Uber Eats Generated Almost $5B in Revenue For 2020

With a 152% YoY increase from 2019, according to data presented by TradingPlatforms.com Uber Eats generated $4.8B in revenue for 2020 compared to just $1.9B in 2019. The new data are strictly linked to the Coronavirus pandemic that has forced people indoors leading them to use more food delivery services.

Uber Eats also more than doubled its gross bookings in 2020 which amounted to $30.2B compared to just $14.5B in 2019. As of March 2021, Uber Eats holds the second-highest share of the online food delivery market in the US at 22%.

Uber Eats claims to have increased the number of cities that they operate in, from 1000 cities in 2020 to 6000 in 2021.

Because in many cities places dine-in options were forbidden, numerous worldwide restaurants turned to the food delivery app. As a result, in 2020 Uber Eats supported over 600,000 restaurants compared to just 220,000 in 2019 for a 173% YoY increase.

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Cheat Day: Miguel Gallo, Executive Chef at Fireside

Hong Kong boasts one of the most dynamic dining scenes on the planet, filled with culinarians and tastemakers galore. In our Cheat Day column, we spotlight some of the top players in the kitchen and behind the bar, delving into their personal favourites during their days off. 

Executive Chef Miguel Gallo

There’s a new kid on the block, and they’re bringing the heat.  
Fireside is the latest concept by the Cupping Room group, helmed by Executive Chef Miguel Gallo. The restaurant forgoes modern cooking utilities, and only makes use of an open-fire grill fuelled by select varieties of wood and binchotan – a type of traditional Japanese charcoal. Resembling a sophisticated smokehouse, Fireside features their signature Mibrasa Parilla and tailor-made brick oven, a design process that Gallo describes, while chuckling, as a ‘nightmare’. 
“When we started Doubleshot, I was trying to source smoked salmon or bacon, but I couldn’t really find any that I thought were incredible. So, I tried to smoke them myself, which led to the opening of Smoke & Barrels,” says Gallo. “I always wanted to work on a restaurant concept where smoking would be the main show. It’s not about the ethnicity of the food or the ingredients – but the technique. When you add the flavour of the smoke and the wood and the charcoal, it really elevates a dish.” 
Fireside’s kitchen
Where did your love for cooking originate? 
I think a lot of people will say, well, our grandmothers. I come from a big family, and for me, it’s about the good memories that you associate cooking with. We always gathered in huge groups of about 15 people, while my cousins and my brother were running around, I was in the kitchen, helping and asking a lot of questions about what everything was.  
Did you decide quite young that you wanted to get into the culinary world? 
Not really. It sparked when I was in university, and my friends would come over to mine to study. I’d always cook for them and they’d comment that I should do this professionally. That’s when I decided that maybe I should give this a proper shot.  

Fireside interiors

Tell us about your global journey. 
I’m Venezuelan, my dad is Italian, my mum is half-Spanish so we’re really a mix of cultures. When I decided I wanted to cook, I went to Spain to get better trained. I went around a few restaurants, was even in El Bulli for a season – it completely changed my mind. I stayed in Barcelona for a few years before coming to Hong Kong. 
What do you love about the Hong Kong food scene? 
You can really find almost every ingredient here. Some products, when I was in Spain, you cannot even locally source there because 80% goes to export, so to see it in Hong Kong just readily available is amazing. It’s a very complete scene, and Hong Kong consumers are very F&B minded. They know what they want, and where to go to find the dishes they’re looking for.  
Cheat Day time! Which are five indulgent sips or bites you delight in during your days off? 

Chicken Neck Skewer with yuzu kosho and pepper from Yardbird – always enjoy a good yakitori.
The Hummer Pizza from Motown Pizza – a meat-packed Detroit-style 7″ deep dish square pizza with a crispy baked cheese base.
Paella Valenciana from La Paloma – love the traditional-style in which it is prepared, cooked with chicken and artichokes.
Whiskey Sour from The Diplomat – an old time classic.
La Paloma de Oaxaca from Coa – a refreshing and citrusy cocktail to cool off hot summer nights.

Chef Miguel Gallo’s favourites in the city
Fireside is currently in soft opening, with the grand opening date on 15th September. 
Fireside, H Code The Steps 5th Floor, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, +852 6610 8689.
The post Cheat Day: Miguel Gallo, Executive Chef at Fireside appeared first on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong.

First Look: Jen Balisi of @IndulgentEats celebrates culture and cuisine in her new cookbook

Jen Balisi lives a dreamy life. She travels, eats, and blogs about eating and cooking — a lot of cooking! After almost a year of development, her new cookbook, Indulgent Eats at Home, is available for pre-order.
Jen Balisi came to Hong Kong with her husband in 2017 after almost ten years in New York City. Under the Instagram handle @IndulgentEats, she boasts a whooping 366,000 followers — and that number is only growing. With her bright smile, cheery attitude and easy-to-follow recipes, she’s the darling of the social media food sphere, and now, has a cookbook to boot. 

Jen Balisi’s new cookbook Indulgent Eats at Home / Page Street Publishing / Stanley Cheng

“I’m incredibly proud to have a cookbook that’s not just about cooking good food or Instagrammable dishes, but something that can bring us together by bridging gaps between cultures and fostering connection both for those cooking these meals with family and friends,” she says. “My website will have a digital cookbook hub, so every recipe will have its own page that not only has the video and Instagram content mentioned earlier, but a comments section, too.” 
With pre-orders starting now, we catch up with her to learn more about her process, dishes and more. 

