5@5 - Chef Thomas Keller
August 18th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Thomas Keller is arguably one of the most recognized and respected American chefs in the world - a bona fide culinary god to those in the industry. See him walk into a room and watch as food fiends bow in his presence shouting, "we're not worthy!"

Chef Keller has waaaaay too many accolades to name - we'd be here all night - but for a goût: he's the only American-born chef to hold multiple three-star ratings by the Michelin Guide, and has received numerous awards from the James Beard Foundation, including "Best Chef in America." The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group currently consists of the culinary meccas, The French Laundry and Per Se, as well as Bouchon, Ad Hoc and Bouchon Bakery.

Want to follow in his footsteps? Here's some required reading. Hope you brought your library card.

Five Books that are Required Reading for All New Culinary Team Members: Thomas Keller

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Filed under: 5@5 • Think

Lunchtime poll – cash-only restaurants
August 18th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
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More and more restaurants are feeling the pinch of an uncertain economy and seeking to trim corners wherever they can. Increasingly, reports the New York Post, this means credit card fees. For smaller venues, the percentage paid can cut into restaurant's gross sales so significantly that they've chucked cards and are dealing strictly in cold, hard cash.

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Filed under: Buzz • Lunchtime Poll

Box lunch
August 18th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • When it comes to "personal melons," bigger isn't always better. (No, that's not a euphemism.) - New York Times

  • Town officials in Springdale, Utah, have created an ordinance that bans chain restaurants. - USA Today

  • Kraft Foods is trying to develop a melt-proof milk chocolate bar. Brings new meaning to the phrase, "Melt in your mouth, not in your hand." - Telegraph

  • The new biodegradable bags for Sun Chips may be greener, but they're not helping the noise pollution. - Wall Street Journal
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

August 18th, 2010
10:00 AM ET
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How much dough for delivery?
August 18th, 2010
09:15 AM ET
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"Ding dong." "Buzz." "Knock, knock." Delivery.

It’s pizza. Or sushi. Or Chinese food, Italian, Thai, burritos or burgers. I fumble for my wallet, secretly wishing my husband makes it to our apartment door first. I have no desire to be the one to decide how much to tip the delivery guy. Some women want a man around when it’s time to kill an insect or plunge the toilet – my fear is the delivery tip.

Ordering in food is a way of life in New York. Our kitchens are small, our work days long, our social calendars are full and perhaps we’re just lazy. We also can pick from nearly any type food imaginable – from dirt cheap to high end – and have it delivered to our door in a matter of minutes. It’s a huge convenience, but it’s partially offset by the anxiety of figuring out the tip. If I’m the one to answer the door, I usually grab the receipt from the delivery guy (and no, I have never seen a woman doing the job) [Ed. note - plenty of delivery ladies out here in Brooklyn], scan it and try to do some quick math in my head.

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Filed under: Bite • Restaurants • Tipping

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