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Claudia Fleming

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Nicole Kaplan Leaves Del Posto

Major developments on the pastry front: Del Posto's head pastry chef, Nicole Kaplan, who soared to fame as the chef at Eleven Madison Park (and, incidentally, as the creator of the Shake Shack's custard), has left the restaurant. We had heard that it was to head the dessert program at the St. Regis Hotel or, possibly, one of its restaurants, but the hotel denies this. (We’re still trying to reach Kaplan.) Del Posto GM Alfredo Ruiz confirms that Kaplan has been gone since January 1, but that her full staff is still in place and doing her menu as before. Co-owner Joe Bastianich says, “The split was amicable, and we wish Nicole nothing but the best in everything she does.” Bastianich added that the restaurant is looking at a couple of people and that, when the hire does happen, it will be “big news.”

Celebrity Chefs Flock to Former Home of Cheesy Celebrity Restaurant

The building that was the Hard Rock Café at 221 West 57th Street, having committed so many affronts to gastronomy over the years, is about to atone, temporarily. Bon Appétit is turning it into a “pop-up supper club and café” where, from October 25 to November 3, a series of celebrity chefs will do demos and book signings during lunchtime. The names should be familiar ones, ranging from TV chefs like Cat Cora and Giada De Laurentiis to established New York stars like Claudia Fleming and Will Goldfarb. Every day, the café area will feature a different signature dish from that day’s chef. Bon Appétit promises affordability, too: All the dishes at lunch will cost $10 or less. The roster of chefs is after the jump.