The Family Meal – Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Hello Friday,

As always, if you’re getting this as a forward, sign up for yourself at

Otherwise, let’s get to it…

The Media – Eater just launched a new video series called Eating Out Loudwith Jessica Valenti, “called one of the most successful and visible feminists of her generation.” It’s a multi-camera, sit-down interview show with guests ranging from Michael Twitty discussing his work researching and interpreting African-American history via foodways to Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood (who has “very strong opinions about pie”) on “baking, women’s health, and the fight in Washington.”

Pro-tip: Just open up a spare tab and pretend you have a podcast going. The video component of this new video series is oddly unnecessary.

Boutique-ing – Per the Chronicle, “Dominique Crenn has a new megawatt project in the works: Boutique Crenn, an ambitious project opening later this year in San Francisco’s brand-new Salesforce Tower…. She recently signed a lease for a 4,000-square-foot space on the first floor… and an additional 1,000-square-feet space in the building’s lobby. Together, the areas will host art shows, fashion pop-ups and temporary art installations, Crenn said.”

“Yet another food hall” – “It was previously reported that chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his partner Phil Suarez would open a new 50,000-square-foot seafood market as part of the proposed changes [at Seaport District NYC]. Now, a representative for the pair tells Eater NY that the space will be more than just a seafood market: It will also be yet another food hall.”

Failure to launch – The one and only outpost of Chipotle’s would-be burger chain, Tasty Madehas closed in Lancaster, Ohio. RIP, TM. RIP.

Town gown – Despite being surrounded by a two block radius of Bushwick industrial buildings and warehouses, Danny Bowein’s latest Mission Chinese project had its proposal for a new liquor license rejected. Why? “The committee didn’t like that Bowien and his staff didn’t reach out to residents in the area”, and “Mission Chinese also did not fill out certain sections of the application, which showed ‘disrespect’ for the process.”

PR PR – In ChefsFeed, Priya Krishna has a long look at the role of PR in the #metoo era. Obviously, any writing about publicists is fraught – it’s their job to shape stories in their favor – but I was surprised at how much empathy the journalists interviewed had for reps: “‘If two PR companies are charging the same rate and someone says they won’t help you if you’re accused, and the other says they will, who would you pick?’ says [’s Brett Anderson]. ‘There’s no reason not to pick the one that will help you if shit goes down. These firms are trying to keep their doors open. I don’t envy that position.’”

Bad PR – Starting Wednesday, the Arrogant Bastard beer account had to apologize oncetwice, a few more times, and then put out a statement from founder Greg KochThe offending tweet? “Put me in your mouth. Make an mmm sound. Swallow. Express appreciation and ask permission to do it again. Hint: Only wussies do the ‘ask permission’ part.” #onlywussies

TV Watch – New Trailer out on Deadline (and here on YouTube if that doesn’t work): “Based on Stephanie Danler’s bestseller, Sweetbitter centers on Tess, a 22-year-old who arrives in New York City ready to pursue a new life. When she’s invited to train at one of the best restaurants in the city, she thinks she’s found a steady income and a safe place to wait. But Tess quickly becomes intoxicated by the chaotic, adrenalized world behind the scenes: tasting expensive wine, exploring dive bars and learning who she can trust.” Tess, listen to me: trust no one.

For safety fans – First, check out Bon Appétit’s before and after mix of picsfrom Detroit’s Katoi, which “burned to the ground” (though somehow the upholstery survived?) last February. Second, check your sprinklers.

Beard season – “The James Beard Foundation is pleased to announced Paula Wolfert, multiple James Beard Award–winning author, as the 2018 Lifetime Achievement honoree.” Official announcement and bio: here.

The excerpt – The Daily Beast has a chunk of Andrew Friedman’s Chefs, Drugs, and Rock & Roll that takes us back to the opening of Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in January, 1982. It’s a fun read, but I am now very concerned I’ve been going to the wrong barber all my life: “‘I had just come from five years working in a beauty salon,” says Wendi Matthews, a childhood friend of [Nancy Silverton’s] who became an office manager at Spago. ‘Lots of cocaine and lots of Quaaludes. Lots of hip, cool, young people. Everybody was sleeping with everybody. And it was sort of that same feeling at the restaurant.’”

Those delivery $$$ – Here comes that DoorDash sales call. The company just closed a $535 million investment round according to ReCode. “DoorDash said it would use the money to increase its corporate headcount by another 250 employees this year to about 800 and that it planned to expand from the 600 cities in which it currently operates to 1,600. The company also plans to further invest in DoorDash Drive, a service that allows restaurants to use DoorDash to deliver orders to their own customers, not DoorDash’s.”

Having trouble finding cash for your next project? Take a seat: DoorDash “initially only sought $200 million in financing, one person said, but the deal size grew and grew amid competition from investors.”

Quite the headline: “The Last Black Chefs of San Francisco” – Via Luke Tsai in SF Mag: By some estimates, SF’s black population is down to less than 4%(!) of total residents, and Fillmore and Western Addition, once parts of the “Harlem of the West” now “look like any other posh neighborhood in San Francisco, and upscale food purveyors—including State Bird Provisions, a Wise Sons bagel shop, and a branch of Bi-Rite Market—have become the norm. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with those places.” (As a fan of some of those: Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) With cameos from Tonya Holland (Brown Sugar Kitchen), David Lawrence (1300 on FillmoreBlack Bark BBQ), and Nigel Jones (Kingston 11Kaya) among others.

Last and not least – Hug a farmer. Farming is hard. Just ask Harvard’s endowment managers. They “blew $1 Billion in bet on tomatoes, sugars, and eucalyptus.”

And that’s it for today. DC readers, stay safe in that wind this morning!

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

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

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