There is so much to get to today, but first, all my best to everyone in SF dealing with the massive power outage this morning. Hope all’s as well as it can be, and you don’t get hit too hard.
Happy 20th Anniversary to Balthazar. If you’re feeling nostalgic (and voyeuristic), EaterNY is live-blogging the day for some reason.
The List – GQ’s Best New Restaurants in America is here. Top 10 (which is the whole thing) in alphabetical order: “Aska (Brooklyn), Flowers of Vietnam (Detroit), Han Oak (Portland, OR), Kato (Los Angeles), Kemuri Tatsu-ya (Austin), Rooster Soup Co. (Philadelphia), Salazar (Los Angeles), Side Chick (Los Angeles), Tarsan i Jane (Seattle), Young Joni (Minneapolis).”
$$$ – The Trump lawsuit behind him, José Andrés and his ThinkFoodGroup have signed a three year partnership with massive food-service firm Compass Group USA. “In the immediate future, plans call for ThinkFoodGroup to collaborate with Restaurant Associates on potential projects with museum clients, with Bon Appetit on the expansion of Beefsteak locations and with Compass’ Levy Restaurants unit on concept creation at Audi Field, the projected new home field of Major League Soccer’s DC United, scheduled to open in the summer of 2018.” – Food Management online.
Hot take – I’m rooting for Andrés, but, damn, that’s a lot to handle without letting some things slip.
The Profile Treatment: Barbara Lynch – “Like many chefs in those days, she lied her way into her first kitchen job, could barely read a recipe (she is dyslexic) and had never eaten in a restaurant when she began working in one. But for someone who stole a city bus at 13, begged for cash from neighbors for ‘charity,’ spending it on fried clams and mescaline, and shoplifted clothes as smoothly as she now carves a chicken, a restaurant kitchen held no terrors. She got by on nerve and hustle (the cocaine the line cooks used to snort through dried penne probably helped, she said).” – By Julia Moskin in the NYT, and well worth the full read here.
Quick Beantown aside: There was a fair amount of controversy over usage of the term “Southie” in the above profile. If you’re one to argue those things, the Globe sums up their side here.
The Profile Treatment part 2: Sri Owen. Food52’s Mayukh Sen is back with another fantastic chef/author bio. This time, it’s London’s 82 year-old Indonesian food “missionary” Sri Owen. Of her first published work, he writes, “The book was released in 1976 to moderate success, its audience tiny but lively.” Ah, the cookbook audience: Tiny, but lively.
The Kid – Having moved his supper club from his Columbia dorm room to a hedge fund manager’s house in Brooklyn, Jonah Reider is selling out. By that I mean both that Pith continues to fill all its seats three nights a week every week, and that he has hired a talent agency to manage all the endorsement offers he’s getting. Want to feel jealous? Read this.
The big moves – EaterDC has news that Joe Palma is leaving Bourbon Steak to head Mike Isabella’s huge new Isabella Eatery in the burbs, and EaterSF has Johnny Black (most recently sous at Pineapple & Pearls in D.C.) taking on the newly created Exec Chef role at Atelier Crenn. Meanwhile in LA, owner Billy Silverman, tells Eater there that, “Chef Jonathan Aviles will be moving into the lead role in the kitchen of Frogtown’s beloved Salazar. Executive Chef Esdras Ochoa will remain a partner in the restaurant as he steps out of the kitchen to pursue a new venture in Hong Kong.” And in NY, Francis Derby is leaving The Cannibal. Last but not least, in St. Louis, Ashley Shelton is moving on up to exec chef at Gerard Craft’s Sardella.
Oh yeah, and Daniela Soto-Innes and Enrique Olvera told 50 Best that they’re hoping to open a Cosme in LA next year.
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The Accolades – Barbara Lynch made the Time 100 this year (with write-up by Padma Lakshmi). Wolfgang Puck is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Wednesday, becoming just the second chef there according to EaterLA (Bobby Flay was first). And the CIA honored its Leadership Award recipients yesterday, including Jacques Pépin, Martha Stewart, and Shep Gordon. (Flashback: check out last year’s LA Weekly profile of Shep – The Man Who Convinced Chefs They Were Rock Stars – complete with a great pic of him with young Michel Richard and Emeril Lagasse).
Fwd to the Somm – “Wine producers in Britain will plant a record 1m vines over the next 12 months, allowing growers to produce 2m more bottles of wine a year in the south of a country not historically known for its viticulture…. Among those planting new rootstocks are two big French champagne houses, Taittinger and Vranken-Pommery Monopole, which have announced English wine projects in the past year in Canterbury and Hampshire.” Full story in the Guardian.
Got 2 minutes? Eater has “an exclusive clip” of the Anthony Bourdain’s new Jeremiah Tower doc. It’s basically just a list of the celebrities who went to Stars back in the day – I’d rather see a montage of all the chefs who worked there – but here you go.
Speaking of screen time – Forgot to mention last time: Iron Chef is on TV again in its new “Gauntlet” format. First episode here. Spoiler: Alton Brown is a nerd.
Results! – The NYT’s Tejal Rao went deep into what it takes to be a street vendor in NYC, and her subject, Kabir Ahmed, elicited so much empathy that there’s now a gofundme set up to get him $3k for a Caribbean cruise vacation. As of writing this morning, it had raised $4k. (Here’s hoping he actually gets to spend it on whatever he wants.)
Tell the Bar – The Sting: Restaurants in Maryland are being sued for tens of thousands of dollars for showing marquis boxing matches without paying the full pay-per-view licensing fees. According to NBC4, at least one suit was backed up by “an undercover investigator alleging he witnessed the fight from a front window.” Dude didn’t even buy a beer. Ouch.
Food Tech / Due Diligence – Juicero, the “Keurig of juice” has raised almost $120M for a $400 (previously $600) internet-connected device that makes a glass of juice by applying something like four tons of pressure to specially designed bags of fresh ingredients. Unfortunately, as laid out in Bloomberg yesterday: 1) You can just squeeze the bags by hand and get basically the same juice…
The CEO’s response is here. He appears to refer to squeezing packets as “hacking”. I highly recommend skipping to the comments. Sample: “I’ve been hacking Capri Suns since I was 5. I am a hacker.”
Dress Code – Going to the James Beard Awards May 1st in Chicago? Did you know there’s an official James Beard bowtie this year? Host Jesse Tyler Ferguson created one for his Tie the Knot foundation, and “100% of profits go to support the James Beard Foundation”.
Last and least – There are new McDonald’s uniforms coming out, and Gizmodo’s Matt Novak thinks they look a little too Logan’s Run-y for their own good. He has a point.
That’s it for today. Hope the power comes back on in SF ASAP, and hope you guys get some big covers / tips to make up for the losses this weekend. Back Tuesday with more…
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