Let’s get right to it…
First, Puerto Rico. Don’t have a lot of hard news to add here, but you’ll never guess who hopped on a plane and is running around the country like a madman looking for volunteers, supplies, and cooks to help feed the people. (Spoiler: It’s José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen crew again, and they’re looking for donations if you’re looking to do a fundraiser.)
Closing Pains – According to “documents obtained by The Chronicle,” after ditching both his Waxman’s and JBird concepts in Ghiradelli Square, “the New York chef [Jonathan Waxman] allegedly left town with at least $116,000 in unpaid bills, stemming to back-owed rent and unpaid cleaning bills. (Waxman has not yet responded to inquires.)”
The Business – As Bobby Flay looks toward an IPO, Entrepreneur magazine delves into his company and biography. Worth a read more for the numbers and strategy than the well-known history… Re the empire: “Now there are 17 [Bobby’s Burger Palaces] in nine states and Washington, D.C., in malls and on city streets, near colleges and inside casinos…. it brings in about $34 million annually, against $45 to $50 million in total from his six upscale restaurants.”
Michelin season – Washington, D.C. is getting ready for its second-ever guide, but probably shouldn’t clear too much shelf space. Yesterday, writer Jessica Sidman tweeted out a screenshot of the Amazon “product details”, noting that for all the new openings and “hottest food city” talk, the new guide will probably be “just as puny as last year: 96 pages.”
Industry Drivers – Odd fact in the NYT this weekend: In a lot of places, Uberis making more money delivering UberEats than it does delivering people. But but but, “The competition is stiff. Postmates, which established a foothold six years ago, has raised more than $250 million, has more than 100,000 delivery drivers (the company calls them “postmates”) and makes 2.5 million deliveries every month. Grubhub, a public company, had $3 billion in gross food sales in 2016, with an active base of 8.17 million customers.”
If a chef tours France and it’s not on Netflix… Old news: David Kinch has closed Manresa for a week while he takes the show on the road to France (specifically “at the iconic two-Michelin star Le Taillevent in Paris, two-Michelin star L’Oustau de Bauminère in Provence, and three-Michelin star Le Petit Nice in Marseilles. Details on official site.) New news: He’s bringing a documentary crew with him. Flapjack Entertainment announcement: “The project, ‘Manresa France,’ follows James Beard Award-winning Kinch and his 12-person Manresa team for an epic collaboration with three different Michelin-starred chefs and their teams, serving three dinners over the course of nine days at each of their restaurants in Paris, Provence, and Marseille.”
Also on TV – Seems chef / author Samin Nosrat is taking her Salt Fat Acid Heat success to the small screen for a “docuseries coming in 2018.” (Link goes to her tweet with filming pics.) EDIT: Just before the newsletter went out, Nosrat had to delete that tweet because she “got in trouble with her showrunner.” Guess they didn’t want us to see the making-of quite yet…
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 – “Though he’s unknown to most Americans, Gino Sorbillo is one of the most famous pizzaioli in Italy, with regular guest appearances on MasterChef Italia, three restaurants in Naples, and a reputation for having fought the mafia — beating back crime in Centro Storico, the neighborhood that’s home to his flagship pizzeria.” To be honest, so far I’ve only had time to scan the many fantastic pictures in here – including some very intimate day-in-the-life shots (read: chef in boxers making breakfast) – but I didn’t want to wait to include it in Family Meal because solely based on those pics and that lede, this piece is well worth a read.
Some sad news – Wholsome Wave announced yesterday: “It is with deep sadness that we share the news that Gus Schumacher passed unexpectedly of a heart attack last night. The good food movement, the agricultural sector, and the world at large has lost one of the most magnificent advocates ever known.” Michael Pollan called Schumacher an “unsung hero of the Food Movement” on Twitter.
For Design Fans – Hm. Take a look at this Eater Dallas slideshow from the space where “husband and wife duo Stephen Rogers and Alison Yoder will debut Sachet, the breezy and bright Mediterranean sibling to their first restaurant Gemma.” When photographers look around and decide to just put your food on the floor, might be time to invest in funkier tables?
And here’s “A First Look Inside London’s Most Glamorous New Restaurant:
Serge et le Phoque at the Mandrake Hotel in Fitzrovia” which for no discernable reason has some kind of … peacock jackalope(?) over the bar.
Last and not quite least – I’m a sucker for old bartender stories, and this LAist interview with Ruben Rueda, who has been tending bar at Hollywood institution Musso & Frank’s for 50 years, is a gem. Regarding a Mr. Keith Richards: “Does Keith still drop by sometime? Oh yeah, but he never sits at the bar anymore. I think he doesn’t drink now. What we used to drink was, three shots of vodka and a shot of Campari. And he’d get, Jesus Christ, like five of those.” Ah, the old Siberian Negroni (TRADEMARK).
And that’s it for today. Good luck out there this week, and I’ll see you here Friday for next Family Meal!
And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and send tips and/or royalty payments and cocktail consulting fees for the invention of the Siberian Negroni to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself at thisfamilymeal.com!