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Pete Wells Awards Claudette One Star

Pete Wells Awards Claudette One Star

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The New York Times’ restaurant critic mostly enjoyed the food at Claudette, but feels the kitchen is holding something back

Pete Wells describes Claudette's as "an expensive summer rental that is being used as a French street-corner cafe."

French dining has experienced a bit of a revolution in New York. New restaurants in this culinary category are presenting menus that include dishes far more unusual than escargot, tartes flambées, and coq au vin. This week, Pete Wells of The New York Times reviewed one such restaurant, Claudette, and although he mostly enjoyed his experience of the eatery, he sensed the kitchen was playing it safe.

Wells makes it clear that this is Modern French Cuisine before detailing any of the fare, generalizing the food as “light, approachable and unlikely to impair your ability to stand up at the end of the meal.” He highlights some of the salads and characterizes them as “intelligent, and “unexpected.” The pleasant surprises continue as details the bistro-style fries and their seasoning, which leads him to explain that what makes the menu unique is that “Claudette’s chef, Wade Moises, and chef de cuisine, Koren Grieveson, have made a smart decision about Provence. Rather than treating it as if it were frozen in time and sealed off from the world — Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence repeated forever — they cast a few glances at the North African immigrants who live and cook there.” The food reflects not just new trends in French Cuisine, but the steadily-shifting new French culture.

Where Moises and Grieveson falter, in Wells’ opinion, is their seeming reluctance to showcase the depth of their restaurant’s culinary ethos. He feels the chefs play it safe, and he does not hesitate to call them out on it, lamenting that “Claudette’s exploration of Provence can be undercut by its impulse to play it safe.” He seems to encourage the kitchen to delve more deeply into the fusion they appear to only dip their toes into, but in the end, he concedes, “Most of the time, though, the kitchen does what it sets out to do, even if it seems to be holding back.”

Kate Kolenda is the Restaurant/City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @BeefWerky and @theconversant.

David Chang Says He Read 'Every Bit of Criticism' About His Netflix Series Ugly Delicious: 'We Did Our Best'

The Momofuku chef addressed concerns over its lack of representation of women and African Americans.

Chef David Chang always wants to make everything better.

“I’m not the happiest person,” Chang said. “I could have the best day in the world but I could be like ‘Oh, we could do this better.&apos”

During a recent interview at Recode’s Code Conference the Momofuku Restaurant Group founder shared how that philosophy has impacted all of his business projects. While Netflix food series Ugly Delicious won a Webby Special Achievement Award for Special Achievement for 𠇋ringing nuanced conversations on food, authenticity, and culture to the Internet,” it has also received some backlash over its lack of representation of women and African Americans in the culinary industry.

“I’ve read every bit of criticism about that TV show, just like I read every review, because it just kills me when anyone has a bad time,” Chang said. “So, yes, I’ve read every criticism—whether it wasn’t inclusive enough through African Americans or through women—I just know that we had one season, and we did our best, and we had no intention of trying to be exclusive. Hopefully there’s a second season, and we’ll be able to do it better.

As a restauranteur, Chang said he genuinely applies criticisms to his improvement projects rather than letting them roll off his back. In May 2016, New York Times food critic Pete Wells visited Momofuku Nishi, one of Chang’s many restaurants, and gave it a one-star review. Wells called the signature dish, the Cacio e Pepe, “lukewarm” and said “I don’t know why this dish exists, except to find a use for a proprietary Momofuku product.”

“I had never gotten a bad review ever until Pete Wells destroyed a restaurant that I continue to talk about,” Chang said. “I’m sure people at Momofuku are like ‘Why is he bringing it up again?’ but because I’ve learned so much from it. That medicine tasted terrible, but I think it really helped us to re-evaluate what we needed to do—where we needed to go𠅊nd quite frankly I think all of our restaurants around the world are doing better than ever before because of that review. So I hate to give it to the New York Times and Pete Wells, but I am weirdly thankful for that.”

During the interview, Chang also addressed the #MeToo movement and the recent sexual harassment allegations that have been plaguing the industry, citing Eater’s most recent reports about Mario Batali, in which women came forward alleging that he groped them while they were taking photos.

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“It’s not just disheartening. You’re like… Jesus Christ, this is so hard to read,” Chang said. �use simultaneously, I don’t know if we would be in business today without Mario’s support. So I feel obligated to recognize that, but also, like, what do I do with the opportunities I have now? And the only thing I think I can do with the platform that we have, is to be the best-in-class business with the most thoughtful, forward-thinking culture, knowing that we’re never going to be perfect. But that’s always been our goal.”

The 2020 James Beard Media Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 James Beard Media Awards, presented by Capital One. Although we typically celebrate the best of the best at an event in New York City, the Foundation cancelled the annual in-person event to ensure everyone&rsquos safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a time when both the media and the food industries have been decimated by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation understands the positive impact that a James Beard Award nomination or win can have on a career. Whether in the kitchen or in the newsroom&mdashnow more than ever&mdashcelebrating these professionals is paramount for our community.

Join us at 1:30 P.M. ET today as we kick off our new digital series, James Beard Awards at Home. The series will be an ongoing conversation with the committee chairs and winners of the James Beard Foundation Media Awards about the nature and future of writing, reporting, and broadcasting about food during a global pandemic. Stay tuned for more information on the full schedule and lineup of participants.

2020 James Beard Foundation Book Awards

For cookbooks and other non-fiction food- or beverage-related books that were published in the U.S. in 2019.

Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking
Toni Tipton-Martin
(Clarkson Potter)

Baking and Desserts

Living Bread: Tradition and Innovation in Artisan Bread Making
Daniel Leader and Lauren Chattman

Beverage with Recipes

The NoMad Cocktail Book
Leo Robitschek
(Ten Speed Press)

Beverage without Recipes

World Atlas of Wine 8th Edition
Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson
(Mitchell Beazley)

Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook
Carla Lalli Music
(Clarkson Potter)

Health and Special Diets

Gluten-Free Baking at Home: 102 Foolproof Recipes for Delicious Breads, Cakes, Cookies, and More
Jeffrey Larsen
(Ten Speed Press)


Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa
Yohanis Gebreyesus with Jeff Koehler
(Interlink Publishing)


American Sfoglino: A Master Class in Handmade Pasta
Eric Wolfinger
(Chronicle Books)

Reference, History, and Scholarship

The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration
Chris Smith
(Chelsea Green Publishing)

Restaurant and Professional

The Whole Fish Cookbook: New Ways to Cook, Eat and Think
Josh Niland
(Hardie Grant Books)

Single Subject

Pasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook: The Secrets of Italy's Best Home Cooks
Vicky Bennison
(Hardie Grant Books)

Vegetable-Focused Cooking

Whole Food Cooking Every Day: Transform the Way You Eat with 250 Vegetarian Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Refined Sugar
Amy Chaplin
(Artisan Books)

Eat Like a Fish: My Adventures as a Fisherman Turned Restorative Ocean Farmer
Bren Smith

Book of the Year

The Whole Fish Cookbook: New Ways to Cook, Eat and Think
Josh Niland
(Hardie Grant Books)

Cookbook Hall of Fame

2020 James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Awards

For radio, television broadcasts, podcasts, webcasts, and documentaries appearing in 2019.

