Big Mystery Tippers, $10,000 Sriracha Packets, and the Great Pappy Theft: Eating & Reading

A tasty roundup of some of the best stuff we’re reading this week.

“Tips for Jesus,” or a publicity scam? You decide. Image via Shutterstock.

Questionable Choices

So there’s a Sriracha packet going for $10,000 on eBay. And no, it has never touched a celebrity hand. [Grub Street] —Anna Spiegel

Apparently there’s a Mystery Tipper—or tippers—giving away great gobs of money to waiters and waitresses across the country. Like, $3,000-a-pop gobs of money. And signing the bill—this is the creepy part, at least to me—“tips for Jesus.” There’s even a Twitter handle. Are we to believe that in an age of doctored photographs and crass and cynical Photoshopped stunts there is some do-gooding Claus out there, and that this is not just some desperate straining after virality? [Eater National] —Todd Kliman

More receipts: Some restaurants are now using them to guilt diners into eating better. Note to Fox: it’s not “eating healthier,” it’s “eating more healthfully” [Fox News] —TK

If you steal $26K of arguably the best bourbon made, don’t sell it. The joyous lifetime of drinking it is worth more than that. [The Wire] —Chris Campbell

Holiday Gifting

Shameless plug: In time for holiday shopping, the excellent, award-winning blog the Gray Report has put together a list of books about wine—not a year’s best, since most of these books were published over the past decade, and not a compendium to help readers learn more about wine. Just “great, fun to read” books. Anyway, The Wild Vine is one of them. Thank you, Gray Report. I’m honored to be included. [The Gray Report] —TK


The culinary world lost a great member this week. Judy Rodgers of San Francisco’s Zuni Cafe passed at 57 after fighting cancer. The LA Times pays tribute to the influential chef. [LA Times] —AS

Eater National also takes a look at her beloved cookbook, and gathers reflections from fellow chefs and writers. [Eater National] —AS

Hey, Good-Lookin’

Behold: amazing shadow art made of trash (and sometimes foodstuffs). [This Is Marvelous] —CC

Food or art? Jeff Gordinier takes a look at masterful plating (plus a slideshow for your afternoon entertainment). [New York Times] —AS

Challenging Diets

Millennials have even more backup to their whining: Research shows their terrible eating habits start before they’re born. [NYT] —CC

One thing that never ceases to blow my mind is the struggle for those on food stamps to eat a legitimate meal. It reminds me to not get hung up about the 75th restaurant to open on 14th Street. [Burlington Free Press] —CC