WXXI AM News

restaurants

We continue our conversations about Governor Cuomo’s proposed plan to end the state’s tip credit. Cuomo says the tipped wage system inhibits workers who earn tips from coming forward with concerns about exploitation and harassment, and it disproportionately affects women and people of color.

Some people in the Fight for 15 movement think the restaurant business needs an overhaul; they say we need to change our expectations about what workers are paid. 

Our guests in studio explain why they think that a business which cannot pay workers a living wage should not open in the first place. Our guests:

There’s some debate over America’s favorite pastimes, but dining out, is holding its own next to football and binge-watching TV shows. Helene Biandudi Hofer recently visited a restaurant in Rochester hoping to solve any debate over where to eat. As she learned this isn’t just any restaurant, but a place where dreams and a mean dish of jerk chicken are being made every day.

Our Summer of Food series continues with a conversation with one of the Finger Lakes' leading chefs.

Samantha Buyskes is from South Africa. We talk about her road to the Finger Lakes, while exploring her views on modern food movements. Buyskes recently opened the critically acclaimed restaurant Kindred Fare in Geneva, and she's been one of the prominent culinary voices in the region for years.

She joins us from our WEOS studio.

Is "farm to table" a myth?

You might have seen the remarkably thorough piece from the Tampa Bay Times that has gone viral, called "Farm to Fable." Journalist Laura Reiley tracked the "local food" claims of dozens of restaurants, and found that many simply lie. Her piece has sparked conversation about so-called farm-to-table restaurants across the country.

We talk to Reiley about how she discovered the deceptions, and we talk to local chefs about how they communicate with their customers. Our guests:

Will restaurants do away with tipping? That's already the case in much of Europe, and now some American restaurants are doing the same. Danny Meyer, famous restauranteur, recently said that tipping is a socialist practice, because the tips are pooled and the best servers don't get extra. He prefers higher prices on the menu, with no gratuity at all.

Is that better for servers, for diners, for everyone? Or is there still value in rewarding great service with bigger tips? Our panel looks at the future of tipping and dining out. Our guests:

  • Janine Wasley, owner, Avvino
  • Amanda Antinore, food writer, Democrat & Chronicle
  • Chris Grocki, director of operations, Char Steak and Lounge
  • Mark Potter, longtime local server

The New York Times published a devastating takedown of one of the country's most heralded (and most expensive) restaurants. If a restaurant like Per Se can be hammered for serving dishes that evoke "bong water," what message does that send to the high-end dining industry at large?

We explore what Rochester can do to raise its reputation as a high-end dining town. And we ask our guests what they think it was like to work at Per Se this week, when that ghastly review came out. Our guests:

  • Mark Cupolo, Rocco
  • Chris Grocki, general manager and sommelier at Char
  • Mark Potter, longtime server in fine dining establishments
  • Vince Press, local food writer
  • Eric Houppert, local farmer and food writer

The newest restaurant in Rochester is less than a week old: Swillburger, a throwback burger joint with a focus on great food and old-timey arcade games. And that got us thinking: what are the new-in-2015 food establishments in our region this year?

We asked listeners to chime in with suggestions on how to get out of our dining ruts and find new places. And our panelists fill us in on how their first year (or first week!) in business has gone. Our guests:

A new online magazine called Boomtown Table launched December 7. It covers food, agricultural issues, drink, and more.

We go inside the planning and the hopes for the future of this ambitious new site. Our guests:

  • Leah Stacy, co-founder and editor in chief  
  • Chuck Cerankosky, co-founder and creative director
  • Eric Houppert, agriculture editor 

Josh and Jenna Miles have built a restaurant empire in the Rochester area.

Their establishments include Revelry, Branca, and now they're jumping into two huge new projects. They'll open restaurants in Midtown and in a new waterfront development in Canandaigua. We'll talk to them about their business approach, and why they're betting on two projects that will be central to economic development. Our guests:

  • Josh and Jenna Miles, restaurant owners
  • Ken Glazer, managing partner of Buckingham Properties

WXXI Photo

First hour: Local efforts to help veterans

Second hour: New restaurant projects in Rochester and the Finger Lakes

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