F&W Pro Newsletter: November 22, 2019

By Kat Kinsman
November 22, 2019
gmast3r/Getty Images

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Dear Pros,

I've lost track of what time zone Hunter is in this week, but if I were to send him an email, I bet his out-of-office message would tell me. It's a powerful tool, and as I've recently discovered, it’s not just for when you're trekking the globe.

A few days ago, I sent an email to one of our columnists, the writer and activist Julia Turshen. I was thrilled to hear back from her within seconds. I was even more impressed when I realized that it was actually an autoresponder that she sets, even if she's right there at her desk.

Julia has her head down, working on her next book (!!!). In order to set expectations for people reaching out to her, as well as some healthy boundaries for herself, the auto-reply explains why a personal email from her might be delayed, who to reach out to regarding her various projects, like her podcast, Keep Calm and Cook On, and her database of POC and/or queer women/gender nonconforming individuals who work in the food industry, Equity at the Table. She even included a gentle buffer for people who might wish to schedule her time for an appearance or even coffee ("I am glued to my desk/kitchen for the next few months and unfortunately can't be in two places at once—thank you for thinking of me."). For people who wanted to send her a cookbook or promotional items, the message shared links to a couple of organizations that they might consider instead.

The depth of information, the guidance in the direction of people who might need the opportunity or resource being offered, and the graceful act of boundary-setting felt both generous and empowering. When I sent a follow-up email (pushy, I know!) to see if she minded my sharing her message with the Pro audience, Julia told me that it's the best thing that she'd done for her own well-being—"saving myself from myself"—while not leaving anyone hanging.

It's such a simple strategy for self-care, and when I set my out-of-office message as I take some time off next week, I might just "forget" to turn it off when I'm back at work.

What's the small way you'll automate your own mental or physical health this week?

Your pal, currently at her desk,

Kat

Twitter: @kittenwithawhip
Instagram: @katkinsman

Wisdom from the Test Kitchen

—Kelsey Youngman, Associate Food Editor

Food & Wine's associate food editor Kelsey Youngman is also a certified meditation instructor. She has practiced Theravada Buddhist meditation since 2007 and began instructing in 2016, focusing on basic breathwork and compassion practices. At each week's all-staff meeting, she offers a short teaching to set the tone for the week and bring a little mindfulness to the day. Now we're sharing them with you.

Awareness Is Not Closing the Tab, It's Noticing It's Open

When we think of mindfulness or meditation, we often assume it means that we have to empty our minds of all thoughts and sit perfectly still. But the real goal is to notice what’s happening and hold our attention in the present. Thoughts, ideas, worries, and emotions can float in and out, so each time you notice what is going on, you’re practicing. The goal is not an elusive moment of perfect quiet, but the messy moments of actually seeing the depth and chaos of it all, yet choosing to stay.

Josh Niland Talks About Fish Butchery, Life After Cancer, and His Brilliant Wife

—Kat Kinsman, Senior Editor

When life gave Josh Niland a second chance, he made a conscious choice not to waste a second of it. The Sydney-based chef underwent intensive cancer treatment as a kid, and from his teen years onward, he's devoted himself to his craft, revolutionizing the way that restaurants butcher, store, and serve every bit of a fish, and doing his best to spread the word through demos all over the world, his restaurant, Saint Peter, and his stunning The Whole Fish Cookbook. Food & Wine's deputy editor Melanie Hansche—a fellow Aussie and restaurant owner—joined the conversation to delve into Niland's mission, passion, and how he balances work and family.

Chefs and restaurant workers take great care of everyone else, but often they need a little help themselves. Each week on the Communal Table podcast, Kat Kinsman talks with hospitality pros about how they manage their businesses, brains, and bodies for the long haul. Is there a topic you'd like to know more about or a guest you'd love to hear from? Tell us at pro@foodandwine.com or tweet to Kinsman @kittenwithawhip.

Gary Regan's Profound Legacy in the Cocktail World

—Carey Jones

Friends from the industry remember the beloved author, bartender, and hospitality expert who passed away earlier this week.

30 Years of Keith McNally

—Regina Schrambling

Three decades after opening Lucky Strike, the prolific restaurateur reflects on his legacy.

Impossible Whopper Lawsuit Calls Out Plant-Based Patties Sharing the Broiler with Beef

—Jelisa Castrodale

Plant-based burgers can be vegan, that doesn't necessarily mean they're prepared that way.

In Other Food Biz News

—Oset Babur, Associate Restaurant Editor

On break-ins and breaking the bank in the Bay Area restaurant business. —The San Francisco Chronicle

Would you like a heated debate with that carton of milk? —The New Yorker

Amanda Cohen, queen of vegetables, finally takes on the veggie burger. —GrubStreet

Thrillist's Best New Restaurants of 2019. Thrillist

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