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June 5, 2018 |

Archive for » June 5th, 2018«

Majestic Kitchen & Bath Creations Earns Three Safety Achievement Awards

Kitchen Bath Creations
(“Majestic”), a subcontractor for
residential and commercial construction specializing in countertops,
sinks, shower panels, glass shower enclosures, storefront glass and
more, announced its receipt of three safety achievement awards by the
North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL). The NCDOL safety awards
recognize and promote effective safety and health management systems
throughout the state. Recipients must have maintained either a perfect
safety record for that year or an incident rate at least 50 percent
below the industry average and must have had no fatalities at sites
during that year.

As a subcontractor providing the finest kitchen and bath solutions,
Majestic is known for its dedication and commitment to safety. Employees
handle heavy materials as well as hazardous equipment and machinery
daily, making safety paramount on a continuous basis. Over the past
year, Majestic has integrated new safety protocols and processes at each
of its facilities to further ensure a safe work environment and
professional atmosphere. New processes include centralized accident
reporting, employee motor vehicle report checks and drug testing,
regular internal safety audits and the implementation of an employee
safety council to ensure a safe working environment for employees and
trade partners.

“We are honored and proud to be the recipient of three NCDOL safety
achievement awards,” said Scott Byers, CEO of Majestic. “Our vision is
to be the most professional subcontractor to serve the Carolinas —
professional means we ensure that we are providing safe environments at
all of our facilities and worksites for both our team and builder
partners. We have made safety a priority and these awards are validation
that we’re progressing toward our vision.”

NCDOL Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry presented Majestic with the
safety achievement awards Friday, June 1 at the Raleigh Safety Awards
Banquet. The banquet began at noon at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree

Majestic Kitchen Bath Creations on Facebook

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Majestic Kitchen Bath Creations Blog

Majestic Kitchen
Bath Creations manufactures and offers among the widest selection of
granite, cultured marble, quartz, solid surface, stone and glass
products, door hardware, locksets, storefront glass, shower enclosures,
mirrors, closet shelving and kitchen and bath accessories in the
Carolinas with locations in Raleigh, Wilmington and Greensboro.
Supported by a team of 270+ professionals, Majestic specializes in
creating unique and distinctive countertops, sinks, bathtubs and
showers. Their 25+ years of experience is backed by an Artisan Group
membership and Natural Stone Institute accreditation — the industry
marks for delivering quality and value — along with numerous other
material accreditations and certifications. From consultation and design
to manufacturing and installation, customers and contractors throughout
the Carolinas trust Majestic’s highly skilled teams of designers,
fabricators and installers. Visit

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In India, a trio of unlikely heroes wages war on plastic – Herald

NEW DELHI (AP) For more than 25 years, Ram Nath has lived on the banks of the Yamuna River under a 19th-century iron bridge. Each morning, the wiry man walks a few steps from his makeshift hut and enters the black, sludgy waters of one of India’s most polluted rivers. He is fishing for trash.

“This is the only work we have,” said the 40-year-old, sorting through a pile of plastic bottles, bags, and cast-off electronics.

Hundreds of garbage collectors live on the Yamuna’s banks in New Delhi, making $2 to $4 per day recycling plastic waste collected from the river. While Nath doesn’t think of himself as an environmentalist, he is one of a handful of New Delhi residents waging war against the tsunami of plastic threatening to swamp India. They include a 9th-grade student who convinces posh restaurants to give up plastic straws and a businessman whose company makes plates and bowls from palm leaves.

India, which hosts U.N. World Environment Day on June 5, can use all the help it can get. This year’s theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution.”

With more than 15 million people, New Delhi and its surrounding cities produce an estimated 17,000 tons of trash daily, according to Indian officials and environmentalists. That requires immense dumps, hills of stinking trash that measure up to 50 meters tall. Last year, two people were killed when a large part of one of the city’s dumps crashed down onto them.

“All these products which we use because of convenience take many hundreds of years” to even partially decompose, said Chitra Mukherjee, an environmental expert and head of operations at Chintan.

Mukherjee, who has spent years raising awareness and creating localized efforts to curb plastic pollution credits the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government for making waste management and pollution a more serious issue.

