The Family Meal – Friday, November 10th, 2017

Hello Friday,

Quick semi-regular note: If you’re getting this as a forward, you should sign up for yourself at

If you are a regular, let’s get to it…

The Big List – Eater’s Bill Addison is out with his national America’s 38 Essential Restaurants, including his Restaurant of the YearThe Greyfrom Mashama Bailey in Savannah. The list is “the apex of [his] work, the result of 32 weeks of travel and over 500 meals in 36 cities.” Neat numbers. I want to see the expense report.

Here are the 18 newcomers (each with their own little write-up on the list), and the 18 who got bumped (or just closed) this year:

In: Bad Saint (DC), Bateau (Seattle), Bertha’s (Charleston), Cala, (SF), Compère Lapin (NOLA), Le Coucou, (NYC), Dumpling Galaxy (NYC), The Grey (Savannah), The Grocery (Charleston), Mariscos Jalisco (LA), Mister Jiu’s (SF), Monteverde (Chicago), Mud Hen Water (Honolulu), n/naka (LA), Prune (NYC), Republique (LA), Sally’s Apizza (New Haven), Staplehouse(ATL).

Out:  Cosme (NYC), FIG (Charleston), Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant (San Antonio), Herbsaint (NOLA), Husk Nashville (Obvious), Liholiho Yacht Club(SF), Momofuku Noodle Bar (NYC), Parachute (Chicago), Petit Trois (LA), Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix), Raku (Las Vegas), Roberta’s (NYC), Rose’s Luxury (DC), Saison (SF), Sarma (Somerville), Szechuan Impression(Alhambra), Woodberry Kitchen (Baltimore), Zuni Café (SF).

The Suits – Per the Chronicle, The D.C. branch of the Tadich Grill is suing the SF owners for failing to declare / appropriately handle allegations of racism that D.C. says has caused its location to lose money every month since opening in 2015. “Less than three weeks after the opening, Tadich made national headlines for another reason when it was reported that the Buich family, led by patriarch Steve Buich, had ostracized a daughter, Terri Upshaw, for marrying a black man, NFL Hall of Famer and former Oakland Raider Gene Upshaw.” The not surprising retort from Buich is that the D.C. guys are just “sub-par management”.

The Expansion – Arriving in LA next year: “After 42 years in New York City, ICE is opening a second location in… the facility previously occupied by Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena… With ribbon cutting scheduled for early 2018… initially, ICE’s Los Angeles campus will feature its career training programs in Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking Arts and Restaurant & Culinary Management. The Hospitality Management program will be added later in 2018.”

The Critics – Also in LA, “Longtime food writer Patric Kuh has decided to recuse himself from his role at LA Magazine, where he spent years as the dining critic for the print publication. Instead, the formerly anonymous writer is stepping into a new role as a front of house manager for upscale South Bay steakhouse The Arthur J.” Farley Elliott’s take in Eater: “The loss of Kuh also means there’s one more hole to the fill in Los Angeles critic circles. A formal replacement has still not been named for departed LA Weekly critic Besha Rodell, and sources say LA Magazine is not likely to hire another critic any time soon.”

Side Note: Karen Palmer seems to be getting pretty comfy in the reviewer slot at LA Weekly for now. She gave Dave Beran’s Dialogue four stars this week.

The Conversation – On Wednesday, Tom Colicchio published “An Open Letter to (Male) Chefs”, echoing some of the sentiment about preventing abuse by empowering / promoting / financing projects led by women from Amanda Cohen’s Esquire op-ed last week. “Is it any wonder that dick culture persists in professional kitchens when most of the women are gone from the back of the house by the time they hit their 30s? When the ones who remain are paid, on average, 28% less than their male counterparts? Men vastly outnumber women as chefs in top kitchens, but not, as legend has it, because only ‘real men’ can stand the heat. We need to do more than pay lip service to fixing this. It’s not enough for us to ask, ‘How can we behave differently around our women employees and coworkers?’ Instead we should be asking ‘What barriers to their success do I owe it to them to remove?’”

Cool, but where is the op-ed showing progress made and replicable steps?

The Wait – Headline in The Verge this week: “Google will soon display wait times for restaurants in search and Maps … The update will arrive ‘soon.’ … Users just search for the restaurant on Google, open the business listing, and a Popular Times section will be displayed with an estimated wait in real time. You can also tap on any hour on the bar graph to see how long the wait will be for that period, in case you want to plan ahead for dinner. There’s also a summary of how long people spend at the restaurant on average, and how long people will wait during peak times. Google says the estimates are based on ‘anonymized historical data,’ which is how it calculates wait times for businesses like museums and grocery stores.” Details here.

