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A Day Without a Woman in Restaurants

The March 8 women’s strike, beer and wagyu hype, and other intel in this weekly roundup from the editor

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This post originally appeared in EIC Amanda Kludt’s From the Editor newsletter, a roundup of the most important intel and stories in food and dining each week. Subscribe now.

On Wednesday, International Women's Day, we'll find out if the Day Without a Woman protest resonates as strongly in the restaurant industry as the Day Without Immigrants protest. While women face outsize discrimination in restaurants, to me they aren't the secret engines of the industry that immigrants are. Women struggle with a lack of advancement and opportunity, not a lack of visibility.

Since the protest encourages women to refrain from working and buying, the bigger impact on the industry could be on the consumer side if large enough numbers decide to refrain from dining out.

I'm actually having a hard time anticipating how it will play out, given the ambivalence I've encountered within my own sphere. The women at Eater outnumber the men about two to one. The majority of our bylines are female. The majority of the editors are female. I haven't gotten a strong sense from my team that they want to skip work on that day, especially because, to some, the silencing or their voices could lead to the amplification of mens’. If my female reporters take the day off and male reporters at rival publications end up scooping us, what purpose did we serve?

That said, I'm encouraging whoever wants to stay home to stay home. And whoever wants to work should work. In terms of coverage, we plan on resurfacing all of our great stories of female chefs and restaurateurs and female-focused restaurant industry issues, as well as commissioning new pieces without falling into the trap of writing (what I think are condescending) lists of female-owned restaurants.

I'm also encouraging our reporters, editors, video makers, and social media professionals to take a hard look at who is getting quoted, who is getting called for expertise, who is getting retweeted. Is it the best person, or is it the easiest or the most well-known person?

Hitachino Beer & Wagyu
Patricia Chang

Opening of the Week: Hitachino Beer & Wagyu

Who is behind it? The makers of the line of cult favorite beers, Hitachino, and chef Noriyuki Sugie.

What is it? It's a small kappo bar with pickles and à la carte offerings, with a sit-down wagyu tasting menu for $68. They’re serving 10 Hitachino beers on tap, plus sake and wines from the Hitachino region.

Where is it? The Tendernob area in San Francisco.

When did it open? It soft opened this week, and they’re already booked out. It should be officially open next week.

Why should I care? People in SF are pretty amped about it, maybe because of the wagyu angle, maybe because Hitachino is delicious, maybe because it’s going to be very hard and weird to get into for a long time.

The glass pastry case at Ovenly, filled with cakes, cookies, and other sweets.

On Eater

Off Eater

  • The Times had this surprising little (mostly) first-person piece from Eduardo García, the owner of a burgeoning empire of smoking hot restaurants in Mexico City, who started out in life as an undocumented migrant farm worker (i.e., picking vegetables as a five-year-old) in the United States, worked his way up through the restaurant industry, and got deported twice. [NYT]
  • Reporter Benny Johnson engages in some A+ Trump stalking at BLT Steakhouse in DC and uncovers the President’s affinity for pouring ketchup all over his well-done steak. [IJR]
  • Hanna Raskin points out that as the years progress, more and more chefs and restaurant industry folks join the ranks of James Beard Foundation restaurant award judges. Now they outnumber the food writers and journalists. (TL;DR: she thinks that’s not a good thing. I have issues that go beyond this for both journalism and restaurant awards, but I’ll get into that in another newsletter.) [P&C]
  • Very pleased to read that Yum! Brands (Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC) just announced a new parental leave policy offering 18 weeks of fully paid time off to new mothers and six weeks to fathers, partners, and adoptive/foster parents. Too bad it’s just for their corporate, full-time staffers. [R29]
  • I’m so happy to see the debut of Chris Ying’s new column in the SF Chronicle. [SFC]
  • Not food-related at all, but my colleagues over at Vox went on a crazy treasure hunt to find $2 million hidden in the Rockies. []

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