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Celebrity chef restaurants in New York City


Fat Guy
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Michael Symon and Aaron Sanchez were on the Melting Pot way back on FTV.

If that counts.

Michael Symon dissolved his relationship with Parea a few weeks ago, so he no longer has a restaurant in NYC.

Plus Eater claims that Parea has shut its doors for "renovation"

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Recognizable by the average North American non-foodie.

Okay, according to this qualification, then I'd say the following:

Batali

Flay

Morimoto

Boulud

Ripert

Palmer

Keller

Vongerichten

Bastianich

I'm sure there are others, but right now, my average foodie mind can think of any.

u.e.

to be honest guys, if you really mean by "average North American non-foodie"...i.e. at least 50% of the adult population of the U.S/Canada (I assume you're not counting Mexico)...the answer is:

NONE OF THE ABOVE. PERIOD.

you might find that 50% of the population would recognize Batali vaguely as a chef...in his trademark attire...but not his name. (maybe 25-30% would recognize his name). Rachel Ray is the only food figure in the country who might have 50% name recognition.

if you redefined it as "recognizeable to the average food-network viewer".....it'd be Batali, Morimoto and Flay. that's it. not Keller, not JG, not Lidia, etc.

Lidia would be closest.

Todd English and Roy would be next only because they have so many restaurants across the country (and Roy even uses his name in them).

if any of the above is a surprise or controversial to you...you might want to hang out with a few more non-foodies (i.e. 98% of the population). I was talking to someone last night who was self-proclaimed NY foodie....writes a blog, etc.

I'd almost guarantee you that she wouldn't recognize the names of Ripert (she'd know the restaurant but not the chef), Lidia or Palmer (ditto).

as for non-food celebs that have a hand in restaurants in NY? that's a long, long, long, long list.

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Recognizable by the average North American non-foodie.

Okay, according to this qualification, then I'd say the following:

Batali

Flay

Morimoto

Boulud

Ripert

Palmer

Keller

Vongerichten

Bastianich

I'm sure there are others, but right now, my average foodie mind can think of any.

u.e.

to be honest guys, if you really mean by "average North American non-foodie"...i.e. at least 50% of the adult population of the U.S/Canada (I assume you're not counting Mexico)...the answer is:

NONE OF THE ABOVE. PERIOD.

you might find that 50% of the population would recognize Batali vaguely as a chef...in his trademark attire...but not his name. (maybe 25-30% would recognize his name). Rachel Ray is the only food figure in the country who might have 50% name recognition.

if you redefined it as "recognizeable to the average food-network viewer".....it'd be Batali, Morimoto and Flay. that's it. not Keller, not JG, not Lidia, etc.

Lidia would be closest.

Todd English and Roy would be next only because they have so many restaurants across the country (and Roy even uses his name in them).

if any of the above is a surprise or controversial to you...you might want to hang out with a few more non-foodies (i.e. 98% of the population). I was talking to someone last night who was self-proclaimed NY foodie....writes a blog, etc.

I'd almost guarantee you that she wouldn't recognize the names of Ripert (she'd know the restaurant but not the chef), Lidia or Palmer (ditto).

as for non-food celebs that have a hand in restaurants in NY? that's a long, long, long, long list.

Oh *crap* - I missed "non" in the "non-foodie." I withdraw my list and concur with Nathan.

Now, if Rachel Ray, Emeril Lagasse, or Martha Stewart were to open a restaurant in NYC, or if say Paris Hilton or Oprah decided to undergo a serious pay-cut and career change, then I would say they would qualify.

My bad. :blush:

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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daisy17 mentioned him above, but I wouldn't even consider Tom Colicchio, unless the average non-foodie happens to watch Bravo's Top Chef, which I guess, would make them, to some degree, a foodie in my book... as would anyone watching any of Gordon Ramsey's show...

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Google Trends is a useful tool here, as it measures how often things are searched on the internet, and one can assume the overall number of Google users swamps the number of foodie Google users such that it can be taken as representative of how much somebody is in the consciousness of the non-foodie American.

