The Eater Wrap: Alice's Humdinger, Alemany's Debacle and Hubert's Big Win
Welcome back to our partnership with Eater. For this weekly Friday column, Eater editor Paolo Lucchesi gives his report on all the restaurant news that's fit to print, including controversy at the Alemany market, Michael Mina chatter, some Top Cheffage, and oh so much more.
1) The week got started with some good old-fashioned rumorsquashing, with the news that starchef Michael Mina will not be closing his eponymous Union Square flagship, and has renewed his deal with the Westin St. Francis. Bonus: Mina then explained the behind-the-scenes action in an interview.
2) The Alemany Farmers Market made headlines when it was revealed that it was giving the boot to several of its longest-standing vendors after undergoing a controversial application process. Protests/petitions from vendor-lovers are very much underway.
3) The premiere episode of Top Chef Masters finally took place, and lo and behold, it wasn't exactly the show that many—including yours truly—anticipated. Of course, that's not say it was anywhere close to Top Chef standards, but Hubert Keller reminded everyone he's still a rock star and as Iron Chef has proven, there's something enjoyable about watching top-flight chefs prove themselves in ridiculous scenarios. The girl scouts were terrible though.
4) Following an epic neighborhood battle to simply open, North Beach froyo shop Swirl Culture finally succumbed to the shutter after less than a year of business.
5) They didn't make too many headlines, but two very significant industry personnel shuffles took place this week. First, Vincent Nattress gave notice at Meadowood, where he has been the exec chef for the last several years. Perhaps even more notably, Quince managed to woo NYC wine star David Lynch to be its wine director for the new Myth takeover.
6) The overlap of 7x7 readers and the Richmond's skee ball/PBR crowd probably encompasses, oh, one to three people, who might want to note that Geary's Buckshot has had its liquor license suspended until July. Violations include after-hours shenanigans and moral turpitude. Fun!
7) Finally, the quote of the week belong to Alice Waters, describing how her last meal fantasy—the very un-PC shark fin soup—could be local. Take it away, A-Dubs: "Now, I don't know, I've never gone out there, but we know there's sharks off the California coast. I'd be getting someone to take those fins off."