The restaurant that David Bouley plans to open next year with Japan’s largest professional cooking school will be a multilevel space featuring a robata grill, a Japanese room with Western touches, and a kaiseki dining room serving Kyoto-style seasonal tasting menus. [NYT]
Related: David Bouley to Open Restaurant With Japan's Top Cooking School
Scott Bryan has left Veritas, and not for 10 Downing Street, apparently. And, in underwhelming FloFab news, Daniel Boulud still hasn't chosen a name for his master's burger restaurant, and Lever House's Deborah Snyder is the new pastry chef at Alto and L’Impero. [NYT]
The executive producer of Top Chef answers questions about cheftestants who hook up and challenges that didn't make the cut. [NYDN]
Can the Red Hook Vendors never rest? Now Cesar Fuentes is causing concern for resigning and threatening to sue the same people he represented. [NYT]
Bourdain considers Wednesday’s Top Chef a waste, as the producers snagged Eric Ripert only to “shoehorn him into a Scout jamboree” when “it would have been nice, given the all-too-rare presence of a distinguished specialist, to see what the kids could REALLY do with fish.” And why won't Hung cook Vietnamese? [Bourdain’s Blog/Bravo]
Discrimination lawyer Marc Rapaport is surprised by his own defense of O’Reilly in a Times op-ed about the Sylvia’s incident, saying “it is apparent from [his comments’] context that O’Reilly was actually attempting to dispel racial stereotypes regarding African-Americans.” [PR Web]
We’re not much for coffee-table books, but the forthcoming My Last Supper is so shockingly weird, and shockingly good, that we would consider buying it. “What would your last meal be?” is a popular question for chefs, but the answers here are far better than you would expect. (Masa Takayama wants to cook for Orthodox Jews; Wylie Dufresne would eat vegetables “just to placate my mom.”)
Ah, how time gets away from us! It was only one year ago that Grub Street began. How we long for those innocent days of yore! We poked through our archives, and, while we had to put a few personal favorites aside, here’s our short list of Grub Street’s Greatest Hits.
No offense to one of our favorite writers, but Anthony Bourdain’s stories are starting to become as rehashed as the specials he warned us against ordering in Kitchen Confidential.. Yes, Tony, we know that during the year 1977, you were shooting up, listening to punk, and hitting the after-hours clubs as we’re reminded in this essay in the latest issue of Spin. And we know about “the bathroom of CBGB, awash in turds, glassine bags, condoms, and used works.” (This may have been what Paul Levy meant about bravado-filled writing.) We’ll say this, though: Even if Bourdain’s essay doesn’t say anything new (couldn’t he have at least looted his boss’s charcuterie during the blackout?), the piece is worth a look just for the photo of the man sporting a machete and locks reminiscent of Howard Stern. We can just imagine the “bitter, delicious taste of heroin in the back of [his] throat”!
Eat to the Beat [Spin]
Related:British Toff Decries the Coarseness of Modern Food Writing
We’re still scratching our heads over an essay in Slate today, in which a British journalist, fretting over what he considers the unseemliness of today’s food writing, declares himself out of the game. Is it for real? Something about the piece had the whiff of a put-on, like Ernie Kovacs’s poet character, Percy Dovetonsils, or one of those stuffy authority figures who get hit with a pie in a TV commercial appealing to teenagers. “The food writing that’s in vogue today consists chiefly of a bellow of bravado,” writes Paul Levy, formerly of the British newspaper The Observer. Today’s food writers, he says, “thrive on the undertow of violence they detect in the professional kitchen, and like to linger on the unappetizing aspects of food preparation. The gross-out factor trumps tasting good as well as good taste.” Is he kidding?
Another day, another pissed-off restaurant worker writing an Internet roman à clef. This one, penned with panache by a one Peanut Butter Jesus, isn’t quite as delicious as Sympathy for the Restaurant Industry, maybe because it’s not quite as obvious who the players are. At least one person’s identity is unmistakable:
People he played that game with now fly around the world and tell TV Chefs their broccolini blows. They have three assistants you have to get through just to say “fuck you, meet me at Siberia in twenty minutes”. That game is gone, now filled with cookbooks and TV spots on Today, filled with front of house managers sitting on their ass in their offices during service.
