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Another Restaurant World Antihero Dies

On the death of NYC restaurateur Kenny Shopsin

Kenny Shopsin

This post originally appeared on September 8, 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.


Two big stories of particular interest to me I want to highlight before we get into all the news.

First: Iconic (iconoclastic?) New York restaurateur and chef Kenny Shopsin died over the Labor Day weekend, an unexpected cap off to a summer where many of the food world’s larger than life heroes and antiheroes passed. I recommend you read the obits, by Robert Sietsema, by Helen Rosner, by Neil Genzlinger. But also read the Calvin Trillin profile of Kenny and, even better, read Tamara Shopsin’s memoir Arbitrary Stupid Goal, which accurately paints a portrait of the man and the restaurant — as well as the city he inhabited that is now lost to us.

Second: The people behind the famously sexist and Eurocentric restaurant list, World’s 50 Best, are now actually kind of trying to do something to make their list more inclusive. They have committed to gender parity in their 1,000+ person judging academy. And they’re finally asking their judges “to explore a diverse mix of restaurants during their travels and to take issues of representation into consideration in their voting choices.” Judges are still, of course, anonymous and able to accept junkets and comps, and they are keeping their Best Female Chef award, but one thing at a time.


Openings of the Week:

The Pasta Room at at Misi | Gary He
Gary He

Per Eater Denver’s Josie Sexton: “There are a lot of buzzwords one could apply to the Wolf’s Tailor, a small restaurant by chef Kelly Whitaker opening this weekend in North Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood. So here they go: Zero waste! Natural wines! Japanese fusion! Italian fusion! Tasting menus! Large format! Omakase! House-made pasta! House-milled grains! Wood oven! Robata grill! Binchotan! Noodles! Vegetable-forward! Garden-grown! Meat-forward! Skewers! Craft cocktails! Savory desserts! A black sesame semifreddo!” Click over to find out more (and see the gorgeous interior).

Meanwhile there’s pasta and interior porn aplenty in this look inside Misi, the new restaurant from Brooklyn chef Missy Robbins that follows her smash success Lilia. It opens Saturday.


On Eater


This Week on the Podcast

Daniel and I talk to roving restaurant critic Bill Addison, senior editor and cookbook fanatic Daniela Galarza, and pop culture editor Greg Morabito about what they’re looking forward to this fall.


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