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Family Meal - Tuesday, June 18th, 2019
A relatively short one today, but first, the full statement I received yesterday on behalf of Gabriela Cámara and her team at CALA, re last Tuesday’s Family Meal:
Since its opening, CALA has been committed to providing formerly incarcerated individuals with the opportunity to earn a fair wage through employment at the restaurant. We continue to seek ways to improve our local San Francisco community through the hiring of these individuals, including working with local organizations that support both our employees and our business.
This was in response to a series of specific questions about how the programs CALA uses work to benefit both the employees and the business. I’d still like to know, but…
Let’s get to it…
SNAFU – FYI, everybody: The Washington Post’s Nick Miroff and Maria Sacchetti report, “President Trump said in a tweet Monday night that U.S. immigration agents are planning to make mass arrests starting ‘next week,’ an apparent reference to a plan in preparation for months that aims to round up thousands of migrant parents and children in a blitz operation across major U.S. cities.” A cmd+f search of the article yields no hits for “agriculture” or “restaurant”, but probably a good time for food folks (et al!) to have (another) serious conversations about what this could mean, and how to respond.
Awards Season – The World’s 50 Best list has added 20 spots to its runners-up section, expanding it from the bottom half of a top 100 to whatever the new math is on 51-120. Per the official website, those 70 restaurants will be announced at 7:30AM EST today on the W50B instagram account.
Some sad news – From Kim Severson and Neil Genzlinger in the NYT: “Molly O’Neill, a freewheeling writer born into a family bent on raising baseball players who would transform herself from a chef into one of America’s leading chroniclers of food, died on Sunday in Manhattan. She was 66.”
Bad PR – A comms firm recently sent food journalists a mass email with quotes from their client chefs for use in potential articles about “Bourdain Day”. I won’t name names, but it did not go over well. Appropriate reaction from Food & Wine's Kat Kinsman on Twitter: "Please don't use Bourdain Day to market to me. Please don't use Bourdain Day to market to me. Please don't use Bourdain Day to market to me. Please don't use Bourdain Day to market to me. Please don't use Bourdain Day to market to me. DON'T USE BOURDAIN DAY TO MARKET TO ME."
Everyone grieves in their own way. José Andrés and Eric Ripert have suggested using Bourdain’s birthday, June 25th, to share memories under the hasthtag #BourdainDay. Fine. Go for it. But… please don’t use Bourdain Day to market to anyone.
The Media – Eater SF’s Caleb Pershan tweets: “Some personal news: after 7 years in SF, I’m moving to NY soon... I’ll keep contributing to Eater SF during this transition but am looking for new work in NY!” Eater SF was already looking for a part time reporter, but Amanda Kludt says an opening for a full time staffer will also be up on the Vox jobs board soon.
That Town – Here’s Washington City Paper’s Laura Hayes on the new numbers in the District’s 14th Street NW area: “One of D.C.'s key commercial corridors is going through yet another round of transformation… As [Jessica Sidman in the] Washingtonian reported this week after speaking with real estate broker Tom Papadopoulos, rents that averaged around $40 per square foot 10 years ago are now closer to $75 to $90 per square foot. In City Paper's reporting over the past two years, some restaurateurs and realtors shared going rates of up to $120 per square foot.” Best of luck, Meatball Shop!
For the Bar – This Esther Mobley SF Chronicle longread on the past, present, and possible future of Anchor Steam – “The unanchoring of Anchor Brewing” – has a lot to say about what we think about when we think about craft (beer) and what counts as local in the age of scale. “Selling beer on a national scale when you’re not part of the ever-consolidating AB InBev or Miller-Coors wholesale networks is becoming a Sisyphean task. But is selling beer locally when you lack the street cred of independent ownership any easier?” Answer: Not much. And in this case, “the bandwagon-jumping feels very off-brand. The roster of experimental beers coming out of the pilot brewery can read as gimmicky. Hibiscus saison, Joe-Joe’s cookie stout, POG kettle sour … from Anchor?” Also… from Sapporo?
For Design Fans – Eater NY’s Carla Vianna says, “Two fans of the legendary, shuttered Wisconsin supper club the Turk’s Inn are opening what they’re calling a replica of the original here in New York City.” Is it a perfect homage? No. But one look at these Jeff Brown photos of that kitsch red room and I know next time I’m in NYC, we should all get a big bottle of raki and some strong coffee and make that back booth our very own mini meyhane.
And last and least – I love all the people online saying that viral garlic peeling video is a lie. But I really can’t wait for Lucas Peterson and the LA Times to put up a video about how it doesn’t work (like when he debunked the pineapple pull-apart hack), and then reverse that the very next day (like he did in the follow-up video where he debunks his pineapple debunking) and then leave both videos up unconnected to each other. (This is a niche gripe, but it’s my gripe, and I fully admit it is least.)
And that’s it for today.
Hello to everyone at Aspen Food & Wine (looks like Aspen!), and good luck to everyone crossing their fingers for a spot somewhere between 51 and 120 on the big list!
I’ll see you here Friday for next Family Meal.
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