The Family Meal – Friday, November 11th, 2016

Good Friday morning, and Happy Veterans Day to all! Remembering my grandfather today, who spent a chunk of the 40’s as a POW in Germany, and was a hero at home as well.

In lieu of comment on the election, I’ll just copy and paste this bit from Danny Meyer’s letter to USHG staff and see if it helps:

“Donald Trump will be our next president. I acknowledge that I found it hard to type those words, but there, I did it, and it was actually therapeutic. Acceptance of reality is never a bad first step to healing.”

Mixed results. May as well get to it…

The Spotted Pig loses its star – With her eye on a lot of other projects right now, chef April Bloomfield is waking up this morning to see her flagship included in the list of NYC Bib Gourmands, meaning it will not have a star in this year’s Michelin Guide.  We’ll cover the rest of the book when stars come out next week, but Eater has more on the Bibs here if you’re antsy.

Hong Kong and Macau get their 2017 Guide – There was no change at the top of the list, but several restaurants earned stars for the first time. China’s Special Autonomous Region cuisine continues to be celebrated at home, with eight out of the fourteen 2-star spots classified as serving Cantonese cooking, while at the 3-star level in HK there’s “Innovative” (Bo Innovation), “French Contemporary” (L’Atelier de Jöel Robuchon), Cantonese (Lung King Heenand T’ang Court), Italian (8 ½ Otto e Mezzo – Bombana), and “Sushi” (Sushi Shikon).

Among the observations from TimeOut HK is this question: “What does Richard Ekkebus have to do to get his third star? His Landmark restaurant [Amber] has been at the forefront of Hong Kong’s dining scene for over a decade, and has been rightly recognised as one of the finest eateries in the world on S.Pellegrino’s list of the 50 Best. Michelin seems stubbornly insistent on keeping him locked at two stars. When will they recognise the huge impact he’s had on our dining scene?”

Side note: Spoon by Alain Ducasse now has no stars.

Major animal welfare bill passes in Massachusetts – From the Boston Globe: “Starting in 2022, the law will mandate all Massachusetts farms and businesses produce and sell eggs only from cage-free hens; pork from pigs not raised in or born of a sow raised in a small crate; and veal from calves not raised in very tight enclosures.” A loose coalition of farmers, pork industry lobbyists, and poverty activists came out strong against the measure, and “are likely to eventually file [an interstate commerce-based] federal lawsuit over the new law, according to one person familiar with their strategy.”

Other restaurant related ballot measures on Tuesday included minimum wage hikes in Arizona, Washington, Maine, and Colorado, and soda tax increases in the Bay Area and Boulder. (Chicago just passed a soda taxyesterday.)

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! (

Robert Redford’s “Zoom” to close in Park City – The actor’s film industry hotspot was accused of hiding “literally tons of grease” in a crawlspace, and lawsuits flew accordingly.

$7M and celebrity investors can’t buy good reviews – “They tasted like chicken fingers that could’ve come from any bowling alley, anywhere in the U.S.” Ouch. David Chang’s delivery-only Ando got a lot of free PR for its cash infusion last week, but now attention turns to the food. Heads up for those who think there’s gold in the couriers-not-servers strategy: with the notable exception of bento, boxed food has a very hard time being good food.

How was this not the name in the first place? LA chef David Kuo’s restaurant “Status Kuo” has finally dropped the pun and reclaimed his childhood nickname instead. The revamped restaurant is now called Little Fatty. Thank you, chef. Thank you.

Trump’s new turf – One big question in DC restaurants these days is where will Trump administration types live and eat? While the suburbs are a good bet, another possible answer lies in Georgetown, which is tony, not all that diverse, and a pain to get to on public transportation. Buried in this article about Johnny Spero’s upcoming new restaurant there is the long-known, but still exciting fact that the enclave just lifted a de-facto moratorium on new restaurants that has prevented openings for years. Trump Steakhouse anyone?

Lastly, a map to cheer you up – Despite all the problems with gender diversity in top kitchens (and oval offices), there are female chefs doing big things across the country. I leave you with Eater Chicago’s map of some of their locations in Chicago.

That’s it for Friday. To be honest, it’s been a rough week here, and most of my food news sources have been swamped with heartbreak politics too. Back Tuesday better than ever, I’m sure.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, and see back issues (when we get around to posting them…) online at

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