The Family Meal – Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Hello Tuesday,

A lot to get to, so let’s get to it…

Cookbook awards SCANDAL (You read that right) – The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) held their yearly conference / awards show over the weekend, and there were lots of winners in lots of categories. You can find them all here (congrats, winners!). But direct your attention to the big Cookbook of the Year award. Portland’s Joshua McFadden (Ava Gene’sTusk) won for his Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, which makes sense except his co-author is Martha Holmberg, who just happens to be the CEO of… IACP.

Samin Nosrat author of bestseller Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat (which also won two IACP awards this year, and was up for Cookbook of the Year), sums up the mood online: “It’s an extraordinary book. But the conflict of interest makes me feel ill.”

Helen RosnerJulia TurshenEvan KleimanEmily Nunn and more replied to the original ShitFoodBlogger thread mentioning the conflict, and the IACP responded with a pre-statement statement: “We take these concerns seriously and are working on a statement, which we will post by tomorrow afternoon on the IACP website.” Too late for today’s Family Meal, but I’ll put it up on Twitter as soon as I see it.

I also think it’s odd that a sponsored content podcast (Why We Eat What We Eat by Blue Apron and Gimlet Creative) won the Best Podcast award, but I’m probably just bitter because they keep rebuffing my attempts to nominate myself for the newsletter award they don’t have yet.

The Launch – Row7, the company Dan Barber started “with the seedsman Matthew Goldfarb and the plant breeder Michael Mazourek” begins selling seeds online at tomorrow. The goal is to get chefs talking about niche varieties, translate that into excitement among home growers and small farmers, and use that as a launching pad to grocery shelves. Tejal Rao has details of the plan, including the founders’ new album cover (Self titled: The Seedsmen), in the NYT.

Nancy went to Nima – She meant to go to Noma last week, but Nancy Silverton took a scary fall on a street in Copenhagen, and wound up at “‘Nima’, a ward at RigsHospitalet, Denmark’s premiere trauma center.” Her date (Michael Krikorian) said seeing her trip on a cobblestone and hit the ground so hard was “the single most terrifying moment of [his] life”. BUT “Nancy is fine and resting comfortably,” and she is out of the hospital now. Full story, complete with Nancy-approved hospital bed pic, here. Worth a read if only to remind yourself not to take anything – or anyone – for granted.

PS – She may have gotten a taste of Noma after all. Seems Rene Redzepisent her some “hospital food”?

A good get – In NYC via the Post, “The Howard Hughes Corporation’s South Street Seaport has gobbled up another marquee-name restaurateur for the Seaport District’s crown-jewel Pier 17 — super chef Andrew CarmelliniNoHo Hospitality Group, where Carmellini is partners with Josh Pickard and Luke Ostrom, just signed a lease for an 11,000-square-foot space to open next year.”

SoHo flee – Also in NY, per Eater: “Just one season after Smorgasburgdebuted near Soho, the popular outdoor food market is pulling out of Manhattan once again, a year ahead of its scheduled departure. Co-founder Eric Demby tells Eater that the challenges of bringing in everything to make the site functional seven days a week — power, water, and sewer — killed Smorg Square.”

Tales tales – Down in New Orleans, “Gary Solomon Jr., of the event production company the Solomon Group, and Neal Bodenheimer, an owner of the bars Cure and Cane & Table, completed the purchase of Tales of the Cocktail, the annual conference that draws thousands of bartenders to New Orleans each summer. Caroline Nabors Rosen, previously the executive director of the John Besh Foundation, has been hired as Tales’ new executive director.” More details in

The profile treatment – Rachel Konte, who designed the new Daniel Patterson and Nigel Jones project Kaya, gets a great write-up from Justin Phillips in the Chronicle this week: “Bay Area restaurant design has been dominated by high-powered companies like AvroKO, the company behind the design of George Chen’s $20 million-plus China Live project on Broadway and the recently closed Michael Mina destination RN74 in the Millenium Tower. Design fees can be high; upper-end projects like Adam Tortosa’s Robin in Hayes Valley reportedly paid as much as $25,000 in consulting fees to the owners of the San Francisco-based Ne Timeas restaurant group alone. In this highend world, with her nominal fees, Konte is an outlier.” An outlier worth knowing.

For design fans – Here’s the Eater photo spread for Downtown LA’s Hotel Figueroa, with new restaurant Breva by Casey Lane of The Tasting Kitchen. Not a lot new here (ever seen pseudo-hanging shelves supported by brass and draped with plants?), but I do love all the muntin patterns in the chandeliers, the skylights, and the windows separating the bar from the restaurant. And I do hope I am using the word muntin right.

For design fans too – If you like hating on Yelp, you’ll love this mural in their new D.C. building. It commands employees to “BE UNBORING”. Shoulda gone with DISRUPT DULL.

#MichelinToo – “The two women who won stars [in France] this year bring the total to 16 female chefs among the 621 Michelin-starred restaurants [there]. That is a paltry ratio — less than 3 percent — even compared with other countries. Of the 195 Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain, only 19 have female chefs, according to the guide’s publisher, Groupe Michelin. There are only 20 women chefs at the 166 starred restaurants in the United States, the publisher said. Italy has the most, with 44 out of 365, or about 12 percent.” Discussion in the NYT.

Number of women-led restaurants (top chef or owner position) reviewed by top NYT critic Pete Wells so far this year? Unless I’m missing something: 0.

Tipping points – The New Yorker’s Elizabeth Dunn has a breakdown of recent tipping vs no-tipping trends that includes interesting data points from some academic studies on the matter. Among them: Restaurant ratings fall when they raise prices to factor in lost tip credits, but “online customer ratings fell even more dramatically when restaurants instituted a mandatory service charge.” And: A female server “can expect to hike her tips by an average of seventeen per cent if she wears a flower in her hair.” #frangipani$

Last and least – “Nearly a decade in the making, it will likely take painter Robert Lange 250 hours to finish. But he says it’s all worth it to finally craft the image he’s wanted to paint for years — Sean Brock‘s signature sleeve tattoo beside a still life that matches its myriad vegetables.” – CCP.

Paint me like your heritage veg.

And that’s it for today. Put a flower in your hair, throw on the latest Seedsmen record, and don’t take anyone for granted.

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

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, and send tips and/or tattoo-centric forearm still life to If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself at!

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