Good Tuesday afternoon!
Despite the overwhelming focus on politics in every corner of the internet, we were able to dig up some interesting tidbits from around the restaurant industry this weekend.
Here they are:
Breaking News – Nouveau Bocuse: Just in time for the 30th anniversary competition, Jerome Bocuse is taking over from his father at the Bocuse d’Ornext year.
Mark Bittman joins Columbia School of Public Health – After ditching the NYT for vegan meal-kit service Purple Carrot, he’s off to teach.
Everybody loves awards –Washington DC’s restaurant association (RAMW) has the RAMMYS, and now the Bay Area has the Saucy’s (or Saucy Awardsas they prefer to be called). The Golden Gate Restaurant Association threw its party last night for newly crowned Chef of the Year Ravi Kapur, Pastry Chef Belinda Leong, “Rising Star” Melissa Reitz and more.
Fool’s Errand is the (hopefully not too fitting) name of Top Chef Tiffani Faison’s new 12-seat, ticketed tasting-menu concept in Boston. It’s slated for a January open, but still a little mysterious. She tells Boston Magazine, “Sorry to be so cagey… it’s a little bit of a chef’s dream to have 12 seats and just kinda, ya know, cook.” Fair enough.
David Burke is officially the most pro-Trump chef in America. He already operates BLT Prime in the president-elect’s DC hotel, and is now retweeting speculation (UPDATE: He deleted his retweet…) that he could become the next White House chef. Guess José Andrés is busy or something?
Wonka Bread – While Burke may think the White House kitchen is his golden ticket, his sister Esquared Hospitality restaurant BLT Steak is serving actual golden tickets in popovers today. There are fun gimmicks, and then there are gimmicks that involve baking gift certificates into food.
“Progressive Los Angeles” is apparently the name of a cuisine you should know now because that’s how Jill Davie (Food Network alum) and D. Brandon Walker (Bread & Roses Café) are describing their menu at Mar Vista which they hope to open in the neighborhood of the same name next month.
This Family Meal is brought to you by: Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD), New York’s first museum with exhibits visitors can eat, which today announces further details on its first-ever cultural exhibition, Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant. The multisensory exhibition chronicles how the Chinese immigrant community overcame prejudice and created one of the country’s most beloved cuisines, while providing an immersive experience for both the mind and the palate. Chow includes 200 curated historical artifacts, a colorful timeline of menus from 1910 to 2016, a working 1,500-pound fortune cookie machine, and a tasting at the ChowCulinary Studio. Tickets for Chow can be purchased on chow.mofad.org, as well as at the door of MOFAD Lab (62 Bayard St in Brooklyn), where the exhibition is on view on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
How “Ethnic” goes upscale – NPR’s The Salt talks Americans’ changing perceptions of Chinese food, with a focus on Amelie Ning Kang’s MáLà Project in NYC. Key takeaway: the price you are able to charge for a country’s food is directly correlated to that country’s standing in America. See for example: “Italian food, which… only became high-end once it lost its association with poor immigrants, or Japanese cuisine, which was able to command exorbitant prices only after Japan became an economic powerhouse.”
Need funding for your Fast Casual concept? – Austin’s Chil’antro sold a 20% stake for $600k to Barbara Corcoran on Shark Tank. They’re using the cash to head to Houston.
And in other Fast Food news: Holy Chicken!TM – Mr. Supersize-Me himself, Morgan Spurlock, is opening what he hopes is his own chain of basically farm-to-paper-bag Chick-Fil-A. Did you know fried chicken sandwiches were a thing?
Pro cooks are home cooks and vice versa at Umi the “Etsy for dinner” backed by Danny Meyer and co-founded by his daughter Hallie Meyer. Now Brooklyn fancy pizza people Matt and Emily Hyland are cooking a featured meal for the app. Is this part of a larger strategy or a quick PR attention grab? Hey, they made it into the most important newsletter in the restaurant industry, so more power to them.
And speaking of anxiety – The good folks at Eater are nervous enough for the safety of immigrant restaurateurs that they decided to publish a piece about how they won’t publish a piece about immigrant-owned restaurants eaters should support.
And that’s it for Tuesday. It’s been one week since the election. Only one week.