• In the kitchen his word may be law, but in Australia, chef Gordon Ramsay, the British star of television's Hell's Kitchen and owner of multiple restaurants in the U.K., New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere, may soon find his words against the law. After counting more than 80 instances of the chef using vulgarity in one of his shows, Australian Senator Cory Bernardi has called for an investigation into the way broadcasters regulate "coarse and foul language in [televised] programs," in an effort to get Gordon "bleeped" out of Australian television. According to Bernardi, several members of the public have submitted complaints to his office about Ramsay's vocabulary. The investigation, however, doesn't seem to be off to a great start. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the chef was recently offered a "swear jar," into which he was to insert cash each time he cursed, by Aussie journalists attending a press event. Ramsay accidentally dropped the jar, and when it smashed on the floor, Ramsay loudly cursed. His publicist has not responded to Unfiltered's request for comment—could it be because her response might put her in debt to the "swear jar"?
Actor Kyle McLachlan (Desperate Housewives) was among the stars who came out to support Citymeals-on-Wheels.
• A summer thunderstorm couldn't keep New Yorkers from showing their support for Citymeals-on-Wheels' "Crème de la Crème" event at Rockefeller Center on Monday, June 16. Thunder and lighting were no match for American chefs such as Jardinère's Traci des Jardins and Picholine's Terrance Brennan, who cooked dishes in honor of their French mentors, including Pierre Troisgros and Roger Vergé. More than 1,000 guests attended, including actor Kyle McLachlan, whom Unfiltered found holding a plate of duck pastrami prepared by Top Chef star Tom Colicchio, who was representing his restaurant Craft. When asked what was his favorite dish, McLachlan responded, rather diplomatically, "This one." Upon further reflection (and some prompting from his companion), he added, "And the egg toast with caviar [from Jean-Georges restaurant], but the night is young." Actress Kathleen Turner also attended, and was seen sampling foie gras that had been deep-fried by the chefs from Rock Center Café in honor of chef Marc Meneau. The real stars of the evening, however, were the chef-honorees who bounced from station to station for samples while catching up with each other. Pierre Gagnaire approved of Joel Antunes' tomato gazpacho with tomato sorbet, saying, "It's innovative!" The event raised $925,000 for programs to help feed homebound New Yorkers.
Unfiltered can confirm that this cake, prepared by Penelope Jane Orsini, did not taste like bandages and IV fluid.
• Chefs—pastry chef, to be precise—were also the stars at the 50th anniversary celebration for Napa's Queen of the Valley Hospital on June 14. More than 2,000 people showed up for the festivities, which included a parade, live music, food and wine donated by Grgich Hills, Chappellet and Trefethen. Seven of Napa Valley's top pastry chefs prepared elaborately decorated cakes, which were then evaluated by panel of judges as well as the public, who paid $1 a piece to try slices of the cakes. Top prize from the judges was awarded to Dorian O'Connell of Bouchon Bakery, and the people's choice award, determined by the amount of income generated per cake, went to Fabrice Dubuc of The Carneros Inn. Unfiltered was on hand and had a hard time picking a favorite, distracted as we were by the unusual joy of being compelled to eat cake and drink wine at a hospital.
Something tells us it's not dishwasher-safe.
• Behold what may be the world's most expensive Champagne glasses, recently designed by Australian jeweler John Calleija.The two chalices were carved from rock quartz crystal and are adorned with 1,700 white and pink diamonds and 18-karat white and rose gold. The glasses will be on display at the grand opening of Calleija's London boutique and will go home with one wealthy Melbourne businessman who was willing to plunk down 400,000 Australian dollars for the sparkly vessels, according to the Web site BallerHouse.com. So that his home is ready to receive the precious glasses in proper style, let's just hope the deep-pocketed purchaser has already invested in Veuve Clicquot's $10,000 pink loveseat and the Karim Rashid-designed Globalight, a $4,000 bottle bucket that does double and triple duty as a lamp and cooler.
• Not only must sommeliers be well-versed in wine, perhaps nowadays a few courses at the nearest circus school might also help. The recently opened Chicago branch of the Texas de Brazil steakhouse chain features "aerial wine artists" who perform gymnastic tumbles and flips while retrieving wine from the two-story glass cellar in the center of the restaurant, a bit of theater that was inspired by the legendary wine tower in chef Charlie Palmer's Aureole Las Vegas restaurant. The "artists" are clad in black bodysuits and hoisted into the air by a system of remote-controlled cables. Unfiltered only hopes that the tumblers can keep sediment-heavy bottles in a horizontal position while they flip, and that they give bottles of sparkling wine a few minutes to settle before popping their corks.
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