This post originally appeared on February 8, 2020 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.
This week I just want to draw your attention to a mind-bogglingly impressive chef out of Portland, Oregon. I was familiar with Jacob Harth from our coverage of him, and his year-old hyper-sustainable seafood restaurant, Erizo, on Eater Portland; a profile of him when he was chosen as an Eater Young Gun (our annual list of outstanding young talent around the country); and our Best New Restaurant coverage (we like him, okay?).
But it wasn’t until I actually watched this new video series with him that I understood how he goes above and beyond my expectations for a talented chef and restaurateur. Obsessed with sustainable seafood and underutilized ingredients, he harvests gooseneck barnacles from Barview Jetty and dives for butter clams in Tillamook Bay, and then serves them in a tasting menu. He also focuses on bycatch and invasive species, sourced directly from fishermen. In an industry where the words “sustainable” and “organic” are used too loosely, it’s inspiring to see someone with such a stringent commitment to his sourcing.
I know we’ve read plenty about chefs who love to forage, who love to serve local food, who embrace their sense of place over the last decade. But watching Harth go out in the middle of the night to carefully pull volleyball-sized hunks of barnacles from an Oregon jetty or wrap 65-pound chains around his waist to dive for shellfish takes it to a new level for me. Anyway, watch the video! And maybe make a resy next time you’re in Portland.
- Intel: One of Richmond’s biggest chefs is opening an all-day cafe in D.C. that will explore Alpine cuisine and 1970s-style health food; ghost kitchens are now using rented trailers around SF as staging grounds for delivery meals; another high-end restaurant (this time in Seattle) was listed on Seamless without even offering takeout; Mike Solomonov’s skewer house, Lazar Wolf, opened in Philly on Thursday; world-famous bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana opened Silver Lyan, his first big bar in the States, last night in D.C.; the granny-chic design trend has made its way to San Francisco and (kind of) New York; many in Seattle are asking the city to tear down a McDonald’s following a deadly shooting in front of it; Tonari, a venue for wafu (Japanese-style) Italian noodle dishes and fluffy pizza, just opened in D.C., and it looks cool; broiled oysters are all the rage in New York; Austin got its first proper natural wine bar last night; a positively wild-looking new dessert and cocktail bar just opened in SFand I would like to go there immediately; and boba hot pot is one trendy new way boba shops are surviving in the winter.
- The chicken nugget is actually the perfect vehicle for fake meat.
- What is the “French Taco,” and why is it taking off in Montreal?
- An ode to the potatoes at Taco Bell and the strawberry soft cream cake you find all over Asia and in Asian dessert shops in the U.S.
- It is GAME ON for two kinds of spicy hot pot in New York.
This Week on the Podcast
This week on Eater’s Digest, Daniel and I talk to Andrew Genung, an American writer based in Hong Kong, about how the half a year of protests and now the new coronavirus are impacting the restaurant scene there. Then we get into the biggest stories of the week.
- The subtle advantages and disadvantages of being a woman restaurant critic. [Salon]
- 78 new emotions. I am afflicted by pretedium on the regular. [The Cut]
- My three Curbed faves: How to bring ‘modern farmhouse’ charm into your kitchen; this wild bunker house; and everyhing you need to know about suddenly trendy cane furniture. [Curbed]
- How to be a better manager to staffers on maternity leave. [Medium]
- Wine drinkers deserve a decent TV show. [Punch]