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The Next Food Network Star

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Provence Chef Pink-Slipped; Pichet Ong to Open Cupcake Shop

Chef Lynn McNeely has been handed a pink slip after mixed reviews at the new Provence; no word on who the next chef might be. [Eater] Related: Provence Redux [NYM] Pichet Ong is opening a cupcake store next to P*ONG. “Vanilla, chocolate, yuzu and cinnamon will be my staples,” he says. “I want to add a little salt & spice to my take on them.” [Restaurant Girl] A tale of two bakeries under Health Department scrutiny: one, Magnolia, plays nice; the other, Delices de Paris in Park Slope, kicks back. Guess which one ends up closing. [NYO]

Pastis Atop Zagat Nightlife Ratings; City Trans-Fat Seminar Flops

Pastis sits atop Zagat’s just-released nightlife rankings, with Buddha Bar, Balthazar, and Spice Market following close behind. [NYDN] The city invited 33,000 restaurant and food-supply workers to attend their trans-fat seminar, and only 20 showed up. Half of them were city employees. [NYP] Maybe Tony Bourdain doesn’t hate The Next Food Network Star as much as he makes out. Today brings another suspiciously obsessive-sounding post by the acerbic chef-author. [Ruhlman]

Restaurants Sue to Keep Calorie Info Out of Sight; Online Reservations Dominate

The New York State Restaurant Association sues the city to stop having to reveal calorie information. [Nation's Restaurant News] The days of making, and keeping, reservations off-line are over: OpenTable has come to dominate the restaurant business. [NYT] In a Times op-ed, the Zagats plead for real regional Chinese cooking to come and save us from egg foo yong. It would be a revelation, they say — “Imagine … what it would be like to discover for the first time Memphis-style barbecue, New York deli food, soul food and Creole, Tex-Mex, Southwestern, California and Hawaiian cuisines all at once.” [NYT]