“It is a collaborative effort between not only bureaucrats, but researchers, environmentalists who have been brought on board to make some progressive policies,” she said.

But policy and impact can mean different things. Like the repeated bans in New Delhi on using thin plastic bags. The latest regulation came with a hefty $75 fine. Yet a trip to nearly any shop in New Delhi makes clear how widely the ban is flouted.

Amardeep Bardhan believes he can make a difference.

His company, Prakritii, makes plates and bowls from the leaves of south India’s areca palm trees. The plateware, which has the feel of thick paper plates, biodegrades in seven to ten days, he said. The company doesn’t harvest any palm trees, but waits for leaves to fall to the ground.

“In this entire process, we are not harming the environment,” said Bardhan. “We are generating something from the waste, people are loving it, and then it goes back as a waste.”

While Prakritii initially made most of its income from exports to Europe and the U.S., Bardhan said the market for eco-friendly products is growing in India, especially among younger people who value quality over price. His company generates more than $150,000 in revenue each year.

In places, the trend is growing.

Some fancy restaurants in and around New Delhi are doing away with plastic straws and replacing them with paper straws. That’s largely because of Aditya Mukarji, a student who launched his campaign after seeing a video of two veterinarians trying to remove a plastic straw from a turtle’s nose.

“People listen more to children bringing up environmental concerns,” said Mukarji, who has helped replace more than 500,000 plastic straws at restaurants and hotels since he started his campaign in March.

If nothing else, India hosting the World Environment Day has made environmental protection a hot topic at least briefly in a country where trash is everywhere. Tuesday will see numerous official environmental gatherings across India, clean up campaigns along the Yamuna and mall food courts agreeing to forgo plastic plateware for one day.

The hope is that everything doesn’t go back to normal on Wednesday.
















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Adding Social Care into the Customer Experience Mix is a Recipe for Success for KitchenAid

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A strategic plan to connect more closely with customers using social
media has resulted in an 85% growth in engagement across Facebook,
Twitter and Instagram for KitchenAid,
the leading countertop appliance brand since it implemented CX
, a dedicated social media management platform from

As one of the most long-standing and respected brands amongst both
professional and at-home chefs, KitchenAid highly values its
relationship with customers. After recognising that its response to
queries on social media in relation to repairs or deliveries lacked the
right level of speed and agility, the company took the decision to
implement a unified social media management and analytics solution and
selected CX Social.

This move has resulted in a 90% growth in KitchenAid’s social media fan
base and a 143% growth in social interactions over the course of one

“We were already using CRM and other tools, but they didn’t give us the
visibility we needed across the entire operation and all social channels
so we could respond quickly to our customers,” said David Moreno,
Digital Marketing Specialist, KitchenAid. “Clarabridge CX Social has
given us a 360° view using dashboards that show us how we are
responding, where questions need to be escalated, and crucially, the
trends in customer feedback that allow us to provide a better, more
informed service.”

For KitchenAid it is vital to ensure that communications with customers
are supported across all channels, and despite the challenges of digital
transformation, such as bringing cohesion to its use of disparate
systems, it was determined to incorporate social outlets, including
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, and make the customer
experience homogeneous at every touch point.

“We are still working through the process of making our interactions
with customers very efficient and this is helped by CX Social, which can
support us in many different ways,” said David Moreno. “We are learning
so much more than we expected in terms of what our customers need, how
they cook, how they think and feel about our products and what they want
from them and this is informing our product development pipeline. This
will enhance relationships with our customers and demonstrate that we
are as ‘serious about food’ as they are, which is why a trusted
partnership with Clarabridge is so important to us.”

About Clarabridge:

Clarabridge’s SaaS customer experience management solution helps
hundreds of the world’s leading brands put customer feedback to work.
Offering the most comprehensive solution for omni-source listening,
accurate customer and text analytics, and real-time, guided action is
why leading brands trust Clarabridge to power their CX programs and
drive a customer focused strategy. The result: better customer
experiences. For more information, visit

About KitchenAid:

For nearly 100 years KitchenAid has been one of the most popular brand
names when it comes to countertop appliances. Best known for the
legendary American Stand Mixer, countless enthusiastic professional and
hobby chefs cannot imagine a kitchen without them anymore. Initiated in
1919, the American electrical appliances still continue to be a strong
brand in the culinary world today – with their smart combination of
leading technology, premium quality and appealing design. For further
information, please visit:

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A Lot of Le Creuset Cookware in Melodramatic Purple Is on Sale Now

Though Le Creuset has been making high-quality, enameled cast-iron cookware, including skillets and Dutch ovens, for the better part of a century, the traditional French brand isn’t immune to following trends and getting a little adventurous when it comes to color. A couple of years ago, when millennial pink popped up everywhere, Le Creuset came out with a new color called Hibiscus that was a dead ringer for the pale, rosy pink that refused to disappear.

