The Family Meal – Friday, November 17th, 2017

Hello Friday,

Been a long week. Let’s get right to it…

The Conversation – The Washington Post’s Maura Judkis and Emily Heil interviewed over 60 people for an article out this morning titled: “Rape in the storage room. Groping at the bar. Why is the restaurant industry so terrible for women.” It is detailed and damning. There are celebrity chefs and big restaurant groups named, but also stories of lower level shops, mid-range chains, and culinary school. Read it.

PS – Judkis adds on Twitter that they “are still aggressively pursuing several follow-up stories about notable chefs and restaurants…. People can contact me:, 202-334-9417.”

The Profile Treatment – Danny Bowien gets his turn in GQ, and it starts exactly like every other chef profile you’ve ever read: “His is a sculptural midsection, smooth and designed, the kind fashioned by untold hours of sweat and labor. It’s a stomach of opulence, one that could be cordoned off behind a velvet rope and displayed atop a gilded pedestal in the Piazza della Signoria. This is a tummy that would not look out of place on Gwen Stefani.”

“Seattle’s Crazy Restaurant Boom” –  In The Seattle TimesHave you been to Opus Co., the new Phinney Ridge restaurant from two chefs who’ve worked with the great Rachel Yang? Eaten Mutsuko Soma’s already-renowned handmade soba at her brand-new Kamonegi in Fremont, where Art of the Table used to be? Been to the new location of beloved Art of the Table, a block away? Tried the imported-from-Hong-Kong, reportedly incredible Betsutenjin Ramen on Capitol Hill? … If you can’t keep up, it’s not your imagination — restaurants are opening at an unprecedented rate. Over a month and a half this summer, at least 40 debuted hereabout… Seattle had 2,696 restaurants as of the first quarter of 2017, according to Department of Revenue data — up 25 percent from a decade ago… The Seattle survival rate for restaurants has been hovering around 87 percent a year out (up from 83 percent in 2007). And the numbers for Seattle restaurants’ gross annual sales are startling: up 45 percent over the past decade, to a 2016 total of $2.9 billion.”

ATTN: Food editors – Atlanta Magazine is looking for someone to replace Julia Bainbridge?

30 under 30 – Christina Tosi, the Sweetgreen guys, and Lee Schrager chose this year’s Forbes 30 under 30 for food (the mag’s entire 30 under 30 is actually six hundred people long, broken into different categories). If you made it, congrats! If you never will, don’t worry. Lists are dumb. (But really, congrats to Marian Cheng (Mimi Cheng’s Dumplings), Ayesha Curry (who?), David Foulquier (Fooq’s), Victoria James (Cote), Irene Li (Mei Mei Restaurant & Street Kitchen), Marguerite Mariscal (Momofuku), Shawn Nagpal (Coriander Modern Indian), Grant Pinkerton (Pinkerton’s Barbecue), Amanda Pizzaro (The Salty Donut), César Ponsonnet (Le Bernadin), Grant Reynolds (Charlie Bird), Carlie Steiner (Himitsu), Peter Yang (Pokeworks), et al.

Good Gig – Variety reports: “Chef David Chang has joined NBC Sports’ coverage of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea as a special correspondent. Chang, the founder of Momofuku restaurants and a second generation Korean American, will contribute to NBC Sports’ coverage with segments looking at the food and culture of Korea.”

Michelin Season – The Germany and Italy guides are out:

Germany got one new three star restaurant and four new two stars. FDL has the full list and this note, “Atelier in Munich, helmed by chef Jan Hartwig, formerly of Sven Elverfeld’s three-Michelin-star Aqua restaurant in Wolfsburg, jumps from two to three stars, meaning Germany now has 11 three Michelin-starred restaurants in total… Joining the two-Michelin-star club are CourtierKeilingsSchwarzenstein Nils Henkel, and Wald & Schlosshotel Friedrichsruhe – Gourmet restaurant ‘Le Cerf’, taking the two star total to 39, while 29 restaurants gained their first star.”

Italy has “one new three-star restaurant this year: St. Hubertus, in the northern mountain town San Cassiano, joins eight other restaurants in Michelin’s top ranked slot. The full Italy guide includes 356 starred restaurants. There are 41 two-star restaurants, including new selections Vun in Milan, Magnolia in Cesenatico, and La Siriola, also in San Cassiano. The 2018 guide also features 26 new one-star restaurants, bringing that total to 306.” Full list in Eater.

Midwest Moves – In Eater Chicago, “Debbie Gold will be in charge of the kitchen at both Tied House and Schubas, the tavern/concert venue in Lakeview. Gold is a Top Chef: Masters alum, appearing on the show in 2010, and she brings a fine-dining background that includes a stint at Charlie Trotter’s… Gold earned the Beard’s Best Chef: Midwest award in 1999 for her work at The American in Kansas City.”

Some sad news – Exec chef Adrian Blanc was killed in a hit-and-run on Tuesday morning in New York. “The 34-year-old had just finished his shift at Hill and Bay restaurant and was going to catch the subway in Union Square back to Brooklyn. He died in the hospital on Wednesday, a month before he was set to wed.”

For Design Fans – This photo spread for Booth One (aka what used to be Chicago’s The Pump Room) is perfectly captioned: “This booth is dedicated to famous singer Frank Sinatra” (dedication = a tiny picture of Sinatra in empty space); “The VIP booth is special because of a phone – smartphones didn’t exist in the olden days” (a rotary connects guests to the bar, which definitely will not get annoying); “This booth can be curtained off” (you get it).

For Design Fans 2 – Specifically for Gucci fans… Massimo Bottura is opening a restaurant in their Florence store. Makes sense.

For the bar – This documentary is being billed as the Somm of beer – and there are definitely some characters trying to pass a big beer knowledge / taste test to earn a title – but it also follows a home brewer on his quest to go pro, so there’s a bit more variety in the types of dreams to be fulfilled… or crushed. Trailer for “Brewmaster” here.

For the Cooks – If you work the line, send this article around to folks who don’t get it. And if you’re DC chef Eric Ziebold, you might want to have a chat with “Cory” and give “Jordan” a raise…

Last and not least – This Twitter thread on the design behind The Cheesecake Factory is pretty great: “The interior is a world of aesthetic chaos that feels like a mix between a Fry’s Electronics, an overgrown Panera, and a laser tag arena. It’s sensational.”

And that’s it for today. Working on my Mission Chinese abs this weekend. See you Tuesday for next Family Meal.

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and send tips and/or “stomachs of opulence” to If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself at!

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