Biggest Food News Stories of 2012
In the sea of headlines you'll read throughout the day, few will likely have anything to do with food.
Unless that's your thing, of course.
But if you're like us, it is your thing, and you thrive on hearing news about restaurants and chefs just as much (or maybe more) as you would hearing about what's going on on Wall Street.
We've rounded up the five biggest food news stories to make headlines this year. Everything from the Twinkie Extinction to local names gone rogue. Guy Fieri's New York Times restaurant review? Yes, that made the cut too.
5. No Reservations breaks up with Travel Channel, rebounds with CNN
In May, all hell broke loose when Anthony Bourdain accused the network big wigs of the Travel Channel of product placement commercials that Bourdain specifically signed against in a contract for his show No Reservations. Ugly words were spoken on Tumblr. Lashing Tweets were Tweeted. Boring, politically correct public statements were made on behalf of the network. It was a full-on network-versus-star bar brawl. The car company Cadillac was caught in the spitfire, claiming they did not choose airtime, and it was all Travel Channel's doing that the commercials Bourdain specifically spoke against were aired during his show. In one of the final episodes of No Reservations, Bourdain accused the network of expertly editing scenes to make it seem as if he were endorsing a Cadillac which he just so happend to be filmed driving in the show. Bourdain said it was done without his knowledge, and certainly without his consent.
In the end, Bourdain signed a contract with CNN for a show called Parts Unknown, which is scheduled to premier sometime this spring.
Team Bourdain. Wherever he goes, he's taking his no bullshit attitude with him. And we could care less, and would watch whether it be on Travel Channel, CNN, or Cartoon Network.
4. Pete Wells has some words for Guy Fieri's restaurant In perhaps one of the greatest reviews in history, The New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells let Food Network's biggest tool have a slice of shit pie for breakfast. On November 13, all eyes were on The New York Times' Dining & Wine tab where Wells asked Fieri if he knew how un-awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Strips in his restaurant were. The slam went viral and garnered even more attention when Fieri fired back with something that sounded like, "I think he had some sort of hidden agenda."
Wells has only been the NYT critic for a year, and had never given a restaurant no stars and a "Poor" rating.
Team Wells. Please. We implore you. Anyone who thinks that this wasn't the kick to the face Food Network Fieri needed, speak up. We've got a seat waiting just for you. In Flavor Town.
3. Local restauranteur is arraigned on murder charges for allegedly forcing abortion on his then-girlfriend Miami is really a classy mess. With coke and hookers roaming the streets like animals grazing the Sahara, a local restauranteur trying to induce an abortion on his girlfriend by way of Misoprostol (a pill used for abortion) doesn't surprise many. Except, it does, because that's what Table 8 restauranteur Joshua Woodward allegedly did four times. And it's all fun and games until something like that happens close to home. All of the hullabaloo over the incident occurred in 2009, when the alleged crimes took place, but in October of this year, he was arraigned on four counts of "attempted, willful and premeditated murder."
We've since then learned that he has married Ocean Drive's editor in chief, Suzanne Buckley. They were married in Miami in August.
Team anyone but Joshua Woodward. Not that allegedly trying to induce a miscarriage on your clueless girlfriend is acceptable, but doing it on four different occasions? Whelp, the first time didn't work, so I guess I'll do it three more times until it's sure to happen. Lah dee dah! Yea, no.
2. Jonathan Eismann accused in fatal hit-and-run Former restauranteur Jonathan Eismann had seen better days before the morning of October 10. According to reports, Eismann was involved in a vehicle crash on the corner of NW Third Street and 72nd Avenue sometime around 8:47 a.m.. While driving away from the scene, he somehow lost control of his Ford Explorer SUV and hit pedestrian Juan Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene. As far as we've been able to track, charges have not been filed against Eismann. Adam Swickle, a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney, told a local reporter, "The mere fact that someone hit someone who dies doesn't automatically mean it's a crime."
Team Ruiz It's unfortunate that an innocent man who had big dreams of going to culinary school as early as next year had to lose his life so unexpectedly. The incident was understandably an accident, and in no way does it seem like Eismann had an agenda to seek out and kill Ruiz. But the loss of a life is just that -- a loss. If Eismann hadn't lost control of his car, Ruiz may be alive today. That's how we see it.
1. The death of Twinkies, and the bankruptcy of Hostess Back in January, Short Order brought it to your attention that the 82 year old company, and Texas-based brand Hostess declared bankruptcy. In a little less than one calendar year, Hostess announced they'd be going out of business and that America's all-time favorite snack and cream-filled criminal defense would dissolve into extinction -- resurrected only in textbooks of great American history. Upon hearing the news, the country practically fell to shambles. The headlines were everywhere, on every website, and across every paper and magazine. Boca Raton-based private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners privately expressed the interest in a buyout to save the company from liquidation. Several other companies expressed interest as well.
Team Twinkie-extinction (with conditions). It's a sponge cake with greasy filling inside. We can all do without it forever. It's a chapter of American pride that might be shown to the nearest exit, but shouldn't we be happy? If there's a way Hostess could make and market their products to fit a healthy (or healthier, at least) lifestyle and keep the same people employed, wouldn't that be the win-win for everyone? Do kids really need more Twinkies? We're a fat nation. We can do better than this.
Follow Alex on Twitter @ARodWrites.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Miami dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.