The Family Meal – Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Hello Tuesday,

Quick note: If you’re getting this as a forward, you can (and should) sign up for yourself at

Business done. Let’s get to it…

Wine country burning – In Northern California, Sonoma, Napa, Yuba, and Mendocino are burning, whole neighborhoods in Santa Rosa have been leveled, at least 11 people are dead, and the impact on the wine industry hasn’t begun to be calculated. There are live updates in the LA Times and the San Francisco Chronicle (which also has a useful interactive map), and shelter info on the Press Democrat site.

If you can help, the city of Santa Rosa is looking for food trucks to feed shelters, and Dominique Crenn appears to be doing some organizing as well.

Good luck and stay safe out there!

PS – The focus is rightly on saving lives and property right now, but industry folks unable to help in the area might start thinking about interesting ways to use smoke-tainted grapes… Smaller vineyards especially are going to need imaginative buyers willing to take a bit of risk.

Michelin Season – Washington, D.C.’s Bib Gourmands are out this morning. The Washingtonian has the full list. “The 2018 Bib Gourmand roster is identical to last year’s list, but with three new additions: HazelIvy City Smokehouse, and Sfoglina. None of last year’s honorees dropped off.” (Michelin release schedule reminder in last Family Meal here.)

The Profile Treatment – Speaking of the District, Mike Isabella got his “ever growing dining dominion” New York Times piece yesterday, and after reading that his empire was valued at around $30M, the risk implied by these two sentences made me gulp: “The ultimate test of his ambitions may come at Isabella Eatery in the Tysons Galleria, which will pack nine different spaces into 41,000 square feet, served by one commissary kitchen. Flailing malls have looked to food to lift their businesses, and Mr. Isabella sold General Growth Properties, which owns the Galleria, on a one-stop solution.” Still, if anyone can pull it off…

The Profile Treatment 2 – TV Edition: Danny Meyer talked the Shake Shackphenomenon on 60 Minutes, firmly cementing the “chefs are rock stars” trope by wearing a button down and a blazer on CBS. (Anderson Cooper at 5:25: “I don’t know how to ask this, but… were you a chubby kid?”)

This Family Meal is brought to you by World Central Kitchen, which is currently raising funds to help support their chef-driven relief in Puerto Rico. Restaurants looking to get involved can sign up to participate in World Food Day on October 13thhere. Your support will be showcased through José Andrés, PR, media partners and World Central Kitchen’s marketing. If you have questions about World Food Day or World Central Kitchen, contact

Food Media – Changes afoot at Eater todayMelissa McCart is moving back to Pittsburgh, so Serena Dai is taking over as editor in charge at Eater NY, and Stefanie Tuder is getting bumped up to Senior Editor overseeing “maps, guides, and more.”

“Vanishing New York” –  From the VNY blogOn Lafayette Street since 1985, The Noho Star still has an old-school vibe that attracts low-key neighborhood people along with New York luminaries like Chuck CloseWallace Shawn, and Lauren Hutton. The restaurant’s sister spot, Temple Bar, opened in 1989. Now both are about to vanish.” Pete Wells on twitter this morning: “Temple Bar deserves credit as a forerunner of the cocktail revival. It made martinis glam again.”

The Excerpt – The new, two-volume Eleven Madison Park books are out (price: just over $200), and Daniel Humm has a short sample in Eater about the influence of Danny Meyer and Daniel Boulud in his life. A key takeaway for up and coming chefs at hotel restaurants from back when Humm was cooking at Compton Place in SF: “I met [Boulud] briefly at the front desk; he told me his schedule was pretty packed, so he was unsure whether he would have time to dine at my restaurant. My heart sunk, but I immediately went down to the kitchen to make a plate of hors d’oeuvres to send up to his room. It was, in retrospect, over the top: nearly an entire tasting menu of small bites crowded on one plate showcasing every technique I could muster. Tweezers were used. The dish was sent to his room and, not more than a half hour later, Daniel rang: ‘I must dine here,’ he said. ‘Tomorrow, oui?’”

The suits – I’m guessing his lawyer didn’t advise him on this one… In response to getting sued by Saison for intellectual property theft, SF bar director Anthony Keels has created “The Five Hundred Thousand Dollar Pop up” with all proceeds going to his legal fees to “defend cocktail truth and justice.” $500k is the amount at stake in the lawsuit, while items on the menu like “Subpoena Colada” and “{substandard alternative}” poke fun at various aspects of dispute. Memo at bottom of announcement: “NOTICE TO WITNESS: You have been served…. A cocktail.” Notice to defendants: the legal system doesn’t always get the joke.

Last and definitely least – Anthony Bourdain made a very bloody, very hokey, action flick trailer with Eric Ripert: “‘32 Yolks to Slaughter’ not coming soon to a theater near you.” It’s 50 seconds or so on Instagram. Dinner is served.

And that’s it for today. Spending the rest of the day hoping the wind dies down out west. Ugh.

See you here Friday for next Family Meal!

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and send tips and/or Daniel Humm / Danny Meyer “Sleepless in San Francisco” spec scripts to If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself at!

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