Family Meal tries hard to avoid clickbait and stay industry focused, but… here’s the (heavily auto-tuned) “rap” José Andrés released yesterday via Twitter. I guess now that his lawsuit with Trump is over, he’s resumed the traditional role of private citizen advocating immigration reform through song. Enjoy all 1:08 of it, here.
And now, the news…
Final Service – On the cusp of receiving her Lifetime Achievement Award from the James Beard Foundation on May 1st, legend Nora Pouillan has announced June 30th as the last day for Restaurant Nora.
But but but… the Washingtonian notes both the real estate and the business are still up for sale: “It’s on the market for $7 million ($5 million for the building, $1 million for the business—and add another $1 million if the buyer wants to keep the Nora name). That’s too steep a price tag for many chefs, who are used to leasing. José Andrés said no, as did the owners of Vedge, the ambitious vegan restaurant in Philadelphia.”
Two is a Trend: That bar next door – Following in Dominique Crenn’s Bar Crenn footsteps, James Shyabout is opening a little bar adjacent to Commis. According to Eater SF: “Construction starts May 1; stay tuned for a fall opening.” Ask your neighbor when their lease is up?
Chicago Moves – Eater reports Top Chef contestant Angelina Bastidas has taken over the kitchen at Bin36, while JBA nominee David Fingerman (Graham Elliot Bistro) is now at Atwood. And the Tribune has word that “Ocean Prime is planning a 12,000-square-foot restaurant on the second floor of the [new LondonHouse hotel].”
Get Paid – Eater put out a big article yesterday decrying the use of unpaid stages to prop up the kitchens of the World’s 50 Best List, and Nick Kokonas took offense, tweeting this at writer Cory Mintz: “I’d like an award please, because Alinea pays every single stagiere for every minute of work. See your inbox.” This is what landed in the inbox. Stages, you know where to send your CVs…
Tell delivery –DoorDash is spending $5M to settle a class action affecting anyone who delivered for them between September 23, 2011 and August 29, 2016. Keep hopes down though: TechCrunch says the lawyer gets around $1.25M, and 33,000 delivery people will split the rest.
This week in review: Grey Gardens, the new Jen Agg project in Toronto gets a visit from a critic who sounds as if he might have actually uttered the title of her new book – I Hear She’s a Real Bitch – at one time or another. He all but writes it out in the review, before going on to heap compliments almost exclusively on her business partner, exec chef Mitchell Bates (Momofuku Shōtō), and end his take with: “I couldn’t figure out why I felt so stress-free at Grey Gardens during those first visits. Then I discovered… that Agg was thousands of kilometres away, on a Caribbean beach.” 3 stars (when Chef’s out of town).
Some sad news:
From Bowery Boogie in New York – “Guilherme Barreto, the Brazilian chef behind Pardon My French in Alphabet City, died last Friday in a motorcycle accident in Delray Beach, Florida. He was 37.” Barreto spent time at Picholine and China Grill, and was on season 13 of Cutthroat Kitchen. Link to the GoFundMe page for his two daughters is in the Bowery Boogie obit.
From Eater Nashville – “Former Flyte Executive Chef Matt Lackey Killed in Climbing Accident in Colorado. The talented young chef was 31…. Lackey attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and Le Cordon Bleu in Arizona before taking a turn in the kitchens of Sean Brock’s Husk and McCrady’s in Charleston.”
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The Profile Treatment – Suzanne Cupps, the new chef de cuisine at Danny Meyer’s Untitled in NYC’s Whitney Museum, gets a solo write-up in Eater: “It’s a big moment for Cupps, who’s been working at Union Square Hospitality Group since 2011. And it’s big for the company, too: As chef Michael Anthony steps aside, Cupps will become the only female executive chef among the hospitality group’s nine full-service restaurants.”
Another great profile this week comes from Vice Munchies, which visits Nate Allen in Appalachia, where he’s doing his own version of Big Chef / Small Town: “Allen cooked for ten years in high-end restaurants like A.O.C. and also privately for celebrities. (He declined to reveal their names, though he did speak longingly of the paychecks.) Spruce Pine, a hilly town of around 2,000 people surrounded by grey-blue mountains, is like another world.”
Schadenfreude (for some) – “Just days before the state visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Mar-a-Lago… [Florida restaurant] inspectors found 13 violations at the fancy club’s kitchen, according to recently published reports — a record for an institution that charges $200,000 in initiation fees.” In the Miami Herald.
For your radar – UK startup Deliveroo is launching a service to help restaurants build their own delivery-only operations in suitable markets.
Thomas Keller curates: He’s in charge of picking the restaurants for Hudson Yards, and the NYT says he’s going big – “D&D London, [the] group of about three dozen restaurants in London and elsewhere, including Bluebird, Coq d’Argent and Quaglino’s, will be opening an 11,000-square-foot restaurant in the… complex on the Far West Side of Manhattan.”
Last and least: Internet of Fast Food Things – Via Buzzfeed: “In case you missed the beef that unfolded [Wednesday], in short: Burger King announced an upcoming 15-second TV ad designed to trigger voice-activated Google Home devices to read out Wikipedia’s description of its Whopper burger. The internet wasn’t impressed — people first began editing the Whopper’s Wikipedia entry to say it contains cyanide and a ‘medium-sized child.’”
And (sorry for the brief fast food focus at the end here, but…) Ouch. This headline: “Popeyes Defends Against Flesh-Eating Worms Suit”. More nuanced story – not for faint of intestine – here.
That’s it for today. Coming to you from NYC this weekend, so any (off the usual radar) food/drink recommendations, please let me know!