Details Bubble Up About New York Wine & Food FestivalNot everyone is behind the New York version of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, occurring October 9–12 (you’ll recall local restaurateurs had mixed reactions), but Eater brings news of events that may get more people behind it.
Rachael Ray’s Show Is Safe; ‘Top Chef’ Dale Brought inYesterday’s report that Rachael Ray’s syndicated daytime TV show was in danger of being canceled was completely bogus. [NYDN]
Related: Rachael Ray Encounters a Setback in Global-Domination Scheme
Less women in the workforce means less money in the family budget, and that translates to less money going into the hands of restaurateurs. [WSJ]
Former Top Cheftestant Dale encouraged Stephanie from this season to audition for the show’s producers. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Rachael Ray Encounters a Setback in Global-Domination SchemeWait, what happened to the Rachael Ray bandwagon? The last thing time we looked, the peppy home-cooking guru was the poor woman’s Martha Stewart. Well, maybe not: According to “Page Six” today, Ray’s syndicated TV show looks to be circling the bowl. “Anything below a 2.0 [Nielsen rating] is asking for trouble,” according to “an insider.” Perhaps Ray diluted her brand too much — we don’t want to see her interview Gene Simmons (like she did on Tuesday’s show) as much as we want to watch her prepare “jerky turkey burgers.” Warning to her staff: In these trying times, don’t bring Rach anything besides Starbucks. Just a suggestion.
Update! CBS Television Distribution reps are sending out e-mails all over town disputing the Page Six story: “Page Six’s report today that the Rachael Ray show is being taken of the air is completely false and in fact our show is growing and renewed through 2010.”
Trouble Cooking for Ray Show [NYP]
Related: Rachael Ray Doesn’t Like Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Any More Than We Do
Ilan Hall to Open Tapas Truck in L.A.; Chefs Keep on BloggingTop Chef champ Ilan Hall’s rumored L.A project is now a restaurant truck that serves tapas and has a foldout bar. [MSNBC]
Related: For Ilan Hall, a Taco Shack of One’s Own
The president of Westland/Hallmark Meat Co., the California beef company responsible for the largest meat recall in American history, acknowledged yesterday the illegal slaughter of sick cows at his plant after a congressional panel forced him to watch the undercover video depicting the abuse. [WSJ]
Chefs’ blogs keep getting better and better, and there are increasingly more and more of them. At what point are they all just going to leave the kitchen and become full-time bloggers? [LAT]
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.
Boston Mayor Makes Good on Super Bowl Bet; Diet Sodas Linked to MetabolicRemember that little food bet Hizzoner made with Boston’s mayor over who’d win the Super Bowl? Well, pay-up time has come, and our northern neighbors will be donating 100 cups of New England clam chowder, 42 lbs. of coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, twelve dozen Boston cream pies and twelve dozen Parker house rolls, 100 Old Tyme hot dogs and 100 Al Fresco chicken sausages, twenty pizzas, five cases of Brigham’s Boston You’re My Home ice cream, five cases of Cherry on the Top frozen-yogurt bars from Elan, and 100 servings of Stonyfield Farm Organic Yogurt to City Harvest. Happily, no one has to eat it. [Zagat Buzz]
Drop that Diet Coke! Researchers have found a correlation between the consumption of diet soda and incidences of metabolic syndrome, a series of unhealthful factors that can lead to diabetes and heart disease. [NYT]
More bad news for fish: The FDA confirmed that several outbreaks of ciguatera fish poisoning have taken place across the country due to consumption of fish harvested in the northern Gulf of Mexico. [AP]
Vera Wang Gives Guests Bobo Coffee While Waiters Do Dunkin’
With Fashion Week revving up, our fashion blog the Cut stopped into Vera Wang’s Lavender showing at, oddly enough, Bobo. No doubt its French country chairs were comfier than the usual folding variety celebs have to put up with alongside the runway, and guests were treated to Bobo’s freshly brewed coffee. The waiters, however, had to settle for Dunkin’ Donuts. Not even Starbucks!! No doubt Rachael Ray is hoping this Dunkin’ discrepancy overshadows her own.