Bem-vindo to Hollywood! What’s your dream? – “One of Brazil’s most celebrated and talented chefs, Rodrigo Oliveira, who runs Mocotó and Esquina Mocotó in São Paulo, will open a Hollywood restaurant (location to be determined) with restaurateur Bill Chait some time in 2018. It will be the first Modern Brazilian restaurant to open in the United States from a notable Brazilian chef.” Details in Eater LA.

The Series A – RSE Ventures just took an undisclosed “significant minority interest” in Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar. They’ve also invested in Momofuku and &pizza, but I don’t think they ever called David Chang “perhaps the next incarnation of Martha Stewart for this generation.”

Michelin Season (Asia edition) – Kyoto and Osaka stars are out, and “12 have been given the coveted three-star distinction, including two new restaurants: IIDA in Kyoto who moved up from two-stars last year, and French gastronomy restaurant Hajime in Osaka.” Full Kyoto – Osaka guide here.

And over in Seoul, FDL sums up a short list: “Two new restaurants gained their second star: Jungsik and Kojima… The three star category was unchanged from 2017 with both Gaon and La Yeon retaining their stars. In the one star tier there were four new restaurants: Joo Ok, Exquisine, Dosa, Table for Four.

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 (, 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 Fish – A bluefin rebound? After catching his quota in record time this year, one fisherman told NPR, “‘They were everywhere. When they hit this year in July, they hit from the Canadian border to New Jersey, and they were thick. They got caught fast,’… And fisheries scientists agree. After charting a strong bluefin presence in 2016, preliminary data for this year suggest even more.” Cue arguments about increasing new quotas after old quotas appear to have worked.

The Fundraiser – Molly O’Neill, cookbook author, former food columnist for NYT Magazine and host of Great Food on PBS is raising money for her cancer treatments on gofundme. The “Recent Donations” tab includes a number of food world folks you might recognize, like Laurie WooleverRuth ReichlAlice Waters, and Jonathan Gold. Join them?

Some sad news – Wine Spectator reportsPatricia “Patty” Green, 62, of Patricia Green Cellers (after previously helping to found Torii Mor) “died Nov. 6 in an apparent accident inside her rural cabin retreat near Roseburg, Ore.”

And in the Guardian: “Antonio Carluccio, the Italian chef and restaurateur, considered by many to be the godfather of Italian gastronomy in the UK, died on Wednesday aged 80… He wrote 22 books and starred in TV programmes including Antonio Carluccio’s Italian Feast and the BBC2 series Two Greedy Italians, alongside the chef Gennaro Contaldo… He opened his first restaurant in the UK in 1981 – the Neal Street restaurant in London’s Covent Garden… The restaurant was patronised by the Prince of Wales and Sir Elton John and launched the career of Jamie Oliver before it closed in 2007.”

The Excerpt – “The culinary world was stunned when [Homaro Cantu] committed suicide in 2015. At the time, he was in the middle of several projects, including his first book, which comes out this week: MOTO: The Cookbook.” Eater has a very small excerpt here, which is worth reading as a testament to the power of teachers and mentors. Cantu’s two big influences: his seventh grade science teacher Mr. Moore, and some guy named Charlie Trotter.

For design fans – This is what Major Food Group got for spending $10M with designer Peter Marino (“a huge luxury fashion world name who’s worked with brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel”) to create The Lobster Club downstairs from The Grill and The Pool in the old Four Seasons Manhattan: “A Picasso-inspired main dining room, lounge, and bar with swaths of bright colors: mod-like pink chairs, a Jackson Pollock-inspired splattered tile floor, and chartreuse-green banquettes with a blocky camouflage print.” If you read “chartreuse-green banquettes with blocky camo print” as “ugly couches”, we are on the same page.

Last and not least – Whatever you think of the Trumps, this article on the effort South Korea’s first lady, Kim Jung-sook, put into making tea for their visit is kind of wonderful. “First lady Kim has personally been making gotgam for weeks for President Trump and his wife. She put her whole mind to the refreshment… Kim picked persimmons in person from trees inside Cheong Wa Dae weeks ago, and hung them to dry them under the eaves of the presidential residence… Kim made ‘gotgam ssam’ by inserting walnuts into the dried persimmons and then coating them with chocolate with the help of an expert.” Complete with a picture of the first lady kicking back with a newspaper under a curtain of the drying persimmons, as one does.

And that’s it for today. If you’re working this weekend, I hope the big checks hit as quick and thick as bluefin this season.

I’ll see you here Tuesday for next Family Meal.

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and send tips and/or (sober) defenses of “chartreuse-green banquettes with blocky camo print” to If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself at!

P.S. – After I wrote that “Bem-vindo to Hollywood! What’s your dream?” subhed, I googled the quote from Pretty Woman to make sure I had it right. It’s a good quote. “Always time to dream, so keep on dreaming!”

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