Bourdain Fends Off Angry Chefs at Batali Dinner
Much was afoot last night here in South Beach, between the evening’s somewhat staid main event, a tribute dinner to Jean-Georges Vongerichten, big after-parties at the chefs-only 212 Access House and Versace Mansion, and a Mario Batali dinner at Danny DeVito’s eponymous South Beach restaurant. There, at close quarters in the kitchen, Batali worked the pasta station; Del Posto and Babbo chefs Mark Ladner and Frank Langello on sauté; Adam Perry Lang cooked immense “103” rib steaks with vast, protruding bones; and Jamie Oliver helped out as needed.
Celebrity Chefs Flock to Former Home of Cheesy Celebrity Restaurant
The building that was the Hard Rock Café at 221 West 57th Street, having committed so many affronts to gastronomy over the years, is about to atone, temporarily. Bon Appétit is turning it into a “pop-up supper club and café” where, from October 25 to November 3, a series of celebrity chefs will do demos and book signings during lunchtime. The names should be familiar ones, ranging from TV chefs like Cat Cora and Giada De Laurentiis to established New York stars like Claudia Fleming and Will Goldfarb. Every day, the café area will feature a different signature dish from that day’s chef. Bon Appétit promises affordability, too: All the dishes at lunch will cost $10 or less.
The roster of chefs is after the jump.
What to Watch Instead of a ‘Top Chef’ RerunSeeing as how the powers that be at Bravo have decreed yet another off week on Top Chef, we can only offer our consolations to those of you waiting to see if Howie finally goes postal, or if Padma finally passes out in a cloud of Kush smoke. But, happily, there are a number of food options on NYC TV tonight. At 8 p.m., take a guided tour of Brooklyn with the elegant Kelly Choi on Eat Out N.Y. At 9:30, eerily handsome celebrity chef Todd English discourses on New York pizza. We’re not terribly inclined to listen to Todd English instruct us on pizza, but in a world where Franny’s can get two stars from the Times, anything is possible. At 10 p.m., right when you’re jonesing for some Top Chef action, be sated by an episode of Chef’s Story about Cat Cora. The Iron Chef appeared out of nowhere and has origins that remain, at least to us, a total mystery. Maybe we’ll learn something.
NYC TV [Official Page]
Back of the House
On the Machismo of Cooking: Competitive Eaters Make for Macho TVCooking is now an essential part of modern machismo, or so men’s magazines seem to feel. [NYDN]
The International Federation of Competitive Eaters inks a deal with Spike TV to keep their “gurgitators,” including NY locals Crazy Legs Conti and Tim “Eater X” Janus, on the airwaves year-round. [Page Six]
Is it possible to open a restaurant on the D.L. in New York City? In the final chapter of this three-part series, the media weighs in. [Snack]
Back of the House
‘Iron Chef’ Taping Leads to Earth-Shattering RevelationWe’ve often wondered what the hell actually goes on behind the scenes at Iron Chef America. When an invitation to yesterday’s taping landed in the Grub Street mailbox, we were quick to accept it. On the set, the air was filled with dry-ice mist and dozens of sharply focused spotlights, giving the aura of an incipient Metallica show.