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Reliving the 70s: The Loews Regency Park Reinvents the TV Dinner


Talk about history repeating itself.

Salmon Classic TV shows like I Dream of Jeannie are popular on Hulu.com. My friend Sandy went from a straight cut to the Farrah Fawcett wave. Twitter is doing its best to repeat the rapid rise (and unfortunately, the rapid decline as well) of the CB radio craze. And now, the Loews Regency Park in New York City rejuvenates the TV dinner concept: introducing Park Avenue Fried Chicken (above), Wasabi Crusted North Atlantic Wild Salmon (right, top), and the Slow Braised Pot Roast (braised in Pinot Noir, below right).

Jeff Davis over at the wonderful foodie blog Foodfete (go ahead, check it out) appreciates what Chef Andrew Rubin is trying to do...and loves the warm, fuzzy feeling it gives him.

The trays are porcelain, not aluminum or plastic. The fried chicken is free range and the macaroni and cheese is cheddar asiago with a Parmesan crust.

While not designed for a low-fat diet, the good news is that this food may be good for you in other ways. Some research suggests eating certain foods can help reduce stress (and no, this research did not come from Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don't Get Fat).

As Sewell Chan blogs over at the NY Times Citydesk,

"...research out of Cornell University suggests that females tend to prefer snack-related comfort foods (candy and chocolate) while males prefer more meal-related comfort foods (pasta or casseroles). The researchers speculate that the gender differences may relate to upbringing. Men may have been conditioned to prefer hot or labor-intensive meals (conjuring up memories of their mothers taking care of them) while women seek convenient comfort foods (a form of self-indulgence)."

As scientists figure out how changes in brain chemistry make us happy, we also are witnessing people who take a more active interest in understanding how their food is produced. I think it's only going to be a matter of time (months, even) before these two trends collide: maybe not TV dinners from your local farmers' market, but certainly using comforting iconography (the old dairy box the milkman would use to deliver milk to your door, or the brown bag lunch) to market locally grown produce.


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