Wonder chef Paul Liebrandt, presumably having some time on his hands while he keeps the world waiting for his restaurant to open, has started a blog, we read in The Feed today, and what a blog it is! The usually garrulous and acerbic Liebrandt’s posts are so brief, pointless, and banal that they can only be read as a middle finger extended into the blogosphere. Among the bombshells dropped:
Remember that little food bet Hizzoner made with Boston’s mayor over who’d win the Super Bowl? Well, pay-up time has come, and our northern neighbors will be donating 100 cups of New England clam chowder, 42 lbs. of coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, twelve dozen Boston cream pies and twelve dozen Parker house rolls, 100 Old Tyme hot dogs and 100 Al Fresco chicken sausages, twenty pizzas, five cases of Brigham’s Boston You’re My Home ice cream, five cases of Cherry on the Top frozen-yogurt bars from Elan, and 100 servings of Stonyfield Farm Organic Yogurt to City Harvest. Happily, no one has to eat it. [Zagat Buzz]
Drop that Diet Coke! Researchers have found a correlation between the consumption of diet soda and incidences of metabolic syndrome, a series of unhealthful factors that can lead to diabetes and heart disease. [NYT]
More bad news for fish: The FDA confirmed that several outbreaks of ciguatera fish poisoning have taken place across the country due to consumption of fish harvested in the northern Gulf of Mexico. [AP]
Hey bloggerati! Queens-bred billionaire and master of the hostile takeover Carl Icahn is totes blogging. Why? He wants to "finally focus on more than making money," the 72-year-old shareholder activist told The Wall Street Journal, and so he's starting the Icahn Report, where he can post funny YouTube videos and recaps of his favorite television shows. Kidding! According to the Journal, Carl's entries on the Icahn Report, which has not yet launched, will "highlight what he sees as management problems at public companies, including those he hasn't invested in." Which basically means he's found a way to do one of his favorite things — bitch about poor governance and poor performance at public companies — without having to buy a large stake in them and install himself on the board. Welcome to the Internet, Carl. It was made for people like you.
Icahn Report [Icahn Report]
Icahn Set to Host Blog On Corporate Abuses [WSJ]
Vampire Weekend's just-released debut album is enjoyable enough. Actually, it's all we've been listening to since it leaked last week. Still, if ever there were a band guaranteed a backlash, it's these guys.
The year-end rush to give out awards has started in earnest, and two totally meaningless such contests present themselves to us today. On Endless Simmer, the nominations are in for Eater of the Year and include Tony Bourdain, Padma Lakshmi, some locavores, and Joey Chestnut. Are you kidding? Why even ask the question? If Joey Chestnut, having vanquished Kobayashi and established himself as the greatest competitive eater in the world, doesn’t get this award, why bother giving it? The man deserves it just for eating 103 Krystal burgers in eight minutes earlier this year.
Chefs tend to be notoriously bad husbands and boyfriends, and the reason is obvious: They’re at work all night, they love to pop corks and hit the dummy pipe, and there are always foxy waitresses, servers, and even diners eager for the “fourth course.” But don’t despair if you’re stuck with one of these scoundrels. There’s a blog for you. It’s called Desperate ChefsWives of NYC. Essentially a one-woman support group written anonymously, it’s filled with details of her personal life, from her man's addiction to plastic wrap to her discovery of other women in the same predicament via Google. "So many other women have e-mailed me who are in the same situation," the blogger tells us. "They say, 'I can't believe you said that, because I say it all the time.' Some lady in Ohio wrote asking me if she should leave her boyfriend. There are a lot of us out there."
Desperation aside, the author's own domestic situation seems rather stable, which kind of detracts from the site's entertainment value, you know? What it really needs is more sob stories! We want a blog that reads like a chef-y telenova! But given what goes on in those naughty chef circles, it's only a matter of time. We'll wait, breath baited.
Also, the real question: Who's her husband? What chef has inspired his wife to blog? Check out the site for yourself; your guesses (and yes, we expect you to have some) in the comments below, please.
Desperate ChefsWives of NYC
As students were locked down during yesterday afternoon's gun scare at St. John's University, one enterprising journalism professor decided to make it a "teachable moment." "Here we are in the middle of a major news event. Where do we turn for information?" professor Mark Prendergast asks in today's Daily News. Rather than venturing down to the lobby of their building, where people moving around might have more information, the kids turned to their computers. Bypassing the university Website (no info) and personal Websites (too unreliable), they turned to major news Websites and watched and waited. What did they learn?
