Anne Burrell Is Riding High; Jean-Georges’s Foot ProblemCentro Vinoteca chef Anne Burrell’s inspirations? Why, only the people she’s worked for, including Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali. [NYDN]
Crowds gathered at Cafe La Fortuna, the small 71st Street storefront once patronized by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, for its last day. [Lost City]
Bobby Flay has a new TV show, and you can have a small part of it. [Eater]
Back of the House
South Beach Wine & Food Festival Coming to MeatpackingWe had heard that New York was to have its own version of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival (minus the sunshine, ocean, flowing sea breeze, and so on, of course). But only in paging through the Sunday Times at Jerry’s Deli on Collins Avenue did we find this tidbit, from the big SOBE style section: “A version of the festival will soon be headed north. Last week Mr. Schrager came to an agreement with New York officials to run a two-day food festival in the meatpacking district on Columbus Day weekend. ‘We’re going to close Ninth Avenue,’ he said.” Now that is good news. It’s high time that Ninth Avenue was closed. To see our up-to-the-minute coverage of SOBE this past few days, click here.
Calling All Rock Stars in Aprons [NYT]
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.
Back of the House
Shipwrecked With Padma LakshmiWe met Top Chef hostess Padma Lakshmi on a yacht in Miami Beach yesterday. No, it was not a private cruise. Padma was shilling Vacheron watches and graced us with a brief interview.
I see they have a menu on the yacht tonight that is your doing.
I didn’t cook this menu. But if you try some of the recipes from my book, I know you’ll enjoy them.
Eh, I probably won’t. They’re all for healthy little salads and curries and so forth, right?
Uh, no! This just proves that you haven’t even opened my book up! [Laughing.] The best recipe in it is for brisket wrapped in bacon.
Unlimited BBQ and Champagne Brings Out the Carnal Chef at SOBE
Bubble Q, SOBE’s Champagne-barbecue tasting party, may have been visible from the air last night. We made our way through the smoke-filled tent dodging mirror bars and fifteen-foot-high speaker stacks. We were happily waylaid by the endless chef’s tables and Champagne bars. See who Tony Bourdain hangs with, what Zak Pelaccio dances to, and hear Del Post’s Mark Ladner defend Iron Chef.
The American Lamb Board Rocks Out at SobeMost of the focus at Sobe is on the big celebrity-driven events (and, of course, the parties that follow them), but the event also functions as an immense trade show by the sea. But since it’s Sobe, it has to be slick. The American Lamb Board — the trade group for America’s lamb farmers — is spreading its message via a dozen unnaturally busty, scantily clad lambassadors; a booming sound system playing old hip-hop and R&B; and Lonesome Dove chef Tim Love cooking up lamb sirloins on a big stage. Add four cocktail stations and vaguely sexualized slogans (again, about lamb) like “More Than a Nice Rack,” and you’ll find yourself at one of the festival’s most popular tents.
‘Top Chef’ Parties at South Beach Wine and Food FestOur first night at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival made it pretty clear why this event is such a success. For one thing, it’s warm down here. And the two parties we attended were as carefree as hayrides. The full moon shone down on the Versace mansion, and we gained some useful knowledge. Such as…
Back of the House
Golden Clog Nominees Announced to Industry’s Amusement, Dismay
Tony Bourdain and Michael Ruhlmann, the scourges of the restaurant business, are at it again. The pair’s facetious awards, the Golden Clogs, will be given away this Friday at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. We speculated last fall about who the possible nominees might be, but Bourdain’s complete list — with commentary — is on Eater. Some of our favorites are below.
Bloomberg’s a Cookie Fiend; L.A. Resists Cupcake TrendMayor Bloomberg calls the oatmeal-raisin cookies served up at Gracie Mansion “addictive,” an opinion not shared by Giuliani, who didn’t care for the in-house baker’s sweets. [NYDN]
Fresh owner Eric Tevrow pleaded guilty to pocketing more than $1 million in sales and payroll taxes from his restaurants. [NYP]
Tickets for Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s tribute dinner at next year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival have already sold out, despite being $500 a pop. Naturally, scalpers are already reselling them on eBay. [NYP]
Giant Dessert Spectacular Ushers in New York Wine & Food Festival
The South Beach Wine & Food Festival was such a big hit that a New York spinoff was probably inevitable — and it will be thus! The local incarnation will begin with Sweet on November 16. And what’s Sweet, you may ask? Oh, just a “late-night dessert party” for 1,500 guests on the waterfront, featuring all the city’s top pastry chefs: Grub Street buddy Johnny Zs of Jean Georges, Michael Laiskonis of Le Bernardin, Karen DeMasco of Craft, and Nicole Kaplan of Del Posto. More pastry gods and goddesses will be added to the list in coming months.
But there’s more, as Sweet is just a warm-up for the New York City Wine & Food Festival (their site just went live). It’ll be held next fall, and we’re predicting that it will be huge, even more of a hedonistic binge and bacchanal than the Miami original. In the meantime, Sweet should be a pretty good dry run.
New York City Wine and Food Festival [Official Site]
A Voce’s Alfresco Slurpees Come to FlatironBrooklyn Heights: Mike’s Knife Sharpener, operating out of a truck, is back, spotted on Willow Street. [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Dumbo: South Beach Wine & Food Festival may be re-created in this hood by next year, with help from the Food Network and Food & Wine. [Dumbo NYC]
East Village: Gnocco’s fine Roman-style pizza will now be available by the slice from noon to 4 p.m. [Grub Street] And the Italian restaurant Gemma, coming to the Bowery Hotel, looks to be on its way to an opening. [Down by the Hipster] Le Souk loses its liquor license, albeit temporarily. [Eater]
Financial District: Gold St. debuts a menu of original cocktails including herbaceous recipes like a Lavender Martini and the Rosemary Cream. [Grub Street]
Flatiron: A Voce to debut its new alfresco section, where you can repose in the sun and drink alcoholic Italian slurpees, among other things. [The Strong Buzz]
Fort Greene: A new batch of local Devil’s Doodad organic hot sauce is now available at the farmer’s market. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Harlem: Citarella’s 125th Street branch now accepting food stamps. [NYM] Tickets now available for A Taste of Harlem held at City College’s Great Hall on Wednesday, May 16. [Uptown Flavor]
Park Slope: Unnamed market selling $22 chickens. [Dope on the Slope]
Soho: To celebrate the arrival of new chef Wen Chen, Lucky Strike is offering a bizarre lottery that incorporates a Champagne bucket filled with table numbers, praying, and free meals for your entire party. [Gawker] Lure Fishbar will open for lunch and brunch starting Mother’s Day weekend. [Grub Street]
Bourdain Talks Smack About Chodorow, Others; The Joys of Rotting MeatThe joys of rotting meat, as explained by Robert’s Steakhouse chef Adam Perry Lang. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Tony Bourdain was captured on video at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival talking shit about Food Network personalities to a crowd. [Snack]
… And late yesterday, laid into Chodorow using Bruni’s Robert’s Steakhouse review as a pretext: “One might ask if it’s ever a good idea anyway to spend 40,000 bucks reminding the public that the New York Times think you suck.”
Tourists Come Here to Eat; A-List Chefs Heading to South Beach“Culinary tourism” is on the rise, and New York is one of the prime beneficiaries. “This is to me more interesting than museums,” says one tourist. [1010 WINS]
It’s not easy for a fast-food franchisee out there, with all those germs floating around. [NYT]
The upcoming South Beach Wine and Food Festival is being described as the “culinary Super Bowl.” [Miami Herald]