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King Kobayashi Dethroned; Per Se Chef Moves On

Joey Jaws skewers Kobayashi in hot-dog contest, downing 66 HDBs for new record. [Major League Eating] Per Se's Mark Twersky becomes top chef at Alfama; Brian Goodman named exec chef at Parea. [NYT] Is the controversial farm bill responsible for childhood obesity and diabetes? [NYT] Daily News survey of two restaurants, writer's own eating habits indicates that servings of ratatouille may be on the uptick. [NYDN] Flushing is a hotbed of Korean chicken joints. [VV]

Alfama Gets a New Chef and, Soon, Some Global Influences

The West Village’s Alfama, one of the city’s top Portuguese restaurants, has lost its chef and is headed into new territory. Luis Caseira’s last day in the kitchen was this past Thursday, and he has been replaced with executive sous-chef Mark Twersky. (Caseira, we’re told, left to return to Portugal to be with his 11-year-old son.) Alfama’s loss may turn out to be our gain, as Twersky, a veteran of Per Se’s kitchen, should liven up what has been a fine but somewhat stodgy restaurant. The new menu, which will reflect Twersky’s attempts to create a more contemporary kind of Portuguese cooking using ingredients from Africa and Asia, among other places, will be in place by June 21, Tarcisio Costa, Alfama’s co-owner, tells us. “We’ll still have our traditional dishes, but Mark will also create dishes with a more modern approach, based on the many world cultures that are a part of Portugal’s history.” So in case you never connected Mozambique with Portugal, a pleasant surprise might be in the offing.

Sam Mason Is Hiring in Soho

Chelsea: Taste from over 400 wines plus eats from Alfama and Tintol at Vini Portugal, tonight at Pier 60's Lighthouse. [Slow Food USA] Columbus Circle: Bouchon Bakery to beef up its menu starting tomorrow with the addition of Waygu sliders. [A Hamburger Today] Park Slope: Whole Foods marks its toxic territory. [The Gowanus Lounge] Soho: Sam Mason is hiring [Eat for Victory/VV] Tribeca: Mai House will launch a late-night menu of dishes under $10 served after 10 p.m. starting April 25. [Myriad Restaurant Group] Tonight, Centrico is closed for a private party. [Grub Street]

Anthos Broadsided, Gramercy Tavern Hammered

Bruni sympathetically reviews Nish, handing down two stars, but he seems less impressed than other critics (with the exception of Randall Lane). [NYT] Peter Meehan enjoys the tapas at Ostia, but suggests that the trend may have played itself out. [NYT] Alan Richman gives what may be the first totally negative write-up of Gramercy Tavern: Apparently the food is complicated and bland, the service undersupervised, and the room lacking in personality. A major blow to new chef Michael Anthony. [Bloomberg] Related: Everything Topsy-Turvy at Gramercy Tavern