The Family Meal – Friday, August 4th, 2017

Hello Friday,

First, a quick thanks so much to everyone forwarding this on. What started as a humble little list of a few friends and industry folks has grown to thousands of readers all over the country (and beyond) through word of mouth. Thank you!

If you are on the receiving end of one of those forwards, you can sign up for yourself at

Let’s get to it…

Some sad news – Guessing you saw that Judith Jones, cookbook editor to the likes of Julia Child, passed away this week at 93. If you’ve never heard of her, Joe Yonan has a great primer on her life and work in the form of an obituary in the Washington Post. If you’re already familiar with her story, check out these tributes from two of her authors: Madhur Jaffrey, in an interview with Charlotte Druckman for Eater, and Joan Nathan via editorial in her hometown paper.

Bonus material: In Nora Ephron’s movie Julie & Julia (trailer), which follows Julie Powell as she cooks and blogs her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Jones supposedly cancels a dinner at Powell’s house because of rain. In fact, Jacques Pépin told Victorino Matus that Jones cancelled because Julia Child was suspicious of an unknown blogger trying to profit off her name, and asked Jones not to go. The full story – wherein Julia Child asks Jacques Pépin if he knows what a blog is, and he replies, “No idea, Julia.” – is well worth the read.

Yelpers gonna yelp – This morning, the company announced plans to fill a new 52,000 square foot office in D.C. with 500 new jobs (District chefs can now vent their frustrations in person at 575 7th St., NW), and yesterday The Verge reported that “two years after buying Eat24, Yelp has agreed to sell the food ordering service to GrubHub for $287.5 million… a little more than double what it bought the company for. In the process, Yelp and GrubHub have entered into a new partnership that will allow Yelp users to order through GrubHub, and vice versa.”

For the bar – Anchor Brewing, San Francisco’s beloved 121-year-old brewery and creator of the city’s most famous beer, is being sold to Japan’s Sapporo Holdings Ltd. in a landmark deal.” Full story in SFGate, with a follow-up in the Chronicle on what this means for craft beer: “The public relations line, naturally, is that Sapporo is committed to Anchor’s values of ‘quality, authenticity and heritage,’…. They say they won’t expand production beyond the current Potrero Hill brewery, which is currently at only about 55 percent capacity and has plenty of room to grow. Beers won’t change, staff won’t get laid off, [owner Keith Greggor] said — but then again, that’s the script for these sorts of press releases.”

For the bar 2 – Tom Bulleit’s daughter Hollis says she was let go from the family’s namesake bourbon company in part because “the Bulleit family refused to accept her queer identity when she came out 10 years ago, and they rejected her decade-long partnership with a woman.” Parent company Diageo says they actually offered her a contract, but couldn’t come to terms. Full story in Slate. There are a few boycott murmurs, but comments seem mixed on that idea for now.

This Family Meal is brought to you by Chefs for Equality, the premier event benefiting Human Rights Campaign and their work to to end discrimination against LGBTQ people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all. Chefs Ed LeeJeremiah LanghorneAmy BrandweinPatrick O’ConnellCindy Wolf, and many, many more will join select guests at Union Market in Washington, D.C. for a spectacular night of food, cocktails, auctions, and music. Chefs and industry friends looking to get involved can get in touch here. For tickets and more information, check out

That Fast Casual $$$ – While he retools his Waxman’s space in SF, Jonathon Waxman is going chicken fast casual with J Bird next door. The Chronicle spots a trend: “For those familiar with the 2017 San Francisco food scene, J Bird might invoke a bit of deja vu. RT Rotisserie opened in Hayes Valley earlier this year with a similar appeal — meals of chicken and simple sides — as did the Mission’s Cajun-inspired Bayou and Tacolicious’ MF Chicken.”

Your Rural Fantasy – Erin French’s Lost Kitchen has been the subject of a lot of profiles lately, but this one in the NYT stands out for its 360 video tour – which I actually enjoyed for once – of garden, prep, and service. If you’re unfamiliar, the restaurant is “inside a hydro-powered grist mill in Freedom, a town about halfway between Augusta and Bangor, [where French] cooks a set dinner for 40 people, four nights a week… The restaurant is open eight months of the year, and she filled the books from May right through to New Year’s Eve in just one day.”

Design Fans – Behold, a photo spread of the actual food at Jordan Kahn’s Vespertine. Don’t know if I can sum it up any better than Hillary Dixler did in one of her single word captions: “Wut.”

To be discussed: Chef Jen Agg (The Black HoofGrey Gardens, Agrikol) posted a pic on instagram with this caption: “This is a grab from a prominent local restaurant’s CDC’s [Instagram] story. It’s a young cook cleaning fridge handles with a toothpick while being filmed & called donkey (among other things). Little has changed in our industry—people maybe hide their true colours better—and this humiliation bullshit is perpetuated by bad leaders.”

Last and Least – “Jean-Georges’ Latest Restaurant Is in NYC’s Newest Sex Voyeurism Hotspot” is an actual Eater headline, because guests at the Public Hotel on Manhattan’s LES have been putting on a window show lately…

And on that note, I’ll see you Tuesday for next Family Meal.

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and send tips and/or Nora Ephron deep cuts to If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself at!

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