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Meet the Future of Our Industry

From the Editor: Everything you missed in food news last week

This post originally appeared on April 20, 2019, 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.

Every year, we induct a new class of Eater Young Guns, a group of 12 emerging talents in the restaurant industry. To qualify, up-and-comers must be under the age of 30 or must have worked in the industry for under five years. They can come from anywhere and do anything connected to restaurants and food, but they must show exceptional potential and promise. They must represent where we see the industry going (or, better, where we’d like it to go).

I love this program because it’s an opportunity to find new people to highlight and write about. And we get to hear bosses and mentors, friends and colleagues across the industry rave to us about the ascending stars in their lives. It’s hard not to feel hopeful for the future after conducting those phone interviews.

This year is a little more exciting than most, for a few reasons. First, I just think restaurant editor Hillary Dixler Canavan and her colleague Monica Burton put together a super-compelling and impressive class.

More importantly, this year we asked each Young Gun to sign a mission statement affirming their commitment to ridding the food and restaurant industry of the discrimination and abuse that has proven endemic. It might not sound all that meaningful — anyone can and would sign a thing saying they won’t be assholes. But it already helped us in the vetting process, as many references, when asked if the candidate in question could sign such a mission statement honestly, said they didn’t think so. Plus, the mission statement can serve as a guiding light in how we treat any problems in the future.

This year is also different because in May, we’re launching a special section of Eater that will focus on stories for and about young upstarts in this industry. It will include profiles on this year’s winners, check-ins with Young Gun alumni, and advice on how to survive and thrive in the food world today. Later in 2019, we’ll hold a Young Guns Summit where we can bring the themes of this editorial program to life. More info TBD, but I’ve never been more excited about Young Guns.

Please dive in, check out this year’s list, and stay tuned to learn more about them.

Opening of the Week: Dandelion Chocolate

Patricia Chang

After five years of anticipation, San Francisco chocolate maker Dandelion opened the doors to its 30,000-square-foot factory, cafe, and retail shop yesterday. Now the cult producer will have the capability to make 1.5 million bars per year, while also running a casual cafe and proper tasting salon.

On Eater

This Week on the Podcast

This week, Daniel interviews Win Son GM Erica Hall about the different stereotypes of annoying restaurant diners and how she keeps her cool while dealing with them.

Off Eater