This post originally appeared on November 3, 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.
This week on our podcast, my co-host Daniel asked me if I thought UberEats’s goal to have drones delivering our food by 2021 sounded dystopian. Not in itself, no. But that plus all the other UberEats news — that it wants to reach 70 percent of Americans by the end of the year, that some investors have valued it at $20 billion, that its path to success involves getting indie restaurateurs to open generic, online-only, delivery-focused entities — does make me a little uneasy at its potential to shape the future we live in.
Meanwhile, Costco is about to have an outsize impact on the farms and farmland of Nebraska as it supports its 60 million per year rotisserie chicken habit; Amazon will install 3,000 more cashierless grocery stores by 2021; self-driving vans are delivering groceries in Silicon Valley; and Walmart is trying to replace the traditional town square by building food halls, gyms, food truck parks, and entertainment venues in the monster parking lots that ring its Superstores. So, yes, drones. But also this.
Progress, cheap prices, and ultimate convenience, all delivered with the help the gig economy and major corporate interests.
This might be a good time for us to make an extra-concerted effort this weekend to shop the local market, spend a little extra at the neighborhood coffee shop, and, well, support the old-fashioned town square.
- Intel: Chef Andrew Carmellini added a fried chicken operation to his food lineup at the Shinola Hotel in Detroit; Dave Chang opened a spit-roasted meat spot in the Time Warner Center called Bāng Bar; Rene Redzepi’s game menu at Noma is very extra; Yelp now lets people join restaurant waitlists remotely and at kiosks; Atlanta, for some reason, willhave a surfeit of pop-up holiday bars; San Francisco put a limit on the number of bars and restaurants that can open in The Mission; Starbucks released its more overtly Christmas-y holiday cups; the owner of a bakery in Charleston flashed a crowd at an event celebrating female artisans and eventually turned himself in to the police; ramen master Ivan Orkin wants to franchise a ramen concept all over the world; Bobby Flay’s new Vegas restaurant will be called Shark; the universe allowed Charlie Hallowell, a man accused of harassing 30 employees, to open a brand-new restaurant; and Chicago chef Curtis Duffy found his new restaurant space.
- I can’t recommend this piece about Father Divine, a cult leader, restaurateur, and Depression-era figure, enough.
- Sabrina star Kiernan Shipka is actually a really well-informed diner.
- Where to get great doughnuts in New York and prime rib in LA.
- Everything you need to know about London’s big dining development.
- I didn’t realize how out of control gold and glittery food had gotten.
- Capturting the joy in the opening of Manhattan’s first Jollibee.
- When you try to actually make something from that new goth Christine McConnell Netflix show.
- Buy: this jigger that won’t get you all sticky.
- Watch: Sushi master Masa invented a novel burger-making contraption.
On the Podcasts This Week
This week on The Upsell, Daniel and I discuss the best food stories of October, including how tablet payments have changed the way we tip, the cheating scandal at the Court of Master Sommeliers exam, Costco’s somewhat terrifying plan to put cheap rotisserie chickens on every table in America, and more.
And on this week’s episode of our business podcast, Start to Sale, hosts Erin and Natasha talk to Dermalogica’s Jane Wurwand about how she built a business on empathy, ambition, smarts, and kindness.
- The wild wing-pricing scheme is even crazier than you think. [The Verge]
- Sweetgreen is, by some measures, worth $1 BILLION. [CNBC]
- In honor of Halloween, the scariest video from inside a Whole Foods. [Twitter]
- Oh, cool, restaurants for ladies made by a man (with four sisters, tho). [Restaurants-Hospitality]
- Why stadium seating is everywhere now. [Curbed]