New York’s Michelin Stars Announced with Better Manners This Year
Thanks to all of the hype surrounding today’s announcement of New York City restaurants that have earned Michelin Stars, you probably already forgot about last year’s fiasco: someone at Michelin thought it would be a good idea to announce the news via Twitter at the same time restaurants were notified via the traditional telephone method. I’m all for technological progress, but chefs, GMs and restaurants generally were not happy with the method, nor the #StarStruck hashtag.
Anyway, the Michelin Guide smartly went back to phone calls this time around, though it supplemented the news-giving with some cheeky Twitter commentary. While the notification system may have remained (mostly) the same for the last ten years, reporting on the stars sure hasn’t. Outlets like Eater asked chef and restaurants to tweet their news as soon as possible; and most media outlets knew the recipients long before restaurant publicists blasted news through their networks, a marked difference from restaurant reporting of yore.
So, yeah, big deal — reporting has changed in the digital era with the advent of Twitter and other tools that allow restaurants (and any business, really) to control their own messaging. But I like this! I like this a lot. And it’s always interesting to watch. Congrats to all the starred businesses in New York today; exciting stuff!
Robots: Yes / No / Maybe?
Are restaurant robots in our future? YES, says Yahoo Food. NO, says Yahoo Finance. (To be fair, the pieces were penned by completely different authors with different perspectives, but the fact that that these two pieces, with opposite headlines, were posted within hours of each other makes me giggle.)
This is a good example of the state of food tech: lots of innovation and ideas. Lots of great ideas. Lots of different opinions and an increasing need for awareness and understanding to understand what technology is appropriate for different restaurants. (Easy example: touch-screen ordering is awesome at an Applebees, but don’t even think about it at a fancier, sit-down spot.) Both articles are worth a read to understand differing opinions and options in restaurant tech, but no one comes close to definitively answering the question.
Thug Kitchen’s Creators Revealed
Launched a year-and-a-half ago, Thug Kitchen, the funny and NSFW vegan recipe site, now has a cookbook on the way. Its creators have stepped out from behind their internet anonymity, and to some people’s surprise* it’s not produced by a couple of bros in a frat house. Instead, the creators are 29-year-olds Matt Holloway and Michelle Davis, food lovers from LA who produce the whole blog on their own.
The Thug Kitchen story is one of sweet internet success. The pair started the blog after noticing the flowery-sometimes-ridiculous descriptive language on other food sites and decided to operate under the premise: “What if somebody had a healthy food site that would yell at people to eat a goddamn salad?” It was quickly picked up around the internet (most famously by Gwyneth Paltrow), and became a whole thing. And, thanks to the operating principles of the internet, its founders were able to stay anonymous, but decided to “out” themselves ahead of their cookbook launch, because who wants to buy a cookbook produced by anonymous writers?
Thug Kitchen’s success plays nicely into my theory that the best content on the internet will naturally rise to the top; here’s wishing them continued success.
(Also, how good does this bean and beer chili recipe look?)
*You probably shouldn’t be surprised.
Go Home Ben & Jerry’s (and stop calling it San Fran!)
Promoted Tweets = an awesome way to advertise. Misguided promoted Tweets = a good way to show an extended online audience that you just don’t get it. The Tweet in question comes from @BenJerrysWest, who is apparently trying to position itself as some sort of expert on San Francisco restaurants. Why? I have no idea, but their list of “best brunch” messes up the name of a neighborhood (seriously, how do you screw up “The Mission”) and places another very famous San Francisco brunch spot (Plow) in the wrong neighborhood. (It’s smack in the middle of Potrero Hill, guys.)
Here, a great example of how to alienate potential customers by faking some sort of connection to the community, but missing on the details. It’s immediately evident to any San Franciscan reading the piece that this was thrown together hastily by someone out of touch with the scene. Stick to ice cream, maybe? Not every site needs editorial content to succeed.
- That “Yelp” restaurant (aka Botto Bistro in San Francisco) is really riding its 15 minutes — Botto Bistro
- To Kickstart: an interactive “unconventional cookbook” from Alta Editions — Kickstarter
- ICYMI: a full list of today’s announced New York City Michelin-starred restaurants — GrubStreet