On the heels of Citysearch’s food-blog launch comes still another source of restaurant news: the NYC debut of Metromix (still in beta, it seems) and its own food blog Deep Dish. The juiciest item so far is a roundup of chef banter from the New York Rising Stars Revue awards. Not that the rising stars seem to have been that deep in their cups when they were interviewed (food blogger rule of thumb: Wait till they’re at the after-after-party), but some of their responses sure are punchy.
So it’s not anywhere near as dishy as Chodorow’s site, but it seems Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s two-week-old blog is at least sticking to its promise to update us every Tuesday on “what I’ve been cooking, where I’ve been traveling, and what I’ve been thinking.” (It's a Blogger site with a pretty standard template did Jean-Georges make this himself?) Even if he isn’t slamming Bruni and Platt, Vongo is at least confessing to cooking with a machine developed for Kentucky Fried Chicken (scandalous!) and getting his daughter’s birthday cake from a bakery instead of from his dessert man Johnny Iuzzini (c’est impossible!). Another shocker: “I love eating in New York. From the tacos and margaritas at Los Dados (where I often stop after a night of cooking at Spice Market).” Jean-Georges is still cooking at Spice Market?
Jean-Georges Vongerichten [Blog]
The cri de coeur a reader sent in last week in the form of a Ginsbergian 'Howl' has inspired us. What would the likes of Ginsberg, the Beats, and their admirers think of today's restaurant world and its absurd come-ons? What would Bob Dylan circa 1965 think of it? Well, owing to the magic of aggressive marketing, the new Website for the Dylan boxed set allows us to see for ourselves. Just click here.
Gastronomic Homesick Blues [Dylan07.com]
Related: A Restaurant World ‘Howl’
Adam Roberts, the self-styled “Amateur Gourmet,” has been getting so much play lately that he may have to get a new sobriquet. First came his elevation into the Serious Eats family, then an appearance in the New York Times, and his book, The Amateur Gourmet, drops today. Like his counterpart Danyelle Freeman, Roberts is riding the blog gravy train straight to the top. But unlike Freeman, whose new gig at the Daily News is strictly old media, Roberts is promoting his new book with a “virtual book tour” that will bring him to practically every food blog you can think of, and not a few that you can’t think of. “I’m doing a Q&A with Ruhlman, and visiting Orangette, David Leibovitz, Gluten Free Girl, and The Girl Who Ate Everything over the next few weeks,” he tells us. Gluten Free Girl? There will be one real-world reading, at the Park Slope Barnes & Noble on September 24. For the rest of the tour, Roberts is dancing with the one that brung him. We can’t say we would argue with that plan.
Amateur Gourmet [Official Site]
Oh, the excitement back in January, when Freedom Tower construction finally — five-plus years after the attacks — reached the towering height of eight feet below sidewalk level. The milestone was marked by a festive "Metro" section article in the Times, explaining just where you had to stand, and just how you had to crane your neck, to get a view of this feat of construction. So it's with even greater exultation that we discovered this picture on Curbed today, which seems to indicate that construction has — are you sitting down? — actually progressed to above ground! Of course, the Curbed boys speculate what we're seeing is merely a few Portajohns. Perhaps. But, even so, hey, we'll take what we can get.
WTC Chaos Update: Something Rises Above Grade! [Curbed]
Earlier:The Freedom Tower Exists for Anyone Who Truly Believes In It
If you miss following Sam Mason’s quixotic adventures now that the Launch is kaput, fear not an anonymous blog Sympathy for the Restaurant Industry is offering “meta-fictional restaurant drama set in present day New York City, served in a convenient serial” and the first story details, in rather purple prose, the agonies of Sean Kasen (sounds kind of like Sam Mason if you mumble it, no?), a young, media-plagued chef opening his first restaurant who is up against “the punishment that comes when you attempt to create something perfect but fail” and also the fact that “being handsome and very talented when you are a chef is a burden.” Oh, the humanity!
Those blue metal thingies recently affixed to the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall? Turns out they're art. The "Stair Squares," as they're called, were created by a Cleveland artist as a project that "not only crosses the boundaries of design and art, but raises questions concerning the respective function of aesthetics as an organizing principle within public spaces," according to the Cleveland Institute of Art. "Okay," replies the blog McBrooklyn. "And they're handy when you eat lunch, too." Seems that way.
Blue Things at Brooklyn Borough Hall [McBrooklyn]