The Family Meal – Friday, August 18th, 2017

Hello Friday,

Man. What a week. I’ll keep this one relatively short.

Let’s get to it…

Some Michelin News – Release dates for new US guides have been announced, and the calendar works as follows:

SF – Bibs out 10/5, stars out 10/12, guide on sale 10/17.
DC – Bibs 10/10, stars 10/17, on sale 10/20.
Chicago – Bibs 10/13, stars 10/20, on sale 11/3.
NYC – Bibs 10/23, stars 10/30, on sale 11/3.

The full announcement also includes this little note: “For the 2018 editions of the MICHELIN Guides, readers will observe a new symbol: L’Assiette Michelin* or the Michelin Plate. This symbol joins the coveted Michelin Star and Bib Gourmand as recognizing restaurants where the inspectors have discovered quality food.” Basically, the plate symbol gives chefs and restaurants the right to refer to themselves as “Michelin-listed”, as that is now recognized as an honor unto itself.

The Big Opportunity – New liquor licenses are going on sale in SF for the bargain price of $13,800. They’re only available in a few specific areas, and there are only five for now, but given that currently “the only way to get a liquor license is on the secondary market, where they can cost as much as $300,000,” it may be worth putting your name in the hat. Rules, deadlines, locations, etc. all here on Hoodline. (NB: the city council added language preventing transferring licenses between locations and businesses, so you can’t just stubhub these things for a quick buck.)

Of course, the other big thing up for grabs in SF right now is that floating Forbes Island restaurant at Pier 39…

Tell PR – “See the cool kids lined up outside that new restaurant? This app pays them to stand there.” That app is Surkus, and it basically lets you buy live-action social media influencers for your event. Nervous about opening night numbers? Details in the Washington Post.

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

Empire moves – Steve Bannon is out at the White House. Wait. Wrong newsletter. What I mean is: “More changes in the growing Momofukuempire: David Chang has moved Max Ng from Ko to take the executive chef spot at Ssam Bar, while chefs Matthew Rudofker and Joshua Pinsky have been promoted to oversee culinary development and operations for all Momofuku restaurants in New York, Toronto, D.C., Vegas, and LA.” Details in EaterNY.

For the Somm – Beastie Boy Mike D is going to run the wine list at April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman’s new Hearth & Hound restaurant in L.A. “[Mr. D] is an avid wine collector enlisted by Friedman to work with sommelier Taylor Parsons on the list.” He’s crafty.

For the Somm 2 – This SF Chronicle piece on the new battle for the soul (read: $$$) of To Kalon is a fantastic dive into the history and future of the place / brand / wine. For the unfamiliar, “To Kalon (TOW-kuh-lawn) is the Napa Valley vineyard — perhaps the California vineyard. No other site here can claim to have been as famous for as long as To Kalon, whose wines’ superlative quality was recognized nationwide as many as 150 years ago. Its modern era has been defined by mergers and acquisitions, lawsuits and trademark battles, primarily between To Kalon’s two most powerful stakeholders: grape grower Andy Beckstoffer, who owns 89 acres of the vineyard, and Robert Mondavi Winery, which has 450.” Read up.

TV News – Mind of a Chef is leaving PBS for an unnamed network, which is reason enough to post a video list of highlights from the first few seasons.

*Last and least – On a very personal, very juvenile note, I hope we can all agree on “L’Ass” as the abbreviated designation for the new L’Assiette Michelin guide selections. “They missed out on a star this year, but they did get L’Ass.” Thank you.

And that’s it for today’s Family Meal. Here’s hoping you have a banner weekend. See you Tuesday.

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and send tips and/or Bannon-themed cocktail ideas to If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself at!

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