Audio Program

It Burns: The Scandal-Plagued Race to Breed the World&rsquos Hottest Chili
Airs on: Audible

Audio Reporting

Gravy &ndash Mahalia Jackson&rsquos Glori-Fried Chicken
Reporter: Betsy Shepherd
Airs on: and iTunes


That's My Jazz
Airs on: Vimeo

Online Video, Fixed Location and/or Instructional

Grace Young &ndash Wok Therapist
Airs on: and YouTube

Online Video, on Location

Handmade &ndash How Knives Are Made for New York's Best Restaurants How a Ceramics Master Makes Plates for Michelin-Starred Restaurants
Airs on: Eater and YouTube

Outstanding Personality/Host

Roy Choi
Broken Bread with Roy Choi
Airs on: Tastemade and KCET

Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location

Pati's Mexican Table &ndash A Local's Tour of Culiacán
Airs on: WETA distributed nationally by American Public Television

Television Program, on Location

Las Crónicas del Taco (Taco Chronicles) &ndash Canasta
Airs on: Netflix

Visual and Audio Technical Excellence
Chef's Table
Adam Bricker, Chloe Weaver, and Will Basanta
Airs on: Netflix

Visual Reporting (on TV or Online)

Rotten &ndash The Avocado War
Reporters: Christine Haughney, Erin Cauchi, and Gretchen Goetz
Airs on: Netflix

2020 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards

For articles published in English in 2019.

Power Rankings: &ldquoThe Official Fast Food French Fry Power Rankings&rdquo &ldquoThe Official Spicy Snack Power Rankings&rdquo &ldquoThe Official Domestic Beer Power Rankings&rdquo
Lucas Kwan Peterson
Los Angeles Times

Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award

&ldquoPeter Luger Used to Sizzle. Now It Sputters.&rdquo &ldquoThe 20 Most Delicious Things at Mercado Little Spain&rdquo &ldquoBenno, Proudly Out of Step With the Age&rdquo
Pete Wells
The New York Times

Dining and Travel
&ldquoIn Pursuit of the Perfect Pizza&rdquo
Matt Goulding
Airbnb Magazine

Feature Reporting

&ldquoValue Meal&rdquo
Tad Friend
The New Yorker

Food Coverage in a General Interest Publication

&ldquoA Real Hot Mess: How Grits Got Weaponized Against Cheating Men&rdquo
Cynthia R. Greenlee

Health and Wellness

&ldquoHow Washington Keeps America Sick and Fat&rdquo &ldquoMeet the Silicon Valley Investor Who Wants Washington to Figure Out What You Should Eat&rdquo
Catherine Boudreau and Helena Bottemiller Evich

Home Cooking

&ldquoFry Time&rdquo
Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Innovative Storytelling

&ldquoFood and Loathing on the Campaign Trail&rdquo
Gary He, Matt Buchanan, and Meghan McCarron

Investigative Reporting

&ldquo&lsquoThe Man Who Attacked Me Works in Your Kitchen&rsquo: Victim of Serial Groper Took Justice into Her Own Hands&rdquo
Amy Brittain and Maura Judkis
The Washington Post

Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award

&ldquoIn Search of Hot Beef&rdquo &ldquoChef Jack Riebel Is in the Fight of His Life&rdquo &ldquoHarry Singh on the Perfect Roti, Trinidad, and Life in the Kitchen&rdquo
Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl
Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award

&ldquoMy Mother's Catfish Stew&rdquo
John T. Edge
Oxford American

Personal Essay, Long Form

&ldquoThe Dysfunction of Food&rdquo
Kim Foster

Personal Essay, Short Form

&ldquoFor 20 Years, happy hour has seen us through work &mdash and life&rdquo
M. Carrie Allan
The Washington Post

&ldquoThe Provocations of Chef Tunde Wey&rdquo
Brett Martin
GQ Magazine

Wine, Spirits, and Other Beverages

&ldquoSeltzer Is Over. Mineral Water Is Forever.&rdquo
Jordan Michelman

Emerging Voice Award

The James Beard Awards are Presented by Capital One ®

Want to be the first to know about Beard Awards news? Subscribe to the James Beard Awards newsletter.

Expressing Himself With Joy

A slab of octopus “pastrami,” small circles of leg pressed together with smoky pastrami spices, dabbed with whole-grain mustard at Bâtard.

Credit. Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

A slab of octopus “pastrami,” small circles of leg pressed together with smoky pastrami spices, dabbed with whole-grain mustard at Bâtard.

Credit. Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

Bâtard, located in TriBeCa, opened in May with Markus Glocker as the chef. Mr. Glocker worked in Vienna for Heinz Reitbauer, in Chicago for Charlie Trotter and in London and New York for Gordon Ramsay.

Credit. Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

Drew Nieporent, left, is Bâtard’s saloonkeeper and John Winterman, right, is the general manager.

Credit. Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

There are high spirits in Bâtard’s dining room, which hums and at times roars with the sound of people having a fine night on the town.

Credit. Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

Nonconformists will find blue-chip Napa Valley wines and a deep pocket of whites from Alsace, Germany and Austria.

Credit. Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

For some drinkers it will be impossible not to order Burgundy at a restaurant called Bâtard.

Credit. Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

The restaurant is hardly a cruise down the beautiful blue Danube, but the kitchen can give you an excellent Viennese dinner in the form of the Poussin schnitzel, a special in perpetuity, and the Sacher torte, a special on occasion.

Credit. Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

The yellowfin tuna at Bâtard.

Credit. Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

Their Poussin schnitzel dish.

Credit. Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

Bâtard’s black olive tortellini.

Credit. Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

Customers who order the vast, pink, terrific lamb chop get to serve themselves lamb confit out of flame-colored Le Creuset pots.

