Let’s just get right to the news…
Trump settles lawsuit with Geoffrey Zakarian – As with the José Andrés settlement last week, details are confidential. WaPo has the write-up.
The Next Step: “Boston restaurateur Barbara Lynch plans to transfer ownership of her restaurant group Barbara Lynch Gruppo to her employees so she can focus on two new ventures: a women’s bank and a dehydrated vegetable product line called Made.” Full story and details via Eater.
Ouch. If you haven’t read Jay Rayner’s review of Le Cinq in Paris yet, here it is. It is very brutal (“Le Cinq supplied by far the worst restaurant experience I have endured in my 18 years in this job.”), and very British (“My lips purse, like a cat’s arse that’s brushed against nettles.”). I’m sorry.
L.A. Can’t Stop – ICYMI, the Los Angeles Times is trying to run up the score on every other American city by hosting (what they hope will be) the month-long food festival to end all food festivals. Eater has a good rundown on Food Bowl, and the official site is here. To get a sense of just how big they’re going, a single event – the “Beast Feast” – features Fergus Henderson, April Bloomfield, Kevin Bludso, Dario Cecchini, Nancy Silverton, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger and Jeremy Fox.
The Sourcing Spotlight: Remember that article last year that exposed all those Florida restaurants for faking their “sustainable” sourcing? Well, yesterday, Laura Reilly, the journalist behind “Farm to Fable”, was recognized as a finalist for a 2017 Pulitzer. Why should you care? Awards like this give food writers more and more incentive to go exploring (and exposing) the darker corners of the industry…
Speaking of sustainable sourcing… In California, a decision on the chinook salmon season is due today. Per the Chronicle “For the second year in a row, California officials are likely to shorten the chinook salmon season, making the local specialty costly and hard to find throughout the summer and possibly beyond… Fishery managers are considering a proposal to strictly limit the commercial season and to delay its start around the San Francisco Bay from its usual May date to August.”
Tell the Bar – Craft Brewers’ Conference reading: The CBC is in full swing in D.C., but just before it started, Jim Koch (Boston Beer Co.) wrote this wet blanket of an Op-Ed in the NYT: “Get some craft brewers together, and they’ll tell you that if we continue down this path, we may be witnessing the beginning of the end of the American craft beer revolution.” He must be a lot of fun late night at the bar.
But but but… Apparently ditching the warehouse districts and opening small batch breweries to the public is still a solid money making strategy, because San Francisco Brewing Company has decided to expand into Ghirardelli Square.
The Pivot – After leaving a bunch of cities and retrenching in the Bay Area, high-end grocery delivery service Good Eggs is adding meal-kits to its repertoire. The SF Chronicle has the story, with a modern truth from the CEO Bentley Hall: “You don’t convert on values. You convert on convenience.” Sorry, do-gooders out there (or, good eggs, if you will).
Immigration Update: The courts can’t stop ICE. After 20 years in the U.S., the owner of a restaurant in Indiana – who had been allowed to stay by the Obama Admin – was deported last week, despite lawyers filing petitions and stays in court. “But before his cases could be heard by a judge, ICE officials took him from a detention facility in Texas and dropped him off at the U.S.-Mexico border and had him walk across into Juarez, Mexico.” (Also behind paywall in WSJ if you subscribe.)
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The Long Goodbye to Lucky Peach continues, with this look back at their formidable design legacy via Eater editor Helen Rosner.
Tell your seafood supplier – Your menu would look a lot more interesting if you could say you got your uni from the “Female Free Divers of Jenju”: “Now, like her mother before her, Chae, 33, spends her working days diving into the Korean Strait without an oxygen tank to gather red sea cucumber, urchins, and abalone from the ocean floor. Chae is a haenyeo, a traditional profession on her home island of Jeju, South Korea. For centuries, these female divers have eked out a living by plunging into the sea to gather its edible treasures and sell them.” From Emily Caetano in Roads & Kingdoms.
Investment Opportunity – Want to put some of your hard earned restaurant money into another restaurant? Aaron Silverman is trying to raise a round for another D.C. location to add to his Pineapple & Pearls and Rose’s Luxury repertoire. WBJ says he’s going for $1.05M total, and has $375k so far.
Exclusively Underwhelming: Town & Country has this look at the signature dishes and specialty cocktails of private clubs around the country. Ditch expectations: It’s a lot of asparagus spears wrapped in toast, and dessert garnished with candy corn. Unimpressed.
Slippery Slope: West Village bar The Happiest Hour banned baseball caps to prevent another Make America Great Again hat from ever coming in. Wait till they find out Trump fans buy t-shirts too…
And last and least: Brooklyn’s new “avocado bar”, Avocaderia, sold out of avocados in less than three hours on it’s first day. According to Extra Crispy, “by 2 p.m. they had sold out of every item on their menu—from toasts to bowls—using up all 200, give or take, avocados they had ready for opening day.” So… you can probably still hop on that trend and make money if you want.
Oh yeah, and here’s some bonus Passover reading from (who else) Joan Nathan: “The Legend of King Solomon and the Passover Feast”.
That’s it for Tuesday. The sun’s out on the East Coast, and the wave of patio openings continues. Here’s hoping that means you’re making more money. I am certainly spending it.