The Family Meal – Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Good Tuesday afternoon!

Held off till now to get the big Michelin news out of SF. It’s all below!

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Lot’s to cover. Here we go…

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 tomorrow night(!), 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 still available here. Love conquers hate. – PS say hello, I’ll be at the afterparty!

PSA: Before we get to the stars, did you know The French Laundry (still 3 stars!) prepares treats on Halloween and has been waiting for trick or treaters for years??? Screw the suburbs, head to Yountville!

Appetizer: San Francisco is fixated on its top restaurant critic in a way I can’t find anywhere else. Jonathon Gold gets a loving documentary; Michael Bauergets the Clinton treatment – a constant drip-drip of articles highlighting his controversies and scandals. The latest is Sarah Henry’s feature in EdibleSF, where some of the harshest criticism comes from fellow writer John Birdsall, who describes Bauer as the type of guy “who you always imagine wiping off the utensils at a cheap place.”

OK, OK, the Bay Area STARS ARE OUT, and here they are in all their alphabetically ordered glory, with boldface used only on restaurants that scored a promotion:

Three Stars: Benu, The French Laundry, Manresa, Quince, The Restaurant at Meadowood, Saison

Two Stars: Acquerello, Atelier Crenn, Baumé, Campton Place, Coi, Commis, Lazy Bear

One Star: Adega, Al’s Place, Aster, Auberge du Soleil, Aziza, Bouchon, Californios, Chez TJ, Commonwealth, Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Gary Danko, Hashiri, Ju-ni, Keiko à Nob Hill, Kin Khao, La Toque, Lord Stanley, Luce, Madera, Madrona Manor, Michael Mina, Mister Jiu’s, Mosu, Mourad, Nico, Octavia, Omakase, Plumed Horse, The Progress, Rasa, Solbar, Sons & Daughters, SPQR, Spruce, State Bird Provisions, Sushi Yoshizumi, Terra, Terrapin Creek, The Village Pub, Wako, and Wakuriya

The hottest hot take comes from Eater, with a running list of all the surprises and head-scratchers they could find. A few that stand out are 1) Mister Jiu’s is less than one year old and already has a star! 2) Still no 3-star female-led spots in the US (Atelier Crenn missed the mark because of the “unanimity rule”) 3) Some restaurants may have missed out because Michelin lacks the resources(!) to eat everywhere it wants…

Impeccable timing: Somm Jeff Kellogg took over at Tusk restaurants Quince (now 3-star!) and Cotogna yesterday. He was part of the big Union Square Hospitality shuffle a few weeks back, leaving Danny Meyer’s Maialino to head back west / home.

Unrelated to this year’s Michelin Snub: But still… Nick Balla and Cortney Burns are leaving Bar Tartine. They’ll be departing on New Year’s Eve. Auld Lang Syne.

And now for the rest of the news…

Urban Black Gastronomy Experience – is a new food festival launching in LANov. 5th, and possibly (hopefully!) traveling soon. Chefs looking to support diversity in the industry, keep this on your radar.

Ashley Christensen takes a stand: The chef / owner of Poole’s, Death & Taxes, Chuck’s and four more Raleigh spots, writes a smart (and brave) take on NC’s HB2 “bathroom bill”, its effect on the local industry, the James Beard pullout, and how close it hits to home. Sometimes you just have to get political. Read it.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten heads back to London, for a 2017 opening in the Connaught hotel. “Casual-dining”, they say…

Chef’s Christmas List Addition: Knives and Ink – The new book that features chefs and their love of tattoos is out, and scored a mention in the New York Times. It’s at your local bookstore! (And here).

Meal kit delivery is having trouble keeping customers – And the drop-off rate is pretty stark. Main problems as I see them: 1) Burden of planning ahead. 2) Packaging. 3) Blue Apron sends exactly one clove of garlic when a recipe asks for one clove of garlic. That’s like showing up empty handed to a dinner party because the host said not to bring anything. Stupid.

TripAdvisor whisperer: Ambar, a DC restaurant that “doesn’t make most local critics’ lists” is at the top of the area’s TripAdvisor rankings. How? They bribe Canadians. Smart!

Ditch the Grind – A Washington Food Truck impresario (Fojol Bros.) takes his trucks (and busses) to a wooded lot on the Potomac… and starts a commune. Really, really.

Nashville Hot Chicken gets its day in court (in Chicago) – And to the faux-shock of locals, Phil Tadros is doing the suing.  He’s the possibly* very sketchy“serial entrepreneur” behind coffee chain Bow Truss, and a string of failed tech and restaurant attempts around town. He’s also the (disputed) co-founder of Budlong, the hot chicken restaurant brand he’s suing chef Jared Leonardover. *Link goes to an absolutely brutal Crain’s profile, but have to say “possibly” so we don’t get sued too.

And finally, here’s a real deal Family Meal from Kevin Gillespie at Gunshow in Atlanta. The meal? Hoagies. The hashtag? #fatkidfood. They tell it like it is in Georgia.

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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