Toyota’s 2020 Supra Gets a Slick Carbon Fiber Treatment With Murdered-Out Wheels

The hotly-anticipated 2020 Supra returns after its years-long absence from Toyota’s lineup later this year, and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) already has some big plans for it in the form of race-worthy carbon fiber modifications.

As Motor Trend notes, TRD’s silver-painted concept features carbon fiber on the front and rear spoilers, side skirts, rear spats, and side door scoops. A set of 19-inch, murdered-out aluminum wheels tops the whole thing off. 

These eye-catching add-ons aren’t just for show. Their primary purpose is to improve airflow around the Supra’s already-aerodynamic body, thus increasing the sport coupe’s stability and performance at speed. 

The forthcoming Supra boasts BMW’s 335-horsepower, 3.0-liter straight-six and 8-speed automatic transmission. It’s unclear if and when TRD’s mods will be available on the U.S.-spec Supra, which is slated to hit dealer lots this summer. 

Fingers crossed. 

The Week in Bites: 10th February

The Week in Bites: 10th February We look back at the stories that made Fine Dining Lovers – from Young Chefs to seasoned pros, Argentina to Switzerland. Here is a taste of the Week in Bites.

Casper’s Smartphone-Enabled Nightlight Wants To Help You Sleep Better

It’s been several years since Casper first shook up the sleep industry with its acclaimed foam mattresses that are delivered to your home in a cardboard box. The still-buzzy brand has since branched out from its signature “obsessively engineered” flagship Casper mattress to sheets, pillows, bedroom furniture, and even a dog bed. 

But the company’s latest drop, the Casper Glow, is the first to incorporate smartphone technology as a sleep aid, and it’s already being billed as a nightlight for grownups.

The small, orb-like LED lamp is designed to sync with your body’s circadian rhythms to get on an optimal sleep schedule. The idea is the Glow’s warm light lulls you to sleep at night, while a soft light swells in the morning to wake you up as gently as possible. 

You can also sync your Casper Glow with a smartphone app that allows for even more customization, including extending or shortening the time your Glow lights up in the morning or at night.  

Ad Week has more details about Casper’s new gizmo, which launched this week:

Jeff Brooks, Casper’s CMO, said Glow is meant to succeed in areas where standard lightbulbs fail, particularly in creating the ideal sleeping environment.

“There’s a lot of science that went into this product,” he said. “Certain types of light disturb your circadian rhythms, which are incredibly important for how you fall asleep and why you stay asleep.

“And I’d argue most lights on bedside tables or nightstands today are harsh. They’re not designed to kind of aid you into your drift-off.”

The Glow’s petite size—five inches tall, three inches wide—also makes it easy to pick up and carry around, is intended to make it the ideal companion for a middle-of-the-night bathroom trip.

“It gives just enough warm light for you to accomplish that task and then get back into bed without disturbing sort of your inner body’s workings,” said Brooks.

A single Casper Glow costs $89, and two go for $169 at Casper.com.

Restaurant Talk: The Dynamic Duo Behind a San Francisco Classic (Wine Spectator)

Nancy Oakes and John Lancaster sometimes finish each other’s sentences, they’ve worked side by side so long. The rare level of synergy between chef and wine director they’ve attained over two decades has helped keep Boulevard at the top of San Francisco’s dining scene.

Oakes grew up in Northern California and worked in several San Francisco kitchens before establishing her own place, L’Avenue, in 1988. That restaurant closed in 1993, but Oakes opened Boulevard the same year with business partner Pat Kuleto; the restaurant in the waterfront Embarcadero district quickly became a fine-dining go-to, and a quarter-century later reigns as a modern classic with its impeccable setting and finely tuned wine program. Oakes later opened another Best of Award of Excellence winner in San Francisco, Prospect.

Lancaster has been the wine director at Boulevard since 1996 and has elevated the wine program to keep pace with Oakes’ cuisine over the years. Today, Boulevard offers 825 selections, with an emphasis on regions such as California, Burgundy and the Rhône, and keeps a rotation of 30-plus wines by the glass.

The time-tested team spoke with assistant editor Julie Harans about tasting life-changing Château d’Yquem, “bending” dish preparations to pair with wine, and how to balance meeting expectations without getting “bored.”

Wine Spectator: What initially sparked your interest in wine?
Nancy Oakes: I think it was traveling. In the early ‘80s I went to France, and it’s just naturally how it occurs there, and I think I loved it. Wine hadn’t really been a part of my past because my parents were not particularly wine drinkers; in fact, I wasn’t much of a drinker at all. So the first golden moment—I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant—but it’s where I had a tasting of all different goose preparations paired with Château d’Yquem. I don’t think I’ve ever been the same since that. That changed me forever.

