How pandemic bento boxes became care packages and a new business model

Growing up outside of Tokyo, Chef Kenji Miyaishi’s mother used to send him off with bento boxes of onigiri rice balls, karaage fried chicken, tamago-yaki egg omelets and vegetables from her garden.

Now, as he’s pivoted his upscale restaurant in Napa, California, to prepare and deliver bento boxes amid the pandemic, he says he aims to serve with the same values of precision, culture and care his mother did.

Chef Kenji Miayishi. Credit Bob McClenahan (Bob McClenahan)
Chef Kenji Miayishi. Credit Bob McClenahan (Bob McClenahan)

Bento boxes can be traced back to the Kamakura period in 12th century Japan, and this year — with restaurants relying on takeout and delivery — they’ve become a relevant and culturally authentic way for kaiseki chefs across the country to stay in business.

And some chefs say, at a time of uncertainty, the boxes have also come to symbolize nurturing and comfort.

“Bento is usually made by a mother for her children

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EU nations get ready to adopt travel rules during COVID-19 pandemic

Samuel Petrequin, The Associated Press
Published 8:33 a.m. ET Oct. 13, 2020 | Updated 11:11 a.m. ET Oct. 13, 2020


Here are 6 tips to know before you book your flight during the COVID-19 pandemic.


BRUSSELS – European Union countries are getting ready to adopt a common traffic light system to coordinate traveling across the 27-nation bloc, but a return to full freedom of movement in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic remains far from reach.

In addition to causing the deaths of at least 151,000 EU citizens and plunging the EU’s economy into recession, the coronavirus has also landed a blow to a cherished cornerstone of EU citizenship, the free movement of people.

When the virus struck in March, several EU countries decided to close their borders to non-citizens without talking to their neighbors, creating huge traffic jams and slowing down the delivery of much-needed medical

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Delayed by Pandemic, KTM RC390 Rider Aims to Become the Youngest Biker to Travel Across India

a man riding on the back of a motorcycle: Delayed by Pandemic, KTM RC390 Rider Aims to Become the Youngest Biker to Travel Across India

© Provided by News18
Delayed by Pandemic, KTM RC390 Rider Aims to Become the Youngest Biker to Travel Across India

In his brief stay at Guwahati, Revanth Sai was visibly worn out and exhausted. Travelling on his KTM RC390, the nineteen year old boy from Puducherry did not have much time for this interview as he was lagging behind by seven months from his goal. Sai had travelled several cities including Silchar, Badarpur, Golaghat and Tezpur in his brief stay in Assam and now he is heading to West Bengal. Things, however, did not turn up as the young business management student planned it to be.

“I reached Manipur on March 19th. For the first month I stayed at a hotel in Imphal. I started running out of money in the later days of the national lock down. Everybody in the city looked at me with suspicion. I had to

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Walking through Paris in a pandemic? Tour guides take their skills online

Before COVID-19 swept across the globe and forced international travel to a standstill, shuttering people inside their homes for months at a time and making the concept of interacting with strangers a frightening business, leading live tours was a booming industry.

In tourist hotspots worldwide, numerous companies competed to connect visitors with locals who ran in-person tours for small groups of people, promising experiences that couldn’t be achieved without the expertise of a person who lived there.

Then, the pandemic hit, and tour guides started taking their expertise online.

“In January and February we saw a slight dip in our bookings in Asia, but nothing too concerning,” Matthijs Keij, CEO of WithLocals, told in an email. “In March we almost came to a standstill with the outbreaks in Europe and the U.S. travel restrictions.”

Sean P. Finelli, co-founder of The Tour Guy, said that employees went from

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Now you can book a vacation from this pandemic

But wise words from tourism chief Berna Romulo-Puyat as domestic travel resumes: Have a safe trip!

WELL[FARE] Flight and hospitality staff strictly enforce Covid-19 safety precautions

Boracay has reopened to domestic travel since the start of this month.

Staying home is still the best way to protect oneself and others from Covid-19, but the reopening of one of the top destinations in the Philippines is a signal that maybe we can now start taking calculated risks. The economy that should sustain us, after all, needs as much protection from the pandemic as we do.

While stressing that safety is top priority, Berna Romulo Puyat, secretary of the Department of Tourism (DOT), says, “We cannot surrender to this pandemic. We have to find ways to live and thrive in it while protecting ourselves and other people.”

