We've just received word that come this November, Project Runway will move from Bravo to Lifetime, the "No. 1 network for women" and made-for-television movies starring Meredith Baxter Birney. Please note the adjustment on your DVRs!
Name: Bethenny Frankel Age: 37 Neighborhood: Upper East Side Occupation: Health-conscious celebrity chef, star of The Real Housewives of New York City, Health-magazine columnist, Pepperidge Farm Baked Naturals spokeswoman.
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.
We've been hearing bits and pieces about this for a couple of months now, but the Daily News has busted the story of Bravo's Real Housewives of New York City wide open. With pretty pictures of the pretty ladies, and quotes from all of them about what the show is going to be like ("We work hard and then we party hard!"), their coverage has succeeded in getting us really amped up about the new show. Since it starts out all the way in March, we plan on doing a little buildup research in the meantime. Maybe, if it turns out to be good, we can try being obsessed with it like we were with Gossip Girl. They'll have to earn it, though, we don't go through two bottles of wine, a box of tissues, and a Klonopin once a week for just any show. And from what we can scrounge up so far, we're not yet sold. Below, what a quick scan of Nexis teaches us about these so-called socialites:
• Fashion entrepreneur Ramona Singer has zero appearances in the gossip columns and only one appearance on Bill Cunningham's page in the Times (though it was in the Hamptons so that surely earns her some points). But she has eight mentions or pictures on newyorksocialdiary.com, which is technically more legit.
• Alex McCord, who lives in Cobble Hill and is therefore the only cast member not filming from the Upper East Side, has appeared once on Cunningham's page (from a Metropolitan Opera opening) and only twice on NYSD.
• Aleksey Vayner, everyone's favorite bizarre self-promoting video maker, is back with a new Website and perhaps a book! Impossible may be nothing after all. [Gawker]
• Goldman Sachs set new records with their $20.2 billion bonus pool, including $67.9 million for Lloyd Blankfein, but rumor has it the bank decided to stiff their back-office employees. [NYP]
• Blankfein's salary still pales in comparison to hedge-fund kings like John Paulson and Paolo Pellegrini, who raked in more than $1 billion each in 2007 betting against the housing market. [NYT]
• Hedi Slimane is back in talks with LVMH to launch his own fashion house. Everyone, commence jumping up and down. [WWD]
• IMG is behind Bravo’s new model show but won’t be giving the winner a contract. [Fashionista]
• Not even Cavalli can rev up H&M’s sales. [NYP]
Comely wannabes looking to launch their modeling careers usually bunk up in tiny apartments to make ends meet until they land that elusive cover. But not apparently the contestants for Make Me a Supermodel, Bravo's upcoming reality series. A tipster says scouts for the show, slated to hit the air early next year and hosted by the easy-on-the-eyes Tyson Beckford, recently checked out a luxe (read camera-ready) 4500-square-foot penthouse on West 20th Street with five bedrooms, four and a half baths, and a roof deck. It's currently on the market for $8.2 million, though apparently also available for rent for somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 a month. Listing broker Darren Sukenik of Prudential Douglas Elliman declined to comment. Needless to say, it's not your average apartment, for models or otherwise. —S. Jhoanna Robledo129 West 20th Street [Prudential Douglas Elliman]
Manhattan Moms, an East Coast equivalent of Bravo's The Real Housewives of Orange County, will premiere early next year. A lot of the city's foremost graffiti artists congregated for a book party at Auto in the meatpacking district. Billy Joel is in talks with the Mets to perform a bunch of gigs at Shea Stadium. George Steinbrenner will have a high school named after him in Tampa. Padma Lakshmi was rude to the staff at Soho eatery Fiamma, but Martha Stewart overtipped and was nice. CNN gave out an award to someone for forcing "one of the world's largest oil corporations to pay more than $6 billion to clean up toxic waste in the Amazon rain forest," but didn't name Chevron as the company because they are an advertiser.
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 this week's cover story on the challenges facing winners of Bravo's reality shows, New York's Jennifer Senior noted that two years after winning Project Runway's first season, Jay McCarroll is still homeless in New York, using his studio and other people’s couches as crash pads. How did Senior know McCarroll was homeless? He told her so. But once the fact appeared in print, he denied it, posting mocking YouTube videos of himself wandering city streets with a cardboard sign reading “Will Design for Food.” Then his best friend and publicist, Nancy Kane, responded more aggressively, as publicists and best friends are wont to do: She left an angry voice-mail message for Senior Tuesday charging that the suggestion McCarroll is homeless is “unequivocally untrue.” She went on: "His studio is a live/work space, and it might not be ideal, but it is more than a lot of people have in New York City, and he pays rent every month.” Later in the day, however, she must have realized this wasn’t much of a response; in fact, it was exactly what Senior had written. So Kane proceeded to tell various gossip columns that New York Magazine had fallen for a hoax. Jay, she said, in fact lives in a beautiful apartment building at 72nd Street and Riverside Drive. Perhaps. (Why Kane's so defensive we don't know. There’s no shame in struggling for your success, which was the whole point of Senior’s story.) We'll choose to believe the version enshrined in her voice mail, reported in the magazine, and detailed by McCarroll himself. Don't believe us? Take a look at the transcript, after the jump.
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