Credit. Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

Bâtard’s caramelized milk bread with berries and brown-butter ice cream is already a certified hit.

Credit. Daniel Krieger for The New York Times

When you make a reservation at an independently reviewed restaurant through our site, we earn an affiliate commission.

A few minutes into my first dinner at Bâtard, it became obvious that the chef, Markus Glocker, has a sniper’s accuracy at the stove. Nothing on his gracefully composed plates was chewier or crunchier or softer or saltier than it wanted to be. Mr. Glocker’s kitchen chops were not exactly a surprise, given that he worked in Vienna for Heinz Reitbauer, in Chicago for Charlie Trotter and in London and New York for Gordon Ramsay, none of them ever known to have smiled indulgently at a young cook and said: “Don’t worry about burning those onions, kid. The customers won’t notice.”

Technical prowess is a fine thing for a chef to have, but it’s no guarantee of memorable, expressive cooking, just as a big vocabulary doesn’t necessarily mean an author will write books worth reading. In both cases, you need to have something to say.

Mr. Glocker has many things to say, and he says them clearly and with charm, as I learned over three excellent meals since Bâtard opened in May. Some dishes were so successful they seemed destined never to leave the menu. One was the springtime-sweet bowl of minted pea soup with fried sweetbreads that seemed more flavorful than anybody else’s sweetbreads. Another was a kind of bouillabaisse in which rabbit (a roasted loin, a perfectly cooked kidney and saffron ravioli with a light and delicately herbed rabbit filling) splashed around in the tomato-fennel-saffron broth. A month later, both dishes had been retired, and in their place was something new and just as wonderful.


A fried zucchini flower, filled with bits of poached prawns and served with lightly candied lemon zest and whole pieces of poached lobster, was a full immersion in summer, a swim in a clear pond in the pines. A slab of octopus terrine, small circles of leg pressed together with smoky pastrami spices and dabbed with whole-grain mustard, evoked an entirely different terrain, nodding to the delicatessen, though the nuggets of braised ham hock, as rich and seductive as tuna belly, won’t be found at Katz’s.

The complexity of Mr. Glocker’s plates never blurs the focus of his flavors. Every drop of sauce and pinch of seasoning extracts some new pleasure out of the main ingredient. There is joy in his cooking.

There are high spirits in Bâtard’s dining room, too, which hums and at times roars with the sound of people having a fine night on the town. This was not frequently heard during this restaurant’s last incarnation, Corton. Everyone whispered as if a baby were sleeping in the next room. Even Drew Nieporent, the avuncular saloonkeeper who has held the lease on this address since he opened it as Montrachet in 1985, seemed to tread across Corton’s carpet on tiptoes.

The carpet is gone. Mr. Nieporent and his partners in Bâtard, Mr. Glocker and John Winterman, last seen as maître d’hôtel at Daniel, had it replaced with herringbone floorboards. The white tablecloths have been whisked away, too.

The architect Glen Coben gently raised the temperature on the interior that Stephanie Goto designed for Corton, which was elegant but aloof, more like a modern-art gallery than a restaurant. The walls that lean in and their twirling vines in bas-relief are flush with a tobacco-resin hue borrowed from Keith McNally’s crayon box. Banquettes that had been covered with scallion-green fabric are now dark leather and mohair.

If the bare tables and floors weren’t enough to raise the decibel level, the amount of drinking going on would. Mr. Glocker’s cooking plays well with others, and his flexible à la carte menu, with a choice of two courses ($55), three ($65) or four ($75), encourages you to get to know a bottle or two. For some drinkers, it will be impossible not to order Burgundy at a restaurant called Bâtard, and Jason Jacobeit, the head sommelier, is happy to oblige. Swimming alongside the white whales, the La Tâche and Romanée-Conti grand crus, are some lesser-known Burgundies at what are, by the region’s standards at least, reasonable prices. (The list, however, needs more bottles under $60, no matter where they come from.) Nonconformists will find blue-chip Napa Valley wines and a deep pocket of whites from Alsace, Germany and Austria, where Mr. Glocker was born.

Bâtard is hardly a cruise down the beautiful blue Danube, but the kitchen can give you an excellent Viennese dinner in the form of the Poussin schnitzel, a special in perpetuity, and the Sacher torte, a special on occasion. Both are classical, the chef’s fingerprints visible only in details like the mouthwatering sea buckthorn jam and unaccountably exciting potato salad with the schnitzel. When Bâtard begins serving food at the bar, I suspect that every stool will be taken by a schnitzel-eater.

Full of ideas, Mr. Glocker comes up with the desserts, too. His caramelized milk bread with berries and brown-butter ice cream is already a certified hit, the song of the summer that radio failed to provide this year. A slice of white bread, rich like brioche, has been glazed on both sides with a shatteringly thin shell of melted sugar. It looks like the simplest thing in the world, but if it’s so simple, why isn’t everyone making it? Other desserts are good, but not so good that the restaurant can do without a full-time pastry chef forever. The flat-footed key lime pie should be repaired or replaced, and the poached fruit in a moat of sparkling wine was a little too Ladies Who Lunch for me.

Mr. Winterman, the general manager, has put together a lovely little cheese cart, although he hasn’t figured out how to show it off. “We have several goat cheeses,” my server said one night. “Some cheese from France, of course. Some cheese from Vermont.” Finding this picture a little vague, I asked to see them. This seemed to catch him off guard. “I could bring the cart over,” he said, “but it would be a little tight with these tables.”

The cheeses are much too good to be stranded on a landlocked cart. For now, you have to rely on Mr. Winterman to choose, and hope you’ve come on a night when he has the honey made by downtown bees who do their buzzing above a Shoegasm store.

There is another dance routine that needs practice. Maybe somebody imagined it would be fun for customers who get the vast, pink, terrific lamb chop to serve themselves lamb confit out of flame-colored Le Creuset pots. It’s an awkward fishing party. The confit is some kind of new achievement in flavor and tenderness, but to get it out of the pot, you have to lift your butt off the seat.

A few cards have yet to fall into place, but Mr. Glocker and Mr. Winterman are reshuffling the deck to get a fresh combination of refined and relaxed dining, a game Mr. Nieporent has played for years. One night, Mr. Winterman showed me a cross-section of a tree trunk. (Neither he nor Mr. Nieporent pretended not to recognize me.) He thinks it would be fun to drag it out to the dining room and let customers test their skill at Hammerschlagen, a game Germans play with a hammer and nails.


