Money might be tight, but the industry is rich in inspiration
Well, well, well. There’s no doubt that the future is bleak for restaurants. And yet this week I’m feeling pretty inspired by the ways in which restaurants and food world folks are shifting gears to survive and give back to their communities.
I agree with Hannah Goldfield in the New Yorker when she says that she’d be happy to retain the opportunity to buy groceries from neighborhood restaurants for the longterm. After all, “Professional chefs excel at knowing not only how to cook but also, equally important, what to cook, and where to get the best ingredients.”
Meanwhile, Dan Barber started a conversation around the extinction of the farm-to-table movement by enlisting cooks from around the world to plant small gardens, Jessica Koslow is launching a new takeaway concept called Dalafel and wine store named Rolek’s, and Noma is reopening next week as a casual burger joint with ample picnic tables for sprawling outdoor dining. (Side note: it does seem a bit unlike Noma to sidestep making their own buns, no?) Read more in this conversation between four world-famous chefs and Howie Kahn, per the WSJ.
I’m particularly impressed with everything that the strategist and designer Anna Polonsky & co have done to raise money for immigrants in the industry through #AsksChefAnything. She’s right when she talks about the power of having a mission and crafting a brand.
And h/t to Lisa for sharing this Grub Street interview with Asian-veggies.com founder Joe Boo, which is refreshing in that it lacks meandering bullshit. He saw a need for something, knew he could build a solution, and it’s working. Simple as that.
There’s a long road ahead with more bad news to come, but it’s dotted with silver linings.
In the cart 🛒
These Omsom “starters” crafted in collaboration with stellar Asian chefs
A pelmeni party pack courtesy of Portland’s Kachka
Polka dot face masks made of excess fabric from women’s chef pants
On replay 🔊
From my kitchen 🍴
Fire & Ice—grilled bread slathered in olive oil and served with stracciatella and ‘nduja—is Roberta’s best off-menu appetizer and very easy to execute at home.
P.S. Don’t forget: summer is soon and ice cream cones are essential.
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