August 31st, 2013
02:26 PM ET

The Not So Glamorous Reality of the Restaurant Industry

It used to be that Zagat was for snobs and Julia Child’s The French Chef was your grandma’s cooking show. Over time, beloved reality shows like Bravo's Top Chef and Food Network’s Iron Chef America brought high-end cooks like Tom Colicchio and Mario Batali to living rooms across America and not only turned chefs into celebrities but made haute cuisine accessible to the masses. These days, food is not merely meant for sustenance. It's deconstructed and documented. It's a challenge to sit down for dinner at a restaurant and not see someone whip out a smart phone to chronicle their meal on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. People are even logging on to share their coffee shop visits. Starbucks, for instance, leads a new MomentFeed Restaurant report that found patrons took and tagged 109,054 photos over the course of just four months.

What we're having for dinner suddenly matters, whether we're dining in or out - and it shows. Restaurant industry job growth outpaced the overall economy every year from 2000 to 2012. Sales are projected to hit $661 billion in 2013 - equal to four percent of U.S. GDP. That's up from $379 billion 13 years ago. Restaurants are raking it in, so you would think the people carefully layering your truffle burger behind the scenes would be too. But they make next to nothing and spend almost all of their time at work. Just ask Chris Reynolds. This line cook at a top New York City restaurant has a reality check for those romanticizing the life of a culinary artiste.

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Filed under: Business • Food • Living
August 30th, 2013
10:39 PM ET

Houston mayoral race a sign of political shift?

Who said don't mess with Texas.

It's the unofficial kick-off of local fall elections... one mayor running for a third term who caught our eye.. because she's out front of a much bigger political story.

CNN's John King has the story on how the lonestar state may be turning blue.

Filed under: News • Politics • Same-sex marriage
August 30th, 2013
10:32 PM ET

New protests over 30-day sentence for rape

Protesters gathered again Friday demanding a Montana judge resign after he sentenced a former teacher to a month in prison for raping his 14-year old student. The teenager later took her life.

The movement to remove the judge comes as prosecutors are working on a potential appeal that could put this former teacher behind bars for at least two years.

OutFront: Kyung Lah, who first reported the story about the potential appeal and Criminal Defense attorney and CNN Legal Analyst Danny Cevallos.

Filed under: Justice • Montana teen rape case • News
August 30th, 2013
10:09 PM ET

Obama administration releases intelligence assessment

President Obama presents his evidence for war.

CNN has obtained some new shocking images of the aftermath of another alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Seven people died and dozens were injured in the alleged attack on a school in northern Syria.

A doctor at a local hospital said, "it's like they used chemicals, like napalm or something. It's causing a lot of burns."

CNN has not been able to independently confirm what happened.

OutFront: General Anthony Zinni, who served as Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Central Command. He led Operation Desert Fox in 1998, which involved a series of airstrikes against Iraq in an effort to destroy that country's weapons of mass destruction program.

Filed under: News • Syria
August 30th, 2013
09:46 PM ET

President Obama flip-flops on unilateral military action

Has President Obama changed his tune on military engagement?

Today, he tried to justify a possible United States strike on Syria.

"Part of our obligation as a leader in the world is making sure that when you have a regime that is willing to use weapons that are prohibited by international norms on their own people - including children - that they're held to account," Obama said.

But prior to his presidency, in 2006, he touted his opposition to the Iraq war.

"I said then and believe now that Saddam Hussein was a ruthless dictator who craved weapons of mass destruction, but posed no imminent threat to the United States," Obama said.

What's changed the president's perspective?

OutFront: Democratic congresswoman Barbara lee (D-CA) and presidential historian Douglas Brinkley.

Filed under: News • Syria
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