So it hasn’t been a huge surprise that we’ve spotted this season’s trendiest melodramatic purple creeping into the cookware company’s collections. The Cut’s Emilia Petrarca describes this hue as “both sad and happy at the same time — a state of being I think a lot of people can relate to for spring 2018.” Le Creuset calls it Provence, likely in homage to the French lavender the color ostensibly imitates, and right now, there are lots of melodramatic-purple Le Creuset cookware on sale at Nordstrom for 20 percent off.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, bed sheets, coffee makers, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

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La Mercerie Is a Dreamy, Luxe Fantasy of a French Cafe

Anyone who understands a cafe to be an informal hangout for nibbling and lingering — a “small restaurant where simple fare and drinks are served,” as the Cambridge dictionary puts it — will be forgiven for strolling into La Mercerie without a reservation or a lot of cash. The Soho newcomer does, after all, claim to celebrate the “thoughtful delights of everyday French cooking.”

But this particular cafe sits inside the Roman and Williams Guild, a design emporium that sells the artisanal dinnerware patrons use during meal service. Cards on every table advertise the lofty prices; a single earthenware teacup and saucer runs $125. And that nice ottoman just outside the dining room? It’s $10,000.

An all-day place for an impromptu rendezvous with a colleague, this is not — not with $32 white asparagus salads, and not with the lack of dedicated seating for walk-ins after 12 p.m. There are no bar stools. There is no takeout except for pastries and espresso. And virtually any lunchtime table can book a week out. If this sounds outrageous for a place that sells crepes and coffee, well it kind of is. But at least there’s a good reason for the demand: Marie-Aude Rose is the chef.

Marie-Aude Rose in the dining room at La Mercerie

Gary He

She makes really good crepes. Ambitious New York chefs don’t tend to iterate on that Parisian street staple, nor do they tend to serve tuna fish sandwiches for dinner like Rose does. The prevailing resurgence of French food in Manhattan has taken a variety of forms, from hip small plates spots with natural wines, to haute-poultry purveyors, to exalted tasting palaces. What distinguishes La Mercerie— and what ranks it as one of the most compelling Gallic spots of the past decade — is its unusual dedication to riffing on humble French cafe fare.

Ham, egg, and cheese crepe at La Mercerie

A waiter ferries over a white plate covered by a craggy grey dome. This is the grilled buckwheat crepe; it hides a soft pile of chicken cut with carrots (for sweetness), cream (for richness), and tarragon (for aroma). You use the earthy pancake, which is crisp like a dosa, to scoop up the meaty bits with your hands. It’s not so much a standard portable crepe as something that could hold its own at a Michelin-starred establishment.

Or consider a single soft boiled egg. Rose places it atop cauliflower-tofu puree, speckles it with breadcrumbs, and anoints it with a few wisps of parmesan. The flavors express themselves with such breathtaking clarity — the vegetal punch of the chou-fleur, the opulence of the golden yolk, the umami-richness of the cheese — that one wonders why Robuchon isn’t selling these at his slick chef’s counter. Rose asks $15 for this masterpiece.

La Mercerie isn’t really an everyday cafe; it’s rather a Nancy Meyers-esque, upper-class fantasy of one. Cue the plush aqua mohair banquettes, the $6 croissants (Balthazar charges $3.75), the rustic linen napkins (take home four for $105), and the in-house florist peddling curvy myrtle topiaries.

