business news in context, analysis with attitude

Wegmans’ shoppers got the kind of email from the supermarket chain the other day that must make them feel terrific about the place where they buy their food. The missive told shoppers about the James Beard House in New York City, a culinary center based in beard’s former residence.

    “Cooking in the kitchen of this renovated brownstone is a much sought-after honor typically accorded to the likes of Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, and Charlie Trotter.

    “It's not every day that Wegmans chefs get to strut their stuff on a national forum of the magnitude represented by New York City's James Beard Foundation. In the years since Julia Child founded it in 1985, the Foundation has become an internationally influential institution that fosters and rewards culinary excellence through programs, scholarships, and workshops. And now, Wegmans is a part of that legacy thanks to a culinary dream team of select chefs who served a tour de force brunch on October 27, 2002 that the illustrious Mr. Beard, universally regarded as the father of American gastronomy, would have applauded.

    “Raring to take their place in JBF history, our chefs quite simply wowed the 100 or so in attendance for the brunch, preparing and serving four flawless courses, including brilliantly executed appetizers:

    • Phyllo Cup with Truffled Potato and Quail Egg
    • Ratatouille and Goat Cheese Crostini
    • Artichoke and Raclette Tartlet
    • Tuna Niçoise
    • Grilled Jambon with Istara Cheese
    • 1998 Hermann J. Wiemer Sparkling Blanc de Blancs.”
KC's View:
We don’t want to suggest that every food store ought to be cooking on the level that Wegmans does; clearly, this fabulous upstate New York icon is working on its own level.

We do think, however, that food stores ought to be about food. It might be meatloaf instead of ratatouille and goat cheese crostini. But the thing that separates food stores from other kinds of retailers is that they should smell good and make food that tastes good…as opposed to just focusing on stacking it high and selling it cheap.

Just our opinion…