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Marya

Gabrielle Hamilton's tone deaf moment

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https://www.foodandwine.com/news/gabrielle-hamilton-partners-with-ken-friedman

I just finished reading Blood, Bones & Butter and acquired a new admiration for this talented chef. After her pronouncements in this article, I only see a broken moral compass. Alluding to this project as comparable to Jose Andres' untiring work in Puerto Rico was really rich.

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How incredibly odd that anyone of any gender or preference would partner with this guy. 

 

I can only imagine that it's a sweet business deal....that she'll buy out Friedman at some time in the future at a very favorable price. 

 

Why else would anyone do it?

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Just the idea of letting the place, in its current incarnation... with its current setup (e.g. the 3rd floor rape room), continue in business seems like a bad move. But I love Prune's food, so maybe nail the door upstairs shut and keep on cooking good stuff... But rebrand ASAP. 

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My curiosity about her long-term goals is effectively nullified by the bad judgement of partnering with a restaurant owner who kept a special room reserved for predatory activity.

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I cannot believe that comparison. She's bailing out men from their own 'man-made' disaster, where they indulged themselves in criminal activity by abusing people -and she's looking to profit from it. She's rewarding them! These men should be working their fingers to the bone to make their victims something like whole again: jump starting and elevating the victims careers,  paying for their pain and suffering, doing penance in a meaningful and significant way -as in being stripped of their wealth and vacation homes, etc. To compare herself to a chef selflessly working (without pay, on his own dime) to help people whose lives were upended by a hurricane, is beyond the pale.

 

I don't care how good the food is, I'll never eat at Prune or any of the 'second marriage' places either.

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After reading the article, I found myself wondering had I fallen and hit my head... what the hell did I just read? Broken moral compass indeed, I think she's lost any sense of morality.  Exactly how do you think you're going to hire staff that will trust you after this move?

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The only way this makes sense is if Hamilton has a majority of the shares of the company, and Friedman is a silent partner and persona non grata on the premises.  

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Bourdain would've ripped her a new one. 

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Pete Wells (NYT main restaurant critic for those of you not in the know) writes about "the communication breakdown" between Hamilton and Twitter:

 

 

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As an aside, thank you to Invision for making it possible for me to post Twitter threads directly without having to do the screenshot thing...

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4 minutes ago, ProfessionalHobbit said:

Pete Wells (NYT main restaurant critic for those of you not in the know) writes about "the communication breakdown" between Hamilton and Twitter:

 

 

One would think a NYT columnist would be able to compose a tweet that makes sense and actually says something. 

 

Clearly I expect too much. 

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I read quite a bit of the twitter posts including linked articles. And, yes, it can be difficult for criminals to find work, particularly non-famous ones. No, I don't think they should all be executed, and yes, there may be a glut of them in the next few years. We cannot just pass the problem along, as was the case with many college professors who were fired but not charged -they would up at different schools and re-offended. What people need to remember here is that the damage done to their victims can be permanent and profound. Our focus should always be on the victims first.

 

If the perpetrators need jobs, let them work in areas with minimal human contact like commercial laundries, appliance repair businesses, automotive repair and maintenance, etc. They certainly should never, ever be supervisors again. What Gabrielle Hamilton is doing is re-elevating criminals to their prior job status, which they originally achieved through crushing the spirits and skills of others -because, presumably, that's all they know. What Hamilton ought to be doing is partnering with some victims and elevating them to upper level management, where they have belonged all along.

 

THIS is my favorite TED talk, about the pecking order at work and how it does not work. These people ran a business based on pecking order and it needs to be smashed apart and replaced with fair equitable collaboration.

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I have mixed feelings about this.

 

Of course Freidman is a pig and shouldn't be in business. But the reality is he is still in business, and unlikely to go anywhere--who better to right the ship and re-think and instill a more progressive culture than Gabrielle Hamilton? They might have a chance to be at the forefront of a kitchen culture revolution and to spread it from the inside out. 

 

Where is the outrage thread against April Bloomfield? As far as I'm concerned, she's (almost) just as guilty. She worked along side him for 15+ years, never once reported or called the authorities (as far as I can tell). At best she's complicit in all the wrongdoings that went on...why does she get to continue to own/operate restaurants on the West Coast and in the city? Why all the hate for GH (who, at least, seems to be trying to actively change things)?

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4 hours ago, Qwerty said:

 

Where is the outrage thread against April Bloomfield? As far as I'm concerned, she's (almost) just as guilty. She worked along side him for 15+ years, never once reported or called the authorities (as far as I can tell). At best she's complicit in all the wrongdoings that went on...why does she get to continue to own/operate restaurants on the West Coast and in the city? Why all the hate for GH (who, at least, seems to be trying to actively change things)?

 

Indeed. Bloomfield is a villain here.  Maybe the most egregious one short of Batali/Friedman.

 

BTW I've never had a bite of her food, but I never liked her refusal to take blue cheese off a hamburger. Over-inflated self regard. (And just to defang the chef as artist argument...this isn't like telling Whistler to paint his mother with a smile. Its a burger...in fact, my burger...I commissioned it).

 

 

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I agree that Bloomfield is also a problematic actor, although she is divorcing herself from the situation and has not been seeking publicity. But, that's off-topic for this thread. Go back, read the title here.

 

Hamilton compared her bailout and re-elevation of rapists to Jose Andres' work in Puerto Rico with hurricane victims. That's what we're discussing.

 

There are millions of bad actors out their, and enablers. And many of them undoubtedly have worked in the foodservice industry. Feel free to start a separate discussion about them. This thread is about Hamilton's interview.

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