LA Gentry, Bushwick Bowien, Public Beards, and more...
Family Meal - Friday, July 1st, 2022
And hello again from beautiful Sanur, Bali, where we are reuniting our little family in preparation for the big US swing in a week and a bit.
Bali, some are saying, is back. The 13 miles or so from Sanur to Canggu yesterday took me a cool hour and forty minutes in a car, more than enough time for the driver and I to have a long conversation about how it’s great to have the tourists back (for their money), but short term dollar signs are blinding some locals to long term consequences, and… Gentrification is a complicated game.
Let’s get to it….
The Gentrification – In LA, chef Brian Dunsmoor (Hatchet Hall) and Whole Cluster Hospitality opened Dunsmoor this week, and the neighborhood welcomed it with… graffiti and protests. Eater LA’s Cathy Chaplin and Mona Holmes report, “Approximately 50 demonstrators included immediate neighbors, nearby residents from Highland Park, and members of the LA Tenants Union (Northeast Local Chapter) and Street Watch Los Angeles, organizations dedicated to tenant rights. The restaurant’s large wraparound windows gave diners a full view of sign-holding demonstrators throughout service. Haphazardly scrawled banners read ‘Dunsmoor displaces,’ ‘No queremos restaurante caros aqui’ (we don’t want expensive restaurants here), and simply ‘fuera’ (out), as diners tucked into grilled oysters, pork rillettes, and country ham.”
The most interesting part of this incident / article for me was the take-no-prisoners attitude of some of the protestors. There’s not much mention of anyone looking for a dialog on menu prices or achieving more in-neighborhood hiring or whatever. But there is this, from a spokesperson for the LA Tenants Union: “In my experience of dealing with people like this, there is no rationalizing. This [restaurant] stands as a symbol to invite other people not from around here with a lot of money to come into our neighborhoods and displace us… Our message is literally ‘get out’ because this is going to bring harm to us. We’ve got to draw a line.”
Something to add to the THREATS column in your next new restaurant SWOT analysis…
The End of an Era – Headline in Grub Street: “The Mission Chinese Era Will Come to an End in New York. Danny Bowien’s Brooklyn restaurant will close in July.” Reporter Rachel Sugar includes a link to the announcement. Details are scant. Doesn’t seem like there’s anything at work here beyond usual restaurant economics (now including COVID), but I think journalists are doing a disservice to this closure by not drawing a direct line to it from one of the biggest pre-pandemic restaurant scandals of all time: That time Bowein got paid to put Arizona Iced Tea into the menu. The 99c nail in the coffin. No further questions.
The REIT Roulette – “Two of David Chang’s Restaurants Have Abruptly Closed on the Las Vegas Strip.” Per Eater LV’s Janna Karel, “The Venetian did not provide an explanation for why the restaurants have closed,” but…. “Majordomo and Moon Palace mark the first restaurant closures at the hotel following the $4 billion acquisition of it by real estate investment trust VICI Properties in February.”
Some Sad News – In Seattle, “On June 17, the Mukilteo police department reported that a diver had gone missing in the waters near Lighthouse Park in Mukilteo. [On Monday], the diver was identified as Hans Korompis, the director of Shubert Ho’s Market restaurants, a 33-year-old chef who Ho and co-workers say had a profound effect on the restaurant community in Seattle.” Details via Jade Yamazaki Stewart in Eater.
And Last But Not Least: The Judgement – As promised, the James Beard Awards publicly listed their 2022 judges this week. The list, over 400 names in alphabetical order, is exactly as the Beard Foundation’s 2021 audit (pdf here) intended — “Name only, and not which program they judged” — but… still feels like a bit of a cop out. How is this supposed to provide real scrutiny of the judging process if there’s not even separation between restaurant / chef awards judges and the media / journalism side?