Fletcher was born in Birmingham, Alabama, the second of four children of Estelle Caldwell and the Reverend Robert Capers Fletcher, an Episcopal missionary from Arab, Alabama. Both of her parents were deaf and worked with the deaf and hard-of-hearing. [1] [2]

Fletcher's father founded more than 40 churches for the deaf in Alabama. [3] Fletcher and her siblings Roberta, John and Georgianna [3] were all born without any hearing loss [4] so she was taught to speak by a hearing aunt [5] who also introduced her to acting. After attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she traveled to Los Angeles, California, where she found work as a secretary by day and received acting lessons by night. [ citation needed ]

Fletcher began appearing in several television series including Lawman (1958) and Maverick (1959). (The Maverick episode, "The Saga of Waco Williams", was the series' highest-rated episode.) Also in 1959, she appeared in the second episode of the original Untouchables TV series, (starring Robert Stack), "Ma Barker and Her Boys" as Elouise. [6] Fletcher recalled having greater success being cast in Westerns due to her height: "I was 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall, and no television producer thought a tall woman could be sexually attractive to anybody. I was able to get jobs on westerns because the actors were even taller than I was." [1]

In 1960, Fletcher made two guest appearances on Perry Mason, as defendant Gladys Doyle in "The Case of the Mythical Monkeys," and Susan Connolly in "The Case of the Larcenous Lady." In the summer of 1960, she was cast as Roberta McConnell in the episode "The Bounty Hunter" of Tate, starring David McLean.

In 1974, she returned to film in Thieves Like Us, co-produced by her husband and Robert Altman, who also directed. When the two had a falling out on Altman's next project (Nashville (1975)), Altman decided to cast Lily Tomlin for the role of Linnea Reese, initially created for and by Fletcher. Meanwhile, director Miloš Forman saw Fletcher in Thieves and cast her as McMurphy's nemesis Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). [5] Fletcher gained international recognition and fame for the role, winning the Academy Award for Best Actress, as well as a BAFTA Award and Golden Globe. She was only the third actress ever to win an Academy Award, BAFTA Award and Golden Globe Award for a single performance, after Audrey Hepburn and Liza Minnelli. When Fletcher accepted her Oscar, she used sign language to thank her parents. [7]

After Cuckoo's Nest, Fletcher had mixed success in film. She made several financially and critically successful films, while others were box-office failures. Fletcher's film roles were in such features as Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), The Cheap Detective (1978), The Lady in Red (1979), The Magician of Lublin (1979), Brainstorm (1983), Firestarter (1984), Invaders From Mars (1986), Flowers in the Attic (1987), Two Moon Junction (1988), Best of the Best (1989), Blue Steel (1990), Virtuosity (1995), High School High (1996), and Cruel Intentions (1999, as Sebastian's aunt). Additionally, she played the character Ruth Shorter, a supporting role, in Aurora Borealis (2005), alongside Joshua Jackson and Donald Sutherland, and appeared in the Fox Faith film The Last Sin Eater (2007).

Fletcher co-starred in TV movies such as The Karen Carpenter Story (1989) (as Karen and Richard Carpenter's mother, Agnes), Nightmare on the 13th Floor (1990), The Haunting of Seacliff Inn (1994), and The Stepford Husbands (1996). From 1993 to 1999, she held a recurring role in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the scheming Bajoran religious leader Kai Winn Adami. She also earned Emmy Award nominations for her guest roles on Picket Fences (1996), and later on Joan of Arcadia (2004). In 2009, Fletcher appeared in Heroes as the physician mother of character Emma Coolidge. In 2011, she appeared in Shameless as Grammy Gallagher, Frank Gallagher's foul-mouthed and hard-living mother who is serving a prison sentence for manslaughter related to a meth lab explosion.

Fletcher married literary agent and producer Jerry Bick in 1960, divorcing in 1977. [7] The couple had two sons, John Dashiell Bick and Andrew Wilson Bick: [8] Fletcher took an 11-year break from acting to raise them. [7] Fletcher received an honorary degree from Gallaudet University in 1982. [9]

In 1998, Fletcher was charged with reckless driving after she allegedly struck a police officer who was removing a deer carcass from a roadway. [10]

Akins was born in Nelson, Georgia, and grew up in Bedford, Indiana, the son of Maude and Ernest Akins. [5] Film reference works said he was born in 1918, making his age at death 75 however, Akins' son said his father was 67 at the time of his death, [3] and he is listed as Aubrey Akins in the 1940 Census, age 13. [1] He served with the U.S. Army Signal Corps in World War II in Burma and the Philippines.

After the war, he graduated in 1949 from Northwestern University, where he had majored in theatre [6] and became a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

As a film actor, Akins first appeared in From Here to Eternity (1953). He appeared as a seaman and shipmate of Lee Marvin in The Caine Mutiny (1954). He portrayed prisoner Joe Burdette in Rio Bravo (starring John Wayne, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, and Angie Dickinson), Naval Lt. Commander Farber in Don't Give Up the Ship (starring Jerry Lewis), Sgt Kolowicz in Merrill's Marauders, Rockwell W. "Rocky" Rockman in The Devil's Brigade, the Reverend Jeremiah Brown in the movie Inherit the Wind (1960), outlaw Ben Lane in Comanche Station that same year, Seely Jones in A Distant Trumpet (1964), and the gorilla leader Aldo in Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973), the last original Apes movie.

He had a small part in The Sea Chase with John Wayne. He appeared with Yul Brynner and Robert Fuller in the film Return of the Seven (1966) (also called Return of the Magnificent Seven and The Magnificent Seven 2), and also appeared in the movie Seasons of the Heart (1993).

Akins was cast in a large number of television series, including The Adventures of Superman (episode number 69, "Peril by Sea"), in which he plays a villainous conspirator, Crusader, and I Love Lucy in which he portrays himself. Much of his work was on Westerns, including Frontier, My Friend Flicka (three times), Boots and Saddles, Northwest Passage, The Restless Gun (four times), The Sheriff of Cochise, Wagon Train (four times), Overland Trail, Frontier Circus, The Tall Man, The Rebel, The Big Valley, Daniel Boone, The Legend of Jesse James, Death Valley Days with Jane Russell, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre (four times), The Rifleman (three times), Rawhide (seven times), Gunsmoke (10 times), Bonanza (four times), The Alaskans (twice) and The Texan (twice).