Indulgent Eats on YouTube
When did you discover your love for cooking and have you always enjoyed it? 
Growing up in a Filipino household, food is at the heart of every activity so I’ve always loved home-cooked food. I grew up helping my parents with menial kitchen tasks, like rolling up lumpia (Filipino spring rolls) or watching over stews, and always cooked versions of garlic fried rice for myself whenever I was hungry from middle school onwards.  
However, I didn’t truly learn how to cook for myself until I studied abroad in Prague during my time at NYU. There weren’t many good restaurants there at the time — and absolutely zero Filipino food — so I learned how to make classic dishes like chicken adobo, sinigang (a tamarind-based soup) and tinola (chicken cooked in a ginger broth) from my mom over Skype. 
Tell us more about your @IndulgentEats Instagram account? 
I originally started it as a food blog in 2011. I was working as a digital marketing manager at American Express in NYC, and my growing salary gave me the opportunity to dine out more in New York City, travel to new destinations, and try three Michelin-starred restaurants for the first time.  
I wanted to document all of these experiences and, at the same time, also started teaching myself how to create new recipes. I would promote my blog posts on my personal Instagram, but as I gained followers, I eventually created a food-specific account because at the time, I was uncomfortable having lots of strangers following me. My account slowly grew to 20K followers by 2015, then skyrocketed in growth to 200K followers in 2016 until I eventually took things full-time in 2017. 
Jen Balisi / @IndulgentEats / Derry Ainsworth
Was there a specific moment that inspired you to compile a cookbook?   
I’ve always had a dream of making my own cookbook, having watched Food Network from a young age and seeing both celebrity chefs and successful food bloggers with their own cookbooks. It wasn’t until my publisher, Page Street Publishing, reached out to me after being fans of my Instagram account that I decided to finally put pen to paper and come up with a concept for it. 
I wanted it to be an extension of everything Indulgent Eats is about: showcasing seriously delicious food from a wide range of cuisines that looks as good as it tastes, all inspired by the talented chefs and must-visit restaurants that you already find on my Instagram page.  
All of the recipes are grouped by the type of dish with fun hashtags (like #SendNoods #WinnerWinnerChickenDinner and #PocketsofLove) in order to show the similarities of dishes across cultures, and each one comes with the stories behind the food. There’s also easy QR code access to exclusive instructional video content, as well as the Instagram posts featuring the restaurants and food stalls that served as inspiration. 
What did you find most challenging about the process? 
Having to make things over and over and over! Sometimes it was to get the taste or texture of something right, other times it was because I forgot to write down how much salt I used, or because something got messed up in the final plating so it wasn’t picture perfect. 
Being a perfectionist definitely didn’t help the situation, but it can be incredibly frustrating to spend so much time on a single recipe when there are 60 to make. All of that being said, I know the final payoff will be worth it in the end when people are cooking and trying a delicious dish in their own kitchens. 
Juicy AF Xianbing / Jen Balisi / @IndulgentEats
Tell us about some of your favourite recipes in the book. 
All of the noodle recipes rank near the top, since they’re so good and so easy (think miso-carbonara style Umami Bomb Udon and flavour-packed Brown Butter Soy Garlic Spaghetti). The Spicy Tingly Pork Abura Soba is the one I’m most proud of though, since it mashes up my favourite Sichuan/Shaanxi flavours with my favourite Japanese brothless noodles. It also has the most drool-worthy yolk porn! 
The #PocketsofLove chapter also holds a number of favourites, like Lamb Masala Dumplings with Cucumber Mint Raita and the Juicy AF Xianbing inspired by local institution Islam Food. But if you could only make one recipe here, try the Cheesy Pork and Plantain Empanadas — it brings Latin flavours to your kitchen and also teaches you a number of cooking techniques, like slow cooking a large cut of marinated pork, making and rolling out flaky pastry dough from scratch, and deep frying.   
What is something different you noticed about the food culture in Hong Kong compared to New York? 
The starkest difference is probably the focus on excess here in Hong Kong, from lavish buffets and free flow meals to the sometimes overkill of premium ingredients like uni, wagyu and abalone. While it’s definitely fun and delivers lots of delicious meals, I do miss New York’s culture of having deep pride in finding and praising cheap eats of all cuisines. People will travel an hour or more by train just to try the best Venezuelan arepas from a street cart or Georgian khinkali from a beachside Russian and Eastern European community.  
While this behaviour can exist in small pockets in Hong Kong, there’s obviously a wider diversity in food that comes as a product of immigration, and cheaper rents allow small mom and pop immigrant-owned businesses to flourish more in New York City, whereas you often pay a premium for non-Chinese food here in Hong Kong because it’s harder to find. 
Jen Balisi / @IndulgentEats
With the benefit of hindsight, what’s one piece of advice you wish you’d been given at the beginning of this cookbook journey? 
Write absolutely everything down! I mentioned this earlier, but I wasted a lot of time re-cooking dishes I made in the earlier part of the cookbook process because I couldn’t remember how much of a certain ingredient I used. I also wish I planned out my cooking schedule a little better, so I wouldn’t be so rushed at the end trying to finish recipe testing every dish.

Pre-order her cookbook on Amazon or Book Depository.
The post First Look: Jen Balisi of @IndulgentEats celebrates culture and cuisine in her new cookbook appeared first on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong.

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