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:
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.
- Intel: DC chef Mike Isabella filed for bankruptcy months after he and others in his company were accused of sexual harassment; Katie Coss is the new executive chef at Husk in Nashville and the first female exec at the restaurant group; the team behind Chicago’s acclaimed Parachute is opening a second restaurant; a very tempting-looking doughtnut pop-up in Seattle found a permanent home; the new viral food to know is watermelon “ham”; a longstanding Denver restaurant group is throwing in the towel, citing a difficult financial landscape for restaurants; chef Roy Choi’s new Vegas restaurant, called Best Friend, will open in December, serving a greatest hits list of his menus across LA; Oakland’s first Black-owned spirits company will launch a bourbon this fall; police arrested the wife of Oregon Culinary Institute’s Daniel Brophy for his murder; Starbucks opened its first ever roastery and shop in Italy and the press releases around the opening were epic; big deal Nashville chef Tandy Wilson opened a second restaurant; Domino’s will continue to payto fix America’s potholes (since our governments won’t); Barnes & Noble admitted that opening restaurants was maybe not the best idea; LA has a new, promising pizza place; the Sushi Nakazawa in the Trump Hotel in D.C. is apparently very good and very empty; and Denver is getting a butter bar.
- Why more than 8,000 restaurants catch fire every year.
- Bill Addison’s ode to New York’s calzones.
- Ethan Hawke’s restaurant tour of Austin.
- Buy: Frenchette’s upsidedown world knives and delight and frustrate all your dinner party guests.
- Watch: conquering Instagram-famous omurice at home.
- The literal cost of margherita pizza in America.
- Whole hog is an American tradition — so why is it stuck in the South?
- An appreciation of Great British Baking Show host Prue Leith’s necklace collection
- Op-ed from restaurateur Jen Agg: It’s not just “kitchen talk,” it’s abuse.
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.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch restaurant critic Ian Froeb on why he’s giving up his anonymity. [SLT]
- 17 women on why #metoo hasn’t come for their harassers. [The Cut]
- What needs to change to make kitchens more queer-friendly. [BonApp]
- Why salads and CEOs are photographed the exact same way. [Racked]
- Gender equality in the sushi world Is still a long way off. [Saveur]
- Overdue obit: Melitta Bentz, who invented the coffee filter. [NYT]
- The crazy contentious history of Taco Tuesday. [Thrillist]
- When your restaurant review is actually just name dropping all the food writers that like the place. [New Yorker]