This post originally appeared on April 28, 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.
Before we get started, I just want to give a big shout out to this guy who got a tattoo of the lead illustration in a piece I wrote two years ago about the lack of maternity leave in the restaurant industry. You Are Cool.
Okay. I’m writing this on Friday afternoon, a few hours before the James Beard Foundation Media Awards Dinner. By the time you get this I will either be reveling in our victory or wallowing in our defeat (Eater is up for four awards). [Update, April 30: Here’s the full list of 2018 James Beard Foundation Media Award winners.] Having been on the judging end, receiving end, and engineering end of various awards — and their complicated cousin, the Best-Of List — I can definitely say… awards are often pretty silly.
Some are decided by a small crew of gatekeepers, some a network of peers collaborating in person, some are decided over email, some are just online forms sent out to hundreds of panelists around the country — or some permutation of the above. I like that the JBF media awards are decided by peers, and judges must weigh in on every single entry. I don’t love that judging is not done in person, so judges can’t argue with one another about the nuances of submissions or raise potential personal biases. Doing it via an online portal must help keep the submission cost low, but happens at the expense of a certain degree of credibility.
Anyway, awards are fickle. But at their best, they spotlight excellent work across the industry that might have been overlooked. They motivate people to put out good work. And they put shy journalists in the position of putting on a blazer and some nice shoes to go stand up in front of their peers and bask in the glory of their adoration and envy. Which is a fun change of pace.
Win or lose, you should check out the work of our nominees:
- Going Viral by Vince Dixon, with design from Brittany Holloway-Brown and video from Ellie Kirn and Ian Stroud
- Drink Seltzer, Live Forever by contributor Liam Baranauskas
- The many reviews of our roving critic Bill Addison
- Christ in the Garden of Endless Breadsticks by former executive editor Helen Rosner
And if you are in this world or follow food media people, I hope your faves won last night and your enemies lost. (Unless we are your enemy, in which case I, once again, hope we won.)
Opening of the week: Una Pizza Napoletana
Who’s behind it? Pizza perfectionist Anthony Mangieri (he of Una Pizza in the East Village and then Una Pizza in San Francisco) and the duo behind Contra and Wildair.
What is it? Una Pizza 3.0., which promises the same obsessed-over pizza but now accompanied by small plates, desserts, and a dining room big enough to seat 72.
Where is it? The Lower East Side, NYC
When did it open? They’ve had some friends and family dinners but it opens to the public on Monday.
- McDonald’s much-anticipated big new modernized flagship store with international menu items opened in Chicago and immediately ran out of international menu items; Dave Chang has a podcast; widely acclaimed now shuttered Chicago restaurant 42 Grams allegedly closed because of an incident of domestic abuse (and now the old Longman and Eagle chef is taking the space); Jessica Koslow’s giant new restaurant project Tel is no more; edible flowers are so hot in DC right now a farmer stopped growing arugula and radishes to meet demand; Enrique Olvera opened a tortilla shop in Mexico City; Burgerville became the first fast-food chain to unionize; big-deal Chicago restaurant Pacific Standard time will debut early next week; a slightly sexual pizza “museum” will open in New York; the World’s 50 Best people are still giving out a “best female chef award” in 2018; famous London restaurant the Ivy did something racist; a Charleston chef left her restaurant not too long after complaining to ABC News about customers and vendors who sexually harassed her (though she and ownership say it’s unrelated); Yotam Ottolenghi is opening a new restaurant; the Sushi Nakazawa inside the Trump Hotel will open in a few weeks; Danny Meyer is calling his new rooftop restaurant Manhatta; and next time we all go to London we’re going to check out the Neptune, right?
- We’re looking for a new Eater Nashville editor
- 21 questions with ‘Nailed It’’s Nicole Byer
- Pancakes never went away but now they’re an “it” carb
- Our SF restaurant critic Rachel Levin wrote a book about animal encounters that is very cute
- Steal all the design cues from uber-trendy MeMe’s Diner
- Mugaritz once test-piloted a dish that looks like a used condom
- Reviews: Bar Crenn in SF; and not a full-on review but a word of warning about Tetsu in New York
Last week on the Upsell
Dan and I talk baseball food. We chatted with Eater’s baseball fanatic Sonia Chopra about the takeaways from her big report on the new trends in stadium dining; Citi Field’s Patrick Schaeffer about cheese pulls and the power of Instagram; Union Square’s John Karangis about how they adapt Shake Shack for the stadium audience; and the Ringer’s Joe House about his strategy for dining at home and away stadiums.
- I loved loved loved loved loved T’s big package on 36 months in the ’80’s that changed culture forever. First: the essay by Frank Bruni is my favorite thing he’s done in a while. Second: nightlife watchers will love all the cameos by Eric Goode. Third: this line from editor-in-chief Hanya Yanagihara: “One thing that has united every New York transplant, probably since the beginning, is the persistent suspicion that you have arrived just a few months too late, that the circus that drew you to the city pulled up stakes just before you got here.” [T]
- SF Chronicle critic Michael Bauer released his annual Top 100 list, but none of the editors in the food section are promoting it, presumably because they publicly disagree with his decision to include restaurants owned by bad actors. The editors of the section (who don’t oversee Bauer for some illogical reason) recently wrote op-eds about how they do not want to promote the establishments owned by men accused of sexual harassment and other bad behavior. [SFChron]
- As The Family Meal pointed out, it is kind of fun to listen to Dave Chang try to sell some mattresses, but I also enjoyed the full episode. As usual, he’s surprisingly honest about his personal failures and struggles and what a restaurateur at his level faces when expanding. [Dave Chang Show]
- That feeling when you’ve been talking about doing a story for months and then someone else does it and does it really well. Like… it burns. But I’m happy it exists. [The Outline]
- Ditto this. [New Yorker]
- If those charcoal croissants from last week didn’t push you over the edge, this deconstructed avocado toast will. Either that or the Avolato. [Twitter]
- The origins of a West Virginia icon, the pepperoni roll. [Parts Unknown]
- GQ’s best new restaurants list. [GQ]
- This great data viz piece about the fact that there are more men named John than women in certain halls of power reminded me of the time I was looking at a food festival’s website to count female participants and noticed the rows upon rows of chefs named Matt. There were 13. And 11 Johns and 8 Adams and 20 Michaels/Mikes. [NYT]