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Neil Ferguson

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‘Esquire’ Escalates Chef-Fashion War With ‘Maxim’

Has it really come to this? Maxim and Esquire are going at it hammer and tongs to see who can print more ridiculous images of chefs as fashion models. Esquire started it, with a never-to-be-forgotten Simon Hammerstein–David Chang tough-guy shoot. This year, Maxim released its April spread early to get the jump on Esquire, but both mags shared a few models (formerly known as chefs): Michael Psilakis of Anthos, Neil Ferguson of Allen and Delancey, and Craig Koketsu of Park Avenue Winter. Psilakis, for his part, is even wearing similar suits in both spreads. (Did he leave the Maxim refrigerator and head straight to his Esquire lunch at Insieme?) Other chefs of note in the shoot include Ben Chekroun, the elegant maître d' of Le Bernardin, whom we interviewed for Ask a Waiter back in the day; San Domenico's affable wine director, Piero Trotta; and the boyish Wesley Genovart of Degustation, tucking into a plate of duck and soba noodles. We give Esquire the edge for shooting the dapper John McDonald at Keens. Though he’s more of a bon vivant restaurateur than a chef, Johnny Mac is a quintessential Esquire man. Man’s Gotta Eat [Esquire] Related: Chefs Put on Something a Little More Comfortable When Chefs Play Dress-Up

Allen & Delancey Gives Area Roués the Late-Night Menu They Have Been Waiting For

There’s something about Allen & Delancey that seems … nocturnal. The room, even in the early hours, evokes jaded roués, furtive assignations, and the airless ennui of adultery. So the debut of a stylish late-night menu is apropos. Chef Neil Ferguson tells us that the community board extended the restaurant’s liquor license to 2 a.m. “Anything in that room is sexy,” Ferguson says. “This food, I think, is more for soaking up alcohol.” That may be, but the menu is more than a little exciting. There’s a braised lamb neck, rabbit croquettes, and even, in the dessert section, a milk sorbet served with hot cookies made to order. Late-night service begins at 11:20 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays, starting tonight. Allen & Delancey late-night menu

Food Network to Publish Magazine?; Food-Porn Photos for Sale

Hearst Publications is supposedly in talks with the Food Network to publish a new food magazine and has been stealing editors from Every Day With Rachael Ray for months. The only problem? The channel’s big stars don’t seem to be a part of the publication. [Mixed Media/Portfolio] Soto chef Sotohiro Kosugi responds to fears of too much mercury in tuna. “Eat with balance. Balance of meals is the key to a healthy life.” [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Related: Sushi Eaters Face Tuna Fears Neil Ferguson, Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, and others are leading a full-on British culinary invasion on our shores. [Chicago Tribune]

The Next Phase of the Keller Empire; Eater X Strikes Again

Plans in the works for an inn at French Laundry, a butcher shop called Bouchon Boucherie, and, of course, a burger joint, have some critics saying Thomas Keller is spreading himself too thin. [Bloomberg] Gordon Ramsay may have booted chef Neil Ferguson from the London and severed a decade of ties with the chef because he was being too nice to employees, but Ferguson will have free rein in the kitchen when he opens Allen and Delancey. [Sunday Mirror] Eater X prepared for his burrito-eating win on Saturday in Maine "by just eating candy for a day," which he said helped clear his system. [Fox News]

Ex-Ramsay Chef Taking Over Allen and Delancey; High-End Chinese Fading Fast

Neil Ferguson, the former chef at Gordon Ramsay, will be in charge of the kitchen at Allen and Delancey when the place finally opens in September. [NYT] Related: Allen and Delancey Tripped at the Finish Line, Won't Open The city’s Chinese fine-dining restaurants are on the run, the victims of changing tastes, high costs, and slim margins. The East Side’s Sichuan Pavilion just went under, and even the genre’s grande dame, Shun Lee Palace, is now peopled mostly by seniors. [NYS] Organic chef Matthew Kenney, best known for his acrimonious exit from Pure Food and Wine, is back in town and preparing to open a retail prepared-organic-foods business. [NYS] Related: Raw Foodist Sarma Melngailis Drinks Grapefruit Sake Mojitos Before Noon