Fake Butter Harming Chefs?; Crave Ceviche Bar Closed by Crane AccidentA federal investigation is under way in New York’s kitchens to measure the hazards cooks face when handling an ingredient in artificial butter that is known to cause tissue damage. [Seattle Post Intelligencer]
Frank Bruni thinks Thomas Keller should just stick to what he knows and avoid this casual-dining nonsense he puts on at Ad Hoc. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Sexy British TV chef Nigella Lawson has reportedly put on some weight, with one catty source saying, “The result is a butt like a Budweiser horse.” [NYP]
Ask a Waiter
Lurie De La Rosa of PDT Asks That You Put Your Pants on and LeaveLurie De La Rosa knows a thing or two about cocktails: She worked at Pegu Club under Audrey Saunders (her “New York mom”) and with Jim Meehan, who asked her to help him open his debut spot PDT. “I wasn’t sure what he meant by a ‘hot dog bar,’” she tells us. Indeed PDT is unique in that it pairs Crif Dogs with Snoop Dogg, something De La Rosa says was “scary for a little bit. I came from this world of classic music and jazz.” But she has adjusted admirably and is now part of a family that includes Wylie Dufresne, David Chang, and the occasional naked patron.
Pig Farmer to Deliver Pigs in Pig-Fueled Truck
Bev Eggleston, the Virginia pig farmer trying to revive Ossabaw pigs, has refitted his truck to run on barbecue grease! He’s struck up a symbiotic friendship with Hill Country’s Robbie Richter (Richter gets to try great pork, Bev gets to eat great barbecue), and the two have come to an understanding by which Richter will save his grease for Eggleston’s special diesel engine. The idea’s not as crazy as it sounds: San Francisco asks restaurants to recycle grease for the city’s bus fleet.
Calling All Casseroles; Jonathan Waxman to Cook Southern on the UWSGreenpoint: Casserole fanatic turned cookbook author Emily Farris is hosting a cook-off at Brooklyn Label on October 16. Register now! [Brooklyn Based]
Midtown East: The Tao formula should fit right in on Lincoln Road in South Beach. [Down by the Hipster]
Tribeca: Bubby’s owner Ron Silver is finally giving up his pie recipes in a cookbook out this month. [NYS]
Upper West Side: Barbuto chef-partner Jonathan Waxman turns to southern fare this fall when he opens Madaleine Mae on Columbus Avenue at 82nd Street. [NYT]
West Village: In comparing Bay Area restaurant trends to those in New York, critic Michael Bauer concedes: Blue Hill chef Dan Barber “does Chez Panisse one better by growing most of the food at his farm in Hudson Valley.” [Between Meals/San Francisco Chronicle]
Magnolia to Lure Cupcake Crazies to the Upper West SideChelsea: Trestle on Tenth launches weekend brunch this Saturday with a fall menu that includes bacon-and-onion rösti and banana-stuffed French toast with vanilla syrup.
Fort Greene: IHOP is making more New York moves: In addition to taking on Times Square, the chain will open an outlet on Livingston Street near Bond Street. [NYDN]
Midtown East: Bloomingdale’s has moved tangy fro-yo pioneer Forty Carrots from the basement to a larger, more befitting seventh floor space. [NYT] Sherry-Lehmann wine store has completed its relocation to Park Avenue at 59th Street. [NYT]
Red Hook: You may have missed LeNell’s absinthe tasting (she drinks it up by the way), but she’ll host a tequila tasting this Sunday in honor of Mexican Independence Day. [LeNell’s]
Upper West Side: A second Magnolia bakery will open on 69th Street at Columbus this winter, and owner Steve Abrams thinks he can keep it a secret from tourists. [Eater] Juan Cuevas has left Blue Hill to be the chef de cuisine at Ed Brown’s Eighty One, which should open in December. [NYS]
Urgent All Points Bulletin for Spring Vegetables
You don’t have to look far to see spring vegetables on menus all over New York. But look for local spring vegetables, and you may find they’re AWOL. Unseasonal weather has put the kibosh on many area sources, and for chefs that pride themselves on local ingredients, it’s a problem.
A Haute Barnyard Ethics Crisis; KFC Rats Hit the Big TimeElaine Kaufman, the beloved proprietress of actor hangout Elaine’s, has seen a lot of Oscar parties and talks about them in this Q&A. [NYDN]
An Haute Barnyard ethics crisis: Blue Hill’s Dan Barber on the day he added almond oil to his carrots. [NYT]
Related: The Haute Barnyard Hall of Fame [Grub Street]
The rats running around that KFC-Taco Bell have become a tourist attraction. [NYT]
Related: Oh, Rats [Daily Intel]
Back of the House
Wall Street Loves Agribiz; Did the ‘Times’ Dig for Dirt on a HaplessDid the Times send a private eye after a chef sued them for having suggested he was a druggie? [NYP]
Restaurant Week is the “Woodstock of the culinary world,” a wondrous opportunity that no one should let slip by. So says Drew Nieporent’s brother, anyway. [NYDN]
Wall Street investors are stampeding each other to invest in agribusiness commodities. And that is making some corn and cattle producers very, very nervous. [NYT]
The Other Critics
Michelin’s Explosive New Red BookMichelin dropped its ratings bomb today, and it’s safe to say that the New York restaurant world is, as usual, reeling. Though not as consequential as a Zagat snub, business-wise, the Michelin ratings are closer to the hearts of top chefs. (French chef Bernard Loiseau was widely believed to have killed himself over a Michelin downgrade.) The book is supposed to be in stores tomorrow (though our local Barnes & Noble says it’s not even at the distributor yet). We do, however, know of some surprises. Messrs. Boulud, Bouley, and Takahama are no doubt having lousy afternoons.
The Haute Barnyard Hall of FameNew York magazine restaurant critic Adam Platt files periodic musings for Grub Street, under the pseudonym the Gobbler.
Haute Barnyard restaurants like the Tasting Room have been around for a while now, but the phrase is new — so new, in fact, that the Gobbler is the only one using it. Therefore it requires a little elaboration. All Haute Barnyard restaurants are Greenmarket establishments, of course, their menus more or less dictated by the rhythms of the season. New York’s versions of the genre, however, have evolved their own highly self-conscious style.