Guy Fieri Is (Maybe) Ousted, Highest-Paid Chefs, and Elaine’s Closing: Eating & Reading

Every week, we'll let you know what the Washingtonian food staff is reading in the blogosphere and off the bookshelves.

Sophie Gilbert, assistant editor and Sophie at the Stove blogger:

• Josh Ozersky blames chefs for the obesity epidemic—because it's obviously Paula Deen, José Andrés, and Thomas Keller who are making us fat, as opposed to years of unbelievably flawed agricultural policy: Fine Food and Fat: Are Chefs to Blame for Obesity?

• Gwyneth Paltrow is Bon Appétit's newest cover girl, and you can read all about how she's "either an extremely confident cook or a remarkably good actress. Or, of course, both." Gwyneth Paltrow: The Girl Can Cook.

• Is Guy Fieri out at Triple D? Say it ain't so . . . Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Producer Says Food Network Wants to Dash.

Ann Limpert, food and wine editor:

• Elaine's, the Upper East Side hangout for everyone from Woody Allen to Gay Talese to Martha Stewart, is closing for good next week, six months after the death of its namesake owner. Elaine Kaufman was famous for her disdain for outsiders (she created one of the original dining-room "Siberias"), but equally so for her droll banter and her love for writers, whom she'd often let keep a running tab. I used to live a few blocks away, and besides the frequent 2 AM sightings of a stumbling George Plimpton, my favorite memory is from the first night of the summer of 2003 blackout that stalled the city, when she opened her doors and let us neighbors drink the bar clean: Elaine's to Close.

• We've heard of diners slipping espresso cups and flatware into their bags, but a framed Neil Young photo? That's a new low: Letter Grades, Artwork, Safes, Knives Stolen From Momofuku.

Bon Appétit copy chief Dorothy Irwin offers an exhaustive explanation of the magazine's new recipe style, answering such burning questions as "side of the bowl" or "sides of the bowl"? "Processor" or "food processor"? I won't give it away: Someone Call Anna Wintour. We've Got a New (Recipe) Style!

• In even better grammar-geek news, the new AP Stylebook has a food section, which finally settles the bok choy versus bok choi debate: AP Stylebook Adds Food Section, Teaches You How to Spell 'Barbecue'.

Kate Nerenberg, assistant food and wine editor:

• GourmetLive, the digital resurrection of the late, great Gourmet magazine, names the top females—dead or alive—in the culinary world: writers, restaurateurs, chefs, cookbook authors. I can't say I'm in agreement with putting Rachael Ray on the list but giving only an honorable mention to Ruth Reichl, Gourmet's last editor-in-chief and an incredible author: 50 Women Game-Changers.

• A cook who's "staging" (providing free labor for a few days in a kitchen, preferably top-notch, to learn as much as possible) at Noma in Copenhagen, recently named the world's best restaurant, walks readers through a day in the life of a kitchen employee: My Time and Place at Noma.

• If a line cook pulls in $15 an hour, it's a lot. What's keeping them in the hot kitchen with screaming bosses and sharp knives? Maybe it's the allure of chefs like the ones on this list, who take home millions—and millions and millions—of dollars. There are three with restaurants in DC: America's Most Successful Chefs.

Rina Rapuano, assistant food and wine editor:

• Interesting (if defensive) treatment of a subject we've long discussed among the food staff: Why Washington Food Critics Hate Bethesda.

Todd Kliman, food and wine editor:

• Woody Allen's not-so-funny valentine to the legendary Elaine's: Woody Allen's Love Letter to Elaine's, Where He Ate Dinner Every Single Night for 10 Years.

• Fascinating Esquire piece on the relationship between food and soldier's morale in wartime: How Soldiers Eat: Wisdom on Fast Food and Wartime Morale.

• If this isn't echt-Berkeley, I don't know what is. Saul's Restaurant & Deli is no longer serving pastrami because it can't get its hands on hormone-free meat anymore. It's pastrami. Relax: Saul's Stops Serving Pastrami, For the Time Being.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.