He appeared once on Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Empire, Laredo ("The Treasure of San Diablo"), the syndicated series, Pony Express (in "The Story of Julesburg" with Sebastian Cabot and James Best), and The Oregon Trail, with Rod Taylor. He was cast as Jarret Sutton in "Escape to Memphis" (1959) and as Beaudry Rawlins in "Duel on the River" (1960) on Darren McGavin's NBC series, Riverboat.

Akins played a rodeo clown convicted of armed robbery in "Killer on Horseback", an episode of the NBC anthology series Star Stage, which became the pilot episode for the syndicated police drama State Trooper, starring Rod Cameron. The episode was later broadcast on the regular series as "Rodeo Rough House". Akins also appeared in the 1963 episode "The Chooser of the Slain" on the ABC/Warner Bros. Western series, The Dakotas.

Among Akins's four appearances on NBC's Laramie with series stars John Smith and Robert Fuller was the role of former Sheriff Jim Dark in the episode "Queen of Diamonds" (September 20, 1960).

Akins was featured in In the Heat of the Night, and two episodes of the original CBS series The Twilight Zone ("The Little People" and "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street"). He also guest-starred in three episodes each of Combat! (fourth and fifth seasons) and The Untouchables.

He appeared on Rod Cameron's early syndicated series, City Detective, Meet McGraw with Frank Lovejoy, the ABC/WB drama, The Roaring 20's, and Police Story.

Akins's other early appearances included a role as a policeman on Alfred Hitchcock Presents in "Place of Shadows" (1956) and "Reward to Finder" (1957). He played another television cop, good-natured Sheriff's Detective Phillip Dix, in the first season of the Perry Mason in "The Case of the Half-Wakened Wife" (episode 1-26) that aired March 15, 1958. He was in a first-season episode of Maverick titled "Burial Ground of the Gods" (1958) that starred Jack Kelly. In 1965, Akins played El Supremo in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." episode, "The Very Important Zombie Affair". In 1967, Akins played Lt. Finch in The Lucy Show episode, "Lucy Meets the Law".

He portrayed prosecuting attorney Calvin Wolf opposite Carl Betz in an episode of Judd, for the Defense.

Akins was cast as Lou Myerson in the 1964 episode, "One Monday Afternoon", of the NBC education drama series, Mr. Novak, starring James Franciscus, and as Dr. Roy Kirk in an episode, "When Do They Hang the Good Samaritan?", of the CBS political drama, Slattery's People (which starred Richard Crenna). He played a kidnapper in a 1964 episode of The Fugitive. In 1965, he was featured in an episode of Kraft Suspense Theatre, playing a German infiltrator who went unsuspected. Also that year, Akins portrayed the head of an Irish immigrant family in The Big Valley ("The Brawlers"). Akins had an earlier role in the first season of Barnaby Jones episode titled "Murder Go-Round".

Before his signature character Sheriff Lobo, Akins appeared as owner-operator trucker Sonny Pruitt in NBC's Movin' On, from 1974 to 1976, with Frank Converse. Akins starred in over 40 episodes of Movin' On, plus a made-for-TV movie "In Tandem". He also starred as a Nashville police detective, Stoney Huff, in the crime drama Nashville 99. Akins' best-known role of Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo had begun as a recurring character on the television series B.J. and the Bear. After becoming a recognizable name in the late 1970s, Akins did testimonial TV commercials for PoliGrip, Rollins Truck Leasing, and AAMCO Transmissions.

Akins found work in the late 1980s lending his voice talents to the work safety instructional video series, Safety Shorts, in which he expounded the virtues of workplace safety to thousands of industrial employees, offering lessons on the importance of lockout/tagout procedures, personal protective equipment, and the MSDS documentation process. Akins made a golfing video with Ron Masak, entitled Tom Kite and Friends.

Akins died of stomach cancer [3] in Pasadena, California. He was cremated and his ashes were returned to Altadena. [7]

The Claude Akins Memorial Golf Classic, [8] a six-person scramble-format golf tournament, takes place at Otis Park Golf Course in Bedford, Indiana, in August or September of each year. Proceeds from the event go to the Akins Scholarship and the Bedford Recreation Foundation Scholarship, given every year to a graduating senior at Bedford North Lawrence High School, as well as many projects involving recreation and improvements.


Peet was born in New York City, the daughter of Penny (née Levy), a social worker, and Charles Peet Jr., a corporate lawyer, [3] who later divorced. Her father is a Quaker and her mother is Jewish [4] [5] both are also atheists. [6] [7] Peet's maternal great-grandfathers were Samuel Levy, a lawyer, businessman, and public official, who served as Manhattan Borough President, and Samuel Roxy Rothafel, a theatrical impresario and entrepreneur. [3]

At age seven, Peet relocated with her family to London, returning to New York four years later. [8] Peet attended Friends Seminary, [ citation needed ] and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in American history. In college, she auditioned for acting with teacher Uta Hagen and decided to become an actress after taking Hagen's class. [9] During her four-year period of study with Hagen, Peet appeared in the off-Broadway revival of Clifford Odets's Awake and Sing! with Stephen Lang. [9]

Early roles and breakthrough (1995–2004) Edit

Peet's first screen performances were in a television commercial for Skittles and an uncredited appearance as the girlfriend of the titular character in the second episode of The Larry Sanders Show in 1992. Her film debut was in the drama Animal Room (1995), which also starred Neil Patrick Harris and Matthew Lillard. She appeared in the November 1995 episode "Hot Pursuit" of Law and Order. For much of the late 1990s, Peet maintained a steady acting career in relatively obscure independent films co-starring more established actors. In 1996, for instance, she appeared in One Fine Day, with George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer, and She's the One, with Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz. Peet appeared in the critically acclaimed film Playing by Heart (1998), as part of an ensemble cast that included Sean Connery, Gillian Anderson, and Ryan Phillippe. She had her first major role as Jacqueline Barrett in the WB network series Jack & Jill, which aired for two seasons, between 1999 and 2001, to moderate success. She appeared in the eighth-season finale of Seinfeld ("The Summer of George") [10] as a waitress whom Jerry Seinfeld meets. In 1999, Peet also starred in the fantasy romantic comedy Simply Irresistible, opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar. That film was panned by critics and flopped at the box office. [11] [12]

Peet appeared alongside Bette Midler and Nathan Lane in Andrew Bergman's Isn't She Great (2000), a highly fictionalized account of the life and career of author Jacqueline Susann. However, her first role in a widely released feature film came later that year, with the part of Jill St. Claire in the mafia comedy film The Whole Nine Yards. The film, which also starred Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry, received mixed reviews. [13] Roger Ebert gave it one of the more positive reviews, noting in particular that Peet's performance, which he called "perfect", highlighted the story. [14] The Whole Nine Yards was a commercial success, grossing US$106.3 million worldwide. [15] For her performance, she received a Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination for Favorite Supporting Actress: Comedy, and a Teen Choice Award nomination for Choice Film Liar. In 2000, she played a love interest in the independent comedy Whipped, won the Young Hollywood Award for "Best New Style Maker", and was voted one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine.

