, to citrus superstar calamansi as juice or seasoning to using fruits as souring agents in sinigang, to enjoying raw, sliced, green mangoes with bagoong, asim gives us life.


January 8, 2023

13 of the Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks For Dry January

Keep toasting the new year, hangover-free.



Another year, another new way to resolve. For those with alcohol on the “out” list—whether for this dry January, forever, or a couple days each week—certain hours in the day or particular circumstances (5 p.m.; social gatherings) may suddenly yawn open, devoid of a familiar ritual. Luckily, in recent years a host of alternatives have rushed in to fill that void and add more flavor to your dry January experience.

If anything, when met with such an embarrassment of zero proof riches, the real challenge is sussing out the true standouts. An unscientific polling of various enlisted taste-testers yields a consensus (one with which I, a non-drinker, concur) that the best non-alcoholic choices are typically not simply a dealcoholized version of an alcoholic spirit or wine—cue Jennifer Connelly’s repressed Home Depot meltdown in the 2009 rom-com He’s Just Not That Into You: “I don’t like the way it’s pretending to be wood; you’re not wood, don’t try and look like wood.” In the world of non-alcs, as in the world of love, there are a few exceptions to this rule, including non-alcoholic beer writ large (hops, which are nonalcoholic and derived from the Humulus hemp family plant, do a lot of beer-signaling flavor work) and a few other notables included here.

The biggest crowd pleasers tended to have certain traits in common, elevating them from the fancy sodas they essentially are into a more interesting, holistic drinking experience. The packaging, for one, must be attractive because that old adage stands: we drink first with our un-beer-goggled eyes. There’s also typically an ingredient that subs in for alcohol with either a bite (ginger, say), a bitterness (orange rind, acacia), or a slight funk (mushrooms, ashwagandha). And so, without further ado: Drink and be merry this dry January, for tomorrow you won’t wake up with a hangover.

Ghia Spritz, Lime & Salt

This is a fun drink, the kind of thing I wish I’d had as an alternative to the chic undergrad cocktail that was squeezing a lime into a plastic water bottle filled with tequila and seltzer. It’s bright and tangy, with an ingredient list that includes fig and yuzu juice, eucalyptus and orange extract, and sea salt; it pairs with taco nights, fish dishes, a rooftop hang huddled under heat lamps. Founder Melanie Masarin describes the flavor as the quaffing equivalent of taking a dip in the Mediterranean off the coast of Barcelona—and in the depths of winter, who wouldn’t want to evoke that?

Raising The Bar

For the Blue Apron set, a subscription service (which can also be purchased as one-offs), providing a monthly recipe box complete with everything one needs for a couple of mocktails—it’s a fun way to discover new brands in the zero-proof universe, and each month’s delivery is a cause for celebration.

Siren Shrub Co. Basil Sparkling Shrub

“Healthy!” was a common reaction to a first sip of Siren Shrub’s oeuvre, with further reactions tending to divide along a line of those who had or had not ever made a drink using apple cider vinegar. Target audiences of this women-owned, Wisconsin-based brand are those who enjoy trips to the local farmers market or food co-op, brew their own kombucha, are sort of disdainfully interested in Goop.com, and have gut health restoration on their New Years in-list. The fizzy drinks are sharp and refreshing on their own, or can be paired with spirit-esque bottles (Wilfred’s, Figlia, Aplos, etc.) for a quick, pretty mixed drink.

January 7, 2023

Atlanta's Home Prices Jumped 10 Percent in One Year As Production Boom Fuels Home Market

With film and television spending hitting a record high in Georgia, home prices rose sharply last year in the state’s biggest city, home to Tyler Perry’s $100 million estate.


five bedroom 1920s Georgian Revival residence in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood

In the past decade, Atlanta has earned the moniker Hollywood of the South. The city boasts a population of around 500,000 in Atlanta proper and roughly 6 million in the greater metro area, with a rising number of full-time and part-time residents who are entertainment industry professionals. Many have been lured to work on productions like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Walking Dead and the new Father of the Bride, or to find more stable work at the 700-acre Trilith Studios or Tyler Perry Studios in the heart of Atlanta.