We might say that reopening Boracay has been a bold move, but the DOT, along

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Inside the Australian cruise ship that left four days after the COVID-19 pandemic declaration

Watch Dateline’s ‘Deadly Trip of a Lifetime’ 9.30 pm on SBS

Aurora Expeditions’ Greg Mortimer departed the Argentinian coast 4 days after the pandemic was declared.

The notorious Ruby Princess crisis was unfolding, and cruises were being cancelled around the world. At least one other operator cancelled its Antarctic cruise, and Aurora’s MV Greg Mortimer was the last ship to depart Ushuaia in Argentina.

Of the 217 people who boarded the vessel in Ushuaia, 96 were Australian passengers and crew, and roughly 16 were New Zealand citizens.

By the time those on board were tested for COVID-19, 128 people had contracted the virus.

In a statement sent to Dateline, Aurora Expeditions said it took the decision to sail “following wide consultation and based on the information available to [it] at the time.”

For Sydney local Antony Philip, the holiday – which cost an average of $22,000 per passenger – was

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Planning a Trip: Travel Advice During The Pandemic

Planning a Trip: Travel Advice During The Pandemic

The coronavirus outbreak threatened the world and public health drastically over the past several months. Lockdowns and other restrictions are necessary measures to save lives, but they have changed our lifestyles and limited our opportunities to move freely significantly.

Since COVID-19 first appeared, late December last year, about 35,500,000 people have been infected and more than 1.000,000 have died worldwide. The numbers are frightening, and they continue to rise, therefore the countries all over the world have established travel advisories and rules to help us stay safe. If you do wish to travel or if you cannot avoid it due to family obligations or work, here is everything you need to know before you depart. 

Things to consider before you leave 

First things first, you should ask yourself whether you are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or if you live with someone who might be. It is

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How the pandemic is affecting travel trends and the economy

  • Despite more trips by automobile, gasoline demand is still below pre-pandemic levels.
  • Spending patterns are changing as more Americans stay closer to home for vacations and choose road trips over flying.

By Debbie Carlson for CME Group

Americans are choosing road trips over flights as they choose a safer-perceived way to vacation, and that’s having an economic impact, say analysts who follow the travel and retail industries. The phenomenon is expected to last at least through the end of 2020, if not early 2021, but it remains to be seen if this is a structural change in consumer habits.

Omer Rabin, managing director at Guesty, a property management software firm used for short-term rentals, says they are seeing several travel trends. Trips are shorter distanced, generally about 100 miles away, and reservations are very last minute. They’re also seeing travelers repeatedly book the same units, with those stays growing from

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Impact of Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic on Wedding Industry in India

The Indian wedding industry, worth around $50 billion, is among the sectors that has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. We caught up with wedding photographers Ankita Asthana and Akash Agarwal of WeddinNama to find out how the industry is bouncing back now that restrictions have been lifted.

Here are excerpts from the interview.

How has the pandemic impacted the wedding industry in India?
Ankita: Oh, it’s been like a pause button. Weddings thrive on social gatherings and human interaction and that is exactly what got affected by this pandemic. So it is no surprise that the industry has got severely hit. Not only did the weddings planned this year get postponed but even people who wanted to plan one next year are not able to do so because of uncertainty and risk factors. 

Akash: Almost everyone in the over-a-crore people who are involved in the wedding industry are

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Utilizing Food Safety Audits to Ensure Brand Integrity Through the COVID-19 Pandemic


October 12, 2020

Utilizing Food Safety Audits to Ensure Brand Integrity Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

By NSF International

Utilizing Food Safety Audits to Ensure Brand Integrity Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

With waves of COVID-19 outbreaks driving the daily cadence of business around the world, maintaining and building on customer relationships is key for success moving forward into the post-COVID-19 business environment. Throughout the pandemic, audit specifiers have moved through phases of “wait and see” to an “all or nothing” mentality that on-site audits were the only way to assess a supplier, and finally on to the most recent embracing of remote or “virtual” audits.  With the limitations of travel and auditor resource limits predicted to last into early 2021, drivers for a line of sight into food safety practices of manufacturers through a second- or third-party audit remain strong.

With consumers staying close to

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