Peet took on the role of a psychologist and the romantic interest of Jason Biggs in the comedy Saving Silverman (2001), [16] [17] and portrayed a heroin-addicted trophy mistress in the dramedy Igby Goes Down, which garnered acclaim among critics. [18] She also played the wife of a successful, young Wall Street lawyer thriller film Changing Lanes (2002), with Ben Affleck. Also in 2002, she played the sister of Ashley Judd in the suspense thriller High Crimes, in which Judd and co-star Morgan Freeman take on the military's court-martial of Judd's husband for murder. In 2003, Peet appeared with Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Keanu Reeves in the romantic comedy Something's Gotta Give, directed by Nancy Meyers, playing an auctioneer, working for Christie's. The film was a critical darling and a major success at the box office, grossing US$125 million in North America. [19] In her other 2003 film release, the psychological horror thriller Identity, Peet starred as a Las Vegas prostitute, alongside John Cusack, Ray Liotta and John Hawkes. [20] Identity received critical acclaim and was a moderate commercial success. [20] In 2004, Peet starred in The Whole Ten Yards, the sequel to The Whole Nine Yards. Unlike the first film, this production was critically panned and flopped at the box office. [21]

Established career (2005–2010) Edit

Her most significant film role in 2005 was that of a woman who becomes a successful photographer, opposite Ashton Kutcher, in the romantic comedy A Lot Like Love, which revolved around two people whose relationship slowly evolves from lust to friendship to romance over the course of seven years. While overall response was mixed, the Los Angeles Times found Peet to be "charming and charismatic without being cloying or artificial." In 2005, she also performed in the play This Is How It Goes, [22] filling in for Marisa Tomei at the last minute after six days of rehearsal, [9] and appeared in the Woody Allen's tragicomedy Melinda and Melinda and the thriller Syriana, which based loosely on former Central Intelligence Agency agent Robert Baer and his memoirs of being an agent in the Middle East.

In 2006, Peet acted on Neil Simon's Broadway production of Barefoot in the Park, followed by the romantic drama Griffin & Phoenix, a remake of the 1976 ABC TV movie, in which she portrayed a terminally ill woman living life to the fullest. The television series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which premiered on NBC in late 2006, featured her as the recently hired president of entertainment programming, with Matthew Perry, with whom she had starred in The Whole Nine Yards and The Whole Ten Yards, and Sarah Paulson, with whom she previously worked in Jack & Jill. For her role, Peet received a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Drama. Despite being a critical success, the series was cancelled after one season. [23]

Peet starred as an attorney who stays home to raise a new baby in the romantic comedy The Ex (2007), which went unnoticed by critics and audiences. In 2008, she starred in the mystery drama The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008), as an FBI agent, [24] [25] [26] the dramedy Five Dollars a Day (2008), as the girlfriend of a seemingly successful man, and the crime drama What Doesn't Kill You, as the wife of a Boston criminal. What Doesn't Kill You was her best reviewed film of 2008, [27] with Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly, writing that Peet "is terrific as Brian's worn-down wife, sick of seeing her man disappear before her eyes." [28]

In 2012 (2009), a disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich, Peet reunited with John Cusack, to play his estranged wife. [29] [30] [31] While critical response was mixed, [32] the film made over US$769 million worldwide, [33] becoming Peet's most widely seen film. [34] In her next film, the dramedy Please Give (2010), she starred as a self-centered cosmetologist, with Catherine Keener and Rebecca Hall. It received a limited theatrical release and critical acclaim. Ethan Alter of Film Journal International felt that Peet "does career-best work here." [35] Peet and the other Please Give cast members received a Gotham Award nomination for Best Ensemble Cast. [36] In 2010, Peet also provided for one of the main characters of DVD sci-fi adventure film Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey, and starred as the love interest of the main character in the live-action family adventure film Gulliver's Travels, with Jack Black and Emily Blunt. [37] [38] [39]

Roles in television (2011–present) Edit

In 2012, Peet headlined the television series Bent, as a recently divorced lawyer. [40] She was drawn to the writing, stating: "I thought it was a good repartee. I love a good romantic comedy, and I love a repressed woman who needs to get laid." [41] However, Bent was canceled after only six episodes. [42] Peet had a recurring role as Capt. Laura Hellinger in seven episodes of the fourth season of The Good Wife (2012–13). In 2013, she made her playwriting debut with The Commons of Pensacola, starring Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker, [43] [44] [45] and appeared in the film Identity Thief, as the wife of a man whose identity is stolen by a woman, the little-seen comedy Trust Me, as the neighbor of a former child star, and the well received dramedy The Way, Way Back, as one half of a married couple.

From 2015 to 2016, Peet played Tina Morris on the HBO series Togetherness, which focused on the lives of two couples living under the same roof. The show—which was created, written and directed by the Duplass brothers—ran for two seasons, and was praised for its intimate storytelling and the performances of its cast. [46] [47] IndieWire called it "the upbeat comedy HBO needs right now", and noted that while Lynskey is "the true standout", Peet "won't be short of fans". [48] Beginning in 2016, Peet has appeared in Brockmire, as the owner of a Minor League Baseball team. [49]

Activism Edit

In 2008, Peet volunteered to be a spokeswoman for Every Child By Two (ECBT), a non-profit organization that advocates childhood vaccination. Peet began working with the group after becoming concerned by the "amount of misinformation floating around [about vaccines], particularly in Hollywood." [50] In an interview with Cookie, Peet stated: "Frankly, I feel that parents who don't vaccinate their children are parasites," referring to the benefit unvaccinated children derive from herd immunity and the concern that dropping vaccination rates may put all children at increased risk of preventable disease. [50] Peet's comments stirred controversy in response, she apologized for using the term "parasites," but affirmed her position on the importance and safety of vaccinations. [51] [52]

The 3rd Annual Independent Investigative Group IIG Awards recognizing the promotion of science in popular media was held on May 18, 2009. The IIG presented an award to Peet for her work campaigning for vaccines. [53]

Writing Edit

Peet has co-written a children's book Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein about a Jewish girl during the Christmas season. The book was launched in 2015. [54]

Peet also wrote a play Our Very Own Carlin McCullough, which ran for two months in 2018 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles to positive reviews. [55]

Peet married screenwriter David Benioff, son of former Goldman Sachs CEO and chairman Stephen Friedman, on September 30, 2006, in New York City. [56] They have three children. [57] Peet's three children use the last name of Friedman, which is Benioff's last name—he uses his mother's maiden name (of Benioff) as his professional last name. [58] The family lives in Manhattan and Beverly Hills.