These frivolities notwithstanding, it’s a heck of a debut for Rose. She’s a Parisian chef who’s worked in the kitchens of Guy Savoy and Pierre Gagnaire, two of the world’s most celebrated practitioners of haute gastronomy, as well as that of Daniel Rose, a Chicago-born culinarian famous for his dressed-down approach to fine dining at Spring. Daniel hired Marie as Spring’s first cook. The duo married and moved to New York in 2016 so Daniel could open Le Coucou, an awesome (and expensive) ode to the grand French dining rooms of yesteryear.

Chicken with garlic ginger nougatine

The dining room at La Mercerie

La Mercerie, located a few blocks away from Le Coucou and run by the same operator, Stephen Starr, is cheaper and more casual by design — but no less technical or studied in its fare. There’s probably not a single tasting menu venue in New York with a more comprehensive butter program.

Accompanying cantabric anchovies are butter sticks laden with as much vanilla as ice cream, acting as a gently sweet counterpart to the assertively saline fish. Patrons spread sourdough slices with a lemon butter that’s as aromatic as sorbet, or a speckled buckwheat butter packing the aromas of an autumnal bonfire. But best of all is when the kitchen sends out icy Kushi oysters with pats of seaweed butter. The bivalve is refreshingly cucumber-y, while the nori-spiked dairy, smeared on a rye cracker, amps up the umami factor with a more powerful burst of brine.

Fans of the trendier aspects of all-day dining, take note: There are no grain bowls, chia puddings, or bespoke-blend burgers here. In the morning, you come for crisp ham and cheese croissants; they smell richly of dairy, as much a product of the buttery laminated dough as the heady, 18-month aged Comté. In the afternoon, you come for a rare filet, doused in Cognac sauce, and paired with tangy blue cheese pommes dauphine. And on a sweaty summer evening, you come for the salad nicoise, with a pile of slow-cooked tuna, green beans, and olives drenched in enough pungent anchovy vinaigrette to make the palate beg for Champagne.

A selection of butter at La Mercerie, including olive-oil lemon and buckhweat

If your table isn’t ready, hosts might suggest strolling back into the Guild itself, where you can admire a soft reindeer pelt over a bespoke couch ($16,000) or negotiate the angles of a cubist chair that looks plucked from the set of Beetlejuice ($30,000). There’s nothing uncommon about mixing restaurants and retail; Bloomingdales, ABC Home, and other department stores have a long history of hosting culinary establishments. The reason for these mashups are as simple as a buffet in a Vegas casino: to keep people inside and to keep them spending.

But at La Mercerie, where the cost of goods is so completely out of reach to so many, the restaurant rather takes on the air of an aspirational advertisement, a postcard from a fictional millionaire’s lifestyle. And in this regard, one has to ask whether Starr, one of the country’s most successful independent restaurateurs, could’ve found a larger space for Rose’s stunning cooking, rather than place her cafe in a store where a sofa costs more than a Ford Fiesta sedan.

It would be nice to see more folks sample Rose’s stellar boeuf bourguignon, a shimmering red wine braise that sits over a pile of firm, buttered penne, or her epic roast chicken, deboned and with the skin as crunchy as the layers of mille-feuille. Just when the salty bliss of the bird starts to shock the palate, something unusual resets it: garlic-ginger nougatine, discs of sugar enriched-allium that Rose should sell by the bag as candy.

A selection of pastries, including the ham and cheese crossiant (center) and the torteau fromager (bottom left)

One last note: If New York is having a bit of a pastry moment right now, La Mercerie is sometimes a laggard in this regard. Rose’s torteau fromager, a French cheesecake made from chevre, recalled an arid poundcake on a recent visit. Profiteroles — pastry puffs filled with ice cream — had about as much flavor as matzoh and quickly took on a stiff texture. Ananas and kirsch — pineapple slices doused in cherry brandy — evoked a dice of supermarket fruit doused in an indistinct spirit.

Then there’s Rose’s orange flower water-laced brioche, which might be one of the sweets of the century. In the morning, she cuts a single generous slice into four oversized batons and stands them up in a bowl of crème anglaise. Guests nibble and dunk as if these were toast soldiers, letting the eggy sauce fortify the obscenely rich bread. I’ve never encountered something so aromatically indulgent in a cafe, which is why it seems perfect in this whimsical, flawed, beautiful daydream of one.

