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]
Back of the House
Pelaccio, Goldfarb to Open the WindsorDespite efforts to keep their new project a secret, Zak Pelaccio and cake whiz Will Goldfarb have been outed! A blog called the Life Vicarious sussed out the existence of the Windsor by examining a James Beard–event listing. The Windsor, says the listing, will be a “cozy yet elegant collaboration they hope will become a hangout for chefs and food lovers alike.” Life Vicarious surmises the new restaurant will be next door to BarFry, at 51 Carmine Street. BarFry man Josh DeChellis is also involved, as well as Goldfarb cohort Robert Truitt. “It will have European, elegant, elevated snacks — jamón ibérico, oysters, a big Champagne list, and we’ll have something going in a Crock-Pot every night,” Pelaccio tells us. “It will be homey and casual, and, we hope, open from four to four. I’ll be creating panini and a lot of other things.”
“The mark of a cad” [The Life Vicarious, via Eater]
Dufresne, Goldfarb, and AvroKo Are ‘Unconventional Geniuses,’ in
Liquor Marketing Gimmick #2,391— randomly hand out awards! Tonight Chopin Vodka honors eight “Unconventional Geniuses,” and among them are Wylie Dufresne, the AvroKo design firm, and (per the press release) “pioneer in the pastry movement” Will Goldfarb. Apparently a whopping three-eighths of today’s unconventional geniuses are associated with the restaurant world! (Non-chef picks include director John Cameron Mitchell and artist Kenny Scharf, if you’re looking for perspective.) You’ll have to attend the party tonight at Peter White Studio to find out what the top-secret award looks like, but, as a point of reference, Johnnie Walker’s “30 Under 30” (none of them chefs) received personally engraved bottles of Johnnie Black. Dare to dream, unconventional geniuses!
Goldfarb Will Make Your Saturday; 1OAK Might Open SomedaySome desserts you’ll be able to try when Will Goldfarb starts serving at the new Dessert Studio at Michel Cluizel this Saturday include “white chocolate gelato drizzled with olive oil; Indonesian vanilla ice cream with American caviar; and chocolate-hazelnut cake with apricots and brown sugar ice.” Okay, we need to take a cold shower. [NYT]
Related: Cluizel, Goldfarb to Join Forces in Dessert Pact
1OAK really is close to opening, maybe two or three weeks according to one random construction worker — or is that four to six weeks? [Imbible/Citysearch]
Related: Until 1OAK Opens, Look for Richie Akiva at Scores
New French wine bar Solex is shaping up to be in competition with Momofuku 2.0 for late-night chef hangout. [Mouthing Off/Food&Wine]
In the Magazine
The Truffle Madness Continues for Another Week
It’s truffle time at New York — a three-part celebration of the original Magic Mushroom (and you know how we feel about that). Moving beyond the fabulous fungi, Adam Platt made his way down to Allen & Delancey and was so impressed with the place that he almost gave it three stars — before remembering that he was Adam Platt.
Celebrity-Chef ‘Pop-Up’ Café Open in Midtown; Halloween RecipeAstoria: Freeze Peach is hosting a costume party Saturday at 8 p.m. and it’s BYO. [Joey in Astoria]
Boerum Hill: Balsamic vinegar is available as a topping at the new ecofriendly ice-cream parlor Blue Marble, on Atlantic Avenue near Bond Street. [Bergen Carroll]
Chelsea: Tekserv is hosting a Mac OS X Leopard release party tonight with free food and live jazz, and the winner of the leopard-themed costume contest gets an iPod. [Blog Chelsea]
Clinton Hill: New restaurant Mariam at 975 Fulton Street features cuisine from Senegal, Kenya, and Guinea, but even though okra was “cooked down to an indiscernible sludge,” it doesn’t feel overextended; the spot will soon add Jamaican food to the menu. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Flatiron: The Manhattan branch of Boerum Hill restaurant Lunetta opens Monday on Broadway at 21st Street. [Grub Street]
Lower East Side: Essex Street’s newest Shamalian bar may have opened for a night this week, but it’s closed now. [Eater] Just in time for Halloween house parties, the Stanton Social has provided a simple recipe for pumpkin croquettes. [Restaurant Girl]
Meatpacking District: The communal table at Los Dados is supposedly a hot singles scene. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Midtown West: Bon Appétit’s “Pop-Up” café opened yesterday and features sandwiches and salads designed by Emeril, Giada, Govind, and Pichet Ong, plus desserts from Will Goldfarb. [Midtown Lunch]
Related: Celebrity Chefs Flock to Former Home of Cheesy Celebrity Restaurant
Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: Papas & Sons market was busted Wednesday. “Word on the street is that someone in there was running numbers,” but no one’s talking. [Across the Park]
Cipriani Still Living High on the Hog; Another Mechanical Bull Comes to New YorkThe nation can rest easy in the knowledge that Giuseppe Cipriani is still cruising around in a Rolls-Royce, has kept his private jet, and may even build another yacht in addition to the one he already owns. [NYP]
The Shamalian boys opened their rockabilly bar on Essex last night even though it’s unfinished, and there really is a bull! [Eater]
The Federal Trade Commission has launched their second attack against the Whole Foods–Wild Oats merger vowing that even though money has already exchanged hands that the integration can still be stopped. [NYT]
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.