Vera Wang’s Lavender, Now With Free Continental Breakfast [The Cut]
Earlier: Rachael Ray Brushes Off Her Starbucks Scandal
Rachael Ray Feeds Sicko YouTube FantasiesYesterday, “Page Six” ran a blind item asking which “daytime gabber” snips at staffers for bringing her the coffee she endorses rather than Starbucks. Hmmm, wonder who that could be? Speaking of Rachael Ray, yesterday also saw the debut of two YouTube videos taking the stuffing out of the impish toque. One of them imagines Anthony Bourdain stealing her nose and serving it stuffed with foie gras. We’re not sure how that qualifies as a “mildly erotic parody,” as advertised, but we can tell you that the other video, “Rachel Ray Is a Sex Freak” [sic], is safe for work only if you have headphones, since it uses audio to imagine Ray teaching sex education to New England debutantes. Yucko!
Anthony Bourdain Talks Rachael Ray’s Old News [YouTube]
Rachael Ray Brushes Off Her Starbucks Scandal As ‘Ridiculous’
The blowback from last week’s item about Rachael Ray, in which the Food Network star was reputed to have demanded Starbucks rather than her own officially endorsed Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, has apparently reached Ray. OK! magazine sent a reporter to a Friday taping of The Rachael Ray Show to ask the inexplicably omnipresent food personality about the rumor and its possible damage to her relationship with Dunkin’ Donuts. The wholly predictable response? “It’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous.” We agree, Rache! But you didn’t say whether it was true!
OK! Exclusive: Rachael Ray Denies Starbucks Rumor [OK!]
Related: Rachael Ray Doesn’t Like Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Any More Than We Do
Rachael Ray Doesn’t Like Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Any More Than We Do
A friend of Grub Street writes us:
So a friend of mine was on set last week as Rachael Ray filmed her latest Dunkin’ Donuts commercial. According to her, Rachael stormed onto the set and snapped at everyone. Not news, I know, everyone knows she’s actually a gigantic asshole. BUT! I am also told she took one sip of her Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, yelled “What is this shit? Get me MY coffee,” and would not continue until she was given “her” coffee — i.e., Starbucks.
If this is true, it’s the first thing we’ve read that makes us like Rachael Ray. Maybe her diva-ish behavior is what’s causing the turmoil at her magazine, but we’re with her on this one: Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is the worst.
Rachael Ray Continues Food Network Domination; New Year’s Day BrunchesWith Batali and Emeril out of her way, “homegrown star” Rachael Ray has just inked a two-year deal for a new prime-time series on the Food Network. [Eater]
It’s nothing he hasn’t said before, but the wordiness of some menus gets on the Bruni’s nerves. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Forget turducken: British chef Phillip Corrick has created a monster that involves at least 48 birds of a dozen different species and feeds 125 people. [Daily Mail]
No Plaza for Graydon; Mr. Rachael Ray Drops $35K for LunchboxGraydon Carter won’t be taking over the Plaza’s Oak Room, so you’ll still have to head downtown to the Waverly Inn for that truffled macaroni and cheese. [NYP]
Jean-Georges Vongerichten seeks the elusive fifth taste by serving “umami bombs” at his restaurants. [WSJ]
Related: Waiter, There’s a Fifth Element in My Soup
It’s possible that locally grown products have a comparable or even greater carbon footprint than food that travels long distances, so you can stop patting yourself on the back for being a greenmarket fanatic. [NYT]
Related: Local Schmocal [NYM]
Bourdain Blasts Rachael Ray, and It’s Not Yum-O
According to “Page Six” today, Anthony Bourdain has a serious problem with Rachael Ray endorsing Dunkin’ Donuts. Yes, the man who waxed nostalgic about the “the bitter, delicious taste of heroin in the back of my throat” in last month’s Spin believes Ray is being “evil” and “over the line” in endorsing what he considers “crack for kids.” But should Bourdain really be running his mouth? Never mind that he smoked Marlboros while telling GQ’s Website about his favorite old-man dive bars — he’s also the guy who told Powells.com, “Is there anything better than a maple bacon donut? I don’t think so.” Apparently it’s perfectly okay to endorse doughnuts as long as they have life-giving bacon in them!
