Where do the hottest stars of today go to get a taste of the Hollywood glamour of yesterday? Restaurant magnate Hunter Pond, Chairman and CEO of Vandelay Hospitality Group, is thrilling the LA scene as he expands his restaurant empire beyond Dallas, Texas.
The much anticipated Drake’s Hollywood celebrated its grand opening on May 4th on the famed Melrose Strip of West Hollywood, California. Paris Jackson, Kelli Berglund, Mackenzie Ziegler, Leona Lewis, Olivia Culpo, and a host of young celebrities came to experience the ambiance, which is designed to take diners back to the classy days of 1940’s Hollywood. Hunter Pond has curated every aspect of the décor to ensure that diners are fully immersed in old Hollywood elegance. The deep red booths and bar stools are surrounded by original artwork that features iconic idols from the Silver Screen.
The menu of Drake’s Hollywood combines sophistication and fun with dishes such as sturgeon caviar, le deluxe mac n cheese, and Melrose cracker crust pizza. All of Hunter Pond’s restaurants are known for using premium ingredients to ensure outstanding taste and quality.
A native of Dallas, Texas, Hunter Pond opened his first restaurant at just 24 years old. Today, Vandelay Hospitality Group operates several restaurants, and is known for meticulously orchestrating every aspect of the dining experience, from the exquisite food, to the music, to the interior design.
The original Drake’s Hollywood has been delighting customers in Dallas since 2019. So, whether you’re in North Texas or on the West Coast, pull out your classiest old Hollywood outfit and head over to Drake’s Hollywood for a most memorable evening.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama recently launched PLEZi Nutrition, a healthy food and beverage company which aims to offer “healthier, great-tasting products” to kids. Obama, who is the co-founder and strategic partner of PLEZi Nutrition, has experience with trying to get children to make healthier choices. As First Lady, she created the Let’s Move Campaign which encouraged kids to engage in physical activity and eat more fruits and vegetables. She helped to pass the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010, which increased the nutritional value of school lunches across the country.
PLEZi Nutrition’s first product is a fruit juice for kids called PLEZi, which contains significantly less sugar than the leading fruit juices on the market. The company stated that they have plans to begin selling other items in the near future, which focus on “Lowering sugar content and lowering sweetness to help adjust kids’ palates to crave less sweetness”.
Obama is concerned by the rising rates of obesity and nutrition-related illnesses in children in the United States. She said, “I’ve learned that on this issue, if you want to change the game, you can’t just work from the outside. You’ve got to get inside—you’ve got to find ways to change the food and beverage industry itself”.
Air travel may finally be recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although some experts predicted that rising inflation would keep vacationers close to home, Delta Airlines reports a 17% increase in demand for flights in the quarter that ends in June.
Despite rising fares, according to Expedia, there has been a 25% increase in flight searches for summer trips, and an even larger increase in searches for international travel to Europe and Asia.
Airlines are also feeling hopeful about the return of corporate travel. Now that offices are reopening after the pandemic, business people are once again willing to fly to meetings. This summer, a high percentage of seats are expected to be filled by people traveling for work.
The next challenge for the airlines will be to ensure they are prepared for this increase in travelers. Throughout the past year, the airline industry was plagued with thousands of cancellations due to bad weather and internal issues. To ensure that passengers arrive at their destinations in a timely manner, Daniel Janki, CFO of Delta, said that Delta has devoted time and energy to “ensuring that we have the right resources in the right places with the right level of training.”
Drug company Covica Rx has contracted with the state of California to create affordable insulin. Pending FDA approval, this 10-year, $50 million agreement will allow Civica to start making CalRx insulin in late 2023.
People with Type 1 diabetes do not produce enough insulin, and they rely on manufactured insulin in order to survive. Currently, insulin can cost up to $300 for a 10 milliliter vial. But insulin produced by Civica for the state of California will cost no more than $30 per 10 milliliter vial, even for the uninsured. This will save patients who pay out of pocket up to $4,000 a year.
This arrangement is part of California’s CalRx initiative which aims to reduce the cost of medications by producing generic drugs under the state’s own label.
Civica will be producing three types of insulin, glargine, lisprom and aspart, which will all be the equivalent of the insulin produced by the major drug companies. Although California has initiated this project, the medicines will be available all across the country.
The production of affordable insulin is a game changer for Americans with diabetes. NPR.com reported that 1 out of 6 Americans living with diabetes ration their supply of insulin due to the high cost of the drug. University of California College of Law professor Robin Feldman called this an “extraordinary move in the pharmaceutical industry, not just for insulin but potentially for all kinds of drugs.”
Several pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly and Sanofi have announced that they will also be cutting the cost of insulin in the upcoming year.
Food companies have taken notice of America’s love for air frying. Since 2017 Americans have spent an increasing amount of money on air fryers, with nearly $1 billion spent in 2022.
Several big name food brands continue to develop products that are air-fried or that can be made in an air-fryer. Campbell Soup’s Kettle Brand recently introduced air-fried potato chips to the market. Nestle is producing a number of frozen products that consumers are encouraged to prepare in the air-fryer, and Gorton’s Seafood, Kellogg, and Hormel Foods have added air-frying instructions to many of their frozen products. Tyson Foods’ air fried line has reached up to $100 million in sales.
According to CNBC, Adam Graves, Nestle U.S’s Pizza and Snacking Division President, says that air frying is “the biggest trend that we’re seeing right now in modern cooking”.
Some people were skeptical that the air-frying trend, which boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic, would quickly disappear. But so far, the opposite has proven to be true. Now that people are expected to go back to the office, they appreciate that air-frying provides a quick, healthy method of cooking, and they continue to purchase air-fryers.
Some estimates suggest that 60% of American homes now contain an air fryer, and while this makes it far less popular than the microwave, the air fryer has recently surpassed the grill to become the fourth most popular cooking appliance in America today.