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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We’ve been married 42 years. I cook, clean and take care of our finances. He paid for a trip to Paris, then asked for the money back

By Quentin Fottrell, MarketWatch

‘He pretends to forget to pick up flowers. We have not been to a movie together for the longest time’

Dear Moneyist,

I have been married for 42 years. He is a nice man, with a good personality and great social skills.

I do housework and take care of other appointments as needed. I cook, do small home repairs and painting, etc., and take care of all our financial planning. I worked in a medical career. He was in IT at a prestigious university.

I am getting older. He has this idea that I have all of this money. I do not. I manage it. Everything is in both our names. I manage all our finances. His income is five times my income.

He has always been very passive-aggressive. If I ask him for help with tasks, he acts very put-upon and I end up angry.

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We’ve been married 42 years. I cook, clean and take care of our finances. He paid for a trip to Paris, then asked for the money back

Dear Moneyist,

I have been married for 42 years. He is a nice man, with a good personality and great social skills.

I do housework and take care of other appointments as needed. I cook, do small home repairs and painting, etc., and take care of all our financial planning. I worked in a medical career. He was in IT at a prestigious university.

I am getting older. He has this idea that I have all of this money. I do not. I manage it. Everything is in both our names. I manage all our finances. His income is five times my income.

He has always been very passive-aggressive. If I ask him for help with tasks, he acts very put-upon and I end up angry. He forgets things that I ask him to do on purpose, and is always late delivering.

The Moneyist:‘I feel very bitter’: My late

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Free health care, doctor visits and more

What feels like a lifetime ago in the days before Covid-19, hotels lured travelers with amenities such as complimentary breakfasts, cocktail hours and yoga classes at the spa.



a view of a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Guests staying over five days at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai can book free PCR testing in the comfort of their own suite


© Victor Romero
Guests staying over five days at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai can book free PCR testing in the comfort of their own suite

The world has changed quite a bit since then. Though people are beginning to tiptoe out from their Airbnbs and homes — away from stockpiled toilet paper, sourdough starter and new puppies — and even hop on planes, the travel industry recognizes the need to pivot.



a large tree in front of a building: Commodore Perry Estate in Austin, Texas, opened in June 2020 as part of the Auberge Resorts Collection.


© Douglas Friedman
Commodore Perry Estate in Austin, Texas, opened in June 2020 as part of the Auberge Resorts Collection.

Most properties are pledging best practices according to CDC and EPA guidelines such as frequent cleaning, air-filtration systems, contactless check-in and decreased capacity. Others are taking the opportunity to innovate,

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