Related: Rachael’s Dunkin’ Gig “Evil” [NYP]
PBR, Strippers, and Kitsch [Style.com]
Earlier: Bourdain’s “Spin” Essay Is Pretty Thin Soup
New Hope for the Moondance DinerWell-heeled fans of the soon-to-be-closed Moondance Diner consider jacking the place up and moving it somewhere else. [NYT]
Related: Well, It’s a Marvelous Night for Luxury Condos [Daily Intel]
Rachael Ray seizes control of her own E! True Hollywood Story. [Buffalo News]
The only difference between the Rao’s in New York and the Rao’s in Las Vegas: The latter has a terrace overlooking the Caesar’s Palace hotel pool. And you can actually eat at the Vegas location. [NYS]
Foodie Bloomie; the Starbucks Master PlanBloomberg holds sway over our eating habits like no mayor before him. [NYT]
Wayne Nish is out to save Varietal from its folly, including a “full-of-itself wine list [that] boasted obscure, uninspired vintages masquerading as hidden treasures,” and desserts that were “scary messes.” [NYT]
Behold, the Starbucks master plan for growth — which may help to explain its aggressive anti-union strategy, which has roused the ire of the National Labor Relations Board. [Business Week]
Gordon Ramsay’s Dark Side Revealed; Staten Island Pizza Conquers the WorldAccording to a revealing new profile by Heat author Bill Buford, Gordon Ramsay isn’t a bad guy, “but he does get angry, helplessly and uncontrollably angry — not an earthly anger but something darker — and has trouble knowing how to stop.” [NYer]
State legislator proposes an A through F system of grading restaurant hygiene, but the Department of Health is against it. [amNY]
A Staten Island pizzeria beats out a field of 65 from six countries to win the 23rd International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. It’s Denino’s, right? Joe and Pat’s? No. It’s Goodfella’s Brick Oven Pizza. [NYDN]
Gansevoort Owner Apologizes for Sign He’s Not About to Take Down; FDAThe owner of the Hotel Gansevoort abjectly apologizes for its monstrous sign but says that the lease has been signed and that there’s no way out of it. Whether this satisfies Keith McNally and other opponents remains to be seen. [NYP]
Rachael Ray conquers yet another swath of America, becoming the official “spokes-chef” for Dunkin’ Donuts. She will develop a line of dishes for the chain. [Nation’s Restaurant News (registration required)]
The FDA allowing factory farm veterinarians to use cattle antibiotics which may lead to resistant microbes and eventually endanger humans. The Times is not down. [NYT]
Bloomberg Boasts of Many Health Department Closures; Rachael Ray BittenBloomberg doesn’t want you thinking the Health Department is slacking off. As a matter of fact, they’re boasting of closing places left and right. [NYP]
The B.R. Guest sale finally goes through. [NYP]
Related: Does David Burke Come With That Steakhouse? [Grub Street]
Mars 2112’s landlord is ready to give them the boot for hosting hip-hop parties. [NYS]
Back of the House
The Travails of the Produce Biz; A Rebuke to Our Rachael Ray DefenseAn inside look at what restaurants’ produce suppliers go through and the razor’s edge their business turns on. [NYT]
Nina Lalli believes that we were wrong to defend Rachael Ray, who, she says, just throws fatty food at the masses, with no care for their well-being. [VV]
Joël Robuchon has confirmed that he’s going to open a restaurant in Chicago; now it looks like Alain Ducasse will be doing the same. If, as some speculate, Ducasse never reopens here, we may actually end up behind Chicago in something. [Chicago Sun-Times]