Peet is friends with actress Sarah Paulson whom she met as castmates in Jack & Jill and co-starred again in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. [59] She is also friends with actor Peter Dinklage, whom she met through friends at Bennington College. [60]

In 2008, Peet revealed that she has struggled with postpartum depression and that she has ADHD. [61]

Their Mission: rethink Chinese food

Alanna Hale

The story of Mission Chinese Food, which began five years ago in San Francisco, includes nearly every important trend in the last decade's restaurant culture. They have been a food truck and a pop-up serving inventive takes on Chinese dishes from a space that also houses Lung Shan, an Americanized Chinese restaurant in the city. Now Mission Chinese is a phenomenon that includes three restaurants in San Francisco and New York, endless lines of hungry diners, a James Beard award for rising star chef, and high-profile fans including Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, and New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells.

In "The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook," cofounder Danny Bowien collaborated with "Lucky Peach" journal editor-in-chief Chris Ying, a friend who has been affiliated with the venture from the start. The chef describes the book of essays and recipes as a "dialogue about food." Bowien, 33, lives in New York where he heads Mission Chinese and Mission Cantina, a Mexican restaurant. Ying, 33, lives in San Francisco.

Q. How do you describe the food at Mission Chinese?

Cookbook co-author Danny Bowien. Alanna Hale

Danny: It's our take on Chinese food. I feel like it's a new form where I'm fusing all the Western techniques and Japanese techniques I've learned and applying them to a new type of cuisine I'm not familiar with. People have talked about it in the past as "weird" Chinese food.

Q. After working in fine dining restaurants, what made you decide to open a Chinese pop-up?

Danny: As a chef, you hit your ceiling as far as creativity goes. We wanted to carve out a dialogue for ourselves. I looked around and said, what is no one else really tackling? A lot of people were doing the Japanese thing or the Korean thing, but no one else was doing Chinese.

Q. Did your collaboration begin with the book?

Chris: We actually met in the predecessor to Mission Chinese Food, which was a pop-up in the same space called Mission Street Food. I was working at [publishing company] McSweeney's during the day and would come over at night and cook.

Danny: It was a while before I knew he was a writer also.

Q. What were the early days of Mission Chinese Food like?

Cookbook co-author Chris Ying. Jami Witek

Danny: When we were doing it in San Francisco, no one was watching. We had a little following, some chefs that liked to come in. It would happen once a week and we'd have guest chef nights. Then I got this crazy idea that I wanted to open a restaurant in New York. I'd lived there before and I thought Mission Chinese would do really well there. When you're in New York, everyone is looking.

Q. When did you write the book?

Chris: We started when the restaurant was three months old. Danny and I are close outside of this process. As a writer it was interesting to be there for all the things that are happening. With the exception of Danny's childhood, I've been there for all of it.

Danny: It's not like we're at the top of a mountain and looking back at what was the best throughout the years. It's an evolution.

Q. How did you pick recipes?

Chris: Cookbooks are a difficult thing for chefs like Danny, who are always coming up with new recipes and new ways of approaching old recipes. We tried to make this book represent the Mission Chinese body of work up to a point.

Danny: It's exciting for me to go back and look at things we do. The mapo tofu that's in the book is very true to what we do now, but there's been like 33 versions. We're always trying to tweak that and see what makes the best version.

After NYT pans Locol, Jonathan Gold wonders if some restaurants are unreviewable

Tabitha O’Neal, left, takes a photo of her mother Delores, center, with Chef Roy Choi before dining at LocoL in Watts.

(Christina House / For The Times)

A business sign for LocoL is being installed.

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Some of the menu items in the Yotchays section of the menu at LocoL.

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Daniel Patterson chats with Roy Choi in one of the food prep areas of LocoL.

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

The barbecue turkey burger from LocoL. The recipe for the bun is from Tartine baker Chad Robertson.

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Chef Roy Choi, who is opening LocoL, a new fast food restaurant with chef Daniel Patterson.

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Polaroids hang on the wall at LocoL, a new fast food restaurant by well-known chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson.

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Workers at LocoL prep food during a soft opening.

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

The Messy Beef Chili Bowl available at LocoL.

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Richard Tapia, 29, and his wife, Liliana Gonzalez, 29, of Los Angeles, peek through screen windows while they wait in line for a free meal at LocoL.

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

One of the desserts available at LocoL.

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Pipita Alcala, of Santa Monica, and Jeff Rogers, of Los Angeles, get ready to try the food at LocoL.

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Photographs by Evidence, of Dilated Peoples, adorn the walls of LocoL.

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

LocoL opens its doors for business in the Watts area of Los Angeles on Monday.

(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

If you’ve been paying attention to food media this last week, you’ve probably heard a lot about Pete Wells’ zero-star review of Locol in the New York Times last Wednesday, in which he compared the hamburger to something he’d once eaten at Boy Scout camp. The review was of the Oakland location, not of the original restaurant in Watts, but the food community, both in Los Angeles and around the world, seemed to take the review personally.

Protests sprang up on the usual gastroblogs. Chefs David Chang and Rene Redzepi expressed their dissatisfaction via subtweet. Michael Krikorian, who knew some of the Watts Locol employees from his days as a gang reporter (and is not incidentally the longtime boyfriend of Mozza’s Nancy Silverton), wrote an impassioned op-ed for this newspaper. Kogi auteur Roy Choi, who co-founded Locol with San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson, posted a shirtless, scowling screenshot from Tupac’s “I Ain’t Mad at Cha’’ video to Instagram, and the symbolism was lost on no one.

Wells is no stranger to controversy – his pan of Thomas Keller’s Per Se split the food world last summer – but this seemed different. Per Se is a restaurant built around a $325 tasting menu. At Locol, which Choi and Patterson designed to bring fresh, healthy, inexpensive cooking to the kinds of neighborhoods sometimes referred to as “food deserts,’’ you can feed a dozen people for the cost of Per Se’s Wagyu supplement alone.

