Michelin NYC, Isabella doth protest, Koslow and cran, Anyone is anyone, and more...
Family Meal - Friday, November 9th, 2018
Twenty bucks says it’s a slow news day. Takers?
Let’s get to it…
Michelin Season – New York’s stars were announced on Election Day, and ICYMI, nothing changed at the very top. Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin, Masa, and Per Se all retained three stars, but there were four new two star additions – Gabriel Kreuther, Ichimura at Uchū, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, and Tetsu Basement (closed in October) – and 13 new single stars: Atomix, Bouley at Home, Claro, Jeju Noodle Bar, Kosaka, Le Coucou, Le Grill de Joël Robuchon, Noda, Okuda, Oxomoco, Sushi Nakazawa, Sushi Noz, and Tuome.
Eater NY’s Ryan Sutton published his jumbled reporter’s notebook take on the ups and downs same day. Sample key points in this first post-#metoo edition: Mario Batali kept stars at Babbo, Casa Mono, and Del Posto, while “some of Michelin’s… top female chefs have been downgraded or ignored. La Vara, run by two of the city’s best Spanish chefs — Alex Raij and Eder Montero — is starless as well, as is Patti Jackson’s Delaware and Hudson. Mako Okano’s Shabushabu Macron, a rare and celebrated omakase spot run by a female chef, was overlooked for a star, while six new male-run Japanese spots received that same honor. And while the newly starred Atomix is co-run by chef JP Park and partner Ellia Park, this is the second year in a row that none of the newly starred spots had a female chef at the helm…. When asked why Daniela Sotto-Innes, one of the world’s most prominent Mexican chefs, was overlooked for a star again at Cosme, [Michelin International Director Gwendal Poullennec] said that restaurant’s ‘consistency was lacking.’”
That link again for more analysis (and the full list) from Sutton here.
Scoop. Scoop denied. Scoop confirmed. Repeat. : The Mike Isabella story – Scoop this time from Jessica Sidman and Anna Spiegel in the Washingtonian: “Demetry Pikrallidas, a lawyer for Mike Isabella Concepts director Nick Pagonis and Kapnos executive chef George Pagonis—both partners in the company who were accused of sexual harassment in the lawsuit—sent a statement to Washingtonian indicating that Isabella is planning to retreat from his duties in the future…. Isabella’s camp says this isn’t true—at least for now.”
To be fair to Isabella, his spokesman makes clear that this is actually the long-term plan, but… not great for him to have his “team” announcing his departure ahead of time. What is this, the White House?
For the bar: Some sad news – “Master Distiller Dave Pickerell died last Thursday in a San Francisco hotel where he was slated to attend a whiskey show. The cause of death was not disclosed. He was 62 years old. Pickerell was best known for his work as master distiller for Maker’s Mark, as well as his role a consultant and teacher working with other craft distillers such as Hillrock Estate Distillery and WhistlePig Rye Whiskey. His most recent project was Blackened Whiskey, a collaboration with heavy metal band Metallica, along with Sweet Amber Distilling.” Full obituary from Kara Newman in Wine Enthusiast.
The Profile Treatment – “Here’s what most people don’t know about [Sqirl’s Jessica Koslow], 37: She grew up here, in Long Beach, and from the age of 5 was a competitive figure skater. In 1999, she was the national champion in School Figure, a technique of making figure-eight patterns on the ice… ‘Since I was always training, I was never allowed to eat anything bad. Tuna salad was with lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. My mom loved fruit, it was her sweet treat, but I always had an aversion to it. I remember one time she wouldn’t let me leave the table until I ate half a banana, and I just sat there and cried.’” Full profile, and a cranberry sauce recipe to boot, via Alex Witchel in the Washington Post.
The Suits – Per Kathianne Boniello in the NY Post, “Antoine Westermann, a ‘world-famous,’ three-star Michelin chef, claims partner Francis Staub booted him from Le Coq Rico in August but fools customers into thinking Westermann is still involved with the operation. That’s according to a suit Westermann filed against the restaurant last week in Manhattan Supreme Court.”
The Media – “Eater is looking for a freelance Editorial Associate for 8 to 12 hours per week to help with the brand’s travel-focused vertical, Eater Travel.”
For Design Fans – In SF, “A meal at the Shota, the Financial District’s newest omakase restaurant, begins with chopsticks. Not just any chopsticks, but a leather-bound, colorful assortment with shiny gold tips.” Those chopsticks look like instagram bait (and sushi social media is bound to loooove the way they’re placed in pictures!), but the leather roll they’re wrapped up in is just the kind of thing I like to ogle in magazines this time of year. Add also the circular chargers cut flush with the table’s edge; remove the entryway curtain that looks like it’s been through a shredder…. Baby, you got a gift guide going!
The Proposition – “California voters [Tuesday] approved a ballot proposition requiring that all eggs sold in the state come from cage-free hens by 2022.” Per Caleb Pershan at Eater SF, “Proposition 12 builds on an earlier measure, Prop 2, which voters passed in 2008 and which took effect in 2015. That law banned cages for hens, calves, and pigs that prevented their movement — but it didn’t offer specific size requirements and didn’t apply to out-of-state farmers selling their wares in California. Now, by 2020, calves raised for veal must have 43 square feet of space, and breeding pigs need 24 square feet of space in their pens by 2022.” (Baby bulls have a lot more pull in the statehouse than mom pigs?)
And last and least – Not at all food related, but want to make sure the world is aware that Hong Kong’s new emergency services mascot is just a guy in an all blue morph suit named “Anyone”. Because anyone can help in an emergency. Get it? GET IT? I got it.
And that’s it for today.
I’ll see you here Tuesday for next Family Meal.
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