The Family Meal – Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Hello Tuesday,

This will be a quick one. As always, if you’re getting this as a fwd, don’t forget to sign up for yourself at thisfamilymeal.com.

Let’s get to it…

Tell PR –  Eater is expanding its consumer-facing Facebook groups for “On-demand restaurant recommendations from Eater editors.” First came L.A., now there’s an NYC page. TBM (To Be Monitored).

Ghosting Ghirardelli – “After less than two years, James Beard Award-winning chef Jonathan Waxman’s eponymous restaurant in Ghirardelli SquareWaxman’s, is no more. A representative for Ghirardelli Square confirms that both Waxman’s, and his newly opened fast-casual chicken spot JBird, have both permanently closed.” Details in Eater SF.

The Gig Economy – The companies you use (or are forced to use) to deliver food are a decidedly creative bunch, as evidenced by this Techcrunch article on GrubHub’s labor lawsuit:  “When asked if GrubHub considers itself to be a ‘food delivery company,’ [GrubHub COO Stan Chia] responded, ‘No, we do not. It is still to be the premiere marketplace connecting diners with restaurants.’” Yes, and the guy on the corner who takes the money has nothing to do with the guy down the block who hands over the baggies…

The Empire – “Sirens: David Chang is opening a second locationfor Momofuku Noodle Bar in The Shops at Columbus Circle in the Time Warner Center: a third floor, 4,000 square-foot restaurant serving lunch and dinner on track to debut in 2018.”

Free Alice – If you don’t want to buy her whole new book, Alice Waters is giving excerpts out left and right online. Here’s a chunk on her support for failed congressional candidate Bob Scheer in Eater. And another on opening night at Chez Panisse in the New Yorker, here.

Niche work – Citing painful restaurant economics, Chicago’s Iliana Regan is launching a “subscription-based meal service that delivers ramen, fried rice, and sukiyaki from Kitsune in North Center to customers. Customers will have to do some work by boiling noodles or searing pork belly, but Regan said it gives the kits a fun, interactive feel…. Customers living around Chicago will pay $100 per month for one meal a week that can feed two.” Eater Chicago has the full story, including another strategy the chef is working on to make ends meet: “Besides the kits, Regan is preparing to launch her marijuana edibles line.”

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: 
http://tinyurl.com/passionpodcast

Deep Dive – The SF Chronicle is here to feed your Tsukiji Market fetish with video, pics, maps, and a longform story: “How sushi gets from Japan to San Francisco” featuring chef Geoffrey Lee of Ju-Ni.

Rent negotiation ammo – Manhattan classic Sparks Steak House threatened closure last spring after the landlords Durst demanded a 100% rent hike. Post-negotiations, sources told the NY Post the increase is only “‘north’ of 40 percent.” Or in other words, south of 50% of what the Durst Org actually asked for… so Sparks is staying put.

For Design Fans – Somerset is Boka Restaurant Group’s latest Chicago project, and is about to spawn an awkward trend of voyeurs on the balcony Instagramming pictures of other people’s food below. Pics here. (Scroll to bottom for overhead shot of matching tabletops and floor.)

For Design Fans 2 – A photo spread of Eight Tables by George Chen in SF’s Chinatown shows AvroKo has gone all in on the sleek, light-stained wood grain look. (Side note: there’s something about cutlery resting on fur that triggers reflexive coughing for me.)

Last and Least – I am loathe to include this, but the BBC reports, “Great British Bake Off star Paul Hollywood has apologized after being pictured wearing a Nazi uniform.” If I were a PR firm, all my new contracts would come with a key clause: “Any instances of blackface or Nazi cosplay will incur an extra fee of $15k, because while we are certainly here to clean up your messes, we are not in the business of babysitting total morons.”

And that’s it for today. It is your faithful narrator’s birthday, and I’m off to plunk a candle down into some milk punch at what looks like quite the space – Edward Lee’s new Succotash in D.C.

I’ll see you back here – one year older and wiser – on Friday for next Family Meal.

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and send tips and/or any GrubHub advertisement you can find where they say they don’t deliver food to andrew@thisfamilymeal.com. If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself at thisfamilymeal.com!

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