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Let’s get to it…
Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs 2017 list is out. Full list here. Taste here: Yoshi Okai, Otoko (Austin) – Val Cantu, Californios (SF) – Peter Cho, Han Oak (Portland, OR) – Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson, Kismet (LA) – Noah Sandoval, Oriole (Chicago) – Jordan Kahn, Destroyer (LA) – Nina Compton, Compère Lapin (NOLA) – Diego Galicia and Rico Torres, Mixtli (San Antonio) – Angie Mar, The Beatrice Inn (NY) – Jay Blackinton, Hogstone’s Wood Oven (Orcas Island, Washington).
Frequently Asked Questions – Male to Female Edition: According to Australia’s nine.com, some dude at 50 Best asked Dominique Crenn “quite pointedly, if [she] felt that she had to make a choice between family and career, if she felt she had missed the chance at what he ‘considered to be the very important role of being a mother to children.’” After a “swelling ripple of uncomfortable gasps and mutterings” from the audience, the chef sat back, grinned, and let the guy know that she actually has twin daughters (“something that she has kept out of the sphere of common knowledge”), and hit him with: “If you have kids, I hope you stay home with them, so that your wife can go out and be a bad ass woman.”
Per the journalist in attendance: “The. Applause. Was. Deafening.”
Reminder: The 50 Best reveal starts at 6am East Coast time tomorrow, and the link for the livestream is here. If there is any justice in this world, I will be asleep.
Tell PR – Eater has guides to eating in and around MLB stadiums in NYC, Boston, Philly, DC, Chicago, SF, and San Diego. They say they’ll “keep this updated as 2017 news comes in”, so if you’re in the neighborhood, but not on the list, try reaching out?
Critic Watch – Eater SF’s Stefanie Tuder is moving to Eater NY. She’s not an anonymous critic, but here she is with Jacques Pépin in case you need to put a face to a name. And in the Bay Area, East Bay Express’s Luke Tsai is moving on to become the food editor at San Francisco Magazine. No word yet on his Oakland replacement.
Smorgasburg to SoHo – Eater NY reports the (originally Brooklyn) outdoor food market will be “open year-round, every day, starting this summer” at 76 Varick Street’s 22k square feet lot. Key point: “Since Smorgasburg is technically a private space, vehicles don’t need a mobile food vending permit, something [founder Eric] Demby hopes will make it easier to find first-time mobile vendors.”
Recommended Reading – This Daniel Patterson profile in California Sunday is fantastic. It deals a bit with the chef’s well-publicized struggles with depression (“As medication put Patterson’s demons ‘behind glass,’ as he put it, he began to suspect that pursuit of a third Michelin star [at Coi] might not be the path to happiness…”), but is really focused on the difficult journey to opening Locol in Watts, and that path’s larger issues of race, culture, poverty, and gentrification. The weight of those topics is balanced (or made heavier still, depending on your reading) by the way the author, Daniel Duane, keeps everything deeply personal: “[Patterson] told me that he’d been to Europe recently for a chefs’ conference and hung out in Copenhagen with Redzepi and Ferran Adrià, arguably the world’s two most famous chefs. ‘It’s this moment where I’m in the moment and I’m with people I love. Still, I felt very awkward. I felt like I wasn’t a part of that world, and in a sense, you know, I’m not, innately.’”
This Family Meal is brought to you by Add Passion and Stir: Big Chefs, Big Ideas, a weekly podcast about inspirational people who are changing the world. In each episode, Billy Shore, the creator of the No Kid HungryCampaign (www.strength.org), brings together prominent change-makers and guests from the culinary world to discuss how food is at the intersection of social transformation.
Guests on the podcast include James Beard Award-winning chefs who have amassed a host of Michelin Stars, joined by leaders in the public and private sectors who are making profound positive changes in the world: Chef José Andrés, U.N. Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin, Shake Shack CEO Danny Meyer, Chef Traci Des Jardins, and many more. Listen, Subscribe, Rate, and Review:
The Canary in the Pacific – “Unprecedented delay in California abalone season shuts down North Coast in April” – The Press Democrat reports officials are trying to shave 25% from this year’s harvest, while SFGate cites a laundry list of disturbing reasons: “A toxic algae bloom off the Sonoma coast in 2011, a widespread sea star disease in 2013 and warmer water conditions that have persisted since 2014 all contributed to a dramatic decline in kelp… Those conditions have led to about 25 percent of abalones showing up as smaller than usual. Those too weakened by the lack of food are washing up dead on shore.”
Go easy on the texts – DoorDash is up against yet another legal action (search “DoorDash lawsuit” to see a string), with class action plaintiffs this time claiming the app harassed them with text messages asking them to complete their driver profiles.
A 113 year run ends at Karl Ratzsch in Milwaukee. From the NYT obit: “The closing came just a year after the restaurant — inside an elaborately painted building on East Mason Street in downtown Milwaukee — was bought, renovated and reimagined by the chef Thomas Hauck, who also owns the local restaurant c. 1880.”
Missing Lucky Peach? Another “future of food” mag is trying to go to print, but they’re just shy of their kickstarter and it ends in 2 days. Have you heard of MOLD yet?
Last and Least – This week in Trump and Food, in Politico, and as spotted by the New Yorkers Hua Hsu on Twitter: “’Donald’s favorite dish is Mary Trump’s meatloaf,’ [Conservative media publisher and Mar-a-Lago member Chris] Ruddy said. ‘And so I think the president of China is going to love that with mashed potatoes, the gravy and the onion rings. I think he may never go back to eating Chinese food after he’s done.’”
See you Friday.
PS – A little local pay-to-play news: D.C. restaurants that have ponied up to be members of the local association (RAMW) are eligible for RAMMY Awards. 2017 finalists were announced yesterday. Here’s the list.