The question wasn’t how Locol’s $5 Fried Chicken Burg might compare to the vastly better $9 fried chicken sandwiches at Night + Market Song or Oakland’s own Bakesale Betty. It was why the New York Times was using its main restaurant column to gripe about bland turkey chili in an Oakland burger stand whose mandate was to feed a community with limited access to good, nutritious food.

Wells is a fine writer and an unimpeachable critic. If he said the grain-enriched hamburger patty was dry, the patty was dry.

And given: The Watts original is in a neighborhood with few alternatives the Oakland restaurant, which I haven’t visited, is on a gentrifying block near downtown. Locol’s mission may be less apparent when its dining area is within a few steps of taquerias and an Umami Burger. Context is important: I’m not sure what I would think of the Watts restaurant if it were located within a football’s toss of a decent brasserie.

But are certain restaurants unreviewable? It depends on the critic. (Have I reviewed Locol? I have not.) Wells might have concentrated on more conventional restaurants like Camino or Commis on his trip to Oakland, but in some ways, Locol is indeed too important to ignore.

I wrote a front-page story on Locol’s opening last January. In Food & Wine the same month, Kate Krader wrote “Locol is the Best New Restaurant of 2016.” Stories on the restaurant appeared everywhere from Rolling Stone to the Wall Street Journal to Daily Coffee News.

Currently Locol sits at 58 on the 101 Best Restaurants list: The loose, handmade cooking reminded me more of the lunch counters that dotted South Los Angeles when I was growing up in the area than it did anything I’ve ever picked up at a drive-thru window. It is one of the places, along with Guelaguetza and Mariscos Jalisco, where I try to take friends visiting from out of town.

The prospect of a baron of multicultural deliciousness like Choi joining forces with the Michelin-starred modernism of Patterson is intriguing in foodie terms alone. But while you might imagine that the involvement from high-profile chefs would result in a slick product, the food is closer to casual home cooking, inspired by its neighborhood rather than imposing itself on it.

Locol serves neither the coffee-roasted carrots nor the asparagus with buttermilk snow Patterson made when he ran the kitchen at Coi nor the blackjack quesadillas at Kogi and Chubby Pork Belly bowls for which Choi is known at his Chinatown restaurant Chego. The food is less an experiment in culinary creativity than it is an attempt to fashion sustainable, lower-fat, affordable versions of dishes already popular in the area it serves: burgers, pizza, chili and salad. The restaurant is staffed by people who live in the neighborhood, very few of whom worked in food service before Locol hired them. Locol is less a replacement for a fast-food restaurant than a better version of it, a place with a funky but high-design vibe, a bowl of rice and greens for the price of a bag of Cheetos. Choi is fond of calling Locol a revolution.

“It’s cool,’’ Wells messaged me Thursday. “But I tell you, if they want to start a revolution, they’ve got to do better than what they’re serving in Oakland.’’

So should Locol fall in the same category as Homeboy Bakery or Venice’s Bread and Roses Café, or should it be criticized because it fails to come up to the standards of Kogi or Coi? It’s a difficult question. In my opinion, Wells may not have been wrong, but he was ungenerous.


Born in Detroit, White began his friendship with fellow Miracles co-founder Smokey Robinson when they were kids. The pair started singing together when White was 12 and Robinson was 11. They were soon joined by a third boy, Pete Moore, and in 1955, the trio formed a quintet called The Five Chimes, with two other boys. After the inclusion of Bobby Rogers and his cousin Emerson "Sonny" Rogers, the group changed its name to the Matadors, and changed their name again to The Miracles after Claudette Rogers, of the sister group the Matadorettes, replaced "Sonny".(Claudette was Sonny's sister and Bobby's cousin).

The quintet soon began working with Berry Gordy following a failed audition with Brunswick Records and soon found fame after signing with Gordy's Motown label under the Tamla subsidiary. During the group's early years, White and Robinson performed several songs as the duo Ron & Bill. [2] White helped Robinson compose several hit singles including The Miracles' "My Girl Has Gone" and "A Fork in the Road" and is known as the co-writer and co-producer of The Temptations' signature song, "My Girl" and also co-wrote the same group's "Don't Look Back". He also co-wrote Mary Wells' "You Beat Me to the Punch" and Marvin Gaye's "One More Heartache". White would later win awards as a songwriter from the BMI. [3] He also helped to bring a then unknown Stevie Wonder to Motown after overhearing him playing with White's cousin Wonder was signed immediately afterwards.

In 1966, The Miracles briefly retired from the road to work as staff songwriters and executives for the label, but soon complained of not getting paid, and returned to perform on the road the following year, in 1967. [ citation needed ] After Smokey and Claudette Robinson and long-time guitarist Marv Tarplin left the group in 1972, the group carried on with Billy Griffin as their new lead singer, scoring two more hits with Motown including the number-one smash, "Love Machine", before leaving Motown in 1977 for Columbia Records. The group disbanded in 1978 after Pete Moore opted for retirement and Billy Griffin returned to his solo career.

White and Bobby Rogers revived the Miracles in 1980 with Dave Finley and Carl Cotton, calling themselves "The New Miracles". This lasted until 1983, when White faced personal struggles following the death of his first wife, Earlyn Stephenson, who died from breast cancer that year. White announced a retirement shortly afterwards and the Miracles again disbanded. White and Rogers revived the Miracles again in 1993. From his marriage to Earlyn, he fathered two children, daughters Michelle Lynn and Pamela Claudette. He later fathered a son, Ronald Anthony, II. His only granddaughter, Maya Naomi, was born to Pamela after his death. White's first born daughter, Michelle, succumbed to leukemia at the age of 9. White would eventually fight his own battle with leukemia and died on August 26, 1995, at the age of 56.

In 1987, Smokey Robinson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. Controversially, Ronnie White and the other original members of The Miracles, Bobby Rogers, Marv Tarplin, Pete Moore and Claudette Robinson, were not. [4] However, The Miracles, including White, would later be retroactively inducted into the Hall of Fame by a special committee in 2012, alongside Smokey Robinson. [5] [6]

White was also posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on March 20, 2009 along with the other original members of The Miracles. His second wife, Gloria, daughter Pamela, and granddaughter Maya were present. Ronnie White was also posthumously inducted with the rest of the original Miracles into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

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