I’ll see how much time I can devote to parsing this list over the next few weeks, but meantime: In the note they sent to judges about the impending disclosure, the Foundation said they plan to remove these names from their site sometime in the fall, when the 2023 judging cycle begins. So here, for posterity, is the 409 member strong publicly listed James Beard Award 2022 voting body. Happy scrolling (or, alternatively: sorry):
Inez Adams; MJ Adams; Gary Adcock; Bill Addison; Lenore Adkins; Michael Adno; Nkechi Ahaiwe; Ken Albala; Nico Albert; Gabriela Martinez Alvarez; Nick Akira Amano-Dolan; Judy Amster; Omar Anani; Kendra Anderson; Dominic Armato; Nyesha Arrington; Nadia Arumugam; Reem Assil; Charleen Badman; Melody Baetens; Natasha Bailey; Michiel Bakker; Courtney Balestier; Liz Balmaseda; Emma Balter; Megan Bannister; Christina Barber-Just; Cathy Barrow; Bill Baskin; Debra Bass; Arthur Bell; Rosalind Bentley; Jeanne Besser; Vishwesh Bhatt; Rupa Bhattacharya; Chris Bierlein; Janelle Bitker; Jane Black; Neal Bodenheimer; Darcie Boschee; Cheree Boteler; Joe Bowie; Carrie Boyd; Taren Bradley; Chelsea Brasted; Kathleen Brennan; Katie Brigham; Raphael Brion; Karen Brooks; Tashi Brown; Tracy Brown; Melanie Brown; Kristen Browning-Blas; Addie Broyles; Stacey Brugeman; Erik Bruner-Yang; Tatiana Bruno; Nancy Bruns; Nikki Buchanan; Angela Burke; Maria Burke; Jamie Burke Previch; Nathan Burkhart; Steph Burnette; Rebecca Burns; Lillia Callum-Penso; Janet Cam; Monti Carlo; Noelle Carter; Amaris Castillo; Lisa Cericola; Chris Chamberlain; Sue Chan; Jennifer Chandler; Momo Chang; Justin Chapple; Bridget Charters; Jodie Chase; Adrienne Cheatham; Jon Cheng; Ariel Cheung; Grace Choi; Sonia Chopra; Gina Christman; Brandon Chuang; Joan Cirillo; Julia Clancy; Thera Clark; Patricia Cobe; Adahlia Cole; Emme Collins; Beverly Colston; Phaedra Cook; Dara Cooper; Reesha Cosby; Nayada Cowherd; Anita Verna Crofts; Caitlin Cullen; James Cury; Serena Dai; Richard Dargan; Jenn De La Vega; Rob DeBorde; Liza DeGuia; Erin DeJesus; Dr. Jonathan Deutsch; Debra DeVaughn; Caitlin Dewey; William Dissen; Fernando Divina; Marlene Divina; Michael Dizon; Dr. Ietef DJ Cavem Vita; Steve Dolinsky; Darby Doyle; Nathalie Dupree; Sonal Dutt; Roberta Duyff; Nancy Easton; Benjy Egel; Scott Eklund; Debbie Elliott; Taffy Elrod; Angela Hansberger English; Adam Erace; Valerie Erwin; Rafael Espinal; Jessica Evans; Patrick Evans-Hylton; Jacqueline Farmer; Abby Farmmartino; Marcie Ferris; Tom Finkel; Kathleen Flinn; Clay Fong; Paula Forbes; Cole Ford; Kim Foster; Anestes Fotiades; Tara Fougner; Clare Fox; Carlos Frias; Gale Gand; Jorge Gaviria; John Gennari; Takera Gholson; Michael Giberson; Anagha Godbole; Maria Godoy; Darra Goldstien; Alex Gonzalez; Anika Goss-Foster; Joe Gray; Lyndsay Green; Dr. Cynthia Greenlee; Irina Groushevaia; Kathy Gunst; Sandra Gutierrez; Pat Hager; Melissa Booth Hall; Irene Hamburger; Lara Hamilton; Adante Hart; Kristen Hartley; Erik Harvey; Joanne Lamb Hayes; Brian Hayes; Hannah Hayes; Laura Hayes; Kate Heddings; Zehorit Helicher; Keith Herndon; Craig Hetherington; Alana Higgins; Jimmy