Long a mecca for hip-hop artists and Black creators, Atlanta has also become increasingly popular with public figures from all walks of life. The undisputed media king of Atlanta — Tyler Perry — recently completed an astounding $100 million estate on 2,100 acres in the city of Douglasville, near his 330-acre studio complex. Celebrities who live or have had homes in Atlanta include Elton John, Melissa McCarthy, Ludacris, André 3000, Norman Reedus, Cardi B, Shaquille O’Neal, Gucci Mane, Jane Fonda and The Vampire Diaries co-creator Julie Plec. Whitney Houston was also a longtime resident; the Alpharetta home where she and Bobby Brown shot Being Bobby Brown is on the market for $1.9 million.

This rise in status and cachet has helped lead to a booming real estate market. Along with ample work opportunities and Southern hospitality, Atlanta offers luxury real estate at a fraction of the price of Los Angeles or New York. According to Rocket Homes, in November 2022, the median price of homes sold was $395,322, a 10.8 percent increase over 2021. The median price for five-bedroom-plus homes is $1.2 million.

According to Shanna Bradley of Ansley Atlanta Real Estate, the luxury market is particularly on fire right now — though overall home prices across the city slightly declined in November compared to the previous month. In the exclusive neighborhood of Buckhead, lavish estates are on the market for $4 million to $6 million, boasting amenities comparable with a $15 million home in Los Angeles. Bradley holds the $5.995 million listing on Mariah Carey’s palatial Buckhead estate, which includes nine bedrooms and a recording studio. Another Buckhead standout currently on the market is the home of best-selling author Emily Giffin, whose 1920s mansion is listed for $8.99 million. “Comparatively speaking to other markets, we have been relatively affordable,” says Christa Huffstickler, CEO of luxury brokerage Engel & Völkers Atlanta.


Tyler Perry’s $100 Million Mega Home

January 5, 2023

How A Pitmaster Has Been Making Lamb Barbacoa Outside Of LA For Over 40 Years -- Smoke Point

Gonzalo Ramirez is one of the only barbacoyeros in the U.S. who raises and butchers his own lambs. He cooks the barbacoa in a pit, during a process that takes 24 hours. Ramirez sells his traditional Hidalgo-style barbacoa, moronga (blood sausage), consomé, and more on the corner of Canterbury Ave. and Hoyt Street off Van Nuys Blvd. in Arleta, California.

For more food and restaurant news, sign up for our newsletters: https://trib.al/wqZ0q3s

Producers: Connor Reid, Julia Hess
Director: Connor Reid
Camera: Connor Reid, Jimmie Armentrout III
Editors: Connor Reid, Lucy Morales Carlisle
Translator/Fixer: Bill Esparza

Executive Producer: Stephen Pelletteri
Development Producer: Ian Stroud
Supervising Producer: Stefania Orrù
Associate Producer: Julia Hess
Audience Development: Terri Ciccone, Frances Dumlao, Avery Dalal

0:00 - Intro
0:33 - Lighting The Pit
2:27 - Lambs
3:51 - Butchering
4:42 - Dish Prep
8:52 - Building The Pit
11:23 - Packing
14:27 - Selling

For more episodes of 'Smoke Point,' click here: https://trib.al/rEiHPbR

Eater is the go-to resource for food and restaurant obsessives with hundreds of episodes and new series, featuring exclusive access to dining around the world, rich culture, immersive experiences, and authoritative experts. Binge it, watch it, crave it.


January 3, 2023

Judge slashes millions owed by hate groups for 2017 Charlottesville rally



A federal judge has cut by millions of dollars the damages that some of the nation’s most prominent white supremacists and hate groups owe for their role in 2017’s deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.

Judge Norman K. Moon ordered last week that the $24 million awarded in punitive damages be reduced to $350,000, the limit imposed by a 1988 Virginia law. Moon also affirmed the jury-ordered compensatory damages of more than $2 million, bringing the total awarded damages to $2.35 million — a fraction of the $26 million a jury ordered in November 2021.

The 1988 law stipulates that juries should not be told of the $350,000 limitation and that if a jury returns a verdict over that limit, the judge will reduce it, according to court records. Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, said the severe reduction could undercut the purpose of punitive damages, which are meant to rebuke a defendant’s behavior.

“The whole point is to send a message to society, to other people who might engage in similar future behavior of that sort. And in this particular moment in time, that’s really important with the rise of white supremacists,” Tobias said. “That’s what’s really at stake.”


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