The Family Meal – Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Hello Tuesday,

It’s the week of Thanksgiving, and to quote NYT TV critic James Poniewozic, “A thing I love about this country is it invented a holiday where millions of amateur cooks have to prepare a freakishly large bird.”

If you are looking for turkey related content / advice, you have come to the wrong place.

Let’s get to it…

Very bad PR – If you like watching the Internet tear things apart, you’ll have a good time in the comments section of this Twitter post. Seems the fellas behind Skedaddle, a rideshare app for charter buses, have decided they are going to eliminate tipping by creating a crypto-currency called “Kudos” that gives service workers rewards based on customer ratings. A star rating earns you a tip in Kudos, not dollars, because…. ? Of course, Kudos can only be used within the Kudos system, and also, workers’ overall rating will be permanently recorded and follow them from job to job. Sounds great!

The founders mention restaurants a lot – they shouted out Danny Meyer as an inspiration, and as far as I can tell on Crunchbase both Jeff Lo, a Momofukuboard member, and Jason Finger, co-founder and former CEO of Seamless, are early investors – so expect to hear from a Kudos sales rep if the whole thing doesn’t tank before their planned Jan 16 launch.

Harshest comment so far? “Let me tell you about my startup idea. It’s an app called Actual Garbage, and the idea is: if you or any of your garbage partners walks into a place where people work for tips for a living, it alerts them that you are garbage human beings so you can be served actual garbage.”

Yelp!(ers) Unmasked – Last week, a court in California “determined that Yelpwill have to turn over documents that could identify an anonymous user who is accused of defaming an accountant in a review posted on its website.” The plaintiff contends the anonymous author of a (very) bad review exaggerated their experience out of frustration over cost, but the only way for him to prove defamation is to confirm the identity of the customer, which Yelp wouldn’t do. According to Gizmodo, “TwitterRedditGoogleDropbox, the Electronic Freedom Foundation, and many others signed on in support of Yelp’s defense of the user,” and they all lost, so if you think you can prove a review meets the legal definition of defamation, you might be able to strip your critics of anonymity and make a case…

The Conversation – Eater’s EIC Amanda Kludt published “28 Pie Charts That Show Female Representation in Food” yesterday. They show Male / Female breakdowns at food festivals, in print (including Eater’s own coverage), on TV, and atop award podiums between November 2013 (when Time Magazine’s infamously goddess-less “Gods of Food” feature came out) and now. Check it out.

Michelin Season – The 2018 guide for Belgium and Luxembourg is out, with three new 2-star spots (Vrijmoed in Gent, La Source in Neerharen, and Bouryin Roeselare), 14 new single-stars, and 24 new Bib Gourmands. Full list here.

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 Immigrant – “One of Australia’s most prominent restaurants is expanding to Los Angeles in 2018, as Melbourne star Lûmé looks to find a home on the West Coast. The surprise announcement [detailed in Eater LA] comes just days before Lûmé chef Shaun Quade is set to cook at Trois Mec with Ludo Lefebvre.”

The Critics – Also out west, L.A. Weekly is still rotating reviewers post Besha Rodell’s departure. After a few from Karen Palmer, this week it’s Javier Cabral, who is apparently a hermit: “I don’t know a soul who wouldn’t be charmed by… tableside magic tricks and esoteric ambiance based on the magic arts.”

Good Gig – With Matthew Kirkley out training for the Bocuse d’Orthe SF Chronicle reports: “The next chef to take over Coi will be Erik Anderson, who made his name at The Catbird Seat in Nashville and is an alumnus of both Noma and The French Laundry. When he opened The Catbird Seat, the restaurant made best restaurants lists by Bon Appetit and GQ. Coi has a long-standing tradition as a hotbed for culinary talent. Think Brett Cooper (Aster), Katy Millard (Coquine) and Carlos Salgado (Taco María). [Daniel Patterson] sees Anderson as fitting the Coi mold, if there is such a thing.”

PS – Eater SF’s Ellen Fort upset Patterson after she ended her article about Coi’s new chef by saying it’s “a missed opportunity for Patterson to follow through on his goal to bring racial and gender equity to the fine-dining world by hiring a woman or person of color.” She later corrected the article “to reflect that Erik Anderson is of Mexican heritage”, though at last reading the only place that’s actually reflected is in the correction itself?

Patterson asks: “Just wondering @ellenfork if you are planning on applying that same standard to all restaurants? Or to your own writers, editors and reviewers @Eater? Or just us?”

TV Watch – “More than a decade after his last original episode, Mario Batali has stepped back into the Food Network kitchen for fresh installments of ‘Molto Mario,’ the show that helped make him a culinary star… The cooking program that first aired in 1997, will premiere six new episodes that will feature the chef preparing meals with friends and celebrity guests.” – Via Variety.

Last and least: Nice Hustle – The brutal transition at the end of this Michael Voltaggio Instagram caption – under an otherwise benign cooking pic – reads like a sponsored rickroll: “This takes me back to my days with @chefjoseandres at bazaar, my first job in #losangeles The only way to get where you want in life is to earn it. Earn more cash back on every purchase with the new Savor card from @capitalone. #SavorMoments #ad.” Question: Andrés (knowingly?) retweeted; does he get a cut?

And on a completely unrelated final note: This Thanksgiving I am grateful for you, my readers. I hope that if you have to work on Thursday, you earn more than enough money to make up for missing the holiday. I actually earn a lot of money through cash back on every purchase with my Capital One card.

For everything else, there’s MasterCard.

It’s everywhere you want to be.

hashtag HappyThanksgiving!

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and send tips and/or American Express points to If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself at!

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