The Family Meal – Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Good morning, Tuesday.

Thai food fans, I apologize in advance for this first bit of news…

Bangkok Bans Street Food – Thought this was a joke on Twitter, but the Guardian has details here: “Authorities in Bangkok have banned street food from the capital’s major roads, causing an outcry in a city famous for its affordable roadside cuisine…. Thousands of vendors selling dishes such as spicy prawn soup and papaya salad will disappear by the end of the year in the interests of ‘order and hygiene’, according to city hall…. ‘There will be no let-up in this operation. Every street vendor will have to move out.’”

“Bonjour 42nd Street!” – “Marking a culinary and commercial-property coup, Daniel Boulud will launch a large restaurant at One Vanderbilt, SL Green’s 1,400-foot-tall skyscraper now rising next to Grand Central Terminal.” More details in the NY Post, including this interesting bit: “The deal is not a conventional lease but a partnership in which Boulud will invest, according to both Boulud and SL Green CEO Marc Holliday.”

Paul Qui PR – No one is very happy with the notion that a star chef accused of (and basically admitting to) domestic violence could be redeemed simply through opening a successful new business. Now he can either get out ahead of this and agree with the critics (of the critics), or remain silent. We shall see.

Midwest Moves – “Nick Blue is no longer the executive chef of Sardella, Gerard Craft‘s 6-month-old reinvention of his flagship restaurant Niche.” Via Ian Froeb in the St Louis Post-Dispatch.

For your fast casual dreams – Eater has a preview (complete with pics and menu analysis) of Made Nice, the new fast casual money machine from Daniel Humm and Will Guidara.

Give this man a medal – After the Berkeley farmer’s market was cancelled due to pro vs. anti Trump protests last weekend, one man still showed up to sell his wares: “’The market was officially canceled, but we wanted to be here,’ Riverdog Farms owner Tim Mueller said, as sounds of nearby flashbang grenades reverberated. ‘I think this is what market management was worried about,’ he added.” Well worth the full read in the EastBay Express. (He refers to holding his territory as “peeing the corners”.)

Birds & Bubbles closes up, then sues landlordFrom Eater NY: “After closing Birds & Bubbles on the Lower East Side last month, Sarah Simmons is suing the landlord for negligence for at least $1.5 million… alleging that contractors hired by the landlord caused at least six floods since December 2016.” But, the landlord “will likely rely on a clause in the lease that allows them to avoid liability for negligence.”

Generation Next – “Alabama’s richest person Jimmy Rane has committed $12 million to Auburn University that will be used to create a new culinary science center….  It will have a restaurant, teaching and demonstration kitchens, a ‘beverage appreciation center’ a terrace and rooftop event space, and a spa. It’ll also have board rooms, hotel rooms, suites and apartments.” Full details (plus a classic pic of Rane) in

QUICK NOTE: In lieu of advertising in this Family Meal, I want to remind D.C. readers to join me at Dine N Dash this summer. The event supports José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen. It’s going to be great. I’m going, and you should too. Tickets here.

Tell your somm – Wine Spectator reports, “In a dramatic move that marks its first foray into American wine, French company Maisons & Domaines Henriot has acquired a majority ownership stake in Beaux Frères, one of Oregon’s most prominent Pinot Noir producers. The sale, which closed April 12, includes the winery in Newberg and about 35 acres of vines.”

Tell your bartender – Punch Magazine is on to that Huge-Ice-Cube-in-a-Coupe-Glass trend: “Honestly, I think bartenders do it for Instagram likes.”

Policy Taste – Republican Senator Jerry Moran has an op-ed on called “President Trump’s food aid cuts are a mistake”. Yes, he appears to be arguing almost exclusively for American-produced in-kind donations – i.e., the wheat his home state of Kansas grows – but his underlying rationale for international food aid is less midwest ag and more national security: “While significant strides have been made in the fight against food insecurity, for both strategic and moral reasons, our commitment to ending hunger cannot end now.”

Get right on payroll – Restaurant staff are reading their rights, the lawsuits are adding up, and lawyers are looking for more plaintiffs, according to the Chronicle: “‘There is just more and more awareness about wage theft,’ said Carole Vigne, an attorney at Legal Aid at Work, a nonprofit representing workers in the Mission Beach, Burma Superstar and Gordo Taqueria cases.”

Get right on diversity – The Restaurant Opportunities Center of SF is opening Colors “to begin training hundreds of workers of color to move into fine dining,” and “also launching pilot programs at a pair of San Francisco restaurants to address real and perceived barriers influencing occupational segregation. Daniel Patterson’s Mid-Market restaurant, Alta CA, is one of the participants; the other has yet to be identified.” Also in the Chronicle, here.

Another label for your menu – “The first company to offer Fair Trade seafood harvested from U.S. waters will have scallops on the market this month.” – AP.

The Profile Treatment – “Trained at Chez Panisse and endorsed by Michael Pollan, Samin Nosrat is synonymous with the Bay Area food scene…. A chef, cooking teacher, and writer, Nosrat is a bit like the porridge bread at Tartine: beloved among the Bay Area’s food-obsessed, but largely unknown elsewhere…. Now, with the publication of her first cookbook, she’s about to go national.” Full profile in San Francisco Magazine. Cookbook here.

The New Yorker Treatment – Russian fast blini chain Teremok comes to Manhattan, and Talia Lavin has a review with great background (“‘So you received two locations? Four hundred thousand,’ [founder Mikhail] Goncharov said, quoting a bribe taker. ‘So they put the money in the suitcase.’”)

The New Yorker Treatment Part 2 – “The Piggie Park is important in the history of barbecue, which is more or less the history of America. One reason is that its founder, Maurice Bessinger, popularized the yellow, mustard-based sauce that typifies the barbecue of South Carolina’s Midlands area. Another is that Bessinger was a white supremacist who… had long distributed tracts alleging, for example, that ‘African slaves blessed the Lord for allowing them to be enslaved and sent to America.’” Long read, but almost certainly worth it (just saw, open tab, haven’t finished…): here.

Fwd to your friends who want all the comps – The Boston Globe exposes the not-so-glamorous paychecks of the owner-chef, including a by the numbers bit at the end that breaks down where $1M in sales might go at a restaurant that took out a $250k loan to open (last line spoiler: “$32,400 Cash remaining for you and your investors”). With cameos by Steve “Nookie” Postal (Commonwealth), Jeff Fournier (Thompson House Eatery), and Jason Bond (Bondir), among others.

And a last-and-least list – Got five minutes to burn on nostalgia? “The Top 25 Food Moments from Seinfeld.”

That’s it for today. Back Friday with more…

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and send tips and/or business class tickets to Bangkok before it changes forever to If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself at!

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