Anyway it looks like Flay, Bourdain, and Batali simply exist on another level in terms of searchability. Morimoto might be almost at this level, but it's hard to tell because 1) it seems nobody searches "Masaharu Morimoto" and 2) Morimoto not being an unusual Japanese surname, searching Morimoto by itself does not necessarily mean people intend to search the celebrity chef.

I'd say there is another, obviously much lower level of visibility which is typified by people like Thomas Keller and Todd English. Gordon Ramsey actually spent some time in the Flay/Bourdain/Batali stratosphere, but is now at this level as well.

People like Ducasse, Colicchio, Boulud, Bastianich, and Robuchon have occasional spikes (coinciding with newsworthy times) that reach this lower level, but are zeroes otherwise. Dieterle has one spike in which he's at the highest level, but is now at this level as well.

Everybody else mentioned does not even show up as a blip.

Edited by Leonard Kim (log)
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Just to calibrate -- Rachael and Emeril are actually only a little above the Bobby Flay level until 2006, when Rachael made a huge jump, which only halves the distance to Martha. Make another leap of approximately the same distance, and you're at Oprah/Paris levels -- and Flay's line starts to look awfully flat and zero-like.

Picture: Top one shows, for United States, 2006, Bobby Flay in blue, Thomas Keller in red, and Robuchon in orange. On the bottom, Flay is still blue, Rachael Ray is orange, Martha Stewart is green, Oprah is red.

gallery_41742_4891_5453.jpg

Edited by Leonard Kim (log)
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Batali, Flay, Bourdain, Morimoto -- that sounds like the list of most recognizable names of actual restaurant chefs (as opposed to Rachael Ray et al.). Since Bourdain retains a job title at Les Halles ("Chef at Large"), that's probably good enough for this list.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Does Puck have anything in NYC?(even at the airports?)

There was a Wolfgang Puck Express in Hoboken, but it closed within a year.

A lithmus test of your "average non-foodie North American" celebritydom? :raz:

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Does Puck have anything in NYC?(even at the airports?)

There was a Wolfgang Puck Express in Hoboken, but it closed within a year.

A lithmus test of your "average non-foodie North American" celebritydom? :raz:

Actually overpriced fast food in a cursed location.

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How about Jacques Torres? He's had a tv show. I can't remember if it was on food network or on PBS. People might recognize his name.

Even if Torres had his own restaurant, I would agree with Nathan. No.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Also, I think we should be careful about how we define the average non-foodie.

Far From the Big Cities, and Not Missing Them

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/18/dining/18kans.html

the average NY'er non-foodie (i.e. close to 50% of the adult population of the 5 boroughs) doesn't have the foggiest clue who Mario Batali is.

edit: yes, in relative terms, the Food Network is very popular....but in absolute terms only a small percentage of the population watches it.

Edited by Nathan (log)
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Ha ha! Britney Spears has a restaurant in New York!

Who knew?

Edited: But she doesn't claim to be a chef. Never mind.

Edited by Margo (log)

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

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You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

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I think when people go to "celebrity" restaurants in New York City they go to "see" celebrities not because they want to go eat at a celebrity chef's restaurant. They want to see someone famous. I think there's a distinction in this in New York. They go to Da Silvano because they've heard lots of celebrities hang out there, and they might get to see someone if they go eat there. Maybe that's what a celebrity restaurant is in New York City. I know it doesn't fit the question originally asked, but maybe that's why.

and if you were to ask this question for another city, would you get the same answer? what celebrity chef's are there in LA? Chicago? San Francisco? Does Wolfgang Puck have a good restaurant anymore besides the really bad ones that bear his name in airports? or does he just do Oscar night specials?

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also the guy at Perilla

In one sense he qualifies, but does the fact that neither you nor I remember his name disqualify him at the moment :laugh: ?

that's probably exactly why he does qualify!

Rocco would if he had anything open at all.

Tyler Florence lives in NoLIta and I know that he's been scouting space on and off for a restaurant for years...(has he ever been a real chef?)

He cooked at Cafeteria back in the day if memory serves. The meal wasn't memorable but that doesn't mean it was bad.

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