Diaz arch-nemesis Ben Leventhal, of Eater.Photo: Patrick McMullan
In addition to bringing news that the Cain team is taking over Montauk’s 32-room Surf Lodge (Bar! Hot tubs! Outdoor deck!), Steve Lewis interviews industry veteran and PX This author and forum moderator Abbe Diaz today. After about two pages of inane flirtation, Steve and Abbe get into the meat of her feud with Eater, whose EIC, Ben Leventhal, she calls “a giant ass.” These blog wars can be a little confusing, so we’ve revealed specific names in brackets and added links for ease of reading.
Abbe Diaz: You know it’s kind of a misunderstanding, but not really a misunderstanding. I launched the forum on like March 14th, and the following day there was some stuff about some restaurant [Morandi]. It just so happened that that chef of that restaurant [Jody Williams] wants to come to the industry forum, and that’s what it’s there for, and vent, you know, about some shit. So that’s fine, vent, but it just so happened that she was venting about the man I’m dating [Sasha Muniak, Williams’s former employer at Gusto]. Check that shit out. Is that crazy? That’s like cosmic freakiness. So she goes and she spouts blah blah blah. [It has not been proven that “Brook” is Jody Williams.] Now just picture it, someone comes to your blog and you’re little comment section and says nasty things about your girlfriend. Wouldn’t you be upset?
SL: Not me, ‘cause I know my girl. She’s 5’11” and she will knock the motherfucker out.
AD: But, he won’t knock someone out. That’s the problem. Then of course this whole thing gets blown up all out of proportion and it gets found out that that chef is friends with Ben Leventhal. So what he does now, and I don’t agree with, ‘cause what we do is different, I don’t have ads on my site, I’m not a business, I am in the purest sense a blog. I don’t make any money. So if I use my blog as my voice then hey, that’s what it’s there for. But, he uses this supposedly objective website for his own personal agenda, and to me there’s just something not right about that. Or if you are going to do that at least have the balls to put it right out there and sign your name to it.
If you’re still confused, a summary of the whole tawdry affair can be found here. Be prepared to take notes.
Update: Ben Leventhal writes, “Abbe Diaz, who on a regular basis calls me either an ass or a douche bag, despite us having only met on one single occasion, has concocted this feud in her head. Jody Williams and I had met once, in passing, at the time Diaz claimed we were so tight. That’s a fact. (We met again about six months later and I had to remind her of who I was.) This is to say nothing of the fact that Eater has never been a solo show. Lock[hart Steele] and I wrote the blog together for a long time, and now we’re both lucky enough to have a full time editor, the very talented Amanda Kludt.”
Abbe Diaz: Talk Loudly and Carry a Big Stick…Too (Part One) [Good Night Mr. Lewis]