The Green Movement is now mainstream—it has been for a while now—which means that yesterday’s heroes are tomorrow’s villains and that shysters and hucksters are at play in the field of the Lord. Elissa Altman, one of my fave food writers has a killer piece at The Huffington Post profiling, among others, Coleman Meats, Whole Foods, and Emeril. You read here the other week how moribund and unappealing I thought Emeril’s new show is. Well, if you want a laugh and want someone else’s opinion on the same topic, read Altman’s column.
Speaking of green, Forbes just came out with a list of the ten top-earning celebrity chefs. And who is number one? My son’s favorite TV chef, Rachael Ray, that’s who. She makes approximately $18 million a year. She appeals to the widest swath of food fans of all stripes. Like her or not, she has a recipe for success that can’t be topped. Here's the rest of the list. The names will be very familiar to all of you, and thank the sweet Lord that I didn’t have to see Tyler Florence’s name on here anywhere or Sandra Lee’s or any of the other miserable dolts of whom I am so amazingly not a fan. I think Ramsay might soar into the low teens any day now, once his cut of the production of all his TV work comes to him next season.
2. Wolfgang Puck—$16 million
3. Gordon Ramsay—$7.5 million
4. Nobuyuki Matsuhisa—$5 million
5. Alain Ducasse—$5 million
6. Paula Deen—$4.5 million
7. Mario Batali—$3 million
8. Tom Colicchio—$2 million
9. Bobby Flay—$1.5 million
10. Anthony Bourdain—$1.5 million
Speaking of Tyler Florence and things I am not a fan of, Restaurant Miami is closed. It lasted a year longer than it should have. Giorgio’s closed while I was away on my last trip. Anything else I should be aware of?
On the list of things you should be aware of is the impending Brasa opening on Grand Avenue. The PiPress reported it, Alex Roberts won’t confirm it, and rightly so, regardless of whether or not he is opening there. But a highly placed source of mine has said flat out that according to the real estate folks who own the property, Brasa is going in . . . with Salut and the Apple Store and Punch. I think the worm is turning on Grand. Now all we need is for J. P. Samuelson to open a chef-driven family eatery on the Avenue and for Steven Brown to open a lovely spot up near Mac College with a garden patio behind the building. Then I would be happy. One of Tim McKee’s BBQ joints would make me happy as well; it would save me the drive from Stillwater.
All the root beer chat two weeks ago got me thinking about Manhattan Special, a killer espresso soda made with real espresso and pure cane sugar. Put two over ice, and you can feel your teeth grow, and your hair falls from your head. Mix it with coffee ice cream and a splash of chocolate sauce, and you are rocking. Well, good news for Minnesotans: It is finally available online.