This post originally appeared on March 3, 2018, 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.
Last week, we launched an exciting new video project with feminist writer Jessica Valenti. Valenti, a bestselling author, columnist, and speaker, approached us last year about a series that would center on conversations with political figures over food. She wanted to try to humanize people who are often flattened in the media and on Twitter — people who are thought of as simply the issues they fight for, but nothing beyond that.
We said sure! I’m a longtime fan of Jessica’s column on The Toast (RIP) and was mostly curious to see who she could bring to the table, what they would end up discussing, and how our audience would respond to conversations that weren’t directly connected to restaurants or dishes.
The concept went through a few different iterations, but we eventually landed on a very straightforward, pared-down format — just Jessica, her subject, and a conversation that has a link to food. A few of the episodes open with intimate monologues connecting Jessica’s personal experience to the issue at hand.
We narrowed the show down to five episodes: author Lindy West talking about performative eating and fat shaming; author and culinary historian Michael Twitty talking about racism and food; reporter Shane Bauer on the power of food on both sides of the prison bars; TV host, professor, and writer Melissa Harris-Perry on the impact of hunger on education; and Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards on reproductive rights and her all-butter pie crust.
We’ve long believed our mission reaches beyond straightforward restaurant coverage, and we love to talk about politics and culture through the lens of food — but even for us, this was a big departure.
I hope you enjoy it.
- Intel: A prominent chef and restaurateur in Philly was suspended following sexual misconduct allegations; Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna Gaines opened a restaurant in Waco, Texas; the forthcoming New York location of Gjelina has hit a small snag; big-deal London chef Ollie Dabbous has a giant new restaurant project in the works; the folks behind Austin’s Ramen Tatsu-Ya are opening a new restaurant; New York’s Andrew Carmellini will open a massive place in the South Street Seaport; LA pasta maven Evan Funke is considering opening another restaurant; NYC’s Jim Lahey closed his pizzeria Co.; Detroit is getting a food hall/incubator; Eataly will expand to London; Dominique Crenn is plotting a new restaurant and boutique in SF’s Salesforce Tower; Chicago ice cream whiz Dana Cree will open her ice cream parlor in July; a pretty exciting new sushi restaurant just opened in the back of a Miami taco shop; Houston is getting an ax-throwing bar (continuing a previously mentioned trend); Malibu officially banned restaurant use of plastic straws and utensils; an LA pop-up restaurant operator made violent threats against Yelpers; and Atlanta’s new restaurant The White Bull sounds cool.
- Reviews: Taiwanese-American restaurant Win Son and Sichuan spot General Deb’s in New York.
- Wow, check out the design of Omar’s Place in London.
- I will definitely watch at least one episode of the TV version of Sweetbitter, which looks cliché as hell but already better than the original book.
- The complete guide to eating and drinking at SXSW 2018.
- How restaurant across the country bake giving back into the business model.
- The best po’ boys in New Orleans.
- I love this video of Torishin so much that I made a reservation over the weekend.
Last week on the Upsell
Last week we had a special double header of the Upsell podcast. The first part was a conversation with Dan Barber (of “best restaurant in America” fame) about the new, potentially revolutionary seed company he’s starting that will connect seed breeders to chefs. Episode two was a roundup of the best food stories in February, including our takes on Peter Rabbit’s allergy controversy, Queer Eye’s food guy Antoni, and Olive Garden’s Italian nachos. Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.
- Real Simple’s Dawn Perry on how to be the kind of boss you always wanted to have [F&W]
- Oh, COOL: Diageo introduces “Jane Walker” scotch in a bid to atttract women [Bloomberg]
- LA’s only restaurant critic flies 9,000 miles to spend column inches on New Noma [LAT]
- Could not stop giggling at my desk reading FAQ: Your New Cursed Instant Pot [McSweeney’s]
- The big food media Twitter hullabaloo this week revolved around IACP (an organization ostensibly for food professionals) awarding its Cookbook of the Year prize to its own CEO. I don’t really follow the conference or the awards or know much about the org at all, but this was a legit lol [WaPo]
- The perfect London menu and the perfect hipster Asian fusion menu [@go_scriptor; @I_Am_Ahjussi]
- Haha nope [Garden & Gun]
- The best black-owned restaurants in America [Travel Noire]
- Floyd Cardoz’s bread oven looks great [@floydcardoz]
- Has the pendulum swung too far in the direction of light, bright, mineral, and tangy wines? [Punch]
- If you are in Austin next weekend, please check out the awesome programming at The Deep End, a Vox Media space at SXSW 2018.
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