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Police probe celebrity chef Mario Batali for sexual misconduct

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(Reuters) – Celebrity chef Mario Batali, who already faces sexual harassment accusations from four women, is under criminal investigation by the New York Police Department for sexual misconduct, police said on Monday, confirming a 60 Minutes television report.

Batali “vehemently” denied the new allegations in a statement to CBS, which airs the program.

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An NYPD public information officer said in an email on Monday the department was investigating the allegations. The officer did not respond to a question about whether the 2005 incident was too old to face prosecution.

Reuters was unable to immediately reach a representative of Batali for comment.

The chef, who owns numerous restaurants, is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting an employee at one of his restaurants in 2005 in the new criminal investigation, according to the report.

The woman, who was not named on 60 Minutes, told CBS she was invited by Batali to a party at the Spotted Pig, a trendy restaurant in New York’s West Village owned by a friend of Batali.

CBS concealed her face during the interview with shaded lighting. The woman said she was afraid the revelation of her identity would hurt her future job prospects in the industry.

“Who wants to be defined by their worst day in their life?” she asked.

Other restaurant workers told the program on the record that they had witnessed Batali inappropriately touching other women.

The new accusations are the latest in the era of the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment, which has ensnared media moguls and celebrities.

Actor Bill Cosby, 80, who is best known for his 1980s comedy TV program “The Cosby Show,” was convicted in April of three counts of sexual assault for an incident in 2004. He faces up to 30 years in prison.

Batali was fired in December 2017 by ABC as co-host of The Chew, a daytime food and talk show, and also stepped away from his restaurant company after the accusations by the four women first surfaced.

(Writing by Rich McKay in Atlanta, additional reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Bernadette Baum)

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Food

‘Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back’ Renewed by Fox

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By Daniel Holloway

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Fox has renewed “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back” for a second season.

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“Gordon gives 100% in everything he does, and he took on the task of turning these restaurants around wholeheartedly,” said Rob Wade, president, alternative entertainment and specials, Fox Broadcasting Company. “He may be these owners’ harshest critic, but he’s also their biggest champion, because he wants them to succeed. When all is said and done, it’s really Gordon’s heart that resonates with viewers, and we can’t wait to see who he helps save next season.”

The series premiere of “’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back” was averaged a 1.4 rating in the 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen live plus seven data, making it the summer’s top-rated debut for a new show in the demo. The series is produced by is produced by Studio Ramsay. Gordon Ramsay, Michael Van Briesen, Chris Brogden, and Layla Smith serve as executive producers on the unscripted series. According to Fox, the premiere delivered 5.2 million multi-platform viewers.

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4 Convincing Reasons to Take a Daily Tequila Shot

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Remembering Anthony Bourdain in Photos

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Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz to Step Down

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Amazon cuts Whole Foods prices for Prime members in new grocery showdown

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By Lisa Baertlein and Jeffrey Dastin

(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O> and Whole Foods Market are making a surgical strike in the already brutal grocery price war.

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On Wednesday, Whole Foods debuted a much-anticipated loyalty program that offers special discounts to Prime customers, including 10 percent off hundreds of sale items and rotating weekly specials such as $10 per pound off wild-caught halibut steaks.

Those perks are available now in Florida and will roll out to all other stores starting this summer. Amazon previously announced free two-hour delivery from Whole Foods stores for members of Prime, its subscription club with fast shipping and video streaming.tagreuters.com2018binary_LYNXNPEE4F06Z-BASEIMAGE

The new loyalty strategy will test whether Amazon’s $13.7 billion deal for Whole Foods brings much-feared disruption and an intensified price war to the $800 billion U.S. grocery industry dominated by Walmart Inc <WMT.N> and Kroger Co <KR.N>.

Whole Foods, with 463 U.S. stores and roughly 1 percent share of the fragmented U.S. grocery market, has gained momentum since the Amazon merger last summer, Whole Foods co-founder and Chief Executive John Mackey told Reuters.

Closely watched basket size – the number of items purchased per transaction – has grown since the merger, said Mackey. He declined to offer specifics.

Mackey is betting on Prime to convince shoppers wary of its “Whole Paycheck” reputation that it is an affordable option for more of their purchases.

The new perks could make Whole Foods cheaper than conventional grocers for about 8 million of its customers who already subscribe to Amazon Prime, according to Morgan Stanley analysts.

Prime members scan an app or input their phone numbers at checkout to receive the discounts.

Still, Philadelphia-area Whole Foods shopper and Prime member Heather Kincade, 46, is going to need convincing.

While Whole Foods’ prices on staples like rotisserie chicken, bananas and avocados have come down, she still thinks some every day items are prohibitively expensive. “If I start buying dish soap and other things there, I will have hit the big time,” she said.

 

LOWER MARGINS

In Amazon, Whole Foods has found an owner that is famously comfortable spending away profits on new businesses or on lower prices.

“Given how important it is for Amazon to provide value for their customers, and customers value lower prices, I would think they’d be comfortable operating Whole Foods at a lower margin while experimenting with the operating model,” said Tom Furphy, former vice president of consumables and tagreuters.com2018binary_LYNXNPEE4F11U-BASEIMAGEAmazonFresh, and now chief executive of Consumer Equity Partners.

Mackey said more rounds of cuts are in the cards.

“Whole Foods is going to become more and more and more competitive,” said Mackey, who declined to detail how much of a haircut its suppliers will take.

Hain Celestial Group, one of Whole Foods’ biggest suppliers, says a lower profit margin may be worth it.

“I never mind giving up margin for growth,” Hain CEO Irwin Simon told Reuters.

