Category Archives: FOOD
Leave Adderall to the undergrads—a new wave of pills are helping successful professionals sharpen their minds and get an edge. Whether you’re looking to stoke productivity, memory, or motivation, there’s a bespoke brain booster for you.
For years, Jonathan Reilly, a 41-year-old biomedical engineer based in Los Angeles, would start his workday in a fog. “I’d come into my office feeling like I had woken up at four to take someone to the airport,” he says. “It took me twice as long to accomplish anything important.” But now he walks into his regular 8 a.m. meetings with crystal-clear focus and enough energy to drive through an intense 12-hour day at the office. Plus, he’s always in a good mood.
Reilly isn’t high or wired on caffeine—he’s taking a pill called Nuvigil. “It’s made me feel awake for the first time,” he says. “I don’t mean ‘awake’ like going to Burning Man and taking acid, or being on speed, where you just think you’re smarter. I’m much more creative and much more productive. If I’m project- managing, it’s like seeing the matrix. It makes it easier to put the pieces together to come up with a complete picture.”
In lieu of Adderall and eight-balls, hard-charging professionals are turning to a new class of nootropics (a type of smart drug) to score an edge at work. It’s a category of substances that includes prescription analeptics like Nuvigil and Provigil, as well as less-potent supplements like New Mood and Alpha Brain (both are sold on Amazon.com for around $30 a jar) that are made of vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants, which purportedly stimulate your brain receptors. Devotees say nootropics are a wholly different experience from energy drinks, as they give you a mental edge, increasing memory, intelligence, motivation, and concentration—without the jitters or crashes that can come with stimulants.
“These drugs are being used in industries where there’s less room for failure and immediate results are expected,” says Roy Cohen, a career coach in New York City and the author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide. “These people thrive on accomplishment—it’s in their DNA. It’s incredibly seductive to have this potential for guaranteed peak performance.”
Joe (not his real name), 26, a banking consultant in Chicago, started taking Alpha Brain while getting his M.B.A. and continued to use it as a study aid before his CPA exam. “I’d retain more information than I would if I hadn’t taken it,” he says. Alpha Brain’s still his go-to before presentations, which used to make him nervous. “It gives me confidence,” he says. “I feel like I’m working on my optimal levels while I’m on it.” (His brother, a lawyer, agrees. “My brain feels a little cleaner,” he says.)
That clarity is key, say users, who feel like they’re actually doing something good for their mind, as opposed to simply getting hopped-up so they can push through another all-nighter. And while most of these guys would rather not skip a dose, they say they can miss a day with no ill effects.
Many users have found that their physicians will prescribe Provigil or Nuvigil if they contrive complaints of frequent jet lag or excessive fatigue. But those with less-flexible doctors have better luck online—although it’s illegal, you can order a month’s supply of these drugs for about $90 (usually imported from India).
So have these guys actually found a magic pill? Emily Deans, a psychiatrist in private practice outside Boston, cautions that, in high enough doses, smart drugs may affect your temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure and advises seeking a prescription. Supplements, unlike prescription- or pharmaceutical-grade drugs, can be prepared with varying amounts of active ingredients—meaning two pills from one jar may be three times the strength of two of the same pills from a different jar. Deans says to be especially careful of the plant-derived supplements that contain Huperzine A (as Alpha Brain does). “This ingredient can make you more alert or sharpen thinking,” she says, “but if you take too much at once, you can make yourself psychotic.”
Even Deans admits, though, that some guys could benefit from brain drugs. “I don’t know if it’s ethical to recommend, but for students using it to study or surgeons trying to stay up all night long, a [prescription nootropic] might be useful,” she says. “If they were willing to not burn the candle at both ends for too long, it might help people do a better job.”
For four months, when he couldn’t get a prescription, Reilly missed Nuvigil’s effects. “I was getting up later in the day and getting less done,” he says. He recently started taking it again. “I enjoyed the person I was more when I was taking it, so I decided this is something that should be part of my life.”
