This Family Meal – Friday, May 12th, 2017

Hello Friday,

If you need a break from the political news of the day, you have opened the right newsletter.

Let’s get to it…

Schadenfreude – The app the industry loves to hate is hurting. Per CNN: Yelp‘s “stock fell as much as 30% in after hours trading Tuesday after the company posted disappointing sales results…. Great idea and very convenient, but too many botched deliveries. Review: One star.” Pic of the (brutal) graph as of this morning, here.

Speaking of stocks – Seems Pret-A-Manger is working on an IPO in the U.S., and as Bloomberg sees it, “By looking at listing in New York rather than London, where Pret is based, the company is signaling its intention of making a bigger push into the rapidly expanding U.S. market for healthier alternatives to burger chains and other fast-food outlets.” Translation: That new fast casual concept of yours is about to see a lot more competition…

As estrelas – Michelin Brazil is out, and with two stars, Alex Atala’s D.O.M. is still the country’s highest rated restaurant.

When it rains – Right after I hit send on Tuesday with news that José Andrés has big plans for the Hudson Yards project in Manhattan, Eater NY updated that story to reveal Ferran and Albert Adrià are officially partners in the deal. Now there’s more: “In addition to the opening of Estiatorio Milos from Greek seafood restaurateur Costas Spiliadis, a brasserie from D&D London, and a grill from Michael Lomonaco — David Chang is rolling out a new concept in a 5,000-square-foot Hudson Yards space.”

ATTN: Chefs / Influencers – If you are using your social media to promote or endorse products, the FTC wants you to know you better be above board about it. And by “above board” they mean above the little “… more” link on photo captions. “After reviewing numerous Instagram posts by celebrities, athletes, and other influencers, Federal Trade Commission staff recently sent out more than 90 letters reminding influencers and marketers that influencers should clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media.” Full release here.

Four months at Rikers Via Gothamist: “Former raw vegan restaurateur Sarma Melngailis has copped a plea for stealing nearly $1 million from investors and staff to fund lavish trips and her husband’s gambling sprees.” Flashback to December’s Vanity Fair profile that details the incredible backstory: “With customers such as Chelsea Clinton and Alec Baldwin, the Pure Food and Wine owner was a food-world star. Then, in 2011, she met Anthony Strangis. Now facing prison for grand larceny and fraud, Melngailis says her collapse was due to a spell he cast.”

This Family Meal is brought to you by World Central Kitchen‘s Dine N Dash event in Washington, D.C. On June 7th, join hosts José Andrés, Andrew Zimmern, and Ted Allen for a tour of some of the District’s best restaurants. All proceeds go to support World Central Kitchen’s mission of using smart solutions to hunger and poverty to make sure food is an agent of change around the world. Tickets and more information here. PS – I’ll see you there!

Le Cheval – A profile in (foolish?) courage. “Americans generally don’t respond well to dishes that contain horsemeat….” is maybe the understatement of the year, but Grubstreet says “Pittsburgh chef Justin Severino decided to push his luck anyway at his acclaimed restaurant, Cure…. As its second course, the evening’s special menu had a dish very straightforwardly called ‘Le Cheval,’ which is how the French say horse… The meat was prepared as a tartare with black-garlic mayo and salt-and-vinegar chips.” Predictably, “angry Facebook commenters have now blasted Cure, and one person suggested that the restaurant try ‘putting Hipster Tartare on the menu next.’ There’s also a petition, currently at about 1,000 signatures.” Pics of the menu and dish are in the full article, here.

Tell the bar – The Manhattan Cocktail Classic has been cancelled. According to Wine Enthusiast, “The event was to run May 11-17, with actor Bill Murray set to host a black-tie gala at Central Park’s Loeb Boathouse… Spirits industry veteran James Moreland, previously Bacardi’s Bombay Sapphire ambassador, was leading the group putting on the event.” No word from the organizers yet on a reason for the cancellation.

Tell the Somm – After partnering with the Italian winemaker behind Disaronno liqueur to import vines and improve overall quality, a Chinese company is building a massive “Wine City” complete with castles and close to a thousand acres of vines in Shandong province. Mark Ellwood toured the site with a photographer for this piece: “A shy guide leading a tour round the humming, spotless facilities says this is the world’s largest wine production site. It’s a plausible claim… when Wine City hits peak production capacity, it will churn out 450,000 tons of wine and brandy per year, she said. (Compare that with Château Petrus, which might produce around 30,000 bottles, or just under 200 tons, over the same period).”

That private chef life – Puff Daddy (I don’t care what he says his name is now) is getting sued by his former chef. “In the complaint, Cindy Rueda alleges that she was ‘regularly summoned by Mr. Combs to prepare and serve entrees and appetizers to him and his guests while Mr. Combs and/or his guests were engaged in or immediately following sexual activity.’ On one occasion, Rueda claims that Combs summoned her to his room to prepare a ‘post-coital meal’ and asked if she was attracted to his naked body.”

Last and Least – TV fans, there’s a new professional chef soap/dramedy coming from the UK. Quick taste of the F&W summary (with trailer here): “In the premiere episode, it’s rumored a Michelin judge has been spotted in the area so Leo, once again sleeping around on his current wife Sam, must be at the top of his game.” You get the gist…

No. Wait. Truly Least – “Did the Founder of Jimmy John’s Get Naked and Hump a Dead Shark?” There’s a picture. You’ve been warned.

That’s it for today. Back Tuesday with more. Here’s hoping everyone tries to impress their moms by tipping big at Sunday brunch…

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and send tips and/or anything at all that will help me unsee that shark pic to If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself at!

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