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Jardinière departs, Time Out bets big, Kwame names, and more...
Family Meal - Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
First, thanks so much to everyone who sent tips for my upcoming trip through San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Fayetteville (AR), St. Louis, Raleigh-Durham, and D.C. If you know any stories I should chase or people I should meet along the way, please reply here and let me know!
Let’s get to it…
The Close – “Traci Des Jardins, the French-trained California chef who helped define a new style of fine dining in San Francisco, will close her flagship restaurant, Jardinière, on April 27. Ms. Des Jardins, 53, who opened the elegant restaurant in 1997 in what was then a struggling neighborhood near the city’s Civic Center, announced the closing to her staff on Monday.” In a bit of a blow to the SF Chronicle, the NYT’s Kim Severson first reported the news.
The Conversation Cont’d – Soon after an interview in Eater last week mentioned chef Kwame Onwuachi had “named names” in his new memoir, the Washingtonian’s Jessica Sidman went ahead and named the names in her own interview…
Sidman: “There are a number of tell-all kind of moments in the book, whether it’s Eleven Madison Park chef Chris Flint saying ‘no black people eat here anyway.’ Or Chloe chef Haidar Karoum telling you ‘Your restaurant’s gonna fail, homeboy.’ What was your feeling on calling people out by name?”
Onwuachi: “It’s like calling an abuser out. Is it the most comfortable thing in the world? No, it’s not. But hopefully things will change. I feel that it’s necessary.”
The Coverage – Headline in the NYT re FOH minimum wages: “Amy Schumer, Amy Poehler and Other Stars Stand Up for Waitresses. The Response: No, Thanks.” The tipped minimum issue is complicated, sure, but this Patrick McGeehan piece does a poor job of explaining the tip credit on the one hand – it’s made clear only once, 17 paragraphs in, that employees are guaranteed to earn the full minimum wage by law, while the rest of the piece is peppered throughout with phrases like “subminimum wage” – and on the other, an editor at ProPublica found McGeehan failed to note that the letter at the crux of his piece (and a bartender quoted heavily) are associated with a “dark money group” probably supported by industry trade groups.
All this is to say: There are valid arguments on both sides of the tip credit debate, but at least within the confines of their articles, the onus is on journalists to keep the conversation honest. Paid for by Family Meal PAC 2020, in partnership with World’s 50 Best / Coconut LaCroix. #AsFarAsYouKnow.
The Big Bet – It’s 2019, and that means it’s time to see whether or not Time Out Group’s huge bet on food halls will pay off. Openings this year should include: South Beach, Miami; Dumbo, New York; Fenway, Boston; Fulton Market District, Chicago; and downtown Montreal, with London and Prague scheduled for 2021. All links go to their official Time Out pages, but Eater this week has chef/vendor line-ups for NYC’s hall here, and Chicago’s here.
I’m short this bet for a few reasons, but would love to hear what you think. And, for design fans, in my best (S.) Twain: That generic black and white branding all over the place don’t impress me much.
Also for Design Fans – Very late to this, but in an age that’s (still!) all succulents and brass, this photo spread of Eater Philadelphia’s Design of the Year award-winner makes me happy: “Inspired by Studio 54, artist Peter Max, and filmmaker Wes Anderson, the Louie Louie team went for a colorful, vintage look in University City.” Yes, it leans heavy on millennial pink, but I wouldn’t trade that painful chandelier for a thousand mid-century atomic globes. Slide me all the way to the back of the tight, circular, corner booth in the pink room, pour me a gibson in leaded glass, and I’ll see you in SEVERAL hours.
And last but not least – “German billionaire family that owns Einstein Bros. Bagels admits Nazi past… The German family whose holding company owns controlling stakes in companies such as Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Panera Bread, Pret a Manger and Einstein Bros. Bagels profited from the horrors of the Nazi regime, according to a bombshell report in a German newspaper.” Eli Rosenberg has the translation / adaptation in the Washington Post. Lest you worry justice has not been served, “the company plans to give about $11 million to charity after learning of the family’s history, the AFP reported.”
Welp. That don’t impress me much.
And that’s it for today. Apologies for the multiple Shania links. Couldn’t find a more quotable Twain.
I’ll see you here Friday for next Family Meal.
And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and send tips and/or a more quotable Twain to email@example.com. If you like Family Meal and want to keep it going, please chip in here. If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself!