Discover more from Family Meal
Michelin Miami, Media moves, Jerry Jolly, Dara's deck, and more...
Family Meal - Friday, June 10th, 2022
Tuesday’s paid Family Meal is copy / pasted below as usual.
A little all over the place today, but… so is the news.
Let’s get to it…
Michelin Season – Florida’s first-ever standalone Michelin guide came out last night. Official list here. No three star spots, and only one two star: L’Atelier de Jöel Robuchon in Miami. Coming in at one star in Miami were: Ariete; Boia De; Cote; The Den at Sushi Azabu; Elcielo; Hiden; Le Jardinier; Los Félix; Stubborn Seed; and Thomas Keller’s Surf Club. At one star in Orlando: Capa; Soseki; Kadence; and Knife & Spoon. Congrats, all!
NB: Per the Miami Herald’s Carlos Frías, “Visit Florida, the state tourism and marketing agency, and local tourism agencies in Miami, Orlando and Tampa are paying the Michelin Guide an estimated $1.5 million over the next three years to rate Florida’s restaurants.” So far, all Tampa has gotten out of that deal is zero stars and three Bib Gourmands…. Money well spent?
That (Long Distance) Delivery $$$ – Expedite’s Kristen Hawley reports, “This week, Uber Eats announced a new product for (some) restaurants: the ability to box up and ship food across the country. To start, 15 restaurants in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami signed onto the project.” Eats joins Goldbelly and DoorDash on this particular delivery wars battlefield, with FedEx flying its fighters. (In this metaphor, the hard deck is break-even, and Dara Khosrowshahi is a sexy volleyball pilot who doesn’t respect the rules.)
The Revolving ServSafe Door – In California, a new “Responsible Beverage Service Training Act, will require bartenders, waitstaff and their managers at establishments licensed to serve alcohol to undergo a three- to four-hour training on how alcohol affects the body, the consequences of over-serving, basic laws regulating alcohol, and intervention techniques for dealing with inebriated customers.”
Fine, but the LA Times’s Suhauna Hussain and Stephanie Breijo report that while “using private companies for health and safety certifications is not unusual in the food industry… [this new law] has created a cottage industry of new companies specifically providing the California training.” It’s such a lucrative little gig that Jerry Jolly (real name), “a 31-year veteran of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Department who served as its director before retiring in 2006… [has] come out of retirement to launch a training company, Jerry R Jolly & Associates, prompted by the passage of the law.”
Hm. What did you know and when did you know it, JERRY JOLLY?
The Media (ATTN: PR.) – Depending on negotiations with parent company Vox, by this time Monday, Eater staffers may be on strike. Deadline’s David Robb reports union leadership “unanimously authorized a strike on Tuesday, and the bargaining unit is scheduled to take a strike authorization vote as soon as Friday.” (NB: Although Grub Street is also owned by Vox, they work with a different union and therefore won’t be joining this potential Vox strike next week.) Before you pitch your restaurant news this weekend, check to make sure someone’s actually checking emails via the Vox Media Union Twitter account here.
The Media (Moves) – Lil’ scoop: Word in my inbox is Eater NY editor Bao Ong is leaving the site in July to take over a new role at the Houston Chronicle. I tried to message Ong for more on the Chronicle job (assume it’s on the food desk?), but haven’t heard back yet. Eater also announced internally that Ong’s current colleague Erika Adams was leaving Eater too, but I was able to get her comments in time, and she tells me that’s changed; she’ll be sticking around for a while.
The search for a new Eater NY editor will begin in due course. I am the frontrunner.
The Buns of Summer – Subhed on Eater (details in Tuesday’s FM below): “With calls to boycott Martin’s potato rolls over contributions to a far-right politician, King’s Hawaiian rolls are about to become the hot buns of the summer.” And…. maybe. But I googled “buns of summer” and am here to report the results were…. unexpected:
Some sad news – Back to Miami, where Carlos Frías reports restaurateur “Nino Pernetti died May 31 after an 18-month struggle with the aftereffects of COVID-19, his older daughter, Tatiana Pernetti, said. He was 76. His family detailed Pernetti’s long fight in a January 2022 Miami Herald story, which described lasting damage to his lungs from the disease.”
For Design Fans – I’ve said this before, but after a very long period of seeing nonstop atomic-style lighting in restaurants, I am a current fan of overhead heft. Which is probably why I think these layered wicker shades were the right choice for this space at the new Amal Coconut Grove (just one picture, by Maxine Bocken in Eater).
And last but not least: Good luck to everyone in Chicago for the James Beard Awards this weekend. Eater has a handy new list of takeovers and side events here, and as mentioned Tuesday, the Beard Foundation has added a whole bunch of panels, etc. too. If you’ve got on the ground observations or gossip there, or just have thoughts on how it all shakes out, please send them my way! I’m very good at keeping secrets, and will keep everything confidential unless otherwise agreed…
And that’s it for today! Except of course for Tuesday’s Family Meal, which is copy / pasted below as usual.
I’ll see paying subscribers here Tuesday, and everyone else on Friday for next Family Meal. If you’d like to see me on Tuesday too…
And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and send tips and/or the hot buns of the summer 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!
Here begins the Family Meal that went out to paying subscribers on Tuesday, June 7th, 2022:
Beard week, Wage watch, Meyer potato pickle, and more...
