DoorDash settles, Tanis cooks, 50 Best LatAm, Kiyotomo opens, and more...
Family Meal - Tuesday, November 23, 2021
And hello to paying subscribers only! If you got this as a forward and wish you were getting Tuesday Family Meals on Tuesdays too…
As suspected, Thanksgiving content took over food media this weekend. Fine. I considered not sending this out at all today, but wanted to at least have the chance to say:
Thank you so much!
This has not been an easy couple of years… Thanks so much for reading, for writing back, and for keeping me on my toes. I hope you have the holiday season you want to have this year, unless you are prone to self-sabotage, in which case I hope you don’t.
Slim one today.
Let’s get to it…
The Suits – Per the SF Chronicle’s Carolyn Said: “DoorDash will pay $5.3 million to settle allegations with San Francisco that it stiffed almost 4,500 delivery workers of the city’s mandated health care coverage and paid sick leave.” The allegations pertain only to the years before California passed Prop 22, which allowed gig companies to classifying workers as “independent contractors who are entitled to some benefits and earnings guarantees.” Prop 22’s constitutionality is still being litigated, and Said says, “Lots of other legal actions are currently pending regarding gig worker status [in CA].”
DoorDash’s messaging: “Although the health care and sick leave requirements both apply to employees, DoorDash said that settling was not an acknowledgment that a judge could have found it to be an employer.
SF’s messaging: “‘We believe (DoorDash couriers) were misclassified and should have been employees for years,’ said San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu. ‘That is not part of the settlement but it is the perspective of the city.’”
Legally speaking: “The settlement being announced Monday represents substantial restitution for some couriers and marks another inflection point in the discord over whether gig workers should be classified as employees or independent contractors, although it does not set a precedent.” (Bold mine.)
The Profile Treatment – The LA Times has a cooking profile of David Tanis this week, which feels distinct from a typical profile in that the first quarter or so is a quick, glossy look at Tanis’ life, and the rest is… cooking. You won’t learn anything new about Tanis if you already know of him, but if you like “small snippets of cooking wisdom [that] separate the good from the great,” Ben Mims says, “Tanis is full of them.” And if you miss the full-on fanboying in chef profiles of old, this is full of that too (though it should be noted this is cook-to-cook fandom, which is different).
Letter of PR recommendation: Get yourself a cooking profile.
The Lists – 50 Best released their 2021 Latin America list yesterday, but this year went with a “Past and Future” theme, compiling the list “based on the aggregated votes of the previous eight editions of the ranking.” So… the top 10 vote getters from 2013-2021 are: Central (Lima); Maido (Lima); D.O.M. (São Paulo); Astrid y Gastón (Lima); Pujol (Mexico City); Boragó (Santiago); Maní (São Paulo); Quintonil (Mexico City); Tegui (Buenos Aires); and Don Julio (Buenos Aires). The rest are here. Nine of the top 50 are in Lima. Copenhagen, eat your heart out.
Meanwhile, as in the rest of the world, some restaurant people are doing their best to reject 50 Best and its ilk. Back in October, the chefs behind Masala y Maíz in Mexico City asked to be removed from nomination for a 50 Best “Icon” award, saying on Instagram: “We have seen institutions like The World’s 50 Best uphold and promote a deeply abusive, sexist & broken restaurant culture. We cannot advocate for the change we urgently need in our industry while continuing to reward & promote restaurants & organizations that thrive on the exploitation of restaurant workers.”
The Negotiator – Well played? “Weeks after it appeared he would be leaving the Food Network after 27 years, Bobby Flay has reached a three-year, exclusive deal with the Discovery outlet.” Deadline’s Dade Hayes has that news, but sadly no numbers.
For Design Fans – A big new modern art museum opened up here in Hong Kong this month, and it includes a sushi restaurant! That may not sound exciting to you, but the museum itself is big news for people who like their art government censor-approved(!) and the restaurant’s inclusion is big news for design fans because it’s not actually in operation but is an exhibit unto itself. “Kiyotomo, Japanese architect Shiro Kuramata’s sushi bar with impeccable form,” was bought in its functional entirety where it stood in Tokyo by former Phaidon owner Richard Schlagman, who let it sit closed on a side street for almost a decade before eventually giving it over to the new M+ Museum. The deals behind all of this happened years ago — M+ was supposed to open in 2017 — but still cool whenever restaurant design gets its due. Maybe some day you can visit and see it. Some day. Charmaine Chan has a write-up on the opening in the SCMP.
Fun fact: Schlagman originally wanted to reopen the space as a working restaurant, but the fates intervened: “‘We found the right person but at the very last moment he had an accident, cut his finger off and said he didn’t want to proceed,’ Schlagman told Near East magazine in 2016.”
And that’s it for today!
Have a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend, and I’ll see you here Tuesday for next Family Meal.
And one more time from the soul: Thank you!
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