This post originally appeared on December 23, 2017, 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.
When our reporter Vince Dixon — who has a knack for executing kind of out-there editorial projects — pitched an idea about viral food in a meeting a couple months ago, I didn’t think there would be much to it. Desperate people put dye in their food so tasteless influencers will put it on their social feeds. Done and done.
Not so! After a lot of research, and some photo and video shoots, Vince put together this hugely ambitious piece that shows just how complex and weird and paradigm shifting the world of Instabait food can be. It says so much about food and commerce and millennials and social media and modern-day hucksters, and it's awe-inspiring and depressing.
We’re going to keep exploring this topic in a YouTube series that will drop at the end of the month, so look out for it.
This week in sexual harassment
In a followup to Eater NY’s major exposé on Mario Batali earlier this month, reporter Irene Plagianos explores just how widespread this misconduct was across Batali’s entire restaurant empire. Surprise: Batali wasn’t the only bad actor. And many were complicit.
Meanwhile, pastry chef Lisa Donovan shares her stories of harassment and mistreatment, unleashes her frustrations, and concludes, “We must be bold in the place we now find ourselves.”
Meanwhile, restaurateurs Caroline Styne, Alex Stupak, Martha Hoover, Amy Mills, Sang Yoon, and Hugh Acheson discuss how they attempt to prevent bad behavior at their restaurants.
Meanwhile, Vox.com’s interactive piece tracks more than 100 powerful people accused of sexual assault across industries.
Meanwhile, women working in auto plants have had it incredibly bad for decades.
Opening of the week: True Laurel
Who is behind it: Lazy Bear’s chef/owner David Barzelay and partner/bar director Nicolas Torres.
What is it: A cocktail bar with a twist.
Where is it: The Mission, San Francisco.
When did it open: Friday, December 22.
Why should I care: The pedigree of the people behind the operation will attract enough attention, but the concept and the design also rise above the norm. The bar will offer a bar-within-a-bar cocktail tasting menu experience for those who book reservations in advance. All drinks will be served alongside food by David Barzelay, who will serve a menu filled with tongue-in-cheek plays on comfort food, like a loaded baked potato with miso butter, bacon, and bonito, and a patty melt with dry-aged beef and special sauce.
Per Eater SF: “The design is inspired by mid-century artists like Isamu Noguchi, Man Ray, and photographer Irving Penn. Almost everything was custom-designed and fabricated for the space, from the booths and tables to the chairs and inlaid Bay Laurel bar.”
- Intel: Bourdain Market isn’t happening after all; acclaimed Chicago restaurant Grace shuttered after its GM and chef left, followed by a kitchen staff walkout; New Orleans chef Alon Shaya won’t buy back restaurant Shaya from John Besh and is suing for the rights to use his name; José Andrés will open his Dallas outpost of Zaytinya in February and will also provide the food at a Vegas Esports arena shortly thereafter; food service workers at Chicago O’Hare went on strike; the SF Babu Ji closed; Seattle restaurateur Renee Erickson is expanding to from Seattle to LA; the megawatt restaurateurs behind Tartine, Kin Khao, and Cala are collaborating on a food hall for SFO; the team behind LA’s Bestia will open a Middle Eastern restaurant; Houston chef Chris Shepherd is plotting two new restaurants; Eataly is expanding to London; the first of chef Erik Bruner-Yang’s much-anticipated restaurants at the Line Hotel D.C. opened this week; transcendent Brooklyn sandwich shop Saltie will close next week; Shake Shack will open in Nashville in 2018; the owners of Montreal’s beloved Le Club Chasse et Pêche opened a low-key Mile End tavern; SF’s Noon All Daylooks pretty delightful; Houston’s hottest new bar is a high-class honky tonk; and London restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King just made a whole lot of money.
- Reviews: One star for throwback burgers at Beep’s in SF; three stars for the revamped Reynard in NYC.
- Robert Sietsema’s and Ryan Sutton’s best dishes of 2017.
- Oh hey, we hired a travel editor and promoted a whole ton of people.
- The true meaning of a KFC Christmas.
- Trend alert: ax-throwing bars opened in Charlotte and Brooklyn (note: they already exist in Montreal, Detroit, and Toronto).
- How Harry & David cornered the market on pricey mail-order pears.
This week on the Upsell
This week on the our podcast Eater Upsell, my co-host Dan and I spoke with Eater NY editor Serena Dai about the behind-the-scenes process of reporting out the investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Mario Batali. Give it a listen here.
- I disagree with the assertion that food journalists only need to inform “readers about new restaurants and offer an opinion about them as places to dine” without taking into account the actions of the owners. [CultureMap]
- Watch how four rich guys with great accents became kings of the New York culinary world. [CNN]
- Cool thing: Pittsburgh chef to run for office. [Pittsburgh Magazine]
- Another cool thing: a letter to Souvla from Michelle Obama. [Twitter]