How Marcella Hazan Made Italian Food All-American
Those companies tend to have much higher satisfaction than the companies that dont have an inclusive culture and basically say, Listen to what we say. Do this. That transparency includes financial information, he said. The best franchise systems will share financial information across their system so you know if Bob Smith in Salt Lake City has got a 28% cost of goods sold and yours is running at 34%, youre going to call Bob and ask, What are you doing to get that number? Stites said. In the food business, it is about nickels and dimes. The systems that have an inclusive culture and really get their employees to share financial information do better than those that dont, he said. Whats the biggest mistake people make? Failing to understand business finance, Stites said. Ideally, the franchiser will provide net-profit information, but even that can be confusing to some new franchisees, he said. Net profit is not your take-home salary, he said. Youve got to pay taxes out of that, reinvest in the business, pay back your loans out of that profit. If a business generates $100,000 a year in profit, your actual take-home as the business owner might be half or even less than that. Another big mistake: failing to understand the time it can take to break even. Franchising is a great model but its not a silver bullet, get-rich-quick-overnight thing, Stites said. Generally, the people that are making money in the franchise world are operators whove been doing it for five, 10, 20 years. A lot of people come in thinking, Within a year or two, Ill be paying myself a six-figure salary. That doesnt generally happen, Stites said. Unfortunately, a lot of people run out of cash. Thats the No.
(Photo: David Baratz/USA WEEKEND) SHARE 5 CONNECT 1 TWEET 1 COMMENTEMAILMORE If you have food allergies, you know eating even a bit of your trigger food can cause a reaction, from mild (hives, itchy mouth) to severe (trouble swallowing, shortness of breath, even loss of consciousness). The only prevention: Avoid the trigger food. And that’s easier said than done. In one of the latest efforts to manage food allergies, UCLA researchers created a portable device still in prototype stage that attaches to your smartphoneand analyzes food right on the spot for allergens. Until that’s in the real world, here are some tips on avoiding allergens when you or loved ones are away from home: Dining out: Talk to everyone and ask a lot of questions. Your server, the chef and even the restaurant manager should know about your food allergy. You should know exactly what’s in your dish and how it was prepared. Explain cross-contact danger: Some studies say more than 20% of restaurant staffers think picking an allergen (nuts, for example) off a dish renders it safe. Your best bets: Order simple options (baked potato or steamed vegetables) and skip dessert (often a source of hidden allergens). Avoid buffets and fried foods, where cross-contact is high. On a plane: Forget airline food (pack your own) and sanitize your seat and tray table. Passengers with nut allergies who took these precautions had significantly lower odds of a reaction, reports a new study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.Also, don’t use airline pillows or blankets and consider telling those seated nearby about your food allergy. At camp: The number of kids who suffer from food allergies has increased dramatically in recent years, a new government report shows. Whether your little one is at day camp or away for the summer, give counselors and key personnel a written plan describing medications and instructions in case of a reaction.
State says laid-off prison food workers will get first crack at prison guard jobs
Marlan said some of the workers are likely to retire and some will likely want to work for Aramark. But the workers who have not yet received their layoff notices will be given the first chance to apply for the special training program and will be accepted if they can pass the required physical fitness test, he said. The department needs to hire about 500 corrections officers to replace officers who have retired or otherwise left the department, Marlan said. One training school for about 300 applicants is planned this month, he said. A separate school for the food-service workers will be held in December, he said. Most of the workers the state plans to lay off are food-service leaders, whose pay tops out at $22.18 an hour. Pay for corrections officers tops out at $19.61 for part-time and $24.51 for full-time, according to the state Civil Service Department website. The state plans to start implementing the Aramark contract Tuesday and hopes to have Aramark take over completely by Dec. 1. The state estimates it will save $12 million to $16 million a year. Nick Ciaramitaro, legislative director for AFSCME Council 25, the union representing the state prison food-service workers, asked the State Administrative Board to delay or reject the contract. Aramark claims it can provide the same service at a substantial savings; the evidence is to the contrary, Ciaramitaro said.
This would not have happened, at least with the speed it did, had Hazan not been such a skilled, clear, rational teacher — and had her husband and writing alter ego, Victor, not been one of the most gifted prose stylists ever to write about food. Because the Hazans championed fresh vegetables many people had never heard of (artichokes, fennel), olive oil and — above all — simplicity and clarity in cooking, they can be argued to have had even more influence on how Americans cook than Julia Child, a similarly gifted teacher and writer whose rise immediately preceded theirs and probably made it possible. Both Child and Hazan were the creatures of a newly powerful media machine that for the first time turned its interest to food. Hazan began as an emigre with degrees from northern Italian universities in natural sciences and biology, yet found herself with little to do in Manhattan, where Victor had been summoned to work in his family’s fur business. Friends who exclaimed at the exotic, unfamiliar dishes she served them convinced her to start informal classes, which came to the attention of Craig Claiborne, who brought attention to chefs and cooking in a way no journalist had before because he did it at the New York Times. He invited himself over to lunch, wrote about it and her classes, and after the day his story ran, on Oct. 15, 1970, Hazan wrote in her 2008 memoir, “I have never since then had to be concerned about how to occupy my time.” The book that the couple published in 1973, “The Classic Italian Cookbook,” was invariably compared to Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in its comprehensive, step-by-step approach that brought any dish within reach of a patient, interested home cook. Like Mastering, the Hazan’s book seemed to put the entirety of a glorious cuisine that had only been available to a privileged few into the hands of any cook. The comparisons between the two books were set in stone when Child’s editor at Knopf, Judith Jones, took over Classic from another publisher (as she had done with Child’s) and re-designed and publicized it. What the book really did was liberate cooks from the idea that the more you did to an ingredient, and the more butter or cream you buried it in, the better it was. Classic — classy — food could be quick and easy and made with what was lying around the bottom of the refrigerator or kitchen cabinet. Yes, Americans learned for the first time how to make pasta by hand, roll out sheets for ravioli, then cut and stuff them with long-cooked fillings, techniques that had seemed unthinkable before.