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
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.
- Intel: Christina Tosi changed the name of her famous “Crack Pie” to Milk Bar Pie after growing pressure from the food community; British celeb chef Gordon Ramsay defended his ”vibrant Asian eating house” in London against accusations of cultural appropriation; Danny Meyer’s new rotating restaurant concept with Lexus now features Chilean chef Sergio Barroso; Austin’s favorite taco truck, Veracruz All Natural, will open a brick-and-mortar restaurant; Atlanta might (finally) ban smoking inside bars and restaurants; the Mueller report revealed an ex-president of Ukraine gave Paul Manafort an ungodly amount of (maybe illegal?) caviar; Dallas star chef Matt McCallister debuted his new restaurant, Homewood; the now-national City Winery chain will move its NY flaship to a 32,000-square-foot space that was once earmarked for Anthony Bourdain’s scuttled food hall; Gigi Hadid’s followers got mad at her for shilling for McDonald’s; the Wharf complex in D.C. has a new, hip cocktail bar; London star chef Ollie Dabbous may have a permanent restaurant in the works; giant coffee chain Caffe Nero is trying to make espresso tonics a thing over in the U.K.; low-key New York bar Edi & The Wolf closes tomorrow; Chris Cosentino is opening his first restaurant in Houston; a forthcoming 20,000-square-foot food hall in Boston announced its vendor line-up; here’s a look inside Marcus Samuelsson’s upcoming Montreal restaurant; and New Yorkers should mark their cals for May 19 for Natasha Pickowicz’s annual bake sale for Planned Parenthood.
- This history of white-washing LA’s Mexican restaurants by calling them Spanish.
- How come whenever a white person opens an Asian restaurant they put “Lucky” in its name?
- I guess I need to go to Dallas now to try chef Donny Sirisavath’s gorgeous Laotian food.
- To buy: blue-and-white enamel trays.
- Robert Sietsema and Ryan Sutton check in on what Rocco DiSpirito is up to at the Standard Grill.
- The question is not if McDonald’s will embrace fake-meat burgers, but when.
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.
- Samin Nosrat, Chrissy Teigen, and Massimo Bottura made it onto this year’s TIME 100. [TIME]
- Martha Stewart’s right-hand man, human Xanax, and heir apparent to her empire is quite the character. [NYT]
- A big round of applause for Bon Appetit’s monster red sauce package. [BonApp]
- The rise and fall and rise of Kwame Onwuachi. [NYT]
- The science of shotgunning a beer. [MEL]
- Gregg Popovitch, one of the greatest basketball coaches in history, is also a huge restaurant obsessive (like, true obsessive). [ESPN]