Small grocers, who still control a hefty portion of U.S. sales, typically have razor-thin margins. They are under increasing pressure as German discounters Aldi and Lidl lower prices, too.

Walmart said it will keep offering everyday low prices to all shoppers at its more than 5,000 U.S. stores.

Kroger Co, the largest U.S. supermarket operator with roughly 2,800 stores, uses shopper data to personalize loyalty discounts.

CEO Rodney McMullen told Reuters earlier this month that the chain’s prices will “absolutely” be lower than Whole Foods on the typical shopper’s basket of about 50 items per week.

“It’s easy to beat somebody on four or five items,” said McMullen.

Kroger tested an annual grocery delivery subscription but tabled it due to insufficient demand, he added.

 

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Editing by Greg Mitchell)

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So, What are The Most Popular Beers in The World?

We ranked the top 10 beer brands according to Euromonitor below, some of which you might not recognize

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10. Coors Light (USA) – International beer volume market share: 1.3%

Coors Light is the leading brand of the Coors Brewing Company. It’s light and refreshing, with a 4 percent alcohol content. The very low-calorie beer was able to ride the health trend of baby boomers when it was launched in 1978. The beer is most popular in the USA, Britain, and Canada, but Coors has also tried to spread internationally. In 2008, its owner, Molson Coors, made Molson Coors International, that has concentrated on the Asian market.

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9. Brahma (Brazil) – International beer volume market share: 1.5%

Happy Hour Refreshing Brahma Beer Alcohol Cold

Brahma is the most famous beer in Brazil. The pale lager comes in two main variants: Brahma and Brahma Chopp. Beer review site RateBeer describes its taste as having “the classic mouthfeel of a lager, a strong body flavor, neutral odor.” Brahma was founded back in 1888 by Companhia Cervejaria Brahma, but today it is owned by Anheuser Busch InBev.

8. Harbin (China) – International beer volume market share: 1.5%

Harbin is the oldest brewery in China. The light, refreshing lager is best-served ice cold. The 4.8% abv lager is the most popular in Northeast China, where it comes from, and like most of the beers on this list, it now belongs to the biggest beverage company in the world, Anheuser Busch InBev.

7. Heineken (The Netherlands) – International market share of beer volume 1.5%

Founded in 1864 by Gerard Heineken in The Netherlands, the Heineken brand has built itself up to become one of the leading top lagers on the market. The beer’s popularity is due to its light, slightly sweet taste. Its abv is 5 percent. Heineken is known for its creative marketing campaigns. In 2015, it became only the second company to pick up the Creative Marketer of the Year award twice. In its latest effort, Moderate Drinkers Wanted, Heineken promotes individuals to consume less of the product.

6. Yanjing (China) – International beer volume market share: 1.9%

According to Bloomberg, Yanjing was first made only in 1980.
In 1995, Yanjing was given the honor of becoming the official beer of China, which meant that it has been served at the official state building the Great Hall of the People from February of that year. The 6th biggest selling beer in the world remains owned by the Beijing Yanjing Brewery Co. It’s pale, comes along with a thick head of white foam, and has a faintly bittersweet flavor, according to RateBeer.

5. Skol – International beer volume market share: 2.1%

Skol lager was made by a combination of British, Canadian, Swedish, and Belgian breweries in 1964 with the express intention of becoming an international beer brand. The pilsner’s alcohol strength fluctuates around the world but frequently stands at 2.8%; which makes it one of the lightest beers on the list. It partly owned by Carlsberg, Anheuser Busch InBev, and Unibra.

4. Budweiser (USA) – Global beer volume market share: 2.3%


Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad this season starred Dame Helen Mirren.
Probably the best-known beer brand in the Anglosphere, Budweiser is a classic American lager known for its amber color and refreshing taste.

It had been introduced into the US in the mid-1800s by Anheuser-Busch after the brewery’s founders observed the lager-making methods which were popular in Europe.

It has since spread to over 80 markets worldwide, but in various markets around Europe, the company isn’t permitted to use the name Budweiser because of a legal dispute with Czech brand Budejovicky Budvar, which also calls its beer “Budweiser.”

3. Bud Light (USA) – Global beer volume market share: 2.5%

Regardless of Budweiser’s popularity, its younger, weaker sibling, Bud Light, actually has a larger share of the international market.

The American beer first arrived in 1982. The signature blue-branded beverage is brewed for a longer time than Budweiser, but contains less glucose, giving the beer a lower calorific content than Budweiser and an ABV of 4.2%.

2. Tsingtao (China) – Global beer volume market share: 2.8%

Tsingtao, frequently served in 640-milliliter bottles along with a glass of ice, is a very common sight across China. The hoppy-tasting pale lager comes from the Tsingtao Brewery Co.

It had been set up by German settlers in Hong Kong in 1916. From its inception, the beer focused on becoming an international brand.

In 1972, Tsingtao was introduced to the US, in which it became the highest-selling Chinese beer in the country. Tsingtao’s percentage share of the world beer market has been growing by at least 0.1 percentage points every year since 2009.

1. Snow (China) – Global beer volume market share: 5.4%

Despite earnings being almost exclusively restricted to one nation, Snow is the most famous beer on the planet.

Unsurprisingly, that nation is China. Its sales volumes have exploded by 573% since 2005, when it was only the 11th highest-selling beer in the world, according to Bloomberg.

The 4% abv lager is a joint venture between SABMiller and China Resources Enterprise.

The taste is described as “quite watery” and “extremely carbonated” from RateBeer. It became popular in large part due to its low cost. In China, a liter of Snow sells for around $1, according to Quartz.

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