WS: How do you work together to create wine pairings that complement the cuisine, and vice versa?
NO: I tend to like wine-friendly food, because if I sit down for a special occasion, I’m thinking wine, and I’m thinking the wines I love to drink. So I think it’s just very enmeshed, it’s synchronized. When people ask me to do a course and a dinner that has fabulous wines, and the wine is really the big focal point of that dinner, I put the wine first. It is easier for me to bend the food. You can’t bend the wine; it’s in the bottle.
John Lancaster: And I think that kind of thing just comes naturally to Nancy. We’ve written so many menus together that it’s just nature for Nancy, the way she can work a dish to fit the wine. We endlessly change and evolve, so that makes it fun for us and it makes it interesting. I always wonder when I go back to a restaurant 10 years later and all the dishes are the same. I think, “God, how are you not bored with that?”

WS: What does that collaboration look like on a day-to-day basis?
JL: We do tastings together, and we’ve worked together so long that I think we finish each other’s sentences at times. It’s kind of a natural thing, and certainly I do have a lot of conversations with the kitchen on new dishes and things. We work five days a week together, so we’re around each other quite a bit … Every time there’s a new dish on the menu, Nancy makes it for lineup, and we all try it and talk about it.
NO: I tried to say we’ve worked together for 18 years the other weekend and John corrected me—it’s more like 20 years. He’s my first go-to when I set off to do something paired with a wine. I come to him and I say, “This is what I’m thinking,” and he’ll either go, “Yes, yes, yes,” or “Oh, no, that’s not going to work.” He’s a great resource for me. I think mostly because my training is French and Italian, it makes it automatically wine-friendly. But some of the younger people, like my chef de cuisine, [are] very strong in Asian ingredients, and I think that’s more of a challenge, wine-wise.

WS: How has Boulevard evolved since opening?
NO: Some of the basic proteins we’ve always had on the menu, but if the basic menu item—like the pork chop—is the little black dress, what I really love are the accessories. So that’s what’s always evolving. But what’s interesting is that now, for children of our original customers, this is their special-occasion place, and they bring their children. This restaurant has such a stated look that it feels familiar and there’s a touchstone, but actually it has been changing beneath their feet, and they’ve changed also.

There’s so much food media that everyone’s exposed to, they’re expecting to see those new ingredients and new styles. But yet, the way the restaurant feels and looks is the same, which I think sets a tradition, which is hard to find now—a tradition.

WS: And how has the wine list evolved?
JL: Well, just in more depth and scope … Way back in the day it was a lot smaller, a lot less inventory, a lot more California-driven, and now we’ve got a little bit of everything from everywhere. I look at what we did 15 or 20 years ago compared to what we do now and I go, “Wow.”

WS: What’s the secret to Boulevard’s longevity?
NO: At the end of the day, it’s about hospitality. Recognition of your guests, quality of service and quality of the product, and knowing the people in your dining room. If I go to a place four times and they look at me like I’m a complete stranger, I’m probably going to cross it off my list. I think everybody’s really involved in the new thing, but I think that there is some comfort in familiarity.


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Creamy Red Pepper Shells

Creamy Red Pepper Shells - Crumbled Italian sausage, Parmesan, basil, and the most EPIC red pepper cream sauce. It's irresistible and completely addictive!

Crumbled Italian sausage, Parmesan, basil, and the most EPIC red pepper cream sauce. It’s irresistible and completely addictive!

Creamy Red Pepper Shells - Crumbled Italian sausage, Parmesan, basil, and the most EPIC red pepper cream sauce. It's irresistible and completely addictive!

I’m currently taking a break from all the soups right now. At least for just a little bit.

But only because I have something else keeping me nice and cozy during this very cold winter.

Creamy Red Pepper Shells - Crumbled Italian sausage, Parmesan, basil, and the most EPIC red pepper cream sauce. It's irresistible and completely addictive!

That’s right. It’s this cream sauce here, but guys, this is not just any kind of cream sauce.

It’s a red pepper cream sauce! Loaded with crumbled Italian sausage (mild or spicy can be used here), plenty of freshly grated Parmesan and fresh basil leaves.

Creamy Red Pepper Shells - Crumbled Italian sausage, Parmesan, basil, and the most EPIC red pepper cream sauce. It's irresistible and completely addictive!

And you get to use jarred roasted red peppers, cutting the prep time in half, making this a quick 30-minute meal.

Although I should warn you – this may be requested every single night of the week! We’re already on day 4 here.

Creamy Red Pepper Shells

Crumbled Italian sausage, Parmesan, basil, and the most EPIC red pepper cream sauce. It’s irresistible and completely addictive!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces medium pasta shells
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  2. Combine red bell peppers and chicken stock in blender until smooth; set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is browned, about 5-7 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  4. Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  6. Gradually whisk in red bell pepper mixture and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 6-8 minutes.
  7. Stir in pasta and heavy cream until heated through, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in Parmesan until melted, about 2 minutes. Stir in basil.
  8. Serve immediately.

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