Ho; Peter Hoffman; Melissa Hom; Sandra Hu; Aaron Hutcherson; Elinor Hutton; Giovanna Huyke; Katherine Hysmith; Imaeyen Ibanga; Elyse Inamine; Arthur Ircink; Michelle Jensen; Ben Johnson; JJ Johnson; Michael Jordan; Alice Julier; Dalia Jurgensen; Dorothy Kalins; Kaui Kanakaole; Faiyaz Kara; Jonathan Kauffman; Janet Keeler; Katherine Kehrli; Ali Khan; Scott Ki; Ann Kim; Nick Kindelsperger; Devon Klatell; Hal B. Klein; Ian Knauer; Stephanie Kochlin; Daniel Krohmer; Julie Kunen; Mark Kurlyanchik; Matt Lardie; Megan Larmer; Mary Beth Lasseter; Susan Laughlin; Frank Lee; Jean Lee; Yoonsoo Lee; David Leftwich; Ari Levaux; Marquita Levy; Drew Lewis; Pauline Lewis; Sydney Lewis; Jill Lightner; Chelsea Lin; Joanna Lin; Don Lindgren; Christine Liu; Nichole Livengood; Monique Llamas; Vikki Locke; Charles Lohman; Vallery Lomas; Ronni Lundy; Jenita Lyons; Tim Ma; Sarah Maiellano; Kristi Maier; Pooja Makhijani; Omar Mamoon; Ron Mardsen; Dan Marek; Grant Marek; Shauntrice Martin; Suzanne Masri; Keia Mastrianni; Angie Maxwell; David McCumber; Nancie McDermott; Dr. Shaka McGlotten; Matt McIntyre; Alice McLean; Nicolette Medina; Kate Medley; Adan Medrano; Maura Milan; Marti Miller; Ben Mims; Bill Minkowitz; Samantha Mitchell; Shane Mitchell; Kiano Moju; Paul Montoya; Leah Moss; Sukanta Nag; Kevin Nashan; June Naylor; Nycci Nellis; Therese Nelson; Liz Neumark; Catherine Neville; Barbara Taylor Nevins; Andrea Nguyen; Tien Nguyen; Annette Nielsen; Ron Nurwisah; Sharon O'Connor; Kim O'Donnell; Carolyn O'Neil; Leah Ollman; Steve Olson; Laurie Oue; Sarahlynn Pablo; MM Pack; Zella Palmer; Kae Lani Palmisano; Kevin Pang; Anne Marie Panoringan; Catherine Pantsios; Michael Park; Raj Patel; Monica Perales; Maureen Petrosky; Donna Battle Pierce; Sarah Pierre; Justin Pioche; Fred Plotkin; Mary Pols; Beth Price; Adana Prototentis; Rogelio Puente; Jeremy Pugh; Christine Ra; Nargis Rahman; Azucena Raisilla; José Ralat; Izzie Ramirez; Amanda Rankine; Sonia Rao; Krishnendu Ray; Brian Reinhart; Christina Ricci; Eric Riddle; Andrew Rigie; Rosanna Rivero; Keli Rivers; Dana Rizer; Salvatore Rizzo; Jamila Robinson; Jenna Robinson; Kat Robinson; Matt Rodbard; Rick Rodriguez; Krista Ruane; Miriam Rubin; Gabe Sachs; Farideh Sadeghin; Rosin Saez; Marisel Salazar; Sharon Salomon; Ricardo Salvador; Eric Sandler; Jaya Saxena; Lucinda Scala-Quinn; Jack Schramm; Matthew Sedacca; Ashok Selvam; Samantha Seneviratne; Tucker Shaw; Paula Shoyer; Anthony Shu; Marnie Shure; Jennifer Shutek; Ted Sickler; Greg Silverman; Cole Sisson; Dawn Smith; Michael Smith; Lora Smith; Shannon Smith; Jennifer Snyder; Alex Springer; Cory Starr; Adina Steiman; Tambra Raye Stevenson, MPH; Stewart Stoltz; Lesley Stracks-Mullem; Cara Strickland; Mike Sula; Jackie Summers; Quincy Surasmith; Mike Sutter; Ellen Sweets; Herschell Taghap; Ruth Tam; Naama Tamir; Wilson Tang; Emily Teel; Tyler Thomas; Edmund Tijerina; Naomi Tomky; Christian Tonsgard; Poppy Tooker; Dana Tough; Jackie Tran; Shary Tran; Margo True; Luke Tsai; Moonlynn Tsai; Esther Tseng; Philip Tzeng; Eloise Valadez; Charli Valdez; Tan Vinh; Amy Vogler; Brigid Washington; Karen Washington; Bram Weinstein; Randi Weintein; Joanne Weir; Shannon Wianecki; Lora Wiley-Lennartz; Ennion Williams; Sheree Williams; Psyche Williams-Forson; Virginia Willis; Maya Wilson; Scott Wink; Alice Wong; Candice Woo; Will Wornom; Johnathan Wright; Jessica Yadegaran; Malik Yakini; John Yearwood; Emerald Yeh; Laura Young; Stephanie Zarpas; Kathleen Zelman; David Zivan; and Jennifer Zyman.
