The Family Meal – Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Hello, Tuesday!

If it’s a snow day for your restaurant, here’s hoping the day drinkers tip big. And if you’re new to this Family Meal newsletter, a reminder that it’s a twice weekly roundup of industry news to keep you up to date on what’s going on around the country, without forcing you to fight your way through a million “best brunch” lists while you’re at it.

Here we go…

NY’s “Le Perigord Shutters After 53 Years to De-Unionize”Serena Dai says owner Georges Briguet couldn’t reach a deal with his team, so he’ll keep the place closed “until at least August, which is how long he must legally wait in order to reopen without the union.”

Tell the bar – Speakeasy Ales & Lagers shutting down. They’re turning off the Big Daddy IPA taps after 20 years in business (and some expensive upgrades over the last five or so). From the full story in Eater SF: “According to a statement on the brewery’s website, the reason for the shutdown is ‘difficulty securing capital investment and outstanding debt obligations.’”

Lists you can use – Unless they say nice things about your restaurant, lists are generally worthless, BUT Eater’s seasonal “Most Anticipated Restaurants” actually help keep tabs on who’s doing what and what’s next. The spring lists are out for Chicago (featuring Zoe Schor’s Split-Rail, and Katsuji Tanabe’s post-Top Chef project Barrio, among others), Charleston (Nico Romo’s solo spot NICO is on the way, and John Zucker and Jeff Williams are teaming up in the kitchen at Purlieu with Jacob Fuhr handling drinks), New York (the Cosme crew’s more casual Atla; Suzuki from Sushi Zen’s Toshio Suzuki), San Francisco (a “family-style, kid-friendly” Napa offering from none other than Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant at Meadowood, and “a perfect match for the tech elite of Silicon Valley”: a new Nobu.), and more are trickling in all the time on Eater.

Speaking of Kostow’s “kid friendly” project, Bloomberg has a preview and build (or rather, pre-build) pics of Charter Oak here. Tidbit: for $10, the public will be able to buy a plate of the staff’s family meal

Sao Paolo’s most anticipated new restaurant has to be Alex Atala’s #secretrestaurant which he told Eater is “slated to open in April of this year, the restaurant will be casual, and, as with his two-Michelin-starred D.O.M., wholly dedicated to spreading the gospel of his country’s diverse native ingredients.”

The STRESS – A bit late to this, but El Celler de Can Roca has a staff psychologist! “Life at the pinnacle of the fiercely competitive fine-dining world can be fraught with anxiety and conflict. So the restaurant hired Imma Puig, who comes weekly to talk with employees and try to defuse emotions.” The NYT article says Puig holds group sessions with a mix of employees to let them vent and discuss everything from the new changing room layout to who felt left out when some of the team took a trip to Houston.

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OK, OK, one bit of Pi Day news: LA “Pie Queen” Nicole Rucker is opening her own place in/on La Brea. That should keep her very busy, considering she’s already helping run pastries for James Starr and Jason Bernstein’s Fairfax Ave cluster (The Golden State, Prime Pizza, Cofax), and F&W reports “her pie is used to make concretes at Shake Shack‘s new L.A. outposts.”

Next-Gen Produce – This new greenhouse concept piqued my interest for two reasons: 1) “Inside a giant warehouse in Kearny, New Jersey… Bowery estimates it has the capacity to grow 100 times more greens per square foot than the average industrial farm.” And 2) “So far, Bowery has raised $7.5 million from investors, including… Tom Colicchio and Blue Apron CEO Matt Salzberg.” Via SF Gate.

Some sad news: Carol Field, an authority on Italian cuisine whose classic cookbook “The Italian Baker,” published in 1985, introduced Americans to regional breads like ciabatta and focaccia, as well as to desserts, died on Friday in San Francisco. She was 76.” Obituary in the NYT.

I’ll just leave this headline here: “Sydney Pop-Up Beach Dinner Turns Into Shitshow of Epic Proportions” – Unfortunately, chef Luke Mangan’s Bondi Beach version of the Diner en Blanc didn’t turn out quite as guests expected

And last and least, Anthony Bourdain wrote about money in Wealthsimple if you’re into that. “The biggest revenue stream out there for me is going out and telling dick jokes.” Dream big, young chefs!

That’s it for today. Parting note: Family Meal is headed to Cuba next week for a little cultural excursion. If you’ve been and know where to eat in Havana, please let me know!

Oh yeah, and you should join me at José Andrés‘s big Dine N Dash event in D.C. this summer. They still have some fantastic sponsorship opportunities available, FYI….

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and send tips and/or your requests for legal Cuban goods to

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