Smart Drugs Available in the Vitamin Aisle
These common vitamin-store supplements are nootropics, too, according to nutritionist Rania Batayneh, author of The 1:1:1 Diet.
THE SUPPLEMENT: DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish and seaweed.
THE PAYOFF: Improves memory by strengthening communication between brain cells.
THE SUPPLEMENT: Passionflower, a flowering vine.
THE PAYOFF: Promotes relaxation by reducing blood pressure.
THE SUPPLEMENT: Turmeric, a spice used in mustards and curries.
THE PAYOFF: Reduces performance anxiety by curbing the stress hormone cortisol.
THE SUPPLEMENT: Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea.
THE PAYOFF: Helps with focus by upping dopamine levels.
5 Ways to Train Your Brain
Drug-averse? You can keep your mind agile with games instead. Science long held that the brain couldn’t grow new cells, but that’s been proved wrong. You can continue to create them and connect them until the day you die, upping memory, clarity, and perhaps intelligence. “But you have to force the brain to grow,” says Cheryl Deep of the Brain Neurobics program at Detroit’s Wayne State University. Try these simple mental exercises.
1. Use your computer mouse with your nondominant hand.
2. Turn the analog clock you use the most upside down.
3. Wear your watch on the opposite wrist (up the cognitive boost by turning it upside down, too).
4. Avoid the word the in a conversation.
5. Chew gum (FYI: The brain stimulation lasts only while you’re chewing).
Photographer: Brandon Shigeta/Hypebeast
“Revenge of the Burger Culture Clash” the seminal streetwear brand teamed up with Los Angeles gastro-pub Plan Check to produce a mouth-watering combo dubbed the SS PCB — Smoky Spicy Plan Check Burger. Here, Wagyu beef patties are layered with two thick strips of smoked bacon and smothered with melted habañero cheese. Garnished with onions and thin pickles,the burger is accompanied with fries, a house-made cruller donut and a pint of beer. The appetizing burger will be available throughout May, so pass on through if you’re in the area, you might even get yourself a limited edition T-shirt.
Plan Check Bar
1800 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Organised by Restaurant magazine, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is an annual snapshot of the opinions and experiences of over 900 international restaurant industry experts. What constitutes “best” is left to the judgement of these trusted and well-travelled gourmets.
There is no pre-determined check-list of criteria; for example an interesting experience in a simple establishment, where exceptional innovation was discovered, could be judged better than a more opulent meal from a widely feted restaurant team. The results are a simple computation of votes.
Given that this well-constructed list is based on personal experiences it can never be definitive, but we believe it is an honourable survey of current tastes and a credible indicator of the best places to eat around the globe.
How We Do It
The lists of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants (and the award ceremonies organised to celebrate their annual unveiling) are organised and compiled by William Reed Media. None of the employees of any of the sponsors associated with the awards, including the main sponsor and the Academy sponsor, votes or has any influence over the results.
The list is created from The Diners Club® World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 900 international leaders in the restaurant industry, each selected for their expert opinion of the international restaurant scene. The Academy comprises 26 separate regions around the world. Each region has its own panel of 36 members including a chairperson to head it up. The panel is made up of food critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded ‘foodies’ each of whom has seven votes. Of the seven votes, at least three of which must be used to recognise restaurants outside of their region. At least 10 panellists from each region change each year.
The results are published online as soon as they have been announced to the assembled chefs and academy members in February in Singapore for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and in London in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Some regions span more than one country. The decision as to how the world is divided up is left to the regional chairs and is debated and reassessed annually. The divisions are designed to fairly represent the global restaurant scene at the current time.
The main rules of voting are:
- Voting is strictly confidential before the awards’ announcement
- Panellists vote for 7 restaurants, at least 3 must be outside their region
- Voters must have eaten in the restaurants they nominate in the last 18 months
- Voters are not permitted to vote for restaurants they own or have an interest in
- Nominations must be made for the restaurant, not for the restaurateur or the chef
- Panellists submit their 7 choices in order of preference (and is used to decide on positions in the event of a tie)
- Other than this there are “no rules”.
