Russell's first, Hollingsworth's years, Bloomberg's food, and more...
Family Meal - Friday, December 20th, 2019
Before we get started, a note: There will be no Family Meal next week. Many apologies for skipping out over the holidays, but there is much else to do, and I’m loathe to half-ass this (too much…). I will try to highlight stories I’m reading on Twitter, and post dispatches from a very Hong Kong Christmas on Instagram where possible. Happy Holidays, all!
Media heavy / overall light today. Ah, well. Let’s get to it…
The Takeover – Headline in SF Chronicle: “Union Square restaurant Ayala closes. Chef Timothy Hollingsworth to take over space.” Context from Janelle Bitker: “Timothy Hollingsworth beat 23 heralded chefs to win Netflix's international culinary competition show ‘The Final Table’ last year, and now he’s riding that wave of momentum to his first restaurant in San Francisco. Hollingsworth, who spent 13 years at the French Laundry in Yountville, will open a contemporary American restaurant called All These Years in spring 2020.”
The Phenomenon – Also coming soon to the Bay Area per Bitker: “A 51,000-square-foot Italian marketplace with restaurants, cafes, bars and more is coming to Westfield Valley Fair, which straddles Santa Clara and San Jose... Eataly Silicon Valley will be part of Westfield’s $1.1 billion overhaul and is expected to open in 2021.”
The (Media) Podcasts – A few good media focused conversations for your commute, prep, procrastination, whatever: First, Charlotte Druckman talking food media, women in food, and Women On Food on the Dave Chang show. Join around minute 47 for Druckman suggesting the NYT’s Wesley Morris become a restaurant critic (I…. dunno). Second, if you’re in the Texas taco business, probably not a bad idea to tune into new(ish) Texas Monthly taco editor José Ralat on Racist Sandwich. And third, both The Infatuation’s Chris Stang and The New Yorker’s Helen Rosner are on Recode Media this week. Stang is up first; Rosner’s half starts around 46:45.
Quick side note to the VCs who gave The Infatuation $30M last year: Hey. Cool shoes. Lunch?
The Media – Washington City Paper’s Laura Hayes lit into Bloomberg for failing, among other things, to spell check the names of some of DC’s top chefs in a piece supposedly celebrating the city. “Who are Kevin Tang, Philip Prime, and Kwame Onuwachi?” Hayes asks. Why, those are Bloomberg spellings for Kevin Tien, Peter Prime, and Kwame Onwuachi, some big DC names who provide a few of the “knockout ethnic options” cited in the piece…
The Culture – Discovered via Alicia Kennedy in Edible Brooklyn: Writer Klancy Miller “wants to launch a print biannual dedicated to celebrating Black women in food and wine: For the Culture.” Link goes to the IndieGoGo campaign, about 25% funded at time of send.
The Profile Treatment – “In September, [Mariya Russell] became the first African-American female chef of a Michelin-starred restaurant.” Angela Burke has her backstory in Eater. “Early on, Russell cultivated an impressive breadth of experience in lauded Chicago kitchens — vegetable-focused pioneer Green Zebra, the Bristol, Nellcôte, and [Noah Sandoval’s] Senza. With a seemingly set path, Russell decided to take a detour. In 2013, Russell and her husband relocated to Charleston, South Carolina in search of slower-paced, warm-weather living. But idyllic settings and positions at top restaurants like Tristan and 492 weren’t enough to keep them there. After three years and experiencing multiple incidences of overt racism, Russell and her husband moved back to Chicago. Mariya’s homecoming would also become her turning point.”
And last but definitely not least – Heading into next week, “As we gather, reflect, and celebrate, it also is important to recognize that the holidays can be a rough time for many people, both culinary professionals and their customers.” The JBF’s Colleen Vincent put together a reminder of some resources to help folks look out for themselves and others this season.
Take care out there.
And very Happy Holidays to you and yours! If you’re working, I hope the merrymakers at your tables make their merry worth your while.
I’ll see you here around New Years for next Family Meal.
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