Every month, our Food Editor Nicole Douillet shares her top headlines from the world of restaurants, food and wine. So if you’ve got foodies in your life, or if you yourself are one, here are some quick news bites for the month of July 2018. Curious about big events in the world of food and drink this month? Click here.
1. Missy Robbins has been making news since winning the title of Best Chef New York City at the 2018 James Beard Foundation Awards in May. She and her recipe for Orecchiette Marinated Eggplant, Burrata, and Chiles were featured in the New York Times Magazine, and she was also a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers, preparing her veal and pork meatballs simmered in her 30-garlic clove tomato sauce. (Yep, it’s just as delicious as it sounds). The food media blew up when she revealed to Seth Meyers the name of her upcoming restaurant, which will also be located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The chef has chosen an eponymous name, which will be spelled “Misi“. Look for a fall opening of the pasta-focused spot.
2. San Pellegrino’s The World’s 50 Best Restaurants were announced in June, and Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy reclaimed the top honors. Chef Massimo Bottura’s twelve-table restaurant takes the coveted #1 spot from New York City-based Eleven Madison Park, marking the second time it has held this top position. Massimo Bottura is known not just for his 3 Michelin-star meals. In 2016, Chef Bottura founded a non-profit called Food for Soul to address the problem of world hunger by examining the issue of food waste. He led the charge of chefs who, during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, re-purposed unused food from the Olympic Village to feed the hungry. And his most recent cookbook, Bread Is Gold, is not a greatest hits from Osteria Francescana, but rather a compilation of recipes gathered from other world class chefs that use ingredients most home cooks would discard as the centerpiece of delicious meals. No matter which restaurant you may have wanted to see at the top, kudos to Chef Bottura, who is clearly deserving of recognition and praise.
3. The Michelin Guide launched in a new city last month. If you have any upcoming trips to Guangzhou, China planned, check out Michelin’s top picks before making reservations. This is The Michelin Guide’s second foray into mainland China, and it highlights eight restaurants which have each earned one star. Many others were given the Guide’s Bib Gourmand recognition for “exceptionally good food at moderate prices.” Guangzhou, considered the home of Cantonese food, joins Hong Kong, Macao, and Shanghai as part of the Guide’s Asian expansion.
4. If you live in New York City or San Francisco, you may have noticed a new trend toward self-service restaurants. As restaurant overhead in these two cities continues to rise, some restaurateurs have made a dramatic cost-savings move: eliminating waiters. In an effort to keep check sizes down for diners, and still cover back-of-house expenses, some restaurants leave the table service to customers. Want a refill on your water? The water station is over there. Another glass of wine? Head to the counter to place your order. The same goes for food orders. When food or drinks are ready, a runner will deliver them to your table, but don’t ask for more bread when your main course is dropped – you’ll have to go to the counter for that. It remains to be seen if this becomes a wider-spread trend, but for now, the model seems to be working. (And it hasn’t gone unnoticed, at least by us, that McDonald’s is employing the same technique, but in reverse: you can experience almost that identical level of table service at most Mickey D’s in Manhattan. So it must be the wave of the future . . . )
5. And finally, and sadly, the culinary industry mourned the loss of Anthony Bourdain in June. The chef and gifted storyteller tragically took his own life while filming a new episode of his popular CNN series Parts Unknown in the Alsace region of France. Bourdain rose to fame after publishing an insider’s look at restaurant practices with his first book, Kitchen Confidential. Tony was gifted as a writer, and had a unique ability to distill down differences between people and culture to the most basic human needs – food and family. He will be greatly missed.
Nicole Douillet is Dandelion Chandelier’s Food Editor. In addition to sharing her love of all things food with our readers, Nicole is a finance executive who has spent nearly 18 years on Wall Street in a variety of roles. She began her career as the first woman hired as a trader on the block trading desk at UBS. For over 13 years, Nicole was a quantitative trader and portfolio manager on the proprietary trading desk at Credit Suisse. She then served as Head of Product Innovation and LGBT Strategy for Wealth Management Private Banking New Markets at Credit Suisse. Most recently, Nicole co-founded Reboot Investing, Inc. where she served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. A recognized leader in socially responsible investing, Nicole created the ground-breaking Credit Suisse LGBT Equality Index ® and co-authored “What’s the Effect of Pro-LGBT Policy on Stock Price?” for the Harvard Business Review in 2014. Nicole currently serves on the Advisory Council for Action Against Hunger | ACF International. She is a former junior Olympic skier, food and drink aficionado, serial restaurant regular, and chili cook-off champion. She and her wife live in Brooklyn with their son, whose favorite restaurant is Lilia. Nicole is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.