And that’s it for today! Except of course for Tuesday’s paid edition of Family Meal, which is copy/pasted below as usual. If you’d like to get Tuesdays’ on Tuesdays too…
I’ll see paying subscribers back here on Tuesday, and everyone else on Friday for next Family Meal.
Oh, and PS – I already see some funny things about that Beard list. If anyone sticks out at you, please send the reason my way!
And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and send tips and/or which program they judged to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
Here begins the Family Meal that went out to paying subscribers on Tuesday, June 28th 2022:
Judges incoming, Bear TV, Ebenezer stage and more...
And hello to paying subscribers only!
Today’s Family Meal is coming to you from somewhere far above the South China Sea, where there is a better than zero chance that around 30,000 feet below my seat, Hong Kong’s famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant is still struggling just beneath the waves near the Paracel Islands.
Was it on the way to Singapore? Maybe! Am I? Yes.
Not much big news of interest today — especially relative to the bigger stuff going on in America — but still a smattering of things to keep eyes on.
Let’s get to it…
The Judges – I said on Friday that the James Beard Foundation would be publicly listing judges soon, and as if by magic, the foundation immediately sent a note to judges to let them know their names “will be added to our website by Wednesday, June 29.” So… tomorrow! Please send all your knee-jerk complaints, reactions, and questions to the JBF’s unofficial vice president of town-gown relations: email@example.com.
The Critics – Headline in Business Insider: “Leaked document reveals Eleven Madison Park knew it paid its workers 'too little.'” Kate Taylor reports they got hold of a draft op-ed that Daniel Humm was planning to try to get published, and — sorry to quote a summary; blame it on travel — Eater’s Emma Orlow says, “According to the publication, in September 2021, the restaurant commissioned a ghostwriter to pen an op-ed announcing that EMP was increasing employee wages by 33 percent, with $20 per hour as the new minimum hourly wage… But after a negative review from the New York Times’ Pete Wells of the newly meatless restaurant, the restaurant reportedly scrapped plans to pitch the op-ed — which they hoped to publish in the Times — and [decided not to] enact the wage increase, according to Business Insider.”
So… Alt headline: “Local business planned to do right thing, and take steps to publicly acknowledge past wrongs, but expected downturn in revenue caused freeze in wages.” (Still can / should do the thing? Maybe!)
