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The week in ideas, July 22, 2011

Taco Bell expanded on its charitable work with teens, sending them cross country to learn work skills. A New York chef pushes back against Meatless Mondays. A Texas couple goes Whataburger crazy. And Tim Zagat lays out the new rules of dining etiquette.

Idea #1 Teenage road trip idea: Taco Bell Foundation for Teens has hired six Boys & Girls Club teens to participate from July through October in the Graduate to Go™ internship program. The three-month position will expose teens to high potential careers. Teens also will serve as "social media reporters," sharing their career experiences through digital media. During the program, the teens will shadow business professionals and participate in company and community events, chronicling their experiences online. Examples include career training at the Taco Bell Restaurant Support Center in Irvine, California, interaction with local Taco Bell business partners and vendors, and participation in the Keystone Regional Conference, a teen leadership event hosted by Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  Interns will all be awarded a $10,000 educational scholarship, all-expense-paid travel during the program, a digital camera and an iPad.

Idea #2 The opposite of Meatless Mondays idea: Executive Chef Christian Ragano of New York Central is going against trend with a meat-filled Monday. "The menu was a collaboration between sous-chef Adam Nichol and myself, as well just tossing around ideas for simple, delicious plates to put together, utilizing different meats that you don't necessarily see on everybody's menus -- buffalo, elk, ostrich," Ragano told NY1 news.

“While the courses change from week to week, one sampling of the dishes included confit of cornish hen in cumin-scented jus served on yogurt and eggplant jam and topped with scallions; crispy pork belly braised in white wine over pea puree and garnished with fresh mint alongside polenta with a fried egg; and beef cheeks with oxtail ravioli, baby leeks, radish salad and truffle,” NY1 reported.

Idea #3 Whataquest idea: Karl and Carol Hoepfner are either desperately board in their retirement, or desperately in love with Whataburger. Or both. The Texas couple plan to visit all 722 locations of the Corpus Christi-base chain. They’ve already hit 225. The Hoepfners have been greeted by the chain’s mascot, given a cake in their honor and allowed to throw out the first pitch Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi.

Idea #4 Chivalry is nearly dead idea: Tim Zagat just put out a list of the 10 new rules of dining etiquette, focusing on the gender dynamics. As the Zag notes, most notions of gender dining differences are antiquated: men don’t always pay, women don’t always order first, men don’t have to be the one to try the wine. But as Zagmeister argues there’s still one vestige: men open doors for women. “Bottom line: two people can’t go through a door at the same time. So to the women out there who find this notion antiquated, please, humor these poor men. Let them get the door – they’ll let you get the bill or walk on the outside once out on the street.”

 

 

 

 

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