Apologies for the later start today. My son somehow managed to turn a small scratch on his nose into a superfund site overnight. If you don’t hear from me on Friday, seal your doors and windows.
Let’s get to it…
The Critics – Changes afoöt at The New Yorker, where former Eater editor Helen Rosner has been hired as a “roving food correspondent, contributing essays and reported stories on all things gastronomic,” and Hannah Goldfield, former editor of the NYT Style Magazine will become the “food critic”. Latter in quotes because New Yorker editor Michael Luo told Eater he specifically avoided the term “restaurant critic” to keep things loose: “I’m just riffing here, but if Trader Joe’s has a new candy bar that is all the rage, I could see Hannah (and Helen, too) writing about that as well.” #hitch-your-magazine-to-the-zeitgeist!
P.S. – Sans disguise, Goldfield will not be anonymous – her 2015 NYT wedding announcement makes sure of that.
Third Wave – First, the revolution came for entertainment, then food, now coffee: “Former employees of Four Barrel Coffee, San Francisco’s popular coffee roaster, filed a lawsuit on Friday in San Francisco Superior Court against the company and its founder Jeremy Tooker, alleging he sexually assaulted multiple women, harassed others and created a toxic workplace culture for Four Barrel’s female staff members.” All the gross, familiar details are in the Chronicle.
Of note, the classic “stepping away” move is actually full divestment in Tooker’s case. He’s selling his personal stake in the company while his cofounders attempt a complete rebranding without him. Customers, many of whom severed ties publicly, are unimpressed: “Wendy Lieu of Socola Chocolatier and Barista in San Francisco began serving Four Barrel coffee roughly four years ago. She decided over the weekend to end her business partnership with the company…. ‘It’s not about what they’re going to do. This whole thing is about what they didn’t do. How they failed the employees. I mean, time’s up.’”
Time’s Up – The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United’s Saru Jayaraman was a guest of Amy Poehler at The Golden Globes last night. She got a shout out from host Seth Meyer, and used a statement on ROC’s website to promote the One Fair Wage movement to eliminate tipped minimums: “Extreme harassment can be traced largely to the subminimum wage system – in 43 states, tipped restaurant workers are paid a lower wage, some as low as the $2.13 federal tipped minimum wage. Under these conditions, women workers have little leverage to push back against inappropriate customer behavior.”
A note from Seth Meyer to the James Beard Awards: “There’s a new era under way, I can tell, because it’s been years since a white man was this nervous in Hollywood. By the way, a special hello to hosts of other upcoming awards shows who are watching me tonight like the first dog they shot into outer space.” Full transcript here.
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Boy’s Club – In NYC, Frank Langello is out at Babbo. “Sources now tell Eater that current Lupa executive chef Rob Swirz will be replacing Langello at Babbo. At Lupa, James Kelly will move up to executive chef. Sources also said that Langello was fired in light of the misconduct allegations [that Eater reportedtwo weeks ago].”
Shallow Water – Per their Instagram: Last night of service for Chicago’s Green River will be Wednesday, January 24th. Short obit in the Tribune: “Owned and operated by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group and cocktail bar Dead Rabbit (both based in New York City), the food was headed by chef Aaron Lirette (formerly of Acadia and Celeste)… Notably, Julia Momose(also previously at the Aviary) headed up the bar program before leaving the restaurant in 2016 and will be opening Kumiko later this year.”
Scholarship Update – Last week I asked the World’s 50 Best folks for some clarity on their new scholarship, and the $114 / week stipend that the winner gets for working six weeks each at Atelier Crenn and Mugaritz. Group Editor William Drew explains: “The Scholarship provides 500GBP [about $680] for each six-week stage on top of whatever arrangement each individual restaurant makes itself. I know that Atelier Crenn pays its stagiaires, but does not provide accommodation (though the team has committed to help the scholar find affordable accommodation in the city), while Mugaritz provides free accommodation but does not usually pay stagiaires. We are confident that the different combinations will ensure the scholar is well looked after during their two stages.” There you have it. Applications open here.
Cold Snap – The freezing Bomb Vortex claimed a few victims recently: In NYC, 21 Club will have to close for the rest of the month to clean up after burst water pipes (“Despite the water everywhere, most of the art and memorabilia are safe, including the ceiling of the barroom with all the toys”), and further north in Montreal, Joe Beef appears to have lost its wine cellar to the same beast (“Ever zen, [David McMillan] still told Le Devoir that ‘life goes on’”).
The Numbers – After Curtis Duffy’s ouster from Grace in Chicago last month, I wonder if we’ll see more who-actually-owns-what asides like this one from Richard Vines in Bloomberg: “[Rene Redzepi’s] stake in Noma is 35 percent. He says his main partner, Marc Blazer, is the ideal business partner because of his interest in food and his commitment to Noma’s values. Blazer is chairman and CEO of New York-based Overture Investment Partners, a firm with interests in hospitality and consumer businesses.”
Last and least – Even if you don’t care about Noma 2.0, click the Bloomberg link above for a pic of Vines being peddled around Copenhagen in the grocery cart of Redzepi’s bike. That happy critic smile. (Also on Twitter here if that’s easier).
And that’s it for today. Back Friday with next Family Meal, and hopefully a deeply reported, longform New Yorker story chronicling the diverging fortunes and harrowing family history of famed trader-brothers José, Giotto, and Joe (basically Legends of the Fall, but frozen).