Guidara and Humm Split, Bloomfield and Friedman(?) close, Gilroy, and more...

Family Meal - Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

Hello Tuesday,

The Gilroy Garlic Festival.

No wise words from me here, but yesterday, D.C. journalist Laura Hayes published this story about how a local restaurant handled a suspected active shooter situation during Pride last month. In it, she notes that the Pizza Paradiso team was prepared, “because back in 2017 they participated in a free training offered by the Metropolitan Police Department… The crux of the training is a showing of a video produced by the Department of Homeland Security that instructs people facing an active shooter threat to run, hide, or fight depending on the situation.”

That video is a training film for a reeducation camp in a dystopian future movie about a time when people regularly shoot up things like garlic festivals.

Maybe it’ll help you think about how to plan for a possible tragedy in your restaurant. Maybe not.

It’s so low budget and bad it should be hilarious. It made me sick.

What a fucking nightmare, America.

Let’s get to it…

The Divorce – “New York’s most powerful restaurant marriage has come to an end. The chef Daniel Humm and his business partner, Will Guidara, who in 2011 bought the elegant restaurant Eleven Madison Park from their mentor, the restaurateur Danny Meyer, and transformed it into one of the world’s most lauded dining destinations and the crown jewel of a restaurant group that stretches from London to Los Angeles, are splitting up their multimillion-dollar partnership. With help from an investor, Mr. Humm is buying out Mr. Guidara’s share of the business. Mr. Guidara plans to use the money to open his own restaurant group. Neither would disclose the financial terms of the deal. Although some top staff members of the group had known about the pending breakup for weeks, most of the staff of about 1,000 people found out [Monday] in an email.” Kim Severson has the full story in the New York Times.

Two key points: “Mr. Humm said operations would largely remain the same but he plans to make some staffing changes, including the promotion of Jeffrey Tascarella to chief operating officer,” and, “Mr. Humm said he will continue with his plan to open the restaurant Davies and Brook in the Claridge’s hotel in London this fall.”

P.S. – From the comments section: “Great and interesting article but it begins incorrectly... ‘New York’s most powerful restaurant marriage’ has to be Maguy Le Coze and Eric Ripert.” Wrong. New York’s most powerful restaurant marriage is between attorney Maimon Kirschenbaum and his one true love, Class Action.

The Close – In SF, Chronicle editor Paolo Lucchesi reports, “North Beach’s Tosca Cafe has closed — again. The storied restaurant and bar, which opened on Columbus Avenue in 1919, abruptly shut down over the weekend, at least until a new owner is found. ‘Tosca Cafe will close temporarily as I prepare to transfer this iconic restaurant to new management,’ owner April Bloomfield said in a statement.” More interesting is what she doesn’t say: “Multiple sources have told The Chronicle that [Ken Friedman] has still been involved in Tosca Cafe… When asked on Monday if he was still a partner in Tosca, or involved in any way, Friedman refused to answer. Bloomfield did not answer questions about Tosca’s ownership structure, either.”

The Return – After a tumultuous few months with the rest of his restaurant group, “San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson is taking back the reigns at Coi, the two Michelin star restaurant he opened and ran since 2006, but departed in 2016 as he expanded his operations to run other restaurants. Executive chef Erik Anderson (Nashville’s Catbird Seat), who took over in fall 2017, is leaving the position, Patterson says on Instagram.” Details via Caleb Pershan in Eater SF.

The Arrest – In Upstate NY, “The owner of an upscale Westchester restaurant was arrested Tuesday on multiple fraud charges…. Barbara Meyzen, 57, of Redding, Connecticut, was charged with identity theft and mail and wire fraud. She is the owner and operator of La Crémaillère Restaurant in Banksville.” Michael Woyton gives a good summary of the charges in this Patch piece (among the allegations: “Meyzen charged more than $80,000 in food and restaurant supplies to one of the restaurant's customers who had left her credit card on file”), but for all the numbers (including the lowball offer local restaurateur Ray Balidemaj made for the business) check out Bill Hetzel’s article in the Daily Voice.

For Design Fans – Here are Sandy Noto’s photos of Francois Frankie in Chicago, where Eater’s Naomi Waxman says, “Representatives describe the bar as ‘inspired’ by the bar inside New Orleans’ famous Hotel Monteleone.” Meeting minutes from the design conversation: “You know what would be cool, a carousel bar like that one in New Orleans!” “Wow. Yeah! I love it! But let’s tone it way, way, way down. You know how funky cities that used to have crazy colorful old houses have been infected with the gutless stylishness of greyscale? Like that!” (It’s not really so bad, but still.)

And last and least – There’s a new Chef’s Table parody coming out next month on College Humor. Trailer here, with cameos from Alison Roman, Hugh Acheson, Jet Tila, and Richard Blais. I’ll wait for full episodes to pass judgment, but so far am nervous the show is too over the top to ring true (and thereby be funny).

And that’s it for today. Sorry this wasn’t very funny, either!

Sometimes, the world, you know?

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

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