The Most Surprising Food News of 2022
Welcome to Year in Eater 2022, Eater’s annual ritual celebrating the past 12 months through contributions from the city’s top food writers and New York figures. For the last week of 2022, Eater NY will post daily questions about the New York City restaurant scene of the past year, with answers from those who know it best: Eater editors and friends of Eater. Now: What was the most surprising — or funniest — news in NYC this year?
Nicolas Heller, New York Nico: Keith McNally and James Corden beef.
Stephanie Wu, Editor-in-Chief, Eater: It must be the discovery that there are people out there who order an omelet with egg yolk.
Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet, photographer: Slutty Vegan will call you a “slut” when you get your order. This was a pleasure for me.
Caroline Shin, contributor, Eater NY: This superhero story made me go “Whaaat?” About a dozen teenagers entered Amy’s Chinese Restaurant in Bayside, harassed customers, pushed the owner to the ground and ran out. His wife, Cathy Lu, ran after them and when they all boarded a bus, she stood in front of it and asked the driver to close the doors until the police arrived. She is so mean. Especially in light of the still ongoing violence against AAPIs.
Mahira Rivers, food journalist: It’s been an eventful year for New York restaurant reviews. of New York Times regained its stars after a pandemic hiatus (starting, no less, with three stars for a lechón food truck in the Bronx, which, to be clear, I’m a huge fan of). Adam Platt and Robs all retired from their columns at New York where Tammie Teclemariam became the new Underground Gourmet critic; great news for fans of the column, myself included. And RIP Hungry City!
Christopher Robbins, editor, Hell Gate: I’ll brag and direct you to Hell Gate’s What Was The NYC Crab Boil Boom? by Kate Mooney. We had so many of those crab joints born, and now they’re all gone. What happened?
Sara, Madison and Carly Shapiro, The Snacking Sisters: X rated bakery!! This is crazy and they can’t even post on social media what their product looks like without it being taken down (our video of Kinky’s on the Lower East Side was taken down). We didn’t expect to see so many places like this.
Scott Lynch, Contributor, Hell Gate and Brooklyn Magazine: No way would I have predicted the Food Renaissance of the Great Pandemic Era, but there have been four grand openings in the fall (the best of which, Urban Hawker, is worth a trip) and the big one of Google at Pier 57 is coming soon. . Runner-up: Rock Center as a dining destination.
Moonlynn Tsai, co-founder, Heart of Dinner.: It was surprising how much noise it made when James Corden got banned from Balthazar…people cared that much?
Carina Kaufman-Gutierrez, Deputy Director, Street Vendor Project: There are many funny and surprising things street vendors see, hear and experience working 10-12 hour shifts on the streets of New York, and the stories of how they come to open their businesses. But these are not stories that usually make the news. The media usually focuses on enforcement, or the struggles that vendors face, which absolutely need to be told – but the lack of human interest stories about vendors continues to keep this industry and the incredible stories of the street vendors themselves in the shadows.
Korsha Wilson, food journalist: The James Corden/McNally drama was funny to watch… but not ‘haha’ funny, ‘weird’ funny.
Jaeki Cho, host, Righteous Eats: LA Times there was a story about certain creators being paid up to $10k or more per post to highlight restaurants. Basically, branded content that isn’t clearly defined as advertising. We created an answer to this because 1) we’re creators in the same space and 2) how different our values are when it comes to pitching small businesses. For example, we don’t charge the restaurants we serve, in fact, we pay for all the meals we highlight. Then again, I don’t want to knock people’s hustle.
Ryan Sutton, chief food critic, Eater NY: I’m not surprised that James Corden’s Balthazar scandal got so much attention, but it’s absolutely outrageous that developments seemed to continue to unfold and that people were still writing about it a week later; indeed, here I am, writing about it months later. Part of me initially thought it was an Andy Kaufman-style stunt (“we actually got people to say ‘yolk omelette’”), though Corden, during a New York Times interview, seemed to disprove my “staged publicity” theory by stating that he had done nothing wrong and saying other stupid things.