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Nomad foreclosure, The Young Gun catch, JBF Scholarships, and more...
Family Meal - Friday, April 19th, 2019
Good morning from beautiful Washington, D.C., where this late, brief edition of Family Meal is brought to you by the fact that travel is hard. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week. Thank you for bearing with me!
Let’s get to it…
Lists I like – First up is Eater’s annual Young Guns list, released this week. The rules were same as usual: “Candidates must be under 30 or have fewer than five years of experience in the restaurant world,” but the profiles are only a few sentences long this year, and the excess space was taken up by a 2019 twist. Per editor Hillary Dixler Canavan, “The Young Guns program is not just about who’s doing the coolest thing at the youngest age or with the least experience. This year, winners were also asked to sign onto a mission statement affirming their commitment to ridding the food and restaurant industry of the discrimination and abuse that has proven endemic. By naming them Young Guns, Eater is tasking this group with modeling a better, more equitable future.”
The mission statement is positive and hard to disagree with, but I did a double take at the words “Eater is tasking this group.” Feels like signing pledges to ensure good press is for Grover Norquist, not food media. Eater has been doing great work reporting on good and bad actors. Keep that up and let them task themselves?
Anyway, the Young Guns are: Max Boonthanakit (LA), Francesca Chaney (NYC), Jason Chow (Chicago), Jacob Harth (Portland, OR), Annie Kamin (SF), Zoë Kanan (NYC), Claudia Martinez (Atlanta), Levi Raines (New Orleans), Ashleigh Shanti (Asheville), Lucas Sin (NYC), Kae Whalen (LA), and Libby Willis (NYC).
And FYI, if you’re not an Eater Young Gun… you can always be an S. Pellegrino Best Young Chef: “Applications are open online, from now until 30 April 2019. Any young chef in the world - 30-years-old or younger and have at least one year of experience working in a restaurant as a chef, sous chef or chef de partie - can apply.”
Or if you’re just starting out…. “Applications are now open for the 2019 James Beard Foundation Scholarships. This year [they’re] accepting applications for close to 100 scholarships, tuition waivers, and grant opportunities, totaling more than $650,000.” Some new scholarships include “$8,700 to support LGBTQ students who want to pursue a career in the culinary industry,” a scholarship that “supports a student currently residing in Puerto Rico who wishes to pursue an education in the culinary arts, pastry arts, restaurant management, or beverage studies,” and “ten (10) scholarships of $10,000 will be awarded to women or chefs of color who wish to pursue a career in the culinary arts, pastry arts, restaurant management, or beverage studies at an accredited institution.” Good luck!
Awards Update – Speaking of the JBF, a weird update to the James Beard Media Awards was announced Tuesday. Independent auditing firm Lutz & Carr re-ran some numbers and… “Joining the previously announced nominees in the Beverage category within the Book Awards is Wine Folly by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack.” Everyone else, don’t get your hopes up: “To confirm the remaining categories across the Awards were correct, Lutz & Carr has re-run all formulas and votes for the accuracy of the finalists, and no additional conflicts were found.”
The Critics – Don’t usually include reviews here, but this double take from Robert Sietsema and Ryan Sutton in Eater NY is worth a read for two reasons: First, it’s about the return of one Mr. Rocco DiSpirito, and second, it lays plain just how subjective restaurant criticism can be, beginning with, Robert: “I didn’t much like the atmosphere of the place.” Ryan: “I thought the atmosphere was wonderful.” Etcetera, etcetera.
That Hotel ($$$) – This from Eater NY’s AM Intel caught me off guard today: “The very posh NoMad Hotel — the home of several Make It Nice restaurants from Eleven Madison Park owners Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, most prominently the NoMad restaurant and NoMad Bar — is facing a foreclosure sale, Commercial Observer reports. The owners of the hotel are caught up in several lawsuits with the building’s landlord and various lenders, with a whopping $140 million at stake — at odds with a positive financial performance for the boutique hotel. Humm and Guidara’s Make It Nice hospitality group declined to comment on if the June 6 foreclosure auction will affect their restaurants and bars, but the highest bidder will gain control of the hotel and its operations.”
A pie by any other name – Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi has finally bowed to pressure and changed the name of her star dessert from Crack Pie to Milk Bar Pie. The NY Posts’ Steve Cuozzo is annoyed that this was more the result of media pressure than “[picketing or boycotting] by black people or poor people”, but SF Chronicle critic Soleil Ho had no qualms about that cause-effect relationship in this twitter exchange with writer Alicia Kennedy. Kennedy: “I think it only did happen for PR reasons.” Ho: “and I’m more than happy to create more ‘PR reasons’”.
And last and least – Adidas is doing some weird food-focused ads with Donald Glover, and I don’t get them (that’s partly the point), but his expression at the end of “Avocado” gets me every time. You’re welcome?
And that’s it for today. Thanks again for your patience while I’ve been on the road. Please chalk all typos up to exhaustion, and any extra commas up to my excellent taste in punctuation.
I’ll see you here Tuesday for next Family Meal.
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