Joe Miller gone, Barneys burning, Young Guns noms, Tales PR, and more...
Family Meal - Friday, October 25th, 2019
Quick note to say I’ll almost certainly be back in SF for a few days around November 11-15. Bay Area readers, I’d greatly appreciate your latest drinks / dining tips, and please let me know if there’s anyone I should talk to (you?), or anything I should be looking into for larger stories… email@example.com or just hit reply. Thanks!
Let’s get to it…
Some sad news – “Joseph ‘Joe’ Miller, the eponymous chef-owner of the former Joe’s Restaurant in Venice and one of the most influential L.A. chefs of his generation, died Wednesday. He was 60.” Garrett Snyder has a full obituary in the LAT. “Though [Joe’s] was awarded one of L.A.’s rare Michelin stars [in 2007], its most prominent legacy was the impressive array of talent that worked for Miller at one time or another, including Josef Centeno of Bäco Mercat, Zoe Nathan of Huckleberry, Josiah Citrin of Mélisse, Andrew Kirschner of Tar & Roses and Kris Tominaga of Manuela… [Miller] recently served as a consultant at Pacifique, a modern Japanese restaurant in West Hollywood, and as events manager at chef Dan Barber’s acclaimed Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York.”
The Last Lunch – In Manhattan, “The founder of the celebrated restaurant on the ninth floor of Barneys was escorted out of the building Monday after lambasting the luxury retailer’s management to The Post. Before being shown the door, Mark Strausman, who launched Freds in 1996… called his canning from Freds ‘emotional’ but not surprising, and then lit into the troubled retailer’s management yet again. ‘Honestly, I’m not shocked because it’s pretty true to form,’ he said. ‘This is how organized they are. They turn off your email but my electronic pass still let me into the building. This is par for the course. They can’t even fire people correctly. I’m shocked, but not.’” But not! Jennifer Gould Keil has the full story in the NY Post.
The Goaway – Page Six’s Ian Mohr reports, “Chef Rocco DiSpirito’s Standard Grill comeback is over. The celeb chef has parted ways with the Meatpacking District eatery after he made a comeback last year following his 15-year hiatus from restaurant kitchens.” Solid follow-up analysis from Chris Crowley in Grubstreet: “A rep for the Standard billed DiSpirito’s tenure as an ‘exclusive collaboration’ during the restaurant’s tenth anniversary. Sure! Anyway, oh well.”
The Streisand Effect – In Chicago, “Jacob Bickelhaupt, the chef who attacked his former business partner and spouse, Alexa Welsh — leading to the closure of their highly acclaimed restaurant, 42 Grams — is now suing his ex-wife. He alleges that Welsh has made disparaging statements that have ‘severely damaged [him] and his reputation,’ in violation of an agreement they both signed shortly after the restaurant shuttered two years ago. The lawsuit demands $250,000 to cover lost food and liquor sales at his new fine dining restaurant, Stone Flower, which opened in May in Bucktown.” Will this lawsuit right past wrongs and help everyone involved leave the past behind? Eater Chicago’s Ashok Selvam has the details, quotes from previously private messages now made public in legal docs (“You may have fooled your sponsor and all the recovering, sober former addicts, but you will never fool me.”), a rehash of the initial allegations, links to all the previous reporting, and additional unfavorable anecdotes here. Selvam also tweeted, “We continue to follow this story.” Case closed.
The Media – Replacing the departing Caleb Pershan out west, “Eater SF’s new senior editor is Eve Batey. A veteran blogger and reporter who co-founded SFist in the early 2000s… She co-wrote the book 100 Things to Do in San Francisco Before You Die.” On Twitter here, and lots of recent selfies on her Instagram for host book reference.
Free PR – Eater is looking for nominations for its “Young Guns Class of 2020”. Lots of positive press came with making last year’s cut, including profiles, public appearances, and Eater-branded pop-ups. “To be eligible, nominees must be based in the United States and under the age of 30 — or with fewer than five years of experience in the hospitality industry — as of January 15, 2020. Nominations will close at 3 p.m. EST on January 17, 2020.” Details and form here. Good luck!
Awards Season – Bloomberg writer Richard Vines tweeted Tuesday, “The World Restaurant Awards will not be holding a ceremony in 2020 and will instead pursue evolving the awards format into a television series: ‘We believe extending our reach beyond a specific place, audience or moment in time is key to our continued progress,’ the organizers say.” To infinity, and beyond! But with like, a Netflix contract if possible.
And To Whom It May Concern, Asia’s 50 Best announced this week that the ceremony for those awards will be held this March 24th in Saga, Japan. (If you’re scratching your head about Saga, you are not alone.)
And For the Bar – FYI: “Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is pleased to announce that Tales on Tour will return to Puerto Rico in 2020. The four-day festival will take place from April 19-22 in Old San Juan.”
And that’s it for today. Hoping for the best for everyone in the path of fires and power outages in CA this weekend. Take care out there!
I’ll see you here Tuesday for next Family Meal.
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