Alright, so that takes care of the man with no reservations. But who are the other characters and venues based on? Here's what we're dealing with:
Bourdain says he’s not the asshole he looked like on Top Chef last night. [Bravo]
In Momo news, David Chang has started serving bento-like Momo Boxes during lunch at Ssäm Bar. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Bobby Flay’s Bolo is about to be flattened to make way for more real estate. The 22nd Street curse continues! [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Batali won’t admit he’s been canned by the Food Network even though inside sources say he’s just trying to save face. [NYP]
Pinkberry Corporation issues an apology upon learning its N.Y. outlets pump hollow servings. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Tony Bourdain analyzes what made Howie tick: "When I look at Howie, short, bald, pants looking two sizes too big on him, built like a small tank and with an expression on his face like a closed fist, I sense the end product of a long line of tormentors." Is Bourdain the best reality-show blogger ever, or what? [Bourdain’s Blog/Bravo]
The opening of Tailor has been pushed back to September 1. Another delay? Who would have thought it? [Eater]
Related: Farewell, Sam Mason. Hello, Tailor
Tony Bourdain outdoes himself taking it to Howie in his Top Chef blog: “neither logic, nor the criticisms of chefs as great as Daniel, nor the passing seasons — nor even blunt objects — can infiltrate the inner workings of his space-age polymer nose-cone.” [Bravo]
Andrea Strong details her experience as a guest judge on Top Chef – and gives the full review that was read from on last night’s episode. [Strong Buzz]
Astoria: Anthony Bourdain featured Ali’s Kebab Cafe on No Reservations, and here’s the video of him downing offal. [Joey in Astoria]
Boerum Hill: Workers are renovating the old Independence Bank for Trader Joe’s. The space may even retain its character! [Lost City]
East Village: AvroKO and Public boys Brad and Adam Farmerie hope to score a liquor license for their new place, Superior. B Flat applied for a license at the same Bond Street space a few months back and was denied. [Eater] E.U. will accept euros as payment from August 24 through Labor Day. You can eat 34 cents more on the dollar! [Grub Street]
Financial District: Stonehouse California Olive Oil has moved to the South Street Seaport and refills bottles at $2 off the regular price. [NYT]
Hell’s Kitchen: No free Cuban for you today; unfinished construction indicates the new Sophie’s on 40th between Seventh and Eighth is in no way ready for a grand opening. [Midtown Lunch]
With the Parks Department temporarily off their back, the Red Hook food vendors now have a new enemy: the ever-mischievous Department of Health. [Serious Eats]
Related: The Threat to Red Hook’s Street-Food Paradise Unites New York Foodies
Anthony Bourdain doesn’t have any sympathy for last night’s Top Chef loser, Sara: “I've worked with women cooks who could crank out a hundred fifty meals off a very busy grill station in freakin’ stilettos and still have the energy to give Howie the beating of his life — so that don't cut it as an excuse.” Bonus: Bourdain on Rocco’s career arc. [Bravo]
Related: Joey, Latest ‘Top Chef’ Non-Winner, on Why Rocco Is a Douche Bag
The hidden food treasures of the Bronx range from an ancient candy store where you can get a classic egg cream to a Chino-Latino place with great shrimp mofungo. [NYP]
Alex Ureña is closing Ureña and turning it into “a bistro-style eater called Pamplona.” The modern Spanish curse continues! Now Suba alone carries the banner. [Eater]
Rocco DiSpirito doesn’t seem to mind being called a douche bag: “I was thinking he must have worked for me to know I'm a douche bag,” the chef tells Nina Lalli. [VV]
Related: Joey, Latest ‘Top Chef’ Non-Winner, on Why Rocco Is a Douche Bag
On his Top Chef blog Tony Bourdain has some wise words to console Joey: “Joey's the chef of a damn famous restaurant in New York freakin' City. The place every ambitious cook and chef hopes to work — in the big leagues. So he's already a "Top Chef" — and already a winner in my book.” [Bravo]
Related: Adam Platt Finds the Moral in Last Night’s ‘Top Chef’
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, has been going online anonymously on Yahoo Finance bulletin boards for seven years to blast rival Wild Oats and talk up Whole Foods stock. [NYT]
Related: Did Michael Pollan Throw the Whole Foods Debate? (Just Asking)Magnolia Bakery, closed for less than a day for having only one sink, has now been reopened after promising to install another one. [Eater]
Related: A Sad Day for Overhyped Pastries: Magnolia Shuttered [Daily Intel]
Anthony Bourdain is warming up to The Next Food Network Star. As a matter of fact, you could say that he’s become a devoted fan: “Whether it's the butterfly mobiles dangling from my ceiling, the onset of early dementia, or long delayed side effects of past drug use drawing me to the tube Sunday nights, I'll be watching.” [Ruhlman]
Marco Pierre White showed up at Borders last night for a book signing with two friends in tow: Mario Batali and Tony Bourdain. We sat down with the latter two for a few minutes before the event and picked their brains. In true style, Mario sent one of the store’s managers out for a bottle of vodka and some tonic at the start, but as the harried fellow didn’t arrive until the end, this discussion was conducted in cold sobriety.
Some highlights of Tony Bourdain's lively excoriation of last night's Food Network Awards, just posted on Ruhlman:
“Okay … so some brain dead douche bags from Ad Sales and 'creative' got together and cooked up this hybrid, fur-bearing catfish of a beast, this jackalope of a High Concept. Fine. That's what they do. But who green lit this monstrosity?”
“The production itself — above and beyond the witless, ill-considered, just-plain stupid "concept" of an Awards show where most of the awards' went to inanimate objects (accepting the award for Best Comfort Food is … Macaroni and Cheese!!), appliances or cities (Portland's mayor wisely did not bother to show), — the production values — were lower than whale shit.”
“Did the network, upon realizing (as they surely did) that the whole thing was a hideous, stultifyingly boring cluster fuck — and a public slap to their talent — did they consider maybe having the good taste to just bury the whole thing in archives like a rotten bone? They reportedly had no trouble burying the Ripert and the Ramsay episodes of the excellent, critically acclaimed My Country My Kitchen. Have they no decency?
There's a famous story where Robert Mitchum walks into studio head David O Selznick's office, pulls down his pants and takes a crap on his white carpet. I hope Emeril is pinching a loaf right now.”
But honestly, Mr. Bourdain, what did you think of the program?
The Fabulous Food Network Awards!! [Ruhlman]