Cost: Starters at $9-$21; mains, salads, and crepes at $18-$37. Expect to spend about $120 per person after tax and tip at dinner. An Americano (La Colombe, $5.50) and a croissant ($6) at the takeout counter will run about $13 after tax, which is a lot.

Sample dishes: Ham and cheese croissant ($11), brioche with creme anglaise ($8), salad nicoise ($27), anchovies with vanilla butter ($21), oysters with seaweed butter (2 for $10), chicken with garlic-ginger nougatine ($33), filet with pommes dauphine ($37).

Bonus Tip: La Mercerie is walk-ins only until noon. Lunch tables can book up a week out or more, while evening bookings tend to fill up between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Outside of breakfast, walk-ins have the best luck between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. A few stools near the window allow for daytime pastry eating.

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Pizza bouquets, boutonnieres being tossed to couples – Orlando …

Brides and grooms can forgo passé floral bouquets and boutonnieres for something a bit more cheesy, courtesy of Villa Italian Kitchen.

The quick-service pizza chain are giving away pizza bouquets and boutonnieres to couples planning to marry this summer.

“We are so excited to kick-off wedding season with the launch of the world’s first Pizza Bouquet and Boutonniere,” said Mimi Wunderlich, Villa Italian Kitchen’s director of communications and digital marketing. “These delicious floral accessories are perfect for pizza-loving couples looking to spice up their wedding with one-of-a-kind designs.

“We are looking forward to celebrating the marriages of some of our most loyal fans by gifting them a set of their own, just in time for their wedding.”

The pizza bouquet and boutonniere are made from pizza dough, mozzarella, tomatoes and pepperoni.

Visit to enter by providing Villa Italian Kitchen your wedding date and location by June 15. A limited number of couples will be randomly chosen to win the bouquet and boutonniere.

All guests who sign up will receive a coupon for a free slice of Villa Italian Kitchen’s Neapolitan cheese pizza, redeemable from June 18 – June 22, 2018.

Find a Villa Italian Kitchen near you by visiting:

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The External Affairs Ministry Tried to Spend ₹22 Lakhs on a Dinner Set

The External Affairs Ministry on April 5 put out a tender on the Government of India’s eProcurement Portal, for a 24-person dinner set, described as “Handmade crystal glassware, crested with seal,” for a contract of Rs. 22 lakhs.

Since the tender opened on May 2, VICE checked in with dozens of crockery suppliers in New Delhi. We failed to find a single shopkeeper who had heard of “handmade crystal glassware”, let alone heard of the product. Ashwini Gupta, who manages Clay Craft India, told VICE, “ Aisi cheez Hindustan mein nahi hoti. Aapko dauda rahein hain aise.” (A thing like this doesn’t exist in India. They’re giving you the run-around.)

Online too, we couldn’t find anything matching that description. Admitting defeat, we reached out to the office of Aruna Tirkey at the Ministry of External Affairs, the Administrative Officer who signed the tender.

We were directed by her towards two people in her office who didn’t want to tell us their names, but said there had in fact been an error in the tender. “There is a small clarification. It wasn’t ‘handmade crystal glass’.” They told us that anyone in the industry would have understood the tender as meant for simple crockery. “We made a minor mistake in one place.”

They said they’d fix the tender, but as of April 30th, it still said “Handmade crystal glassware”. So if the ministry wasn’t looking for some obscure crystal, then what kind of dinnerware costs Rs. 22 lakhs?

At Oma Living in Khan Market, we were told the most expensive 24-person porcelain set they could provide cost Rs. 87,000. Fancy Trading in Azad Market told us they could provide a set of toughened glass, not crystal, of Rs. 48,000. And, on the other end of incredulity, Nikhil Kumar Saini, owner of New Krishna Ceramic Industries in Bundelkhand, insisted he could provide a bone china one for as little as Rs. 204.

Even the most expensive dinnerware in the world shouldn’t set anyone that far back. Unless Swaraj wants to eat off Catherine the Great’s plate, rare Ming Dynasty porcelain or a set belonging to William Tubman, the president of Liberia in 1951!

On May 31, Tirkey’s office told us that ultimately no one had bid for the tender. Just as well, but it still leaves us wondering what they were hoping for.

Follow Parthshri Arora on Twitter.

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