The Family Meal – Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Good Tuesday morning! We are in November and have exactly one week until the election is (hopefully!) over. After that, it’s (hopefully!) all champagne holidays and good times.

Here’s the rundown so far this week…

The post-Halloween highlights: Kids look cute as Gordon Ramsay (or, more accurately, as Gordon Ramsay’s furrowed brow). Bâtard chef Markus Glockergot the uncanny jack-o-lantern treatment (spotted by EaterNY). Controversial Chicago hot dog spot The Weiner’s Circle got all dolled up as Goat Busters for obvious reasons. Sqirl dressed up as Shake Shack. And LA Weekly has these tales of kitchen nightmares (think less ghosts, more ex-cons named “Smiley” carrying their fingers around in bags after getting drunk at the cutting board…).

For something truly scary: Take the time to look over this fantastic, long-form, multimedia piece on the future of West Coast seafood. Tara Duggan’s Chronicle deep-dive is full of animated maps, graphs, photos, and species-specific details, but gets right to the sad point with this lede:

“In the shallow waters off Elk, in Mendocino County, a crew from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife dived recently to survey the area’s urchin and abalone populations. Instead of slipping beneath a canopy of leafy bull kelp, which normally darkens the ocean floor like a forest, they found a barren landscape like something out of ‘The Lorax.’ A single large abalone scaled a bare kelp stalk, hunting a scrap to eat, while urchins clustered atop stark gray stone that is normally striped in colorful seaweed.” — Definitely worth a read. But, ugh.

Think of the children – Turns out “Christopher Kimball’s divorce from America’s Test Kitchen Inc. isn’t going to be an amicable one after all…. [A new lawsuit] accuses Kimball of resenting giving up any control of the business and of engaging in a conspiracy to build a competing venture [Milk Street]. It cites a litany of e-mails, uncovered through a recent forensic review, that show Kimball or people working on his behalf, seeking office space, obtaining media contact lists, and copying recipes without letting Kimball’s partners at ATK know.” The Boston Globe has the details.

Up-and-Leavers: At just 26, Chef Liz Johnson of Mimi in Soho “and her fiancé, Will Aghajanian, also a chef at Mimi, will be leaving the restaurant at the end of November, heading to Spain for their next culinary journey.” Judging from these pictures, there will be blood.

No Comment – Grant Achatz is charging $29 for a fried chicken sandwich.

All Comment – On the cusp of opening Augustine, Keith McNally is in the NYT Op-Ed pages with a piece about the changes in the restaurant industryover the course of his career: “Sex among the staff has also gone out the window. Well, not entirely. But as an owner, I’m legally bound to pour cold water on the idea the day someone new is hired. Seeing as I met my two wives in restaurants (not simultaneously), I often wonder if I’d met them in today’s climate, would I have been forced to steer clear of them? Had that been the case, they probably would have been far happier women today.”

This Family Meal invites you to Cruise the Caribbean with Celebrity Chefs — Curated by The List Are You On It‘s very own Nycci Nellis, Celebrity Cruises’ first ever D.C. Chefs Cruise includes renowned chefs Mike Isabella, Marjorie Meek-Bradley, and David Guas paired perfectly with bartender Derek Brown. The cruise embarks January 28, 2017 from Miami for a week of culinary collaborations with cooking demos, meal pairings, cocktail receptions, private dining, and serious poolside relaxation. Stops in Cozumel for an exclusive private beach BBQ prepared by the celebrity chefs, the Grand Caymans, Jamaica, and Hispaniola punctuate a never-to-be-forgotten, all-inclusive, top-notch premium cruise that only Celebrity Cruises and Nycci could cook up. All-inclusive pricing starts at around $1700 per person; it only requires a $320 per person deposit to reserve your room. NEW Through October 2, pay one cruise fare, get a second cruise fare half off. Lower cost, all the same perks! Don’t be left standing on the dock! (

Chef’s Club goes fast casual Food & Wine’s rotating chef restaurant in NYC is working on a new spot called “Chef’s Counter” on Spring Street.  Rent at the new location is about $185k / month, so the money better be more fast than casual.

Inside Shaw Bijou – There was a lot of interest in last week’s roundup of the struggles surrounding Top Chef Kwame Onwuachi’s new DC project, so here’s another round of photos for the curious. Icelandic sheepskin, swirling doors, purple ovens, and all.

Thankful LA Vegans – Still trying to overcome the heavy backlash against their personal farming practices, the team behind the Café Gratituderestaurants “is making its next big move. Gratitude, the restaurant group’s upscale concept with a flagship location in Newport Beach, will open in the heart of the Golden Triangle at 419 N Canon Dr.” Full story in EaterLA.

A Million Little Jiggers – Turns out that storied, pre-prohibition, classic cocktail, the Seelbach, was actually invented in 1995, along with its elaborate backstory. Bartender Adam Seger said he made it all up because: “‘I was nobody… I had no previous accolades in the bar world… I wanted it to be this promotion for the hotel, and I felt the hotel needed a signature cocktail. How could you have a place that F. Scott Fitzgerald hung out in that doesn’t have a damn cocktail?’”

That’s it for this Tuesday. Don’t forget to VOTE! But check Twitter first if you want. You deserve it. You read something today.

Check out past issues at, and many thanks to everyone who sent tips to this time round. Keep ’em coming!

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