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Celebrities you have cooked for


Old Timer
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I had a unique opportunity a few weeks ago.

Blues legend Corky Siegel was doing a show at a local Theater and I was invited by the theater owners to attend.

Being that this is a resort area, there are not a lot of restaurants open late at night in the middle of winter. One of the theater owners approached me and asked if knew anyplace open that was close.

Well there is nothing within 10 miles as far as I knew, so I invited everyone back to my place and offered to grill some burgers. (I was closed at the time, so had to turn everything back on.)

Anyway, here we were sitting in a dimly lit dining room with Corky Siegel and his band chomping on burgers and drinking several cool ones.

I tried to comp the meal to them but they would not hear of it.

The manager dropped me a hundred and said my favorite words..."keep the change".

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Because my catering/restaurant days were spent in Nashville, the celebrities I mostly served were country music stars.

I catered a reception for CBS on the occasion of a platinum single for Crystal Gayle (unfortunately, no one told me she was vegetarian) and a birthday party for Amy Grant, given by her parents. Visitors to my restaurants included one of the Everly brothers, country comedian Jerry Clowers, Roseanne Cash and Rodney Crowell, Larry Gatlin and, frequently, Eddy Arnold.

When catering for The Nashville Network, I served then-governor Lamar Alexander and actress Florence Henderson. The strangest catering job I had was purported to be a surprise birthday dessert buffet for a lawyer; when Al Gore showed up and I questioned his presence, I was told it was a fund raiser for him. What's up with that? Said lawyer and his wife were later "run out of town" by a banking scandal.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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years ago i did a story on swifty lazar's oscar party at spago. i showed up early and worked through the day in the prep kitche, so when dinner started, wolf through me onto the line, second grill and second pizza. that was an experience. i made a pizza, the waitress picked it up and delivered it to a table right next to the bar ... jimmy stewart and george burns. it was all like that. and then about 10 p.m., wolf came up to me and said "can you make a pasta with fresh tomatoes?" of course. that was for audrey hepburn, who came late, entered through the back door and sat alone for hte meal. kind of sad, actually.

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I have been fortunate in that I have had the opportunity to cook for a large number of famous or important people. In the late '80's, I cooked for Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Margaret Thatcher, and Benzir Bhuto (sp) in one afternoon. I served a meal to the great Gene Kelly. I have catered for Joe Dumars and Isiah Thomas. I have fed Ted Nugent, Bob Seger, Aretha Franklin, and Orthea Barnes.

Joe Lieberman, Phil Graham, and Spencer Abraham. Roger Penske, Govenors Granholm and Engler. Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber. Kid Rock and Pam Anderson. Kiss and Aerosmith, Wayne Newton and a slew of others.

Gee, that sounds a bit like bragging. :blink:

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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While working at a certain living history museum I cooked in front of Julia Child (an honor - she called me "young man" when I introduced myself to her), Martha Stewart (I was 24 and did not know who she was and contradicted her as she spoke to her companion - in her defense she took it well), and the then Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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Very limited real kitchen experience here - but did help serve, prep, cook (might've just plated dessert - who knows - can't really remember) for the lead singer dude from Simply red (erm, that does count as a celebrity right?) in a castle in Italy. Sort of a long story. I'm not Italian. I don't speak Italian. But I