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Alain Ducasse

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More Than Just a Taste of New York

Last night's A Taste of New York, a major culinary gala presented by New York Magazine at the Puck Building and benefiting City Harvest, was an orgy of food and mirth. Over 30 of the city's best restaurants, from Alain Ducasse to wd-50, set up tables with a signature dish, and a boisterous crowd of well-heeled foodies circulated around, trying the food and chatting up the chefs.

Jason Neroni: I Love Wylie, But ...

A friend of Porchetta chef Jason Neroni has alerted us to the fact that, despite having taken over for Wylie Dufresne at 71 Clinton Fresh Foods before starting his new gig, Neroni does not consider Dufresne his mentor. "Because Wylie made such a name for 71 Clinton Fresh Food, I think people tend to compare our styles a lot," Neroni tells us. "But Smith Street isn't the Lower East Side, and I'm in this business to do what I love, and to be myself." The chef credits Alice Waters and Dan Hill for teaching him about ingredients, Floyd Cardoz for teaching him about "multidimensionality," and Alain Ducasse for teaching him to "slow down, combine all the elements, and create a cuisine that I could, for the first time, truly consider to be mine." A Restaurant Revolution on Smith Street? [Grub Street]

Michelin's Explosive New Red Book

Michelin dropped its ratings bomb today, and it's safe to say that the New York restaurant world is, as usual, reeling. Though not as consequential as a Zagat snub, business-wise, the Michelin ratings are closer to the hearts of top chefs. (French chef Bernard Loiseau was widely believed to have killed himself over a Michelin downgrade.) The book is supposed to be in stores tomorrow (though our local Barnes & Noble says it's not even at the distributor yet). We do, however, know of some surprises. Messrs. Boulud, Bouley, and Takahama are no doubt having lousy afternoons.

Chefs Tortured by Possible Foie Gras Ban; De Niro Versus Trans Fat

• In New Jersey, where a big distributor of foie gras is based, a legislator proposes banning the delicacy. Anthony Bourdain ain't gonna take it: "It's like beating up on Julia Child." [AP] • "Some day a real rain will come and wash all the trans fats off the streets"? Bloomberg attempts to rope Robert De Niro into the debate. [Newsday] • Alain Ducasse moves to the former Lespinasse space in the St. Regis hotel and plans decanters modeled after Louis Vuitton trunks. [NYT] • Ruth Reichl: Coming to a multiplex near you. [NYP] • The new face of caviar: scannable sturgeons and fish biopsies. [NYT] • Starbucks rips off the Egg McMuffin. [Dow Jones] • Greenpoint's Café Grumpy rents its back room out to hipstervangelists. [NYDN] • Del Posto, Craftsteak, and Buddakan called out as the principal hells of the meatpacking district: "The assholes are eating assholes. The cocks are eating coxcombs." [Gawker]