The Family Meal – Friday, October 7th, 2016

Welcome to the Family Meal! If this is your first time, here’s the deal: every Tuesday and Friday we send out a simple list of all the most interesting industry-related stories we can find. It’s just great reads with links that go straight to primary sources. Send tips or questions to, and check out for more info.

Let’s get right to it…

This edition of the Family Meal is brought to you by World Central Kitchen, in celebration of World Food Day on October 14th. Professional chefs can join Jose Andres, Alice Waters, Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud, Ludo Lefebvre, Carla Hall, Michael Mina, and many more to be a part of the solution to ending world hunger. Check out all the participants, and sign up to join the team!

Hurricane Matthew – Sketchy on the details coming out of Florida and Georgia so far, but Eater Charleston has a good rundown on the boarding up effort there. Stay safe out there.

David Burke is back on the Upper East Side opening Tavern62 in place of Fishtail. Florence Fabricant says there will be Himalayan pink salt slabs. Phew.

Pastry chefs, you missed your shot at Broadway – Because former White House baker-in-chief Bill Yosses got the part, making meat pies for Sweeney Todd audiences in spring of next year.

LA’s Urasawa is getting sued because of a murder threat relating to LA’s Urasawa getting sued – Or, at least that’s how I read it. Either way, there’s a lot of legal baggagehanging on chef Hiroyuki Urasawa’s two Michelin stars these days.

And speaking of stars… Next Thursday there’s a little party going down at the French Ambassador’s residence (of course) in DC for the release of the first-ever Michelin guide to the city. The Bib Gourmand picks came out yesterday, to decidedly mixed reviews. Four José Andrés spots make the list, as does Bon Appetit #2 Bad Saint, your author’s favorite Red Hen, and 13 more

David Hagedorn sums up DC’s Michelin mood with this tweet. (French refresher: déçu = disappointed.)

Selling Out: Yes, yes, we all know Rick Bayless got ConAgra to give up $109 Million(!) in cash(!) for Frontera Foods. But did you know that Infiniti is planning to sell cars via virtual reality at Scott Conant’s Fusco concept? Why didn’t your PR people think of that? So obvious.

Coolest Sell-out? The Eddie Huang chef shoes have finally dropped, and they go on sale tomorrow.

Daniel Patterson speaks out about mental illness – in a blog post to be shared far and wide: “ For chefs – the people who work through burns and cuts and sickness – talking about mental illness is taboo, a sign of weakness. We don’t seek help when we should, which causes decades and sometimes a lifetime of unnecessary misery. This I know. …Don’t just shrug it off. Do something about it.”

Big Food Eye Candy: NYT’s new multimedia spread on big agriculture is stunning. Look at it.

GQ talks Alinea / Eleven Madison Park – And while I don’t usually post review-type stuff, this piece from Brett Martin about constant reinvention at the top is worth the read for his description of the Alinea bait and switch alone.

Acid Test –California’s Dungeness stock got some good news last week on the demoic acid front, but Maine shellfish aren’t faring as well: A new recall “applies to mussels and mahogany quahogs… in the Jonesport area of Maine, and clams… from Cranberry Point in Corea to Cow Point in Roque Bluffs.” Ask your supplier.

Whole Hog Helper – If you know a chef whose profile pic is just them with a huge hunk of meat, send along this article from Laura Hayes. DC’s Kyle Bailey (Sixth Engine) is partnering with his favorite pig farmer to butcher and broker better pork for the local restaurant community. Could be a replicable strategy. Just hope the “pro-bono” part gets trimmed with time…

Unlikely Menu Tearjerker: “10% of each arancini sold goes to protecting the endangered truffle forests of Barolo” – but guests do love a good ingredient story, and this one from Gaia Pianigiani about competition between wineries and woods in the Italian Piedmont is worth telling fungus fans.

Minimum wage debate: Props to EaterSF for finding this take from Troy Johnson of SD Magazine. It’s a relatively cogent argument in favor of counting tips as earnings in CA, but probably also qualifies as a rant, starting, as it does: “Every Californian should make at least $15 an hour… but the minimum wage hike for tipped employees… is the most asinine and destructive thing to the California economy and its people.”

SoMany troubles (sorry) – After I noted Volta’s closing in SF’s SoMa neighborhood, a reader replied: “It just shows that it takes more than a good set of restaurateurs to revive a crappy neighborhood. [My wife] and I really like our meals at Oro in the same hood and the issue is that 5th and Mission just isn’t that pleasant a place…” Seems Adam Mesnick of Deli Board agrees, and has been documenting the unpleasantness to push for change.

And yet another app for your radar – Scoff if you must, but these guys just raised a $2.5M seed round. Maybe worth peeking into every now and then to see how your place is doing: Wine n Dine is “an Instagram-style app that allows users to follow other users in their area to see what meals they’re eating…” I’m skeptical. But, still.

That’s it for today’s Family Meal. If Matthew’s in your neighborhood, stay safe!

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