This post originally appeared on October 20, 2018, in Amanda Kludt’s newsletter “From the Editor,” a roundup of the most vital news and stories in the food world each week. Read the archives and subscribe now.
Back in July, I dedicated my newsletter to a recent research trip to Bogotá to help out with the latest in our series of bi-annual international guides. I won’t go into it all again, but know that the guide is ALIVE. Please read through it and please consider checking out the city on your next big trip. Oh, and please look at all of these beautiful fruit photos. Kudos to our travel editor, Lesley Suter, for doing all the heavy lifting.
In restaurant news this week, we learned that Prune chefs Gabrielle Hamilton and Ashley Merriman couldn’t make it work with disgraced restaurateur Ken Friedman in their proposed Spotted Pig partnership, because he refused to give up his manager’s salary — even though he wasn’t really allowed to physically go to the restaurant. And we learn about the extent of the surprise they felt when so many turned against them.
We also heard from chef April Bloomfield, Friedman’s former Spotted Pig partner, for the first time since the allegations emerged against him. She comes off as contrite; defeated. She speaks of feeling bullied, wanting to leave, being powerless and manipulated and naive. She also reveals she hasn’t reached out to Friedman’s alleged victims (her former employees), almost one year later.
I presume many will sympathize with her story, and many will believe her complicit. It’s important to remember that he is the one accused of wrongdoing, he’s the one who created an unsafe workplace. But as the business owner, she owed it to her staff to protect them and rise above it. And if she was unable, she owed it to them to walk away. Because just as his bad reputation is drowning her now, her good reputation gave him cover for years.
- Intel: The Ace Hotel in New York is suing restaurateur Ken Friedman for $5 million and accusing him of faulty accounting at the Breslin and the John Dory Oyster Bar; cultishly loved Japanese green tea specialists Nana’s will bring its green tea sundae to Seattle soon; Pilotworks, a VC-backed food business incubator in Brooklyn, abruptly shuttered, leaving vendors in the cold (which makes me think twice about this giant new incubator space in San Diego); Tanya Holland officially closed the West Oakland location of Brown Sugar Kitchen (but will reopen elsewhere); culinary destination Blackberry Farm will launch a spinoff resort called Blackberry Mountain in February; San Antonio’s Bakery Lorraine expands to Austin on Monday; Rome’s famed Bonci pizza will come to Miami sometime next year; D.C. chef Kwame Onwuachi opened his cheesecake/wing/waffle fry place inside of a Whole Foods; the City of LA is considering a single-use plastic straw ban for 2021; robot food carts may invade the streets of Dallas; Dave Chang opened a Fuku in Boston; and Chicago’s South Side will get its first food hall, a project from a nonprofit hoping to spur economic development.
- Everything you need to know about macabre show The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell.
- Robert Sietsema visits the Playboy Club and concludes, “it was a cringe-worthy experience, eating expensive comfort food in a dark room, as waitresses in leporine costumes passed by like shadows in a nightmare, recreating a sad spectacle from decades ago calculated to massage the male ego.”
- I don’t really have words for this super-extra trailer for Final Table on Netflix (though I guess it is my duty to complain that there are no women repping the U.S. of A.).
- On the rise of obnoxiously high-end and wellness-focused convenience stores.
- The nomination period for next year’s class of Eater’s Young Guns is officially open!
- Buy: Chopsticks recommended by top chefs.
- Watch: the woman who invented the shabu shabu omakase in Lower Manhattan.
On the Podcasts
This week on The Upsell, Daniel and I talk with special correspondent Meghan McCarron about the three big stories revolving around shamed restaurateur Ken Friedman and the powerful women who were unfortunate enough to partner with him.
And on this week’s episode of our business podcast, Start to Sale, hosts Erin and Natasha talk to Ari Weinzweig, the nonconformist co-founder of Zingerman’s mini empire of food-related businesses in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Very highly recommend.
- Why all these bad men are putting up a shield of women to try to save their asses (and businesses). [The Cut; NYT; The New Yorker]
- Heart-crushing and beautiful piece about the impact Ian Schrager’s Public Hotel has on the community of Section 8 residents right next door. [NYT]
- OpenTable’s CEO will step down at the end of this year. [Skift Table]
- Not yet tired of any and all Gritty content. [Jezebel]
- Uber figures if it can’t buy Britain’s monster delivery service Deliveroo, it can at least copy its strategy by opening 400 virtual kitchens. [Telegraph]
- Must read: Kara Swisher talking about her former terrible bosses. Fave line: “I’m so glad he’s dead. Seriously, I’m glad he’s dead. He was a jackass. He deserved it.” [Slate]
- What’s the deal with birthday cake flavor? [Vox.com]
- The state of the NY slice in 2018. [SE]
- As a huge Rent the Runway Unlimited stan and admirer of Jennifer Hyman, I love this dive into why so many women are attracted to this service. [New Yorker]