Seattle's most rapidly growing restaurant group is going tip-free, a must-read interview with Salare's Edouardo Jordan, better/worse news about fish, and more.
1. ANOTHER SEATTLE RESTAURATEUR GOES TIP-FREE: The extremely prolific Huxley Wallace Collective from Josh Henderson is phasing out tipping in favor of a service charge. “The whole act of tipping is something we feel from a basic level is, to some degrees, racist, chauvinistic,” Henderson says, and Eater Seattle points us to a must-read Washington Post piece on just that.
2. ON BEING BLACK IN THE KITCHEN: “Name a black chef who’s won an award besides Marcus Samuelsson. It’s a celebrity show, culinary politics.” Seattle’s Edouardo Jordan speaks truth in Lucky Peach.
3. GOOD FISH-NEWS: President Obama has signed legislation effectively banning U.S. import of Southeast Asian slave-labor fish, “part of a flurry of recent actions by the White House, federal agencies, international trade unions and foreign governments to address lawlessness at sea and to better protect offshore workers and the marine environment.” The amendment closed a loophole in the Tariff Act of 1930, which barred products made by forced labor in the States but, in a horrifying little bit of Americana, had “exempted goods derived from slavery if American domestic production could not meet demand.” This could potentially be brought to bear on other imports made with slave labor, e.g., some of the cocoa used to make chocolate to satiate the U.S. sweet tooth. That’s the good (or at least potential-reduction-in-horrifying) fish-news, but…
4. BAD FISH-NEWS: Here at home, researchers have found Prozac, Advil, Benadryl, Lipitor, cocaine and more drugs in the tissue of salmon in Puget Sound, thanks to wastewater discharge. In a feat of understatement, “You have to wonder what it’s doing to the fish,” a NOAA scientist says.
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5. THE LATEST ON GMOs: With documents newly unsealed in the case, State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has called the plot by hidden corporate donors to stop GMO labeling in Washington “egregious” and “among the worst in state history.” Meanwhile, a Republican senator has introduced a new DARK-Act-style bill on the matter of GMO labeling, and Tom Colicchio is not happy about it — and he’s gotten 2,000 (and counting) other unhappy chefs to sign a petition against it.
- Vinason Pho & Grill in South Lake Union (a husband-and-wife-run, tiny to-go spot where Toi Taco used to be, making under-$10, locally/non-GMO sourced Vietnamese food, with sweet website typos and durian macarons, too!?)
- Gracia in Ballard (former Matt’s in the Market chef Chester Gerl’s Mexican place, probably really good)
- Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar (from well-known Hawaiian restaurateur DK Kodama)
- Saint Helens in Laurelhurst (a bistro from Henderson’s Huxley Wallace Collective)
- Sam’s Tavern in South Lake Union (the first one’s on Capitol Hill)
NOW CLOSED: Rikki Rikki in Kirkland (after 26 years, due to redevelopment; they hope to find a new location and reopen soon).
FOOD EVENTS: Dine out for the children! Today, Thursday, Feb. 25, is Nom Nom, a fundraiser in which 30-plus favorite Seattle restaurants (including Ba Bar, Etta’s, Kedai Makan, Le Pichet, Little Uncle, Mamnoon, Omega Ouzeri and Salted Sea) donate a portion of the day’s proceeds to four local kids-and-food organizations (Pike Market Child Care and Preschool, Beecher’s Pure Food Kids Foundation, Green Plate Special and Upower). All you have to do is choose from the list and go eat!… And here are some more ways to amuse your bouche.