New York Chefs Confront Rising Food Costs With Whip and ChairFood costs go up and up, but prices — especially high ones — aren’t supposed to. Given that the rent in most New York restaurants isn’t going to come down anytime soon, this creates a problem for owners. The Wall Street Journal did an excellent feature on this subject on Saturday, showing how some restaurants were dealing with it — Blue Water Grill’s selling beef trimmings as part of a chipotle roll, for example, or Ssäm Bar’s dropping truffles. But we were curious about how some of the other chefs we know, particularly those with a well-heeled clientele, are making do. So we asked around, and here’s what we heard.
Inside the Greenmarket With Produce Master Bill Telepan
Few chefs are better known for their devotion to seasonal vegetables than Bill Telepan; his eponymous Upper West Side restaurant is one of the city’s foremost temples of Haute Barnyard. Here Telepan guides us through the springtime Greenmarket while offering up tips and opinions.
Related: Manhattan Gets Fresh [NYM]
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
I Will Lose the Love of My Family Without Creamed Chipped BeefDear Grub Street, Please help me find a restaurant that serves creamed chipped beef for brunch. My friends and relatives from Philly refuse to visit unless I have one lined up. (I personally do not eat creamed chipped beef — it’s way too scary-looking.)K.M.
Back of the House
Inside the Troubled Russian Tea Room; Meyer and Others on Media ScrutinyThe fullest account yet of the debacle that is the new Russian Tea Room. Gary Robins comes out looking far more sinned against than sinning, and the owner comes out looking like a jerk. [NYP]
A blue-ribbon panel including Mario Batali, Bill Telepan, and Danny Meyer study the question of whether it’s possible to open a restaurant under the radar. The near unanimous answer is no. Will Goldfarb suggests one way: “Do it in Queens.” [Snack]
Pichet Ong formerly of Spice Market is the first of the hot pastry chefs to open his own restaurant, the eponymous P*ong. Rivals Sam Mason and Jehangir Mehta (formerly of Aix) are close behind. [NYS]
Related: The Launch [Grub Street]
More Than Just a Taste of New York
Last night’s A Taste of New York, a major culinary gala presented by New York Magazine at the Puck Building and benefiting City Harvest, was an orgy of food and mirth. Over 30 of the city’s best restaurants, from Alain Ducasse to wd-50, set up tables with a signature dish, and a boisterous crowd of well-heeled foodies circulated around, trying the food and chatting up the chefs.