On November 26–27, Tony Bourdain will be in town promoting his new book, No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach. While he will be doing a lot of the usual press events and media visits during his book tour stopover in the Twin Cities, there is one event you will not want to miss. On November 27, Tony will be signing books and giving a talk at Solera, and Tim McKee told me yesterday that for $80, you get some vino, some tapas, a copy of the book, an opportunity to have TB sign it, and a seat for Tony’s chat. With only 200 seats, this is sure to sell out fast, and I can guarantee you that you will have the time of your life.
TB is a brilliant writer and an acid-tongued, keenly attuned observer of the food world. Need proof? Check out No Reservations on Travel Channel, or read one of his books. Or better yet, check out this little bon-bon. Funny stuff and absolutely spot-on. Who hasn’t had some of the same feelings looking at much of the abominable menu items in our city? Any particulars you can think of?
As good as he is on TV or on paper, he’s even funnier and more deliciously evil when you hear him speak in a setting like Solera. Call the restaurant for tix.
Anyone see Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares last night on Fox? It’s the American ideation of Gordon Ramsay’s first big BBC hit. Set your TIVO—it’s the best food show on television, bar none. It has all the dysfunctional, reality-TV trainwreck characters I love to watch, plus it beautifully illustrates the day-to-day business of running a restaurant . . . a restaurant perilously perched on reality’s precipice, but a restaurant nevertheless. The newly added, saccharine twist in last night’s episode (gifting the restaurant with a new kitchen) is an element in the US version of the show that I’m not crazy about, but the program was too good to turn away from.
The second-best food show on TV gets a boost from Minneapolis Oceanaire alum and current San Diego Oceanaire chef Brian Malarkey, who made it to the final five on Bravo’s Top Chef. Anyone see last night’s episode? Watching Hung, Brian, Dale, Casey and Sara re-create Le Cirque’s classic papillote of bass—while Padma and LC owner Sirio Maccione looked on—was odd in the extreme. I think the one person who didn’t belong was Padma. She’s a poser. Is it just me or has she gotten more pretentious, haughtier, and more patrician with each season? I can’t wait to ask Brian about her when I talk to him on Friday on FM107. Sara got the boot last night, in case you missed it. Now the four finalists are off to Aspen, and Hung looks unstoppable.
P.S. A half-dozen people e-mailed to tell me that Steven Brown is gone from Harry’s and will be the new chef at the restaurant in the new Ivy development downtown. In response to several posters, I guess I could have easily called Steven or e-mailed him, but it's so much more fun to ask all of you. Besides, why put him on the spot when he technically still works there (or did through last week)?
P.P.S. Phil Robert’s new steakhouse, Pittsburgh Blue, is open, and my northwest metro spies tell me it’s a huge hit already.