Cluizel, Goldfarb to Join Forces in Dessert PactWord in candyland is that a dual project of some kind is in the works between Chocolat Michel Cluizel, one of the city’s top chocolatiers, and none other than Will Goldfarb, Grub Street “It” boy and master of a million projects. Neither side would release details to us but did tacitly acknowledge that something is up. It wouldn’t surprise us to find out that at least one other dessert-making entity is involved as well. The project’s official announcement is likely a week or so away, but we thought you would want time to brace yourselves for its arrival.
Mega Food Weekend Takes Over Pier 94Culinary events in New York are getting bigger all the time, and now comes word of a behemoth so immense that it’s going to require all of Pier 94. Cook. Eat. Drink. Live., to be held October 26-27th, will be a kind of vast, sprawling combination of a giant trade show (think the Fancy Food Show) as well as a giant dining event (à la Taste of New York), adding in fifteen cooking classes a day, five wine-tasting classes, and five mixology classes too, all with the likes of Will Goldfarb, Ilan Hall, Josh DeChellis, and Paul Liebrandt. Normally, this orgy of A-list epicureanism would cost $325 a day, but buy tickets with the NYMAG code for a reduced rate of $175 a day or $350 for the weekend, including all demos.
Cook. Eat. Drink. Live [Official Site]
Goldfarb Pooh-Poohs Doubts of Picnick’s Success
How has the opening of Picnick been going? Some Goldfarbian skeptics might say not so well. Writers to Eater have detailed their disappointments in graphic terms (“There was a bone in my pork. Ow.”), and now one of our correspondents writes in to ask, “What’s with Picnick? It was open for Labor Day and a couple days after, but now it seems to always be closed? Is there an official date for a re-opening?”
Tycoons Tipping Badly; Goldfarb Is a Big, Bright, Shining StarWall Street big shots, frantic over stock-market fluctuations, are taking it out on the poor waiters who live on their tips. [NYP]
Will Goldfarb holds forth to Restaurant Girl at great length on his “brand identity”: “I think that Room 4 Dessert would definitely be credited with starting the pastry chef trend as crossover/rock star status that it has found in the media in the last 18 months.” Oh, definitely. [Restaurant Girl]
Related: Room 4 Dessert Is Dead, Long Live Room 4 Dessert
Frank Bruni tries to get in on the Top Chef action but has it all wrong: “Has Top Chef ever had a villain as obnoxious as Howie?” A villain? What show is he watching? [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Related: Truces and Vanilla Candles Ruin This Week’s ‘Top Chef’
Ciprianis May Lose Fifth Avenue Lease; New York May Lose Iconic SignThe Cipriani family may lose the lease on its Fifth Avenue property because of their criminal case. [NYP]
Just like the Moondance Diner, Jade Mountain’s iconic neon sign looks like it’s headed out of town. [Lost City]
Will Goldfarb better get to work on that glyph, because apparently his new restaurant won’t be called Room 4 Dessert for legal reasons. [Eater]
Related: Room 4 Dessert Is Dead, Long Live Room 4 Dessert
Room 4 Dessert Is Dead, Long Live Room 4 Dessert
In what might be the least surprising news of the summer, Will Goldfarb has told Grub Street that Room 4 Dessert, at least in its current location, is kaput. (The place has been closed for months, but Goldfarb has been promising it would reopen.) “We’re officially pulling the plug on 17 Cleveland Place,” the cake whiz tells us. “But we’re going to reopen, bigger and better, six months from today.” Goldfarb, theatrical as ever, refuses to disclose the location of the new place, except to say that it’s downtown “in another high-profile restaurant row.”
