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Great American Chef Sick; New Yorkers Enjoy Too Much Mercury

Grant Achatz of Chicago’s Alinea, arguably the most acclaimed of all American chefs, has an advanced form of cancer but vows to beat it. [Chicago Sun-Times]

A quarter of New Yorkers have elevated mercury levels in their bloodstreams. Especially those who eat fish. [NYP]

It’s tough for Top Chef rivals Howie and Joey. When your life has turned into a paella whipped up by Philip K. Dick and Andrew Sullivan, it's time to move to the suburbs with a pair of chocolate Labs. [Amuse Biatch]
Related: ‘Top Chef’’s Howie Tastes the Big Time, Briefly, at Gotham Bar and Grill
‘Top Chef’ Biases Finally Out on the Table

Bourdain takes on Jag, the Next Food Network Star contestant who lied about his military record. [Ruhlman]

Editorial: The Bush administration is managing to find ways to weaken the FDA, even while appointing a food-safety czar. [NYT]

The famed Alphonso mango is now out of season, but it’s available through FreshDirect. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Related: Tabla’s Floyd Cardoz Corners the Market on Indian Mangoes

Ten ways you can tell a restaurant is going to be bad, including pre-filled bread baskets,
crusty ketchup, and a staff that suddenly perks up because you’re the first customer to come in all night. [Chow]

The ballots have closed for the Gothamist–A Hamburger Today burger bash coming up this Saturday, and the voters have chosen the onion burger, the butter burger, and the pimento-cheese burger as the three varieties to be served at the meaty event. [Gothamist]

Times dining editor Pete Wells will be answering questions and perhaps fulfilling requests for “More articles like NY Mag does on ‘Cheap Eats.’” [NYT]

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