Quintana passes, Tokyo's stars, Andrés the laureate?, and more...
Family Meal - Tuesday, November 27th, 2018
Let’s get to it…
First, some sad news – “After more than five decades spent promoting traditional Mexican cuisine, famed Mexican chef Patricia Quintana has died. With more than 25 published works, and countless awards to her name, Patricia was a tireless ambassador of the flavors of Mexico.” Brief obituaries (in Spanish) in El Universal, and Milenio, with surely more to come in English today.
Under the cover – The article behind that sensational (silly?) “egg on his face” Washingtonian cover is now online; headline: “The Inside Story of Mike Isabella’s Fallen Empire: How alcohol, infighting, and a sexual harassment scandal turned the prince of DC dining into a pariah.”
On first read, Jessica Sidman and Anna Spiegel’s piece seems pretty sympathetic to Isabella, giving lots of time to discussions of the roles celebrity, sudden wealth, pressure, alcohol, drugs, and his oft-cited fatherless childhood played in his ultimate downfall. He presents himself as a broken person, “an alcoholic drug addict,” and now, finally, someone with regrets (the world’s easiest regrets). “Not many people in life go from nothing to stardom. How you control your actions when you have no father, no guidance, no nothing, no boss—sometimes you get in trouble. And I definitely made mistakes.”
And also a lot of excuses.
Michelin Season: Tokyo – “The MICHELIN Guide Tokyo 2019 has just been launched and this edition sees one new three-star restaurant, three new two-star and 29 new one-star restaurants… French fine dining restaurant L'Osier in Chuo-ku was promoted to three Michelin stars, to recognise chef Olivier Chaignon's elegant cuisine that marries seasonal ingredients from Japan and France. Sushi restaurant Kobikicho Tomoki enters directly into the two-star category this year while French establishment Nabeno-Ism in Taito-ku and sushi-ya Harutaka in Chuo-ku have been promoted to two stars.” Press release and full list here.
Awards Season: Nobel Edition – WaPo’s Tim Carman reports Maryland Congressman John Delaney (D) has nominated José Andrés for the Nobel Peace Prize. Great! There is certainly a good argument to be made for Andrés and his team’s impressive work on disaster relief, but it is an honor just to be nominated and since he doesn’t need the extra attention or money, that’s the extent of the honor he should get this year. The Nobel Peace Prize should not go to an American celebrity. It should go to a lesser-known activist championing a lesser-known cause. The scale of some "lesser-known causes" around the world is mind-boggling. Somewhere in Yemen, a local humanitarian would love to do a live shot with Anderson Cooper. Bonus: There’s a food angle there too.
Awards Season too – Eater’s annual, unnecessarily hard-to-follow “reader’s choice” voting event for city-by-city restaurant awards has commenced! It started at several different times around the country, lasts 24 hours per category, and doesn’t make clear what category will be being voted on what day. Good luck! For today (I think?!) you can vote on the “Restaurant of the Year” category in every Eater city. Links to every city’s voting pages here.
The Iron: Hot? – If you’ve been toying with the idea of pitching a cookbook, now might be the best time to hit up a publisher. Per Ashley Milne-Tyte of Marketplace, “Cookbook sales have been increasing for the last few years and so far this year they’ve seen a 25 percent jump, according to the NPD Group.” There’re a few big names behind that jump, but cookbook expert Paula Forbes says that’s not the whole picture, “Someone once told me that *all* cookbook sales spike in years Ina releases a cookbook, but i’m gonna guess we can’t credit [all 25%] to the Contessa.”
The Media – Now that Patricia Escárcega has moved on to the LA Times, The Arizona Republic is “is seeking a digital-first dining reporter to cover metro Phoenix's vibrant and evolving restaurant scene, a passion topic among our target audiences.” Details and application here.
For the Somm – Wine Enthusiast is launching a new video series called “It Starts With Wine.” The “first episode features Alberto Antonini and Francis Mallmann reflecting on their passion for life, food and wine.” Premiering January 4th, 2019.
For Design Fans – People who live in Austin (I forget the word for them) are having a lot of fun with this Eater photo spread of a new “Austin-style” food hall in Brooklyn (from the Hill Country team), but honestly it looks like a beautiful high school theater set and I think there’s a lot of potential for a feuding-food-families-with-kids-in-love type musical there. Find me a producer and I’ll start writing.
And Last and Least – In L.A., “A man dubbed the ‘Dine-and-Dash Dater’ for walking out on checks while on first dates with numerous women at Southland restaurants pleaded no contest Tuesday to four misdemeanor charges. Superior Court Judge Stan Blumenfeld sentenced Paul Guadalupe Gonzales to 120 days in jail and three years on probation, after he pleaded no contest to three counts of defrauding an innkeeper by non-payment and one count of petty theft. The 45-year-old defendant was also ordered to pay an as-yet undetermined amount of restitution and to stay at least 100 yards away from five restaurants [and] was barred from the dating sites PlentyofFish and Bumble.”
And that’s it for today. Rest easy, Bumblers. And innkeepers.
I’ll see you here Friday for next Family Meal.
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