Good Friday morning!
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Let’s get right to it…
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.
Bay Area Bibs– Stars come out on Tuesday, but Bib Gourmands have been revealed in CA. The full list is 75 strong, so only newcomers listed here: ‘Āina,Bravas (Healdsburg), The Bywater (Los Gatos), Del Popolo, Lai Hong Lounge, Nopalito, Okane, Shed (Healdsburg), Tacos Sinaloa (Berkley), Tsubasa, Two Birds / One Stone (St. Helena), and Village Sake (Fairfax). Congrats all! (Unless you were shooting for a star, in which case, ugh.)
Her Organic Retirement – Nora Pouillan, owner of the first Certified Organic restaurant in the country (Nora) announced her retirement this week. At 73, it was bound to happen, but I think a lot of us had our eyes closed to the inevitable. Maura Judkis has the full story here. Side note: want to buy a restaurant?
FYI, Top Chef fans: The cast list for the new Charleston season is out, with a mix of both veteran and rookie contestants looking to impress judges Graham Elliot, Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons. Fun Fact: The longest running cooking show on TV is “Today’s Cooking” from Japan. It’s been on the air since 1957, and if you read Japanese, I’m sure this is very informative.
And FYI, baseball fans: Check out Mr. Bill Murray rocking one of Sean Brock’s McCrady’s hats and slamming a beer at Wrigley. Product placement, baby!
Lately they’ve been overheard in Mayfair: Chefs, not werewolves, according to this piece in Bloomberg. “An incomplete list of [American] imports [to London] looks like this: Dominique Ansel has just arrived… Marcus Samuelsson‘s Red Rooster… will open in London’s hip Shoreditch early next year, around the same time Emma Bengtsson‘s two-Michelin-star Aquavitarrives from Midtown.” Plus, cryptically, “Two more high-profile New York chefs have big plans for London that are still under wraps….” (Ellipsis added for effect.)
Taco Trucks on all his corners – Though since he gets the BEST taco salad all the time at home, I’m sure Donald Trump barely noticed the “Taco Truck Wall” outside his Vegas hotel on Wednesday.
I don’t usually post restaurant reviews… but Eater has made it a point to take down Arpége, so here you go. Ryan Sutton had (one) lunch at Alain Passard’s 3-star vegetable temple, and it turned out to be “a study in average, unevenly cooked fare, a tough sell in a city like Paris, where so many young chefs are putting out more refined meals at a fraction of the price.”
It’s a brutal read, but his larger point is a “Don’t get your hopes up!” to would-be destination diners that strikes me as a little ridiculous. Yes, you could arrive on a bad night, and you could have spent a whole lot of money to go somewhere to do something that’s not as good as what you wanted. I call that travel in general. There’s this thing called rain. The real question is: How did all the other reviewers (Michelin, 50 Best) miss what Sutton – and other Eater editors – saw?
Ramen peep show – For a different kind of review, check out Robert Sietsema’s take on Ichiran Ramen’s solo dining booths in Brooklyn: “Supposedly, this process involves no contact or even sighting of an entire server. They are viewed at crotch level, with an occasional trembling hand thrust into your field of vision.” Huh.
Heads up, dough boys and girls: There’s a reason for the big open windows at Tratto, Chris Bianco’s new no-pie place in Phoenix. Massive asthma attacks have forced the famous pizza chef to seek out fresh air at work. If you know someone who makes their home near a brick dome, send them this.
Political POS – Jefferey Stoneburger (2Nixons) seems to want to start a boycott of PayPal because of Peter Thiel’s support of Donald Trump…
Gabrielle Hamilton’s new gig – The chef / owner of Prune in the East Village is now the New York Time’s Eat columnist. Her first piece is here.
Getting the band back together – In Chicago, Grant Achatz’s “culinary wayback machine” (via Trio at Next) was in full swing this week, with an A-Team of talent and some old-school platings. Read all about it in the latest edition of Tronc, or just play spot-the-chef in his reunion pic.
Suggestion box: The Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) has teamed up with Eater for a series of videos on neighborhood food stories. First up is a smattering of NYC spots (Chinatown, Crown Heights, Jackson Heights), but there are also a bunch more coming and a call for suggestions on where to film next. Suggest!
Chicago’s food truck crackdown has had its day in court, and closing arguments wrapped up Wednesday. Now, a judge will decide whether rules like the 200ft exclusion zone around brick and mortar restaurants are unconstitutional or not. Decision due in December.
Violet’s a blueberry – In the New Yorker, David Sax makes a strong case that Silicon Valley is at odds with the rest of the country over the future of food. The snozberry wallpaper is apparently less magical than we were led to believe, and it’s making people sick.
Chef shortage? In NYC, of course there’s an app for that – But I’m guessing it only works in specific kinds of restaurants where any warm body will do…
AirBnB would like you to recognize! The company says it generates$4.5B(!!) for the restaurant industry. With nods to Art-Drenaline and Bad Saintin DC, and Saraghina in BK.
When a James Beard Award is rock bottom – Shoutout to my hometown of St. Louis and it’s Best Chef Midwest 2015 Gerard Craft, who closed his unhappy Niche in favor of a friendly Sardena, opening soon. Chase award, win award, close restaurant, do what you want. Be happy? Guess we’ll see.
And lastly: “How one of D.C.’s favorite bartenders ended up drawing a poop mural in the REI bathroom.” That’s the headline. Here’s the link. Up to you.