Wanna be a VIP at NYC's Dame? Pay $1000 for its NFT
And more links
The pop-up turned permanent restaurant Dame — the one that’s closed on Saturdays and was mobbed by anti-vaxxers — is “offering the ability to join Affable Hospitality Club giving members access to reservations for parties of 2 and 4 through 2022!” reads the announcement. Gain access to the ardest tables in NYC as well as other potential Dame and FOH community benefits.” There are a bunch of rules such as requirements that NFT holders book tables more than 24 hours in advance and can only one table per week “to give all holders a chance to secure tables.”
Other restaurants on Front of House NFT list offering exclusive stuff in some cases for deep pockets: Emmett’s on Grove, Wildair, Hanoi House. Other NFTs are just for fun like some that were a part of this past weekend’s NFT edible food hunt.
You can read more about the NFT restaurant boom here and more about Front of House here.
Is plant-based meat losing ground?
From Forbes’ Lifeless Market for Meatless Meat:
Plant-based meats seem to fizzle before the trend ever really got going. Through the early weeks of the pandemic, fake-meat sales grew some 200% at retail outlets, and the hype around that helped the sector secure more than $2 billion in funding. Yet, aside from that brief spike in 2020, the foods haven’t sold well. In 2021, sales in the U.S. stagnated, according to the latest data from the Plant-Based Foods Association. Global growth in annual retail dollar sales has been slowing, too. Last year they rose 17% to $5.6 billion after growing 33% in 2020.
Tupac’s cafe has opened in LA
The Shakur Estate, family of the late rapper/actor Tupac Shakur, has opened its pop-up, Powamekka Cafe, in Los Angeles. Open until June 30, the restaurant was conceived by the late rapper/actor: “representing the finest in ‘down home Southern,’ [it] was to serve as a place for friends and family to get together and ‘escape the worldz cold reality.’”
These are winners of the James Beard awards
Congratulations on well-deserved nominations and wins in the most challenging time for restaurants.
José Andrés Is Opening in D.C.’s Old Post Office now that Trump has left
Seven years after it appeared an argument over Trump’s ideas on immigration caused José Andrés to back out of running a restaurant in what was then Trump’s Old Post Office hotel in downtown DC, Trump is out of both the District and that building, and Emily Heil reports in WaPo: “A location of the Bazaar, Andrés’ globe-spanning concept, will open later this year under the hotel’s new management, a Miami investment fund called CGI Merchant Group that will operate it as a Waldorf Astoria. Andrés is no mere tenant in the deal; he also owns an undisclosed share of the fund.”
I would be careful about calling this a “last laugh” scenario though. When CGI bought the hotel from Trump, the AP said, “Sources close to the deal demanding anonymity… have said that the price was $375 million, handing the Trump family business perhaps as much as $100 million in profit.” So, more of a, “Chuckle, chuckle, sigh,” maybe.
What it’s like to go to a bar in Hong Kong right now
Speaking of Family Meal (we’re big fans), Andrew Genung gives us some insight into what it’s like to visit a bar in Hong Kong right now:
Here in beautiful Hong Kong, I’m headed off to meet a friend at a bar. In order to get into that bar, I have to take an RAT test, write my name and today’s date on it, take a picture of it, and present that at the door along with proof of vaccination and proof that I’m using the government’s contact tracing app. If I fail to do any part of that, and they catch me, I will be fined maybe a couple hundred USD. If the bar fails to check any part of that and they get caught, they will be mandated closed for two weeks.
And how does the government check, you ask? By sending roving squads of uniformed health inspectors into bars and restaurants, turning on all the lights, stopping the music, and checking every single person in the place.
Same like where you are, right? Right.
These are the new additions to the California Michelin Guide
Awards will be announced in the fall.
The politics of potato rolls
From New York Magazine’s Intelligencer:
….Pennsylvania-based Martin’s Potato Rolls “had propped up” Republican State Senator and Pennsylvania governor candidate Doug Mastriano, “who had been little known outside of his district before the pandemic. Over the past two years, Mastriano has won a die-hard base by casting his opposition to lockdown mandates as a holy battle, a framing he also used to claim the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. After the election, Mastriano organized buses for, and attended, the rally that precipitated the attack on the Capitol.”
This woman led the way to unionizing a coffee giant
From the New York Times: Why a Rhodes Scholar’s Ambition Led Her to a Job at Starbucks.
A World Central Kitchen train was bombed by Russian forces
On June 15, chef José Andrés posted on Twitter that a Russian missile blew up a World Central Kitchen train transporting food throughout Eastern Ukraine. The chef and humanitarian confirmed that no one was hurt in the attack and that most of the food on the train was salvageable after the attack. The chef also vowed that World Central Kitchen would not be deterred by the attack.
Black farmers launch agritourism trail in Georgia
From Sheeka Sanahori in The Food Section: