Who Is This Man? And Where Does He Work?Having seen an advance screener of the Top Chef premiere, we’re all set and ready to dig in and immerse ourselves in the show’s patented straight-faced lunacy this season. But something is getting in the way. The most annoying of the new cheftestants — this season’s Howie — is the high-strung Andrew, supposedly a cook somewhere here in New York. But where? His Top Chef bio calls him a “Sous Chef in NYC,” but no one seems to be able to give us a hint of where. (One tipster seemed to think that it was at Tocqueville, but the lead was a dead end: Jo Ann Makovitzky, Tocqueville’s co-owner, tells us, “He does not look familiar to me.”) Have you seen this man? Tell us all about him in the comments.
Top Chef Cheftestant Bio: Andrew [Bravo]
Related: What to Expect From the New ‘Top Chef’
Update: The mystery has been solved. An Eater reader has IDed Andrew D’Ambrosi as a sous chef at Le Cirque.
Back of the House
The ‘Top Chef’–‘Project Runway’ Mash-up We’ve Been
How did such a coupling take so long? Top Chef’s Dale Levitski (who was NOT invited back for this week’s holiday special) and Project Runway’s Jack Mackenroth are dating! Here’s the dirt: “We randomly met over MySpace,” says Dale. “I like keeping it incestuous. Keep it in the Bravo family,” says Jack.
Other pairings we’d like to see:
Sam Talbot and Uli Herzner
Mike Midgley and Wendy Pepper
Elia Aboumrad and Michael Knight
Have any suggestions for hot Project Runway–Top Chef crossovers? Play matchmaker in the comments.
Real Reality Couple: Jack Mackenroth and Dale Levitski Dating [BreakOUT News via Towleroad]
In the Magazine
The Tragic Tales Behind ‘Top Chef’So let’s say you somehow make it on to Top Chef or Project Runway, elbowing past the thousands of other rivals seeking to fertilize the egg of an upcoming reality-TV-show season. And let’s say you even win the contest, getting crowned Top Chef or No. 1 designer: Shouldn’t that be enough to launch a career? You would think it would be, but as Jennifer Senior’s article from this week’s issue reveals, it often isn’t — a fact we hope our own Top Chef non-winners, like our friends Joey and Lia, will remember as they return to the kitchens they knew before fame came calling.
The Near-Fame Experience [NYM]
Related: Joey, Latest ‘Top Chef’ Non-Winner, on Why Rocco Is a Douche Bag
‘Top Chef’ Non-Winner Lia on What Went Wrong
The Frying Pan Still Adrift in a Sea of Red Tape
Last winter we reported that the Frying Pan had lost its lease and was moving three blocks uptown. The little party boat that could has indeed made the move to Pier 66 at 26th Street, and though at one point it was set to open June 1, a call to Angela Krevy, wife of owner Steve, reveals that lease negotiations with the Hudson River Park Trust are taking longer than expected. “You can’t fight City Hall,” Krevy quipped, “And you can’t speed it up, either.” But is this more than simply a matter of red tape?
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]