The American restaurant business is a bubble, and that bubble is bursting. I've arrived at this conclusion after spending a year traveling around the country and talking to chefs, restaurant owners, and other industry folk for this series. In part one, I talked about how the Good Food Revival Movement™ created colonies of similar, hip restaurants in cities all over the country. In the series' second story, I discussed how a shortage of cooks -- driven by a combination of the restaurant bubble, shifts in immigration, and a surge of millennials -- is permanently altering the way a restaurant's back of the house has to operate in order to survive. This, the final story, is simple: I want you to understand why America's Golden Age of Restaurants is coming to an end.
What is a queer kitchen? Is there a recognizable queer style or sensibility that can be expressed through food? These questions and more were at the heart of a recent conversation hosted at the Williams Sonoma flagship store in San Francisco's Union Square during the city's Pride Weekend.
The Fruit Cutting Championships, a 2008 episode of the TV Tokyo variety show TV Champion 2, complete with commercials. Remarkably entertaining despite the language barrier (due to the visual nature of the competition). Event breakdown/explanation after the fold. [more inside]
Clarissa Dickson Wright has passed away, aged 66. The surviving half of the BBC cooking show Two Fat Ladies, she "was utterly non-PC and fought for what she believed in, always, with no thought to her own personal cost," her agent said in the announcement. [more inside]
If you become a cultural icon, those who come after in your field will almost certainly be compared to you and your achievements. And if you were the late Julia Child, ground-breaking television chef and champion of French cooking in the United States, you would find your name to be the first half of a lot of comparisons. The Julia Childs, as it were. [more inside]
Black Chefs' Struggle For The Top With the restaurant industry booming and chefs becoming celebrities and wealthy entrepreneurs, few blacks are sharing in that success, and as young black men and women enter the profession they are finding few mentors or peers. [more inside]
Why Are There No Great Women Chefs? In 2007 Michelin awarded French chef Anne-Sophie Pic three stars, making her only the fourth woman in her country’s history to receive that honor (ﬁfty years had passed since the last of her sex had garnered that third sparkler).2 The following year, in the United Kingdom, it was considered breaking news when ten female chefs won any Michelin stars at all...[For] the 2009 James Beard Awards gala... “Women in Food” was the chosen motif, but since only sixteen of the evening’s ninety-six nominees were, in fact, women, it seemed like a cruel joke. In the end, only two of those sixteen went home victorious, out of nineteen winners total...[I]n Bravo tv’s Top Chef Masters competition, a paltry three out of twenty-four American “Masters” were women. [via 3 Quarks Daily]
No Reservations marks the second foodie inspired movie out in the past couple months, after the charming Ratatouille. Slate pegs the animated movie as getting things right, with help from the well renowned Thomas Keller at the French Laundry. But at home and in professional kitchens, things aren't always so pristine. Is this foodie culture better for us, or just part of a greater problem?
Go Ask Alice When She's Ten Feet Tall: Alice Waters's extraordinary influence on the way we shop, cook and eat makes her one of the great American heroes (and European too, check out the Larousse Gastronomique), mostly to those of us who have never been (and will never be) lucky enought to eat at Chez Panisse. [More inside.]
Just Because They're Celebrity Chefs Doesn't Mean They Aren't Damn Fine Cooks: We're all supposed to yawn when it comes to TV Chefs, but that's just as silly as ignoring a writer or an actress because they're famous. Wolfgang Puck's website, for instance, is generously full of the most enticing recipes. On another note, my favourite TV chef, Rick Stein, has online a superb list of UK suppliers. Do you know of any other cuisine auteurs on the Web who are as generous with their savvy? Which chef wouldn't you mind having as your own private cook?