The Useful Lists – Eater’s “Most Anticipated Restaurants of Summer 2022” lists have been trickling out over the past few weeks. Good for keeping tabs on what the media is keeping tabs on around the country, and so far I see: Chicago; Seattle; Atlanta; New Orleans and London. More to come, I’m sure.
The Media – In CA, “The San Francisco Chronicle has a new Assistant Food & Wine Editor: Caleb Pershan, a reporter and editor who started covering the San Francisco food scene in 2013.” His new boss Janelle Bitker has an intro here, plus a big helpful head shot if you need it. He goes by @calaesthetic on Twitter and Instagram.
And in VA, Julia Bainbridge tweeted yesterday that someone from Northern Virginia Magazine is looking to hire a “Food Critic / Editor,” but they are also “are also open to the idea of hiring Food/Lifestyle Editor if we aren’t able to find a full-time Food Critic.” Details in the thread.
The Stages – Quick recommendation to follow along with Copenhagen-based Lisa Abend’s look at the history of stagiaire systems on her Bord Substack this week. She’s thinking through that big Financial Times story on the Copenhagen restaurant world’s worker issues (here ICYMI) by looking back at how we got here. Fun fact I did not know: Back in the day, “at elBulli, the stagiaires even had to pay to attend the staff Christmas dinner that the restaurant held to celebrate the end of the season.”
For TV fans – I’m seeing lots of very positive reviews out for that new Hulu / FX restaurant show The Bear, but if you want a solid behind the scenes rundown on the culinary stuff, the LA Times has a good piece on where / how everyone involved prepped for their roles. Per Stephanie Breijo, “While Lionel Boyce, who plays Marcus, [the restaurant’s] bread baker turned pastry head, staged at Copenhagen’s Hart Bageri, [lead actor Jeremy White] enrolled in a two-week crash course in Pasadena’s Institute of Culinary Education along with Ayo Edebiri, who plays the pedigreed and driven newcomer Sydney Adamu.” After that, White tried a stint at Republique, but “He immediately felt overwhelmed by the size and the scope of it. He lasted one day.” White did better at Pasjoli, and also “also worked with Chanterelle’s David Waltuck in New York and spent a weekend at Kumiko in Chicago.”
And I didn’t realize Matty Matheson both acted in and co-produced the series, and the creator’s sister, “Courtney Storer — former chef of Jon & Vinny’s — served as a culinary producer.”
And last but not least – Headline in Restaurant Business: “These Restaurant Companies Will Pay For Employees To Travel For Abortions. Starbucks, DoorDash, Grubhub and Yelp introduced the policies leading up to the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade.” I know these big corporate moves are getting mixed reviews on line, not least because they shouldn’t be necessary, but seems worth knowing nonetheless. (I know there are a ton of independent restaurants (and independent people) doing things too, and will see if there’s a good way to round that up too.)
Oh, and if you’re angry about the news AND you love batshit crazy absurdist cooking content, Dennis Lee is offering a free year-long subscription to his Food is Stupid newsletter with any donation to the Chicago Abortion Fund, which “provides logistics, emotional care, and financial help to those who need it here, as well as the rest of the Midwest” (and beyond).
That call to action is attached to a step by step making of “brat-bingsu” (Lee’s Wisconsin bratwurst version of the classic Korean shaved ice dessert). Sample quote: “I dumped some beans, brat chunks, and mochi on top and drizzled some sweetened condensed milk over the frozen beer. Fuck, this stuff melts quickly.”
And that’s it for today! I put the final touches on this in our hotel room, and now my seven year-old and I are off to the Maxwell Food Centre for dinner. Chicken rice? No. On the way in from the airport, our cab driver told us chicken rice is off the menu in Singapore now that Malaysia has banned poultry exports to the city. He told me we shouldn’t order it even if we see it, because without fresh chickens, cooks are using frozen imports, and that stuff “smells terrible.”
Noodles it is.
I’ll see you all here Friday for next Family Meal.
And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and send tips and/or some beans, brat chunks, and mochi to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!