And hello to paying subscribers only!
In a rush to get this one sent so I can head out for Taco Tuesday (I kid you not!) so…
Let’s get to it…
Award Season – After a couple years of weird, the James Beard Awards are finally ready for their full return this weekend. Media awards are this Saturday, June 11th; restaurant awards are Monday in Chicago. There are also some panel discussions scheduled now, including one moderated by awards committee chair and Philadelphia Inquirer food editor Jamila Robinson that “will discuss what it takes to transition from the kitchen to food media, including translating your culinary skills into content.” Let me know how they go! And good luck, all!
Weekend schedule and (still available) tickets here.
The Wage Watch – Also happening in Chicago relatively soon… “The ‘sub-minimum’ hourly wage for tipped workers at small businesses (4-20 employees) will increase to $8.70; at large businesses (21 or more employees), it will rise to $9.24... Wages for non-tipped employees at larger businesses will land at $15.40, while those at smaller businesses can expect $14.50.” Eater Chicago’s Naomi Waxman and Aimee Levitt report, “City officials will on that same date implement regular enhancements per its Fair Workweek Ordinance, requiring employers in specific industries such as hotels and restaurants to post work schedules at least two weeks in advance (previous rules called for only 10 days notice).”
NB: Chicago’s tipped minimum was $6.40 back in 2019, so while it’s not the “End Tipping” result some wage activists want, this bump means a 21% increase in the tipped minimum wage over three years in a major American city… Not nothing?!
Supply Chain Issues – Per Billy Penn’s Lizzy McLellan Ravitch back in early May, “The family behind Martin’s potato bread has put itself behind Doug Mastriano, a South Central Pa. state senator who rose to prominence as a Trump-supporting election denier, and espouses what some define as Christian nationalist rhetoric. He is also the front-running Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor. Potato roll magnate Jim Martin has given Mastriano’s gubernatorial campaign well over $100k. That’s causing some worry among Philly restaurateurs that serve Martin’s products.”
The worry’s spreading. This week, the SF Chronicle’s Soliel Ho has a story headlined, “Bay Area chefs are ditching their favorite burger buns over the maker’s extreme right-wing politics,” in which Ho, like Ravitch, gets no comment from one of Martin’s biggest customers, Shake Shack.
No comment may work! But then again, here’s what the other side is thinking over on NewsMax: “In the era of cancel culture, having ties to conservative politicians can get you targeted, and New York-based Shake Shack might become the latest victim – unless conservatives counter like they have with the ‘Let's Go Brandon’ and ‘ultra MAGA’ rally cries.”
Good luck with all that, Danny Meyer!
The Reputations – Speaking of cancel culture… some places where consequences are sticking: First, from Ho’s colleague Shwanika Narayan in CA: “Wine Country restaurateur accused of sexual harassment denied liquor license but still plotting return…. Lowell Sheldon, who previously co-owned Sebastopol restaurants Fern Bar, Handline, Khom Loi and the now-closed Lowell’s, had applied to open a Georgian-inspired wine bar and restaurant called Piala.” But he can’t serve booze because “opponents told Sebastopol city officials he lacks the ‘professional and moral character.’”
And second, in a widely shared Twitter thread about how reporter Adam Davidson “knows stuff about Jeffrey Epstein and can’t publish it,” Davidson calls out a short list of men who “were — at best — witnesses to the almost certain rape of children.” That named list is limited to “Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Gates, and Richardson. Ehud Barak. George Mitchell. George Church, Ito--and a lot of others at MIT and Harvard.” And Epstein’s personal chef Adam Perry Lang. It’s not a new accusation — Davidson covered Lang in his podcast about Epstein — but that came out almost two years ago, and even though Lang said he was cooperating with investigators, it’s viral again (and somehow sounds worse?).
Some Sad News – I skipped obituaries over the past few weeks and have missed some important ones, especially out in California. A few to note: Jess Lander has obituaries for longtime Chez Panisse wine director Jonathan Waters, who died at 60 on May 28th, as well as “Ken Tominaga, a trailblazer in the Bay Area’s Japanese restaurant scene and an inspiration to many of the area’s top chefs [who died] Monday after a short battle with cancer. He was 61.”
And in LA, Lupe Liang, “Yening ‘Lupe’ Liang, the chef and co-owner of Hop Woo BBQ & Seafood… who is credited with being the first restaurateur in Chinatown to offer his menus in Spanish, died [May 1st] at the age of 61, his family announced.” Throughout last month tributes rolled in for Liang, including that full obit from Stephanie Breijo, plus a long LA Times goodbye piece from Liang’s friend, food writer Eddie Lin, and a short, posthumous profile from Susan Orlean in the New Yorker.
And last and definitely least: An observation — I love that Eater’s Valerie Li Stack says baijiu cocktails are trending in U.S. restaurants, because for me, baijiu has always been one of those things about which native consumers will always tell foreigners, “You probably won’t like this.” Any baijiu drinker I’ve ever met talks to me about it the way an adult talks to a tween about tequila. So, kudos to you, baijiu reps of America! You got all the kids hooked on the strong stuff.
And that’s it for today!
I’ll see you all back here Friday for next Family Meal.
And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and send tips and/or schedules at least two weeks in advance 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!