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The Ghost of Bourdain

If you believe Carlos Llaguno of Les Halles, Tony is still in the kitchen.

By Daniel Maurer

A Peek Into the Kitchen of Les Halles on a Not-So-Normal Night

Earlier, we brought you the aftermath of Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain’s one-night stint at Les Halles, and now, for those who missed it on No Reservations earlier this week, footage of the actual flustercluck has hit YouTube. Watch as “the fancy French guy and the broke-down guy,” as Bourdain calls Ripert and himself, try to keep up with executive chef Carlos Llaguno. The Ripper, clad in a do-rag, begs for margaritas while Bourdain tries not to pass out. Llaguno’s closing thoughts — “He says he loves his profession, but for some reason he became famous and he doesn’t need to cook anymore” — are kind of ominous in light of Alan Richman’s takedown of the “truck-stop cuisine,” but a note affixed to the kitchen window — “THAT WAS A FUCKING GREAT MEAL” — says that at least someone (if only a Travel Channel producer?) is happy. Related: Anthony Bourdain - Into the Fire - Scene With Eric Ripert [YouTube] Anthony Bourdain Insults Alan Richman Right Back

Bourdain and Ripert Postgame Over Tequila in the Les Halles Kitchen

Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert
A while back, we revealed that Anthony Bourdain was planning to return to the kitchen of Les Halles for an episode of No Reservations. A clip of the show’s aftermath is now up, and it’s priceless: Post-shift, Bourdain and Eric Ripert sit down for what Ripert calls a glass of “pure water,” but is probably his favorite Patrón Silver. True to his name, the Ripper rips into Bourdain for having just one person at a station that he thinks should be manned by two — “Those guys are promoting slavery.” Bourdain pooh-poohs him: “If you put two people back there, they get in each other’s way.” But he admits it’s one of the toughest cooking stations in the city. Which is why, Bourdain says, he wouldn’t last long on it: “After a week, my brain would snap.” Our favorite part comes at the end, when Ripert admits, “At one point I was totally lost.… I had no idea what I was grilling.…” In tequila veritas! Anthony Bourdain Interviews Chef Eric Ripert [YouTube] Related: Bourdain to Cook at Les Halles, Yearns for Giant Food Courts

Bourdain to Cook at Les Halles, Yearns for Giant Food Courts

Anthony Bourdain
Tony Bourdain was at the Union Square Barnes & Noble last night to do a joint reading and signing with Michael Ruhlman, author of The Elements of Cooking. Interviewing Bourdain is effortless: The man is a nonstop font of opinions and bons mots, so we just took out our notebook and started writing. What, for instance, did he think of the reopening of his favorite bar, Siberia? (“When Siberia closed my life as an alcoholic ended,” he said wistfully. “Tracey [Westmoreland] is a man of many mysteries. I’m skeptical. Siberia reopening? [Sarcastically] Yeah, I’d like to see that.” Bourdain also told us that, sometime in the next two weeks, he was going to go back for one night to his old job at Les Halles, personally working the sauté station on a crowded night for his TV show, No Reservations. And he would not be alone back in the trenches: A few feet away, Eric Ripert would be working the grill station, cooking meat all night. Given all of his travels, what does Bourdain think New York needs? A giant food court, of course.

Chefs Descend on Madison Square Park in Flatiron Food Fest

East Village: All falafel at Chickpea is now baked, not fried. Is this the first move toward franchise status? [Eater] Financial District: Celebrate Bastille Day this Saturday at the Les Halles Waiter’s Race on John Street at 2 p.m. [Les Halles] Flatiron: Madison Square Park Conservancy hosts its other annual food extravaganza next Tuesday with bites from the nabe’s chefs including Seamus Mullen, Patricia Yeo, Daniel Humm, and Floyd Cardoz, plus Brooklyn Brewery suds, wine and Champagne. [Madison Square Park] Flushing: The celebrated Chinese “food court” at J&L Mall, has been closed, and Con Ed, not the Department of Health, is the culprit. [Eat for Victory/VV] Park Slope: Newly opened American restaurant Sidecar is BYO for now. [NYS] Prospect Heights: Seasoning does not a good cheesesteak make; High Stakes on Flatbush would do better to call its signature item a sandwich. [Daily Heights] Upper East Side: Stefani Jackenthal hosts a tasting of Pinot varieties at the 92nd Street Y tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. [92nd Street Y] Upper West Side: Lincoln Center’s Summer Benefit starts at 6:30 p.m. tonight, but by 9 p.m. you can start sampling from restaurants including Anthos, Chanterelle, and Yolato at Damrosch Park. [NYS]

Restaurant High Trains Chefs of the Future; Les Halles Takes a Beating

Welcome to Food and Finance High, which trains New York’s future chefs and restaurateurs. They diligently study the work of Dave Thomas, the origins of pizza, and read Fast Food Nation in preparation for the job market. [NYT] Les Halles is taking a beating: They've got a Department of Health closure uptown and construction troubles downtown . [NYP] The Red Hook ball fields, home to one of the city’s greatest gatherings of Central and South American food vendors, may finally see the trucks roll in this Sunday. [Eat for Victory/VV]

Why Go All the Way to Times Square? Read the Spotlight Live Menu Here!

Astoria: Arcos Portuguese restaurant has opened at 33-05 Broadway; porco à alentejana reported to be tasty, if not properly diced. [Joey in Astoria] Dumbo: Down Danish vodka cocktails to celebrate spring tonight at Scandinavian design shop Tivoli Home. [Dumbo NYC] East Village: Our own Gillian Duffy joins François Payard and Donatella Arpaia at Broadway Panhandler on April 11 to talk table settings and Champagne cocktails. [Gothamist] Fort Greene: The former T.G.I. Friday's on Fulton Street waits to fulfill an aspiring restaurateur’s dreams. [Brooklyn Record] Harlem: One fancy-pants eatery signified the end of the neighborhood that used to sell cooked chickens out restaurant windows. Damn you, gentrification! [Uptown Flavor] Murray Hill: Les Halles closed by Department of Health until flood recedes, should reopen tomorrow. [Eater] Times Square: Boozed-up karaoke fiends need to eat, too. Spotlight Live: Check out the menu. [Grub Street] Tribeca: 66 will close April 15 for “renovations” — or is this finally our predicted deep-sixing of 66? [Eater]