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]
Dear Grub Street,
We are a family of four, seeking a top-notch private chef. We like nouvelle French, Italian, and American in that order. I would appreciate if you could direct us as to where to advertise. Thank you.
Last Night's "Autism Speaks to Wall Street" gala at Capitale was a power scene, all right; any event where tables cost up to $100,000 and Bob Wright is there making small talk has clearly left the foodies behind. Which is a shame, because the level of the food was magnificent. The gala's format called for chefs who had been previously “bought” at auction to cook a dinner right there at the table: Thus, Eric Ripert cooked at an oven right next to Wylie Dufresne, Michael Psilakis next to Larry Forgione, who was next to Chris Lee of Gilt, and so on. The tables were close enough to allow tasting and trading, had anyone been interested in doing so (it didn't look like they were). Maybe Darrell Hammond's painfully unfunny routine at the evening's start put off their appetites. Or maybe it was just all the deal-making.
Under chef Christopher Lee, Chris Wilgos worked his way up from a runner to a captain at Philadelphia’s premier restaurant, the Striped Bass. When Lee replaced chef Paul Liebrandt at Gilt about a year ago, Wilgos followed. He’s been waiting tables and acting here ever since. We asked him about his wealthy clientele and those who yearn for Le Cirque.
Paul Liebrandt is still being cryptic about his new project saying little more than it won't be Chinese. [TONY]
Connecticut's Foxwoods casino will soon serve New York's favorite cheesecake: Junior's will open its first outlet outside of the city in the resort's new MGM Grand. [NYS]
Former Top Chef contestant Josie Smith-Malave was one of the victims of an anti-gay attack outside of a Sea Cliff bar during Labor Day weekend. [NYP]
Yesterday we treated you to the first chapter of a story seemingly based on Sam Mason and his trials and travails with Tailor. We can now confirm, after contacting the author who is remaining anonymous (even to us!) because he or she is “notorious within the industry” that the story is based on Mason and Johnny Iuzzini as well as other players. “Yes, I plan on continuing,” assures the well-connected scribe, “and yes, I have inside info. I’ve been getting a lot of mail, but I would never run anything that I hadn’t triple-checked to be true.”
The mystery and excitement surrounding Paul Liebrandt’s new venture is a testament to what? Boredom? Curiosity? The shaggy dog story? The cutting-edge chef has never been a big favorite with the public; he’s more of a cook’s cook, much in the same way that A.J. Liebling was a writer’s writer, or Mark Jackson, a point guard’s point guard. But there’s a hint that his long-rumored restaurant might actually be more than just a rumor, thanks to Bret Thorn from Nation’s Restaurant News, who happened to receive a press kit for the Culinary Vegetable Institute. (What, like you’ve never been to a vegetable institute? Just stay with us here.) Liebrandt is named as having taken part in a chefs summit at the institute; more important, he’s actually listed as “Chef Paul Liebrandt, of his signature Restaurant Liebrandt, opening Fall 2007, New York City.” What? Thorn is on the case, and so are we. More as this develops.
Restaurant Liebrandt? [Foodservice Blog/Nation's Restaurant News]
Related: Liebrandt and Nieporent, Sitting in a Tree
The impending collaboration between Drew Nieporent and Paul Liebrandt, whether at Montrachet or elsewhere, is probably the worst-kept secret in the restaurant business. But the hirsute restaurateur isn’t slowing down the rumor mill any with his latest high jinx. At a party at Mai House earlier this week, Nieporent was showing people candid pictures of Liebrandt that he had taken with his cell-phone camera. We followed up with the Montrachet mogul, and he insists that “it was just tongue in cheek, because of the way you people have been going on about Paul and I.” Well, that’s fine – but how did pictures of Paul Liebrandt fishing get into Drew Nieporent’s phone? Either there’s a serious man crush going on, or the two are about to do a restaurant together. (Or both.)
Earlier: Can Paul Liebrandt Make New York Safe for Molecular Gastronomy?
L.A. Weekly’s Jonathan Gold is the first food writer to win a Pulitzer Prize in criticism. (Links to some of his recent reviews included.) [L.A. Weekly]
Work is going on at Montrachet, and owner Drew Nieporent is seen in public with brilliant unemployed chef Paul Liebrandt, lending some possible credence to the rumored Liebrandt-helmed relaunch of the place. [Eater]
Yeah, there’s some good food to be had in London, but the city’s still not there yet. [NYT]
Related: Has the Food Over There Really Become Edible? [NYM]
Former Gilt pastry chef Nick Morgenstern has given us the inside dope on his firing last week. According to Morgenstern, chef Chris Lee and hotel management are pinning the move on each other: “They’re doing a little dance, pointing at each other, and they don’t want to give me any severance,” he tells us. Meanwhile, he’s heard that Lee’s pastry-chef buddy David Carmichael (formerly of Oceana and the Russian Tea Room) was seen checking out Morgenstern’s kitchen while the chef was out of town. But why did he get canned, anyhow?
The NYPD releases a surveillance video of the De Marco’s gun battle. It’s difficult to make out, but very graphic and not a little disturbing. [WNBC]
Brace yourselves: McDonald’s has decreed that there will be no more Shamrock Shakes in NYC, although they’re still widely available elsewhere. What’s up with that? [NYDN]
The Smith and Wollensky Restaurant Group is enjoying a sudden bidding war for its acquisition, after having already accepted a good offer. [Crain’s]
Donald Trump covets the most vulgar thing in New York that doesn’t already have his name on it: the Tavern on the Green, which has two years left on its lease. [NYP]
A Zeitgeist moment: The East Village’s alt.coffee gives up the ghost, remaking itself as a “Hopscotch, a café tailored to the needs of children and families.” [Gawker]
Candela owners shutting down and reopening as Irving Mill Restaurant and Tap Room in the fall, with Gramercy Tavern alum Johnny Schaeffer doing his Greenmarket thing in the kitchen. [Strong Buzz]
The details aren’t yet clear, but it seems that one way or another, Paul Liebrandt will soon be leading a restaurant in New York. (Snack asserts that it will be Montrachet, but Vogue’s Jeffrey Steingarten tells us that it will be a new venture with Drew Nieporent; the two are searching for a space.) Add to that the launch of Sam Mason’s Tailor, the buzz around Jordan Kahn’s work at Varietal, and the mainstreaming of tropes like foams, and it looks like molecular gastronomy will have another shot with New York diners.
The city’s rat-patrol chief vows that “the rats will not win.” [NYT]
In Vogue, Jeffrey Steingarten reveals that New York’s top unemployed chef, Paul Liebrandt, is doing a restaurant with Drew Nieporent. Snack asserts it’s Montrachet. [Snack]
Amusing slam of Bruni’s Robert’s Steakhouse review from conservative mainstay National Review. Need we say more? [National Review Online]