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The Small Distractions Bringing Me Joy

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

Three people wearing masks handle pink candy bags
Workers at candy store Bon Bon
Bon Bon NYC

This post originally appeared on April 18, 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.

I had a long week, and I bet you did too. So I’m just going to list a few things that are bringing me joy right now before getting to the news. It would thrill me to no end if you could email me ( to tell me what small things are bringing you joy as well.

— On the recommendation of my co-worker Britt, I ordered $50 worth of candy from Swedish candy shop Bon Bon to my house, and it is pure joy to dip into the stash whenever I need to.

— Smitten Kitchen’s marbled banana bread recipe

— The dramatic opener to the last Ibeyi album.

— These TikToks of makeup tutorials set to John Mulaney’s stand-up comedy.

— This unicorn head and streamers that my mother-in-law just sent to my son to put on his scooter.

— I just finished On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, which I found to be a slog at first but then I really fell for it in the end/in this moment.

— This podcast about long haul trucking.

— I got new pillows a couple of weeks ago after I realized I have never bought a pillow in my entire adult life and I’ve been sleeping on lumpy hand-me-downs for the last 18 years.

— I have a garden, and the violets are blooming and beautiful and, weeds that they are, spreading everywhere. I hope some pretty spring thing is happening near you.

And, finally, crucially, honestly, my cabinet full of gummies, bottles of wine I keep buying from my local, The Fly, and batched margaritas supplied by my neighbor Calaca.

On Eater

The Riddler, boarded up
The Riddler in New York
Gary He/Eater

Intel: President Trump chose a pretty predictable group of fast food CEOs and super high-end chefs to represent the interests of restaurants in the pandemic (and one of its members does not appreciate the criticism!); Fuku is opening a bunch of ghost kitchen operations in Portland, Miami, and Brooklyn; D.C.’s Call Your Mother opened a planned second locaion, just for takeout only; Shake Shack, Ruth’s Chris, and other large chains got their $10+ million checks while small businesses are still waiting for help from the Small Business Administration; NYC restaurant spending dropped by more than 90 percent in late march; Santa Cruz, California might start easing restrictions on public gatherings by May 4; and Houston’s Southern Smoke Foundation has now distributed over $600k to service industry workers in need.

Josef Centeno
Wonho Frank Lee

This week on the podcast

Daniel and I talk to chef and first-time restaurateur Helen Nguyen about what it’s like to open a restaurant in a pandemic, supply meals to hospitals, get enough to-go containers to keep her business in operation, and deal with the general exhaustion of this moment. Then we talk about the biggest stories of the week.

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