LAT Gold, NYT Black, JJ closes, Sietsema recovers, and more...

Family Meal - Friday, July 19th, 2019

Hello Friday,

Let’s get to it…

The Gold –The LA Times Food Section this week is one big J. Gold tribute, with an intro from his friend Peter Meehan. There are annotated past writings, “a wall of decontextualized Gold-isms,” Carolina Miranda’s “collage poem” created using Gold’s own words, a review of Tito’s Tacos from back in 1992 (don’t miss the updated photos from Mariah Tauger – integral in print, separate online), and more. Check it out here, and, as the front page says, Stay Gold.

P.S. Ever since Meehan took over, I read the LA Times Food Section in “print” via the Thursday eNewspaper. Highly recommend if you subscribe.

The Critics – Eater NY’s Robert Sietsema (who once famously rejected Jonathan Gold’s request for a subscription to his 90s “foodzine”), has been relatively quiet for a couple of months. Now we know the reason was a late May bike accident: “Thwap! As the cabbie hit me, my ass took out his rearview mirror, leaving it dangling. The next day, a mirror-shaped bruise appeared on my butt… The bike was unharmed, but I sustained six fractures: three of the pelvis, two broken ribs, and an obliterated elbow, requiring a reconstruction operation a week later.” His story is of course about the food both at Bellevue Hospital and within range of his makeshift convalescent home, and ends with him (mostly) on the mend: “It’s now been seven weeks since my bike accident, and I can walk a half mile or so, though my hip and groin still hurt with every step. I’m confident that in a month, I’ll be able to walk again without my cane, too.”

My Get Well card for you, Mr. Sietsema, is a direct copy/paste from the comments section: “Who’s still using ‘former Yugoslavia’ in 2019? Quick painless recovery!”

Awards Season – “Many of the world’s most famous chefs gathered Tuesday morning to honor Anthony Myint, the San Francisco chef and restaurateur behind Mission Chinese Food, Commonwealth and the Perennial. Myint was crowned the winner of the Basque Culinary World Prize… The prize includes 100,000 euros — about $114,000 — which the chef can use on any endeavor that embodies the prize. That said, Myint was specifically chosen for his work battling climate change via nonprofit Zero Foodprint, which helps restaurants reduce their carbon footprint, and the Perennial Farming Initiative, which promotes sustainable agricultural practices.” Details via Janelle Bitker in the Chronicle.

Michelin Season – Guangzhou’s 2019 guide is out, with Jiang By Chef Fei becoming the city’s first and only two-star spot. Three new single stars brings the total one star section to ten. Still no three stars. Tourism board receipts!

The Lists – The NYT’s John Eligon and Julia Moskin came out with “16 Black Chefs Changing Food in America” this week. Some interesting stats in the intro: “Last year, just over 17 percent of chefs and head cooks were black, about five percentage points higher than their representation in the entire work force, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of black-owned eating and drinking establishments increased by nearly 50 percent between 2007 and 2012, according to an analysis of census data by the National Restaurant Association.”

And here’s the list in alphabetical order: Nyesha Arrington (LA), Mashama Bailey (Savannah), Timon Balloo (NYC/LV), Preston Clark (NYC), Nina Compton (NOLA), Kia Damon (NYC), Jerome Grant (DC), Max Hardy (Detroit), Makini Howell (Seattle), JJ Johnson (NYC), Edouardo Jordan (Seattle), Kiki Bokungu Louya (Detroit), Kwame Onwuachi (DC), Ashleigh Shanti (Asheville), Tunde Wey (NOLA), Eric Williams (Chicago). “The new vanguard” looked especially good on the front page of NYT Food in print on Wednesday.

P.S. Unfortunately for one of them, per Eater NY, “Henry at the Life Hotel is no more, at least for now. The pan-African restaurant from star chef JJ Johnson closed this week, according to a hotel staffer.” The accompanying Gibson + Luce bar is also done.

P.P.S. This is probably a good place to correct Tuesday’s broken link to my old Kwame-in-Hong-Kong piece. Meant to send you here. Sorry!

The Lists Too – Eater is out with their "Absolutely Essential Restaurants in 24 Eater Cities.” Master list here. Link by link here: Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Charleston; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Houston; Las Vegas; London; Los Angeles; Miami; Minneapolis/St.Paul; Montreal; Nashville; New Orleans; New York; Philadelphia; Portland, OR; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; and Washington, DC.

The Close – Headline in Eater Charleston: “McCrady’s Tavern (Not the Tasting Room McCrady’s) to Shut Down at the End of July.” Details via Erin Perkins.

The Media – Speaking of Eater, Vox is doing some in-house restructuring, and per their press release: “Amanda Kludt has been promoted to SVP, Eater and Curbed Amanda will continue to serve as EIC of Eater with support from General Manager Britt Aboutaleb, as well as Editorial Director Sonia Chopra and Executive Editor Matt Buchanan.” Kludt has (not) asked me to remind all my PR readers to absolutely send pitches tied to congratulatory notes ASAP. Sample idea: “Fist bump on the big move to corporate, AK! I know how hangry new media executives can get, which is why…”

For Design Fans – Not actually restaurant related, but I was suckered into clicking on this Mimi Vu T Magazine piece because of the headline – “An Eccentric Upstate Home That Some People Confuse for a Restaurant” – and I encourage you to get suckered too! The video is hilarious and wonderful, and will either leave you thinking “Eat The Rich” or “I Also Feel Sorry For That Group That Was Photographed Without the Mount Vernon House In the Background.” The latter is a niche feeling, but I felt it.

And that’s it for today!

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

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