Labor Day made for a relatively slow (industry) news weekend, and since I refuse to bore you with pumpkin spice clickbait, this is a relatively light Family Meal. BUT, there is some great stuff in here, and if I can recommend one click below, it’s the NatGeo pictures of greenhouses in the Netherlands. There aren’t that many in the article, but they are spectacular.
Let’s get to it…
ATTN PR: “Michelin’s attempt at staying relevant among younger, fickle Millennials.” – That’s how news outlets are describing the 40% stake the Michelin Guide is taking in “alternative restaurant guide Le Fooding… According to a press release, the partnership aims to build exclusive and diverse gastronomy experiences that could include meetings with chefs, tailor-made events and special offers with partners.” Le Fooding is still very Paris-focused, but they’ve done some big events in the US, and with Michelin’s foothold here, it’s a safe bet they’ll expand their American presence. I’d keep them on my radar (and want to be on theirs)…
Pivot to video – Speaking of Michelin, the “Michelin Stars” documentary will finally have its world premier at the San Sebastián Film Festival on September 23rd. The cast includes “Daniel Humm, René Redzepi, Alain Ducasse, Guy Savoy, Andoni Luis Aduriz, and ten other star chefs, big-time food critics,” and Michelin director Michael Ellis. Trailer here.
Video 2 – Also debuting at San Sebastián will be “Constructing Albert,” about a plucky younger brother named Albert Adrià, who you may have heard of. Trailer here. (Best part of the trailer: Albert admonishing young chefs, “If you play Candy Crush 10 hours a day, it’s hard to have ideas.” … a few cuts later, there’s Albert swiping a “Juicy!” at level 26 on his phone.)
Three commas vs. three stars – Of course, there is a restaurant world completely unconcerned with Michelin, and that world makes a LOT of money… Hence the news that Houston restaurateur Tilman Fertitta is dropping over $2B for the Houston Rockets NBA team. “Fertitta owns the Landry’s chain of seafood restaurants along with Morton’s The Steakhouse, multiple Golden Nugget casinos, and Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.”
The Squeeze – One of the most brutal food stories in Silicon Valley is finally coming to an end. Four year-old Juicero, which raised $120M on the promise of a market for $700 home juice machines and subsequent sales of accompanying ingredient packs, is shutting down. The post-mortem will find a fatal wound inflicted by that Bloomberg article that showed you could get the same juice from the ingredient bags by simply squeezing them with your bare hands. The VC’s who invested $120M of other people’s money will find a small ego bruise where critical thinking should have been, then they’ll raise another fund and invest in something equally useful I’m sure. (Oh, hi, VC’s reading this. FYI, Family Meal is growing and could actually be a great investment… let’s talk?)
“End of an Era” – From the SF Chronicle: “The last remaining vestige of what was once San Francisco’s top cooking school will pack up its saute pans and close its doors for good at the end of September. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco — previously the California Culinary Academy, the training ground for a generation of Bay Area chefs in the late 20th century — is closing.”
This Family Meal is brought to you by Add Passion and Stir: Big Chefs, Big Ideas, a weekly podcast about inspirational people who are changing the world. In each episode, Billy Shore, the creator of the No Kid Hungry Campaign (www.strength.org), brings together prominent change-makers and guests from the culinary world to discuss how food is at the intersection of social transformation.
Guests on the podcast include James Beard Award-winning chefs who have amassed a host of Michelin Stars, joined by leaders in the public and private sectors who are making profound positive changes in the world: Chef José Andrés, U.N. Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin, Shake Shack CEO Danny Meyer, Chef Traci Des Jardins, and many more. Listen, Subscribe, Rate, and Review:
The Profile Treatment – Christina Tosi and Milk Bar get a deep dive in Eater today, with some number tidbits for good measure: “Business appears to be brisk but Milk Bar is tight-lipped about actual sales figures. Lee framed the metrics in the most Milk Bar possible way by telling me that last year, they sold 600,000 B’day Truffles and about 300,000 Compost Cookies, and that they go through nearly 200,000 pounds of flour and over 100,000 pounds of butter annually.”
Tulips Shmulips – The (tiny) Netherlands is second only to the US in food exports by value. How? “Banks of what appear to be gargantuan mirrors stretch across the countryside, glinting when the sun shines and glowing with eerie interior light when night falls. They are Holland’s extraordinary greenhouse complexes, some of them covering 175 acres.” Story – and some spectacular pictures of the future of food – are in NatGeo this month.
Jubilee – If you’re looking to learn from the best women in the business, the first-ever West Coast (SF) Cherry Bombe Jubilee lineup is out, with lots of familiar names headling: Gabriela Cámara of Cala, Traci Des Jardins of the Traci Des Jardins restaurant group, Lisa Q. Fetterman of Nomiku, Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, Amy Guittard of Guittard Chocolate Company, Janet Hayes of Williams Sonoma, Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen, Yasmin Khan, author of ‘The Saffron Tales’, Pei-Ru Ko of Real Food Real Stories, Karen Leibowitz of The Perennial, Emily Luchetti of the Big Night Restaurant Group, Preeti Mistry of Juhu Beach Club and Navi Kitchen, Andrea Nguyen, author of ‘The Pho Cookbook’ Catherine Porter of OpenTable, Liz Prueitt of Tartine and Tartine Manufactory, Dominica Riceof Cosecha, Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo, Danielle Walker of Against All Grain, Anna Weinberg of Big Night Restaurant Group, Sarah Weiner of Good Food Awards, and others….” Details in Eater SF, tickets on sale here.
And last and least – White Castle is out with new uniforms. Don’t get your hopes up. They’re just polo shirts with weird collars and big logos, but man do the models look excited to be wearing them!
And that’s it for today. Something tells me things are about to heat up news-wise as we head into autumn… See you Friday for next Family Meal!
And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and send tips and/or VC requests for my amazing investor pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself at thisfamilymeal.com!