Jul 8, 2022 Metro Eats
I just started watching The Bear, a television show about a fine-dining chef who returns to his hometown of Chicago to take over his late brother’s sandwich shop. It’s a vicious take on the machismo (and masochism) of working in restaurant kitchens. The main character, Carmy, is a James Beard-award winning chef – a prodigy who most recently cheffed at real-life restaurant The French Laundry. Alongside struggling to keep this sandwich shop afloat, he’s warring with the fallout from working under an abusive chef, played by Joel McHale, who, via flashbacks (or recasting of memories) constantly tells Carmy he’ll never be good enough even as he’s plating – a beautiful dish that won’t betray any of this tension to the diners, who have paid upwards of $350 to eat it.
Most of the show takes place at the sandwich shop, a sensory overload of sizzling oil, sticky dough, and yelling. Tonally, the claustrophobia and urgency reminds me of any film the Safdie brothers have done (Good Time, Uncut Gems), and its barrage of noise recreates the effect of working in a kitchen – the necessity of always moving. For survival. I’m unsure if you’ll have much fun with this show if you actually currently work in hospitality; it kind of already gives me the sensation of wanting to throw up and curl up in a ball behind the stove. I do also think it does a good job at conveying the feeling of camaraderie and war-like bonds you form with people, and there are these little moments where a character eats something really tasty and reacts to it and you think: there. There it is.
Metro Sanpellegrino Young Chef Scholarship 2022
A reminder that the Metro Sanpellegrino Young Chef scholarship is open for entries! If you, or someone you know, would be interested in entering, you can find out more details and fill out the entry form here. We’ll give out the prize on awards night – which means the winner will get to go – plus a published recipe in the next issue, and $3000 NZD.
What’s Happening & What’s Good
Broke Boy Taco is popping up at Garage Project in Kingsland, serving black-beer birria tacos on 9 July from 12-8pm. It’s giving Black Parade.
I had extremely good ramen from my friends at Townhouse Ramen, who we did a pop up with last year. There’s just something about the noodles that gets me every time – this perfect al dente-ness that’s so missing from all the other ramen shops in Auckland. DM them about doing another pop-up and I think they could be convinced.
I went to harvest a ceramic at Panmure Train Station on the weekend, as part of Cindy Huang’s art installation Twin Cultivation. I think they’ve moved to Britomart now, and while sessions might not still be available, you can keep an eye on it for daily cancellations. I ended up with a taro, which has a lot of significance in the Chinese cooking I grew up eating – it was a very wholesome experience.
I just got back from lunch at Hugo’s Bistro, which is serving wapiti – very delicious, imo. There is a richness and feeling of indulgence in a lot of the food here; a restrained muchness that makes it feel like everything you’re eating is a treat, which is exactly what you want when you’re dining out.
If you know/love Plabita Florence and her restaurant Forest , she’s looking to grow and needs some help doing so. If you wanna chat about investment opps, you can find details at the linked post.
K Rd restaurant Alta is moving away from its strict set-menu-only option and switching to running a full a la carte menu instead. That means you can experience a full dinner, or stop by for snacks and a drink (note: there is a lovely courtyard out the back). I wrote a review on Alta in the last issue, here, when it was still running a set menu-only.
I saw someone wear this Up & Go party shirt on my Instagram stories and immediately thought of that one person in my life that is obsessed with Up & Go – I feel like everyone has that one person. You should send that one person this t-shirt. If you like food merch, Kiosk has also started selling the soy sauce fish lamp. I have one and find it is an excellent conversation starter and makes great mood lighting, since it’s portable (USB charged).
Chinese Cuisine is open now at 17 Pah Rd in Epsom, but be warned the line is sizable and you’ll probably have to wait a long time to eat there. It’s also selling out earlier than normal closing hours.
The team behind St Kevin’s Arcade restaurant Pici are opening something new on Dominion Road, in the old Pizza Rosso Pomodoro place (RIP). According to Instagram, it’ll be called OOH-FA, and you can expect fire and ferments – keep up to date here.
Intrigued by this fried rice restaurant, Jump Rice, in Chancery that bills itself as a “niche fried rice” restaurant. Fried rice, niche?
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