This is what makes The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants unique and not comparable to any other guides or ranking of restaurants.
These criteria are designed to allow our panellists to vote far and wide. They could vote for a small, unknown restaurant in a secluded region, or select the best-known restaurants in the world or in their region – it is their opinion and the experiences they have had that matters.
This method means that restaurants cannot apply to be on the list, and cannot be nominated, and no external influences (from Restaurant magazine, William Reed or our sponsors) can influence the list. It also means that every restaurant in the world is eligible, unless the restaurant is closed at the time that the lists are announced, or we receive notice that it will be closing in the near future after the results are published.
There are no criteria that a restaurant has to meet. They certainly do not have to sell a certain product. They do not need to have been open a certain number of years and they do not need to have won any other culinary accolades.
The Top Ten
1. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
2. Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
3. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
4. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
5. Eleven Madison Park, New York, United States
6. D.O.M., Sao Paulo, Brazil
7. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, Britain
8. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
9. Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
10. Vendome, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
View the Top 50 Restaurants Here
A favorite of bearded, lumberjack types since opening its doors seven years ago, Freemans Sporting Club will be bringing its distinctly American blend of menswear, barbershop and restaurant to a new frontier next month. The Taavo Somer-headed brand, in partnership with Yagi Tsusho Ltd., will launch a Tokyo flagship store in April, with two additional locations set to open in Japan over the next couple of years. Located in the Minami-Aoyama retail district, the new “Freemans Lifestyle Compound” — the first of its kind outside the U.S. — will count Thom Browne as a neighbor, and occupy a five-storey, 6,500-square-foot space designed by Somer himself. The exterior was designed to mimic the Rivington Street store, and will also feature an outdoor vertical garden, a restaurant and bar, and a barbershop. Inside, shoppers will find a unique mix of FSC sportswear, various collaborative pieces and footwear from the likes of Allen Edmonds and Viberg, along with off-the-rack, made-to-measure and bespoke suiting options and accessories. And, in keeping with Freemans’ “Made Local, Buy Local” initiative, Japanese leather goods and accessories from artisans will also be included in the mix, along with two new suit models — the semi-custom House Cut and more-affordable Freeman. Stay tuned for more on the launch.
That’s no moon, it’s an ice cube. Next up in Kotobukiya’s successful line of Star Wars-themed ice trays comes the feared battle station in the DEATH STAR SILICONE ICE TRAY. This high quality kitchen item makes a large ball of ice decorated in the shape of the first Death Star based on its appearance in Star Wars: A New Hope. The Death Star ice mold is made from heat and cold resistant silicone, so it’s freezer and oven safe.
As seen with the Stussy x Plan Check event early last year, Stussy‘s presence has come to extend far beyond the realm of apparel and into the expanses of cuisine. With the brand’s latest foray into food, Stussy links up with Hong Kong’s Yardbird for a fried chicken feast. As the restaurant focuses on yakitori and other dishes involving poultry, the Stussy x Yardbird menu will contain dishes such as twice-fried chicken, popcorn gizzards, mentaiko macaroni, crunchy ramen coleslaw, sweet potato mash, and for dessert, waffles with maple ice cream and crispy chicken skin. We met up with the great chefs at Yardbird to get a special preview of each dish and their presentations. Along with the food you can also expect to find a limited Stussy x Yardbird beer koozie and a collaboration T-shirt.
Stussy x Yardbird Fried Chicken Feast
March, 3 12:00 p.m.
33-35 Bridges St.,
These Food Collages by Julie Lee look like wallpapers, but they’re actually gorgeous well organized food collages that she posts on Instagram.
Vibrant, spare, and beautifully arranged, she shoots them after visits to various farmers markets in Los Angeles or before tackling a recipe.
All images & video © Julie Lee – Instagram