Oh, Nello! Fiesty Mr. Balan is in his latest rage because he lent a model his $1,000 leather umbrella “because it was raining because I am a gentleman … Stop behaving like a boulevardier [street person] and a petite voleuse [petty thief]. You don’t give me the umbrella, I sue you,” which he is now doing because she returned it broken in two. [NYP]
Related: A Model Breaks Nello's Heart, Umbrella
The newest Iron Chef is … Cleveland’s Michael Symon. [Serious Eats]
Laurent Tourondel tells Bruni he enjoys dining most in Vietnam, but the influence in the recipes for his Thanksgiving spread is all French. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
The war between plutocratic food pimp Nello Balan and not-so-starving artist Jerome Lucani continues to get better and better. We read some weeks ago of their tiff, based on Lucani’s claim that Balan was shaking him down, and Balan’s claim that Lucani, who looks like he couldn’t beat up Peter Braunstein, had threatened to kill him. Now the two have taken to the courts, with Nello filing criminal charges and both men taking out mutual orders of protection. Our question is, who’s going to protect us against all this distracting entertainment? We’d sure rather read about Nello than write about him, or his preposterous restaurants. Fortunately, Daily Intel is doing all the hard work.
French Artist: “I Fear Le Nello” [Daily Intel]
Earlier: Nello Said to Teach Artist a Thing or Two About Overcharging
Connoisseurs of bad art and worse restaurants will get a charge from a story in today’s Post about Nello Balan and his run-in with artist Jerome Lucani. There are so many levels of absurdity to this that it would take Nathaniel West to do it justice, but let’s start with the basics: Balan, who owns restaurants catering to stodgy plutocrats, allegedly agreed to front the money for Lucani to produce hideous celebrity photomontages in exchange for a 40 percent cut on sales. Lucani claims that Balan is “keeping [his] paintings hostage” and demanded a $500,000 fee plus a 50-50 split on sales. Now that’s how you do business!