This post originally appeared on May 11, 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.
I’m currently on a 6 a.m. flight en route to Santa Fe to consume enchiladas, burritos, and, if the mood strikes, edibles. And maybe stare at some Georgia O’Keeffe paintings and desert sunsets. I came this close to scheduling this four-day trip at the same time as a giant food world conference — which would have been fun but not the vacay I was looking for — so phew. But if you’re going to IACP next weekend, I can send you my fave spots. Or just read Eater’s Guide to the Southwest.
It seems like there were enough takes on sponsored menus and Aperol spritzes to go around this week, so we can just get right into it.
- Intel: The James Beard awards happened; chef Dave Pasternack bought out former partner Mario Batali for full ownership of his New York restaurant Esca; Stevie Wonder played an impromptu 35-minute show at LA restaurant Skylight Gardens; Chance the Rapper brought back Wendy’s spicy chicken nuggets with a tweet; a potential new babka destination is opening in New York; someone left a disposable coffee cup in a Game of Thrones scene; Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson will close his high-end destination restaurant Fäviken Magasinet; Dominique Crenn has breast cancer; soon-to-close restaurant Barbuto might come back from the dead elsewhere in New York; the team behind Philly hits Suraya and Pizzeria Beddia will open two Mexican restaurants and an all-day cafe in a Pod hotel there; Marcus Samuelsson opened his Montreal restaurant, Marcus; New York’s the Fat Radish will expand to Savannah; Eataly will expand to Dallas; Chengdu Taste will expand to Seattle; Coca-Cola is acting shady; some big deal Italian chefs are opening a very pretty restaurant in San Diego; after spending $50 million on renovations, Chicago’s biggest restaurant group will open a massive multi-faceted riverside restaurant project in River North over the next five months; and Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez was interrogated at LAX over a duffle bag full of frozen piranhas.
- What this year’s Beard Awards winners list says about the restaurant industry today (as much as it says anything).
- This week I learned about: chicken salt!
- This week I’m outraged about: the CEO of failed food food startup Munchery paying himself a $250,000 “success fee” while the company owes $6 million to small businesses that will most likely never see a dime because they are last in line behind a long list of creditors owed $32 million!
- Maybe AriZona Iced Tea is so cool that it just makes Danny Bowien even cooler for partnering with them? Or is that even possible given his current dimension of cool? How is that missing from the high-minded debate on the #sponmenu?? (In all seriousness, I’ll take a quirky Mission Chinese spon menu over Tom Colicchio mugging for Coca-Cola or Bobby Flay shilling for Fage without ad disclosures any day).
- What it’s like inside the mind of a hardcore water bro.
- Take a moment to get to know Bywater American Bistro and its chef Nina Compton.
- How Buffalo Wild Wings was a secret haven for a young gay vegetarian.
- The story behind LA’s secret egg-obsessed street artist, Black Palms.
On The Podcast This Week
This week on the podcast, Daniel and I discussed the week’s biggest food stories, including the popularity of Impossible Burger and the IPO of its rival Beyond Meat, how thirsty food brands have been to partner with Game of Thrones, Burger King’s bizarre new campaign, some invasive restaurant plates, and more.
- Philly’s restaurant critic finally gave in to the siren call of going on a research trip with a chef. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
- Big congrats to the people behind the new New York Times section on parenting. I espeically recommend this article telling new parents that it’s totally normal to want to murder your spouse, a lot, during the first few months of having kids. And maybe later. (Not that I would know.) [NYT]
- Obsessed with this Vox investigation into the gut doctor screaming at you from the bottom of websites. [Vox.com]
- Edouardo Jordan and Kwame Onwuachi on being black chefs in mostly white, high-end kitchens. [Grub Street]
Take care, enjoy the weekend, and if you like this newsletter, please forward it to a friend. — Amanda
P.S.: Call your mother, if you have a mother in your life! If you are a mom, you are such a good mom. I hope people tell you that a lot. Great job everyone.