Brothers Bromberg Bringing Japanese Barbecue to Columbus CircleAstoria: Bistro 33 on Ditmars at 21st Street has opened its outdoor seating and launched a weekend brunch featuring apple-Brie omelettes and blueberry pancakes. [Joey in Astoria]
Battery Park City: Former Thor chef Kevin Pomplun is the director of operations for Will Goldfarb’s kiosk, Picnick, and there are more details about what will be on offer. [Gothamist]
Columbus Circle: The Blue Ribbon coming to new hotel Six Columbus will transcend sushi by offering both a raw bar and Japanese barbecue. [Down by the Hipster]
Harlem: Legendary soul-food destination Copeland’s Restaurant will close on Monday after 50 years and one last Sunday brunch. [NYT]
Lower East Side: The herring at Russ & Daughters builds “manly strength.” [Eat for Victory/VV]
Red Hook: DeFonte’s owner can’t go on vacation without spurring concern that the mom-and-pop sandwich shop has closed for good. [Lost City]
Sagaponack: Townline BBQ is up and running as of Monday, hoping to succeed where four other restaurants have failed. [NYT]
Goldfarb’s Kiosks to Invade Battery Park in SeptemberAstoria: Hellgate Community Supported Agriculture is distributing some very fine cherries, chives, and beets today. [Joey in Astoria]
Battery Park: Will Goldfarb’s high-concept kiosks should open around Labor Day. [NYS]
Greenwich Village: Lassi now sells packets of their freshly ground spices, including musky mango powder and tandoori masala. [NYT]
Harlem: Sample exotic desserts and wine this evening at Make My Cake; beats provided by 90.3 WHCR. [Uptown Flavor]
Morningside Heights: The owners of Clinton St. Baking Company plan to open a green restaurant on Broadway near 112th Street by the end of August. [NYT]
Shelter Island: The Pridwin Beach Hotel & Cottages hosts all-you-can-eat cookouts every Wednesday night beginning July 4. [Hamptons.com]
Upper East Side: Food historian and cookbook author Francine Segan will discuss the aphrodisiacal history of various foods from ginseng to rhinoceros horns at the 92nd Street Y tonight at 6:30 p.m. Samples will be notably more tame and will probably involve chocolate. [92nd Street Y]
Williamsburg: U.K.-based TMI Food Group, whose packaged products include cooked sandwich bacon, opened its new food-manufacturing facility today at 7 Bushwick Place. [Bridal Blog/NYO]
Daniel and Anthos Hit Big at Dessert AwardsThe Golden Scoop Pastry awards held last night had everything you would want from a dessert awards: a victory parade of New York chefs, a dozen world-class desserts, and a seven-foot pastry chef–slash–drag queen named Chocolatina. The ceremony was held at the French Culinary Institute and awarded prizes in five categories, the most important of which, Best Dessert Menu, was won by Dominque Ansel of Daniel. The most intense competition, though, may well have been Most Innovative Dessert, a coveted trophy in today’s go-go world of rock-star experimental dessert chefs.
Will Goldfarb Is Changing the World, One Kiosk at a Time
The last time we checked in, Will Goldfarb, the Room 4 Dessert chef, had just begun convincing restaurants around town to outsource their dessert program to him. Now the ultracaffeinated cake whiz has colonized Battery Park, beating out some major rivals to develop and operate two lunch kiosks there. The stands won’t be open until late summer, but Goldfarb has typically high-concept plans for both. Former Thor chef Kevin Pomplun will run the kitchen, producing high-end sandwiches (a sous-vide chicken club; an oil-packed Sardinian tuna with tarragon mayo on ciabatta) and Goldfarbian desserts (pistachio panna cotta, hot chocolate mousse).
My Edgy, Broke Cousin Wants to Hit the Hot Spots!
Dear Grub Street,My cousin is coming in next week from Indiana and wants to see the “hottest” NYC restaurants that he has read about on your Weblog and in New York Magazine. Where do you think I should take him? He likes “edgy” places and doesn’t have a lot of money to spend (nor do I). Should we go to the Spotted Pig or Casa Mono? Momofuku Ssäm Bar? Where? Any advice would be great.Gloria
Sam Mason Joins a Molecular Secret SocietyWelcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.
Back of the House
Inside the Troubled Russian Tea Room; Meyer and Others on Media ScrutinyThe fullest account yet of the debacle that is the new Russian Tea Room. Gary Robins comes out looking far more sinned against than sinning, and the owner comes out looking like a jerk. [NYP]
A blue-ribbon panel including Mario Batali, Bill Telepan, and Danny Meyer study the question of whether it’s possible to open a restaurant under the radar. The near unanimous answer is no. Will Goldfarb suggests one way: “Do it in Queens.” [Snack]
Pichet Ong formerly of Spice Market is the first of the hot pastry chefs to open his own restaurant, the eponymous P*ong. Rivals Sam Mason and Jehangir Mehta (formerly of Aix) are close behind. [NYS]
Related: The Launch [Grub Street]
Feisty, Ambitious Will Goldfarb: “Fire Your Pastry Chef!”Will Goldfarb, whose high-concept creations have made Room 4 Dessert a big hit with city gourmands, is now taking over the dessert program at Zak Pelaccio’s meatpacking mecca 5 Ninth. Although Goldfarb is the first of the rock-star pastry chefs to provide outsourcing, it could be the wave of the future. “I just can’t do it,” Pelaccio says of having in-house desserts. “We don’t have the space, and it’s not economically sound, anyway. We can’t afford to pay a full-time pastry chef sixty or seventy thousand dollars a year.” (The new treats include a hot-chocolate martini with Calvados gelato, topped with saffron crumbs and Ligurian olive oil; a coconut parfait with lime sorbet and smoked-tea meringue; and Nutella over kabocha-squash cake, served with whole-milk ice cream.) Outside the world of composed sweets, the trend is already in full swing: Il Labatorio del Gelato owner Jon Snyder estimates that around one in five New York restaurants that serve gelato is getting it directly from his company. “We just did a sake kasu gelato for EN Japanese Brasserie,” he tells us. As far as Goldfarb is concerned, 5 Ninth is just the start; he has deals under way with two other restaurants and preliminary plans to service several more. “Fire your pastry chef,” the cake whiz says. “We’re your Bangladesh.”
What to Eat Tonight
Wacky Desserts by the Pastry All-StarsPastry chefs like Sam Mason (the man who’s sharing the experience of opening a new restaurant with us) are often on the cutting edge of New York cooking these days. The three chefs whose desserts we’re highlighting today all have major reputations. So if you go to wd-50 or Chanterelle tonight, make sure you leave some room. (Presumably that won’t be a problem at Room 4 Dessert.)
In the Magazine
New Year’s Eve: Where to Eat Before You Get HammeredThe usual New Year’s Eve drill, of course, is to get hammered at a party while noshing away at whatever happens to be put out. This year, why not preface the evening with a real meal, sending out the old with one last act of gluttony? In one of this week’s Short Lists —
“Out With a Bang” — Rob and Robin suggest the most extravagant NYE dinner options. For those of us who have made resolutions to spend something less than $650 on holiday meals, there are some other possibilities more likely to fall within your credit limit.
How to Make Restaurant Desserts at Home (Hint: Use Methylcellulose)Making weird restaurant dishes at home is a dicey business, especially when you’re talking about avant-garde trademarks like Room 4 Dessert’s “Ice Ice Café.” (Ingredients: white coffee sabayon, espresso fluid gel, basil-seeds caviar, and passion-fruit sponge cake.) Still, ambitious suckers now have a glimmer of hope: Will Goldfarb, Room 4 Dessert’s chef, doesn’t mind giving away a few secrets, if it means another revenue stream. Through a service he’s calling “Willpowder,” Goldfarb’s selling the obscure (in the supermarket, at least) constituents he uses to make his dishes — and offering live advice over the phone to supplement the recipes on his Website. “The idea is to be able to reproduce anything you had in our restaurant,” Goldfarb tells us. You want it, he’s got it: methylcellulose (a stabilizer: “it makes ingredients hold together so you can aerate them”), lecithin (an emulsifying agent: “hot chocolate mousse that doesn’t fall or break”), and flavor agents like tandoori masala. But isn’t Goldfarb worried about every nut in town calling and interrupting him and his people in the kitchen? “Nah. Every nut in town calls me up already.”
Nicole Kaplan Ditching Eleven Madison ParkOne of the city’s top pastry chefs is on the move: Nicole Kaplan, who served under two chefs at Eleven Madison Park and helped create the custard at Shake Shack, has given her notice. “I’m leaving sometime before the end of the year,” she tells us. “I’m looking at pastry-chef positions at several good restaurants and hotels.” Is there any temptation, we asked, to go the way of Will Goldfarb, Pichet Ong, and Francois Payard, and open her own dessert restaurant? “I’m not quite there yet,” Kaplan says. “I wish I was. But my husband” — Sea Grill chef de cuisine Jawn Chasteen — “and I have two kids and a big mortgage!” Kaplan says that wherever she goes, she plans on sticking to her style, which she describes as “three- or four-star comfort food.” “Dessert tastes don’t really change over time. Nobody is looking to eat a dessert they have to think about,” she says.
Calling All Augustus GloopsChocolate, of course, inspires in some people a kind of cultish devotion: They argue the merits of rival chocolatiers, debate the proper percentage of cocoa in candy, and would rather go dumpster diving than eat a Hershey bar. This is the weekend for them: The ninth annual Chocolate Show begins today at the Metropolitan Pavilion and extends through the weekend; $25 bucks will earn one adult and two tykes admission. Nearly every chocolate-maker worth his golden ticket present, many of whom, such as Francois Payard, Will Goldfarb of Room 4 Dessert, and many others, will be giving culinary demonstrations. And then there are the chocolate cocktails, the “KidZone” with chocolate painting, the spa treatments …
The Ninth Annual Chocolate Show New York 2006