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Posts Tagged ‘Danny Meyer’

Top Chefs and a Real Housewife at ‘Food and Wine’ Fete

Food and Wine magazine celebrated their 25th annual Best New Chefs in a lavish affair at Pranna last night. In addition to dishes served by past winners including Scott Conant, Michael Symon, Dan Kluger, and April Bloomfield, New York’s own Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese Food) and Alex Stupak (Empellon Cocina) were among this year’s recipients.

We caught up with Kristen Kish, winner of this season’s Top Chef, (above, with Top Chef Season 8 contestant Angelo Sosa) find out how the win has changed her and get the real scoop on nemesis Josie Smith-Malave.

“I get to go to a lot of cool parties,” Kish said of life post-win. “I’m just much busier.” So does she have any regrets about her famous fall on her sword? “No,” she said. “That’s just how I conduct myself. I was much happier leaving being who I was, even if there hadn’t been a Last Chance Kitchen.”

And if she could say one thing to Josie now? “No hard feelings,” said Kish. But her companion, who asked to remain anonymous, was not as PC. “I’d ask ‘Why were you even invited back?’”

Also on our minds: Does restauranteur Danny Meyer have as many lost weekends as we do from getting sucked into those addictive ‘Law and Order’ marathons, starring Stephanie March, wife of chef Bobby Flay? “Of course!” he said. “I can’t get enough of it! It’s always on somewhere.”

Before the night ended, we just had to ask Scott Conant, chef and judge on “Chopped,” who he would chop from the evening. “Myself!” he told us. “I’ve been too busy socializing to even be at my station!”

So at an event full of the best chefs, who caught the most attention? Surprise guests Kyle Richards and her husband Mauricio Umansky, (right) fresh off season 3 of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”


Red Rooster owner/chef Marcus Samuelson, Food & Wine’s Gail Simmons, and Top Chef Masters judge (and former Mediabistro food writing instructor) Francis Lam

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Ina Garten, Joanna Coles And The Fashion Flock



The dreary winter weather (Will it ever end?!) didn’t keep the loyalists away from Michael’s today. There were plenty of fab fashionistas and social swans in the dining room who braved the elements in inappropriate footwear to exchange air kisses and gossip about who knows what.  The usual mix of media moguls and mavens were there, too. Here’s hoping the sun and the celebrity A-List returns next week.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Marie Claire editrix Joanna Coles with actor Richard E. Grant (Gosford Park, Dracula, and the upcoming The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep) and three stylish looking folks. We  were so excited to see Richard up close and personal. (He’s blond now!) We’re dating ourselves a bit here, but he was absolutely the best Bob Cratchit ever a few years back in the TNT version of A Christmas Carol opposite another one of our favorite British actors, Patrick Stewart.

2. Literary agent Esther Newberg, enjoying soup with a handsome fellow whose face we definitely recognized but whose name escapes us.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and Dorothy Kalins. I stopped by the table to check in with these two longtime friends. Joe couldn’t stop talking about last night’s screening at MoMa of The Restaurateur, the documentary about Danny Meyer by Dorothy’s husband Roger Sherman. The beloved museum, incidentally, is home to one of our favorite Meyer restaurants, The Modern. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Meyer and was a foodie’s delight, we hear. Speaking of food, Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys written by David Tanis, chef at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, and edited by Dorothy was among the nominees for the 2011 James Beard Awards announced yesterday. Congrats!

4.  Mrs. Army Archerd and pals.

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Mag Lifetime Achievement Awards: Tom Ryder Likes To Eat, And Lewis Lapham’s ‘A Snob’


No one can out-eat Tom Ryder, and Liz Smith has never slept with Lewis Lapham, though she wouldn’t exactly mind.

Those were just two of the themes to surface earlier today during the Magazine Lifetime Achievement Awards luncheon at Gotham Hall feting Ryder — outgoing CEO of Reader’s Digest and owner of a Darien, Connecticut, barbeque joint — and Lapham, the iconic former editor of Harper’s.

Over herb and peppercorn crusted chicken, Ryder and Lapham were showered with praise from their glossy peers, both live and in pre-taped video segments (“I love you almost as much as spaghetti,” said Rachael Ray, whose Everyday launch last year may be the crowning achievement for Ryder’s 8-year run at Reader’s Digest). Friend and — what else? — uber-restaurateur Danny Meyer said it is “a dangerous thing to try and keep up on the eating path” with Ryder. Longtime friend Gary Rich, former head of HR at American Express Publishing during Ryder’s tenure there, recalled the moment Ryder asked him, “How could butter possibly be bad for me?” in 1986.

Ryder, for his part, said that magazines “not only tranformed his life,” they gave him one.

In introducing Lapham, Smith, the 84-year-old New York Post gossipist, said, “I’ve never slept with him and I don’t have any anecdotes about him.”

“He’s a snob — a literate one.”

Smith admitted that when she tried to turn the “low-brow gossip readers” of her column onto Lapham, “my editors at the New York Post hated it.” Her response? “Even low-brows like to swim upstream.”

Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter opened Lapham’s video tribute [above] by recalling an outing with Lapham and a woman who was disappointed upon hearing Lapham was not the editor of Harper’s Bazaar.

Lapham closed the three-hour lunch by reflecting on his 28 years as Harper’s editor: “As an editor I’ve been thought of as cynical or an acerbic observer of the American scene,” Lapham said. “Optimism is an occupational hazard.”

[VIDEO CREDITS: Directed by Joia Speciale; Becky Glupczynski, producer; Scott Miller, director of photography]

  • Lapham’s Acceptance Speech [Word Document]
  • Ryder’s Acceptance Speech [Word Document]