The Family Meal – Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Good Tuesday morning!

If you like what you’re reading in the Family Meal (and I hope you do), please forward along to your friends and let them know they can sign up at If you don’t like what you’re reading, let me know what works and what doesn’t, or just send tips to Thanks!

This Family Meal is brought to you by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and their Chefs for Equality event, happening at the The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC in the West End on Wednesday, October 26th. With DC stealing a bit of the national food spotlight, this is truly a destination event, and there is no better way to both meet and eat with some of the best chefs in the capitol, including newly Michelin-starred chefs Patrick O’Connell, Jeremiah Langhorne, Nick Stefanelli, and many more. Plus, there’s an industry after-party hosted by Mike Isabella for late night rowdiness… More info and tickets available here. Love conquers hate.

Obama’s last state dinner menu, courtesy of Mario Batali, is here.

Reminder: The 2016 JBF Food Conference is live-streaming from NYC. Tune in for great analysis from the likes of Sam Kass, Matt McClure, and JBF’s own Mitchell Davis, who yesterday related Tim Gunn’s fashion presentation to the food industry by noting, “Perhaps as leggings are to pants, smoothies are to dinner”. Made sense at the time.

My favorite talk yesterday came from magazine-man turned Nix owner James Truman, who gave a history lesson on the cultural events leading up to the current “Celebrity Chef” moment. He takes us from Lady Di and the British fashion / tabloid revolution through Marco Pierre White’s White Heat, and the current world of kitchen TV. Link to the talk is here.

Because he doesn’t get enough attention The NYT profiled Massimo Bottura yesterday. It’s actually a great read, especially if you too would like to have the #1 restaurant in the world some day… BUT even if you’ve seen his Chef’s Table episode and read your fill elsewhere, you’re going to want to watch the oddly mesmerizing soundscape video embedded in the piece. Wonder how many takes it took them to keep chef from talking for almost two and a half minutes straight…

The Memorial for Michel Richard was Sunday at the French Ambassador’s residence in DC, followed by a farewell dinner at Central. Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Robert Wiedmaier, Roberto Donna, Ris Lacoste, Patrick O’Connell, José Andrés, and many more paid their respects. By all accounts it was an emotional evening, with a fitting focus on joie de vivre.

If you’re wondering where Richard’s legacy goes from here. This piece from Laura Hayes zeroes in on the man who will carry the mantle: David Deshaies.

Looks like the a good chunk of the US dodged a bullet with Hurricane Matthew, but the aftereffects are shining a harsh light on factory farming. Results are sadly predictable in North Carolina’s hog country, and WaPo’s aerial photos make for queasy viewing if you know what’s in those “lagoons”…

Outwith eggs, poaching is frowned upon – but Zagat has a 30 under 30 list out for Charleston…

I regret to inform you that I am aware of this person – His name is Jonathan Cheban. He has a tight grip on the Kardashian coattails, an intermittent reality TV career, and a large enough social media following (nom de Insta: FoodGōd) among the Snapchat set that he’s launching his own meals-on-demand startup. If you really feel the need to understand his special brand of food celebrity (and he is special in his own way), GQ had dinner with him a few weeks ago at Tao. Got it? Good. Let us never speak of this again.

In other news, meals-on-demand is burning… through shit-tons of money: In case you missed it: last week Bloomberg reported that meals-on-demand service Munchery is looking for a new CEO because of money troubles. “Money troubles” is here defined as losing $5M a month. Good luck, FoodGōd.

Political twitter food-fight of the week – While cooking with Daniel Boulud at a Tim Kaine event, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta whipped up some of his now famous (infamous?) risotto, and took a dig at Julian Assange’s living situation for good measure. Wikileaks was unimpressed.

The Impossible Burger is making its faux-bloody San Francisco debut at Jardiniere and Cockscomb with sold out crowds. Eater SF has the details on the meatless patty that’s on track to displace older black bean and sawdust versions in the coming years.

CIA takes over the Copia Center in Napa  ­– What was the “American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts… will now be the CIA at Copia, a new public-facing campus for the Culinary Institute of America” according to the Chronicle. Classes for lay folk, a working restaurant, and Chuck Williams’ (of his name + Sonoma fame) “personal collection of cookware” will fill the 80,000 square feet.

Vincent Chirico goes raw: The chef, who came up through Jean Georges and Daniel before opening Vai, is opening a raw joint – creatively called Raw – on 13th in the West Village. Coming soon details here.

And last but not least: Open Table wants VIPs – But do you want them? Enough to hold good tables available specifically for people who will trade Open Table points for them? Maybe?

And that’s it for Tuesday. Check out past issues at, or hit us up on Twitter. Many thanks to everyone who sent tips to this time round. Keep ’em coming!

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