Will Ken Friedman Open a Restaurant With Ilan Hall?We are hearing that Spotted Pig co-owner Ken Friedman is planning on doing a restaurant with former Top Chef winner Ilan Hall. The rumor chorus places the new eatery down the street from the Pig on far West 11th Street and says it may be only a few months out. Friedman did not confirm any of this, but he didn’t deny it, either. “I hope all those things are true,” he responded when we repeated the details.
In the Magazine
Women Chefs Take the Reins in This Week’s Issue“It’s a man’s man’s man’s world,” James Brown once sang. Was it the official anthem of the restaurant world? Sometimes it seems like that, but this week’s issue has eight reasons to the contrary. The names of the first seven are April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig), Rebecca Charles (Pearl Oyster Bar), Alex Guarnaschelli (Butter), Sara Jenkins (formerly of 50 Carmine), Anita Lo (Annisa), Jody Williams (Morandi), and Patricia Yeo (formerly of Monkey Bar and Sapa). All talked about a woman’s place in the kitchen in a special New York forum. The eighth reason? Alex Raij, whose new tapas restaurant, El Quinto Pino, gets three stars from the Underground Gourmet. All this, and a recipe for pan-roasted chicken (plus a video!), come at you in this week’s issue of New York.
A Woman’s Place?
Small Is Beautiful
In Season: Pasture Raised Chicken [NYM]
Does the Name Chef Really Work in the Kitchen Anymore?Dear Grub Street,
I’m in New York on business for a little while and will have the opportunity to try a handful of restaurants while I’m here. What are some of the top spots in the city where the chef whose name is on the door is still in the kitchen? I’ve eaten at both Lupa and Otto, but I imagine Mr. Batali’s clogs haven’t graced either kitchen in some time (though the food and service at both were excellent, especially Frank behind the bar at Otto). It’s not that I need to see a celebrity chef in person … I just want to try good food from good chefs who are still plying their trade. For example, my understanding is that Wylie Dufresne actually still works at wd-50 every day, and, as you recently mentioned in one post, Eric Ripert is always in the kitchen at Le Bernardin. Anywhere else?
Meet the Chef
Johnny Iuzzini Is the Badass You Want Him to Be; Bloomfield vs. an Iron ChefIn true badass-with-a-softer-side form, the latest rock-star pastry chef Johnny Zs reveals he dreamed of becoming a stuntman before discovering his love for baking. [Restaurant Girl]
The Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield is stepping into the ring this morning to battle an undisclosed Iron Chef. [Down by the Hipster]
True top chef André Soltner formerly of Lutece goes on about the pros and cons of food TV. [Newsday]
Meatopia V: Grilled Gore and Guts The response to our Meatopia V contest has been overwhelming. Grub Street is populated by committed carnivores who have filled our meat cooler with brilliant ideas for next year’s edible animal gala. We’ll highlight some of the best throughout the day and announce the winners tomorrow. (Entry deadline is 6 p.m. today.) Here are three of our favorites.
Men Still Rule the Roost in Kitchens; April Bloomfield a Rai Rai Ken FanIt’s still a man’s world in the kitchen, as Annisa’s Anita Lo or Ratatouille’s Collette can tell you. [NYDN]
Count April Bloomfield in the Rai Rai Ken camp when it comes to the ramen wars. [Restaurant Girl]
Hill Country pitmaster and noted “barbejew” Robbie Richter has borderline cholesterol, a meat bond with Zak Pelaccio, and little interest in side dishes. [Metromix]
Related: Barbecue: The New Kosher Food?
Wish There Were Another Spotted Pig and Another Casa Mono? Guess What.
Don’t envy Las Vegas for having the very newest Batali-Bastianich restaurant, B&B Ristorante: We are about to get two more. A source high inside the restaurant organization tells us that a second Spotted Pig is on the way, this one a seafood concept helmed by newly minted Food & Wine Best New Chef April Bloomfield of the West Village original. Moreover, Casa Mono is also set to get a spinoff somewhere in NYC. The locations will be revealed when the deal is closed within a few days; in the meantime, this is good news for anyone who ever fought in vain to get into either place.
Give a Fast-Food Receipt, Get a MetroCardThe city, seeking to find out just how badly New Yorkers eat prior to implementing its new calorie-info law, is trading MetroCards for meal receipts. [Nation’s Restaurant News]
Akthar Nawab of E.U., Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern, and Chris Lee of Gilt all talk about the challenges of taking over an established restaurant (getting reviewed too soon, finding the fuse box, etc.). [NYP]
The Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield is being named Food & Wine’s Best New Chef. [NYP]
What to Eat Tonight
A Very Special All-Pork ProgramWelcome to a Very Special Episode of Grub Street. In honor of National Pork Day, we’re going to turn back the clock and look at some of the most memorable pork moments from our first six and a half months. We remember them as if they were yesterday …
Ask a Waiter
The Spotted Pig’s Anna Vanderzee Tells Mario Batali to Keep His Voice DownAfter cutting her teeth as a bartender at Paris Commune and Mary Anne’s, Anna Vanderzee started work at the Spotted Pig two and a half years ago; she now splits her time between slinging drinks and serving up the ever-popular Roquefort burger (sorry, no cheese substitutions allowed). Being a dancer has helped her survive relentless seven-hour shifts: We asked her what coping mechanisms she deploys against Jäger cravers, Jay-Z groupies, a salt-shy Times reviewer, and a certain scooter-stealing celebrity.
Spotted Pig to Finally Live Up to Its NameLike everyone else, we enjoy the food at the Spotted Pig, but we’ve wondered why there isn’t more pork on the menu — there’s the name, after all, and the fact that there are probably about 3,000 images of pigs crammed inside the restaurant. But someone from the kitchen tells us we’ll soon be able to satisfy all of our porky urges, with none other than Red Wattle suckling pigs, deboned, stuffed porchetta style with garlic and fried sage, and roasted. Our source tells us the dish may be available as soon as this month, weekends only. We’ll keep you updated — we’ve spent some time checking out elite hogs with Spotted Pig chef April Bloomfield, as chronicled here, and we know this is a story worth following.
What to Eat This Week
Heritage Pigs: So Much Tasty History
After our recent pilgrimage to upstate New York for a first look at the next stage in pig evolution, courtesy of Cesare Casella, we started thinking about the places serving breeds that have been around for centuries — the so-called “heritage” pigs whose noble lineage makes them extra-tasty.
Cesare Casella Invents a New Pig!A lot of chefs — particularly of the Haute Barnyard breed — advertise their love of farms. But how many actually mastermind a breeding program, and then invite other chefs to the country to see the results? Cesare Casella, the Tuscan cook behind Maremma, has been breeding two types of pigs (and snow-white Chianina cattle) at Stonewall Preserve upstate. On Monday, he invited Mark Ladner of Del Posto, April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig, Zak Pelaccio of Fatty Crab, Kevin Garcia of ‘Cesca, and Mary Ellen Heavner of 5 Ninth to come up and sample the Stonewall pig.