Chef Roman à Clef: “I'm Not Abbe”

Keith and Jody

Keith/George and Jody/Cory.Photo: Patrick McMullan (McNally) and Johnny Miller (Williams)

Yesterday we speculated that Sympathy for the Restaurant Industry — a new site that is fictionalizing restaurant-industry players — was the work of PXThis blogger Abbe Diaz. The pillorying of Sam Mason, Keith McNally, et al sounded pretty much like e-mails from Abbe. But the author insists to us: “No, I’m not Abbe. She's the original, the godmother of restaurant blogs and general awesomeness. I'm not worthy.” Hmm — suspiciously high praise.

We can also now tell you that the character of Heloise Friedman isn’t Morandi’s Jody Williams, as we initially speculated. (Jody is instead depicted in the form of Cory Smith, the new chef who acts like a nervous Nelly when interviewing with George Wentworth, a.k.a. Keith McNally) Rather, Heloise is derived from Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s right-hand-woman Lois Friedman. Annotate your margins accordingly and prepare for more.

Sympathy for the Restaurant Industry