Tonight tonight, Media moves, Sad news, and more...
Family Meal - Friday, April 26th, 2019
Big night in food media tonight, with the 2019 James Beard Media Awards ceremony starting around 7PM in NYC. A woman named Tyra Banks is hosting, and the list of nominees is here.
Speaking of the media, let’s get to it…
The Media – A thread from Jonathan Kauffman on Twitter yesterday read: “Some personal news: Next week is my last week at the San Francisco Chronicle. In fact, I’m leaving San Francisco altogether -- my husband and I are moving to Portland in June… In Portland, I’m going to work on another book, among other writing projects. I’m eager, journalistically, to cover the West Coast as a whole, having lived in three of its major cities. (Dear editors at national publications: ahem.)”
That’s a big loss for the Chronicle (and the Bay Area), but most of Kauffman’s beat is already in the capable hands of Janelle Bitker, and editor Paolo Lucchesi tells me: “For the last few weeks, Jonathan has been quietly revamping our (non-food) culture coverage at the Chronicle… We're now hiring for *that* position.”
The Media Too – Eater announced a murderers’ row of good gets this week, including new daily editor Madeleine Davies (“overseeing day-to-day, take-to-take news and culture coverage”), Young Guns editor Osayi Endolyn (“editor of the upcoming special section completely dedicated to the world of Eater Young Guns”), and new staff writers Jaya Saxena and Jenny G. Zhang. Congrats, all!
(P.S., PR: The announcement has links to their past work for all your personalized pitching needs…)
Some Sad News – “Joe Bartolotta, co-owner of Milwaukee, Wis.-based The Bartolotta Restaurants has died, the company said Tuesday.” The NYT’s Kim Severson called Bartolotta a “Midwest restaurant pioneer” in her tweet linking to a brief obituary by Lisa Jennings.
And further south, “Atlanta restaurateur Frances Leigh Catherall died last week, friends told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She was 56.” Raisa Habersham has her obituary here.
Awards Season – Headline Wednesday in Eater NY: “Cosme’s Daniela Soto-Innes Wins the Absurd ‘World’s Best Female Chef’ Award”. All things being unequal, the video of the announcement (in the article and on Twitter) is pretty fun.
The Upsell – “Some California restaurants will put another surcharge on their bills later this year — but this time, it won’t be for service or employee benefits. It will be to fight climate change. The initiative, announced Wednesday, is called Restore California Renewable Restaurants, and it will allow restaurants statewide the option of charging diners an additional 1%. They money would go toward California’s Healthy Soil Program, which helps farmers transition to methods that put carbon back in the soil.” The effort was spearheaded by Karen Leibowitz and Anthony Myint (Mission Chinese Food et al.) and their Perennial Farming Initiative. Details from Janelle Bitker in the Chronicle.
The Sublet – In Chicago, former Next exec chef Jenner Tomaska “has signed on to take over Iliana Regan’s Michelin-starred Elizabeth in Lincoln Square for a two and a half month residency beginning July 17.” That lines up perfectly with Regan’s first summer at her new Milkweed Inn in Michigan’s UP. Details from Kat Odell in Eater.
For the Somm – Some East Coast moves: Eater DC reports, “Tony power spot Charlie Palmer Steak has a new wine director and head sommelier. Phil Prifold replaces Brandon Anderson, who’s reportedly headed to New York City’s Michelin-starred Per Se.”
For the Bar – Over at Good Beer Hunting, Alyssa Pereira has a behind the scenes look at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s response to the devastating Camp Fire, focusing on the scaling up of their Resilience fundraising brew. “The day the beer was released, the staff had initially allocated 500 cases of the more than 4,000 barrels of Resilience they brewed to the brewery gift store…. Within the first few hours of the release, they had sold 700 cases. By mid-December, news would break that more than 1,400 breweries—a quarter of all American breweries at the time—had signed on to make Resilience.” A quarter of all American breweries.
For Design Fans – “The revival of the long-dormant TWA terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport sounds absolutely wild: The renovation, which includes a hotel, is opening next month with an infinity pool overlooking the runway, a bar housed within a 1950s-era plane, and more than a dozen planned restaurants and bars [including one from Jean-Georges Vongerichten].” Cool, fine, whatever. But check out that picture of “The Sunken Lounge”! I mean, there’s a high risk that without enough people and cocktails some guests might begin to regress into half-empty airport despair, but… Would that I were gas and could expand to caress every curve and angle all at once! (A bit dramatic? As a St. Louis native who’s seen a very different side of TWA hub abandonment, my heart hurts.)
And that’s it for today. Best of luck to all my nominated media readers tonight! When you mention Family Meal in your acceptance speeches (as is custom), please ask people to follow me on Twitter and Instagram too. But keep it classy. You don’t want to sound needy up there.
I’ll see you here Tuesday for next Family Meal.
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P.S. If you are attending the ceremony tonight and would like to join the growing pro-newsletter-award movement, participants are asked to rise and shout “DEFINE PERSONALITY” when Samin Nosrat accepts for Outstanding Personality. Then you should sit down, turn to your table, and whisper, “Now that I have your attention, I’d like to discuss an important issue.” Talking points will be posted before showtime.
If you are uncomfortable shouting at a lovely person, you can simply let out a prolonged sigh and mutter, “Well if we’re just going to have a popularity contest, we may as well include newsletters…” in lieu of applauding winners.
Thank you for your support!!!