The Lists

News to Know in the World of Fine Dining This August

news fine dining August 2019

What news do you need to know in the world of fine dining, food and wine this August 2019? Our Food Editor Nicole Douillet has the top 5 headlines from the world of food and wine this month.

news to know in the world of fine dining this august 2019

Every month our Food Editor Nicole Douillet gives us her inside take on the top 5 things to know from the world of food and fine dining. This month, a partnership dissolves, a Chicago chef strikes out on his own, and a UK restaurant proves that a good job can change a life. Curious about the big events in the world of fine food, wine, spirits and craft beer this month? Click here.

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1. The partners behind Eleven Madison Park part ways

The most famous (and possibly most successful) bromance in the restaurant industry is coming to an end. In breaking news in fine dining, in early August Will Guidara and his business partner, Chef Daniel Humm, owners of Eleven Madison Park, the NoMad, and Made Nice, announced that they will be parting ways.

Chef Humm will buy out Guidara’s interest in their restaurant group, Make It Nice, and continue to operate the group’s current and future projects. Guidara has plans for his own restaurant group, but hasn’t spilled any details yet.

Guidara is also the creator of The Welcome conference, which has been an annual event held in New York for hospitality industry enthusiasts. Going forward, he plans to host regional Welcome conferences. The first one will be held in Chicago next month. Past speakers have included chefs like Rick Bayless and Gabrielle Hamilton, as well as celebrities like Seth Meyers and Jon Batiste. I’m looking forward to seeing what else Guidara has up his sleeve.

new fine dining August

Chef Daniel Humm and business partner Will Guidara at Eleven Madison Park. Photo Credit: New York Times.

2. Great Gold opens in San Francisco

San Francisco favorite Flour + Water is opening Great Gold, a red sauce joint in the Mission. Great Gold will go into the space formerly occupied by Korean restaurant Foxsister, and will keep the decor largely unchanged.

Starting later this week, diners can choose from dishes like clams casino, garlic focaccia, and bucatini amatriciana. There will also be three family-style, fixed-price options. For example, The Jojo for $50/person includes tomato bread, antipasti, chop salad, meatballs, cavatelli with corn (which I am dying to try!), Johanna’s eggplant parm, and one side. If you go and have the cavatelli, please tell me how it is!

Great Gold will move into the space formerly occupied by Foxsister in the Mission in San Francisco. Photo Credit: Eater SF.

3. A Spiaggia Chicago star moves on

Top Chef season 15 winner Joe Flamm has announced that he is leaving his post as executive chef of Chicago standout, Spiaggia. Eric Lees will take the helm after Flamm departs at the end of next month.

Flamm hasn’t given many details about his plans, but he did say that he hoped to open his own Italian restaurant when he won Top Chef.  Spiaggia owner Tony Mantuano, who cooked for the Obamas when they frequented the restaurant, has had many protégés go on to great success on their own. Some of his alums include Missy Robbins of Misi and Lilia, Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard of Girl and the Goat, and Top Chef contestant Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverdi, all of whom remain close to Mantuano and consider him a friend and mentor. So, there’s a good chance that when and if Flamm opens a new restaurant, it will quickly become a Chicago hot spot, too.

news fine dining August

Pappardelle from spiaggia on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Photo credit: Matt Haas.

4. Restaurant internships reduce recidivism in the UK

There’s actually some good news from the world of fine dining this August. A charity in the UK that offers inmates training in restaurant work has seen an impressive decrease in the rate of repeat offenses. The Clink, a hospitality charity that partners with Her Majesty’s Prison Service, operates four restaurants across the country with the flagship “prison restaurant” operating at Brixton Prison.

So far, the recidivism rate for participants in the program has been 11% compared to 32% for similar inmates who did not participate in the program, and 37% more broadly. The Brixton restaurant offers accredited qualifications in food and beverage service, professional cookery, and food hygiene. It also supports graduates after release and helps them find employment. The charity doesn’t claim to be the cure for a larger problem, but it’s program has shown impressive results.

Some good news from the world of fine dining in August: The Clink restaurant is making a difference in the UK.

5. Actor Depardieu auctions contents of La Fontaine Gaillon wine cellar

Finally, in the news from the world of fine dining this August, Gérard Depardieu is putting the contents of his recently shuttered Parisian restaurant, La Fontaine Gaillon, up for auction this week. He sold the restaurant last month, after the sale of other Parisian assets including a mansion, a fishmonger, and a deli.

The outspoken actor has been critical of higher taxes on the wealthy in France, and gave up his citizenship to become a citizen of Russia in 2013. Then in 2018, he moved from Saransk, Mordova in central Russia to the Siberian city, Novosibirsk, because Mordova officials claimed that he owed back taxes. I digress. Anyway. The crown jewel of the La Fontaine Gaillon was the wine cellar, and many of those treasures will hit the auction block this week. Bidders can expect to see vintage Chateau Latour, Cote-Rotie, and Mersault worth upwards of $6,000 per bottle.

news fine dining August

Parisian Restaurant La Fontaine Gaillon Photo Credit: Le Parisien.

the news you should know in the world of fine dining August 2019

That’s it. That’s the top news to know in the world of fine dining this August. You’re good to go – have a great month.

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.

Nicole Douillet is a Wall Street executive and lifelong lover of food and drink. She is currently the Food Editor of Dandelion Chandelier, and a senior advisor to several fintech companies. Nicole serves on the Advisory Council for Action Against Hunger | ACF International. She is a former junior Olympic skier, serial restaurant regular, and two-time chili cook-off champion. She lives with her wife and two little ones in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where her kids’ favorite neighborhood restaurant is Lilia. Nicole is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

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