Marco Pierre White Sets Himself on Fire With Flaming CocktailJust another night at the Spotted Pig: Marco Pierre White, trying to demonstrate a flaming cocktail to Mario Batali, Tony Bourdain, and friends, sets himself on fire, gets doused with wine and Champagne, and stabbed in the hand. [NYP]
Related: Batali, Bourdain, and Ramsay Mentor to Finally Take on America? [Grub Street]
There are so many high-end restaurants looking for good ingredients that the world will literally run out of them, a world-famous Australian chef claims. [Australian News]
Utterly dependent as it is on illegal workers, the restaurant industry is lobbying hard against the new immigration bill in Congress. [Nation’s Restaurant News]
A Rescue Plan for Restaurant Workers; No Fatty Crab for the UWSThe Restaurant Responsibility Act, just introduced in City Council, would keep eateries from abusing the help by tying operating permits to labor laws. [Gotham Gazette]
Fatty Crab owner writes in to say that Eater has it all wrong about an Upper West Side location. [Eater]
It’s salmon season in Alaska’s Copper River, and some of the city’s top fish cooks are spawning original dishes to take advantage. [NYDN]
City Gears Up to Better Police Labor Violations; Beef Threatens Fish at LeCity Council to introduce a bill giving authorities more power to crack down on restaurant labor violations like the alleged ones at Saigon Grill. [MetroNY]
Related: 100 Students to Protest Saigon Grill [Grub Street]
Kobe beef, having once appeared on Le Bernardin’s menu, is taking over and chasing the fish away – a fact chef Eric Ripert is less than thrilled about. [NYP]
Bizarre details of Mr. Chow’s abuse emerge from the lawsuit, including information about one employee who was forced to lie on the floor and be menaced and even kicked by the diminutive restaurateur. [Gawker]
100 Students to Protest Saigon Grill
Update, 6:14 p.m.: Sit-in ends after 45 minutes, with the NYPD ordering protestors out of the Vietnamese eatery. Jamie Chen, who we spoke with earlier, tells us that she and her fellow students took over most of the tables on first floor. There were no arrests. The protestors joined noisy demonstrators outside, chanting “Boycott Saigon Grill.”
Update, 5:49 p.m.: Students, many wearing red, have taken over a number of tables inside the restaurant while television cameras whir.
In a planned demonstration reminiscent of sixties campus radicalism, at least 100 students citywide are expected to stage a protest shortly after 5 p.m. today in front of the trendy Saigon Grill on University Place. The demonstration is a statement against the lockout of some 33 delivery workers who refused to sign in March what they claimed was an illegal contract from owner Simon Nget, a Chinese-Cambodian refugee who also runs an Upper West Side Asian eatery by the same name. The protest is “definitely student generated and initiated,” says Jamie Chen, 20, a Columbia student reached during finals. She says her fellow activist Christina Chen,19, held a teach-in at Columbia’s Hamilton Hall a couple of weeks ago “to talk about the abuses” at the restaurant “and a lot of people want to do something about it.”
Waiters Serve Papers to City Hall and B.B. King Blues Club
Two more waiters have crumbled up their aprons and decided they’re not going to take it anymore. Maimon Kirschenbaum, the lawyer last seen suing Heartland Brewery for shaving time off punch-card records and failing to cough up overtime (he says ten servers are now onboard with the complaint including a former manager) is now going after both Radiante, which owns City Hall (according to the suit, six-year server Mohammed Uddin was paid straight time instead of overtime), and B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. Kirschenbaum filed the latter suit yesterday; as he has it, server Brandon Salus was singing the blues at B.B. King’s after walkouts were deducted from his paycheck, a violation of Section 193 of the New York Labor Law. In one instance a $240 dine-and-ditch allegedly reduced the server’s weekly pay to $20.
San Gennaro Still Hanging; Power to the Deliverymen!The San Gennaro festival is still facing serious opposition from the local community board, which recommends refusing it a permit. [NYT]
The Chinese deliveryman revolution is spreading; it’s a legitimate movement driven by “sheer numbers and … some forceful advocacy groups.” [NYT]
Related: The Heartening Backstory of the Deliveryman Rebellion
One of the Gansevoort Hotel’s co-owners is found to have run a business with ties to a Russian assassin and gang leader. [NYP]
Back of the House
Telepan, Too, Faces Labor StrifeSpeaking of labor troubles, Bill Telepan seems to be the latest chef-owner to have them on his hands. NY1 reports that workers at Telepan, his Upper West Side Haute Barnyard restaurant, are incensed at management’s taking big chunks of their tips. “They’re actually stealing from what their employees are making,” a former waitress is quoted as saying. Telepan, reached by phone, denies the charges but says he’s not ready to go on the record yet with any details.
Telepan Under Fire for Tipping Managers [NY1 via Eater]
Earlier: The Heartening Backstory of the Deliveryman Rebellion
Back of the House
The Heartening Backstory of the Deliveryman RebellionThe worker protests recently seen at Saigon Grill and Ollie’s Noodle Shop and Grill weren’t just an isolated pair of incidents; they indicate a sea change, according to a dramatic, eye-opening article in City Limits this week. Ever since workers at 88 Palace on East Broadway won their case against management for paying them poorly and ripping off a portion of their tips, the article says, long-terrorized restaurant staffers have been riding a wave of rebellion into fair treatment. Right on! Of course, our sympathies are always with the people who bring us our food.
Wins Galvanize Workers at City’s Asian Eateries [City Limits]
Related: Pols Come Out to Support Saigon Grill Workers; Delivery Service Still Suspended [Daily Intel]
Matzo-Bus Rabbi Granted ReprieveBloomberg signs bill establishing safety guidelines for delivery guys but stops short of limiting packets of ketchup. [NYT]
Rabbi ordered to stop baking matzo out of his school bus granted reprieve. [NYT]
Urban agriculture not limited to NYU kids growing weed in closet; New Yorkers also making wine on rooftops. [NPR]