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Beard weekend, Brock exits, Guenter goes, Eater TV, and more...
Family Meal - Friday, May 3rd, 2019
It’s Beard Awards weekend(!), and I am still looking for a last minute sponsor to send me to the big show. Details if interested: I will be coming from Hong Kong, only fly business class (or higher – I’m flexible), and cannot set foot inside a car or hotel room without champagne in hand. Venmo OK.
Let’s get to it…
Beard Season – If you’re headed to Chicago for Monday’s awards, Eater has a helpful list of all the (public) events (pop-ups, pop-ins, bar takeovers, etc. etc.) your friends are hosting. FYI, the James Beard Foundation has asked that you please send all gossip this weekend to email@example.com. Thanks!
Reminder for those not attending: JBF will “be streaming the Restaurant and Chef Awards live on Twitter and at jamesbeard.org/awards on Monday, May 6, kicking off with a red carpet pre-show at 6:30 P.M. ET / 5:30 P.M. CT.”
Call Your Tourism Board – What to do if it feels like your city is listing off the edges of the food media map? “Visit Philly… bought itself a place at the table, literally,” by paying to cater the James Beard Media Awards last week. “‘Where else can we get as many editors and [influential] people in one place?’ asked Jeff Guaracino, Visit Philly president and chief executive.… He said it was much less expensive than piggybacking onto the bigger events, such as the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, whose direct and indirect costs can hit six figures.” Details from Michael Klein on Philly.com. Results… pending.
The End of an Era – Thursday Instagram post from Sean Brock: “Yesterday was my last day as Culinary Advisor of all four HUSK restaurants throughout the Southeast… I can’t wait to share some exciting new projects with you all in the coming months!” (NB: More emotion in full post, if you’re into that kind of thing.)
End of an Era Too – Not seeing much confirmation, but Pete Wells quoted a tweet late yesterday from Atlanta magazine’s Christiane Lauterbach saying Guenter Seeger New York has closed?
The Media – Vox announced a new deal with Hulu this week: “The partnership kicks off with two new shows, Family Style, co-hosted by [David Chang] and [Chrissy Teigen], and Eater’s Guide to the World, from Eater.” The article is a little vague on how this all breaks down, but Eater EIC Amanda Kludt cleared up my questions via email: “The easiest way to think of it is Vox Media Studios has a multi-year, multi-show deal with Hulu, and Eater, Chang, and Teigen are all contributing shows to it. So Dave won't be weighing in on the Eater shows, Eater won't be weighing in on the Dave shows, etc…. I worked hard to separate all the sides in this to protect our editorial integrity.”
The Media Too – Meanwhile, in New Orleans: “On Thursday (May 2), New Orleans Advocate owners Dathel and John Georges purchased The Times-Picayune and its nola.com website from the Newhouse family’s Advance Local Media.” Unfortunately, according to writer Haley Correll, that means “the whole newsroom” at Nola.com/TP will be losing their jobs over the next 60 days. For now, all I can see in the food section is that Todd A. Price is one of the unlucky ones. Good luck, all.
The Media Three: For (graphic) design fans – In case you missed it, after first changing its name from Salty to Bittman, the new Medium food blog from Mark Bittman and crew is now “Heated”. See what they did with those e’s in the logo? nEAT.
The Profile Treatment – Amy Scattergood had a great LA Times write-up this week on Ray Anthony Barrett V, who’s made his way from (visual) art to (pop-up) food in Los Angeles. “It’s ironic, because a lot of the pejoratives in the art world are strengths in the food world,’ said Barrett. ‘A dependence on craft. Nostalgia. But nostalgia is a really big strength in food.’ As is ‘making something beautiful,’ something that he says can be a criticism in visual arts these days. Barrett worked at a catering kitchen and did stages at Naomi Pomeroy’s Portland restaurant Beast, at JuneBaby in Seattle and at Jeremy Fox’s Santa Monica restaurant Rustic Canyon. ‘I knocked on the back door; somebody said that’s what you do. And so I showed up with my knife roll and my clogs, and Jeremy was like, “Here, I’ll get you an apron.”’”
That (fake) Meat $$$ – While Impossible Foods struggles to keep up with demand for its burgers (see: Tim Carman’s latest in WaPo), CNN’s Danielle Wiener-Bronner reports, “Beyond Meat, the company that makes meatless alternatives to beef, pork and poultry, began trading at $46 a share on Thursday, an 84% increase over its IPO price of $25… Just hours after it started trading, the stock had soared to nearly $73. It closed at $65.75 per share, up 163% from its IPO price.” Of note: Tysons sold its 6.5% stake in Beyond only a few days ago. Guessing there’s an advisor somewhere in Arkansas having a bad day.
What guests are reading –NYT Food is out with a big Climate Change package this week, which we should all be very happy to see because, you know, the future. Unfortunately, restaurants were almost completely left out, unless you count this piece about international food tourism that doesn’t mention climate change but ran alongside everything else for… balance?
And last but not least – You will either cringe the entire time or find yourself grinning goofily along as staff from Barbuto in Manhattan perform “One May More”, a Les Miserables tribute to the restaurant’s last month. My secret: Huge fan of cheese, plated or staged. Enjoy!
And that’s it for today. Good luck to everyone in Chicago this weekend!
I’ll see you here Tuesday for next Family Meal.
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P.S. Some bonus Les Mis for GOT fans: “At the end of the day you’re another day colder, and the shirt on your back doesn’t keep out the chill. And the righteous hurry past, they don’t hear the little ones crying. And the winter is coming on fast, ready to kill. One day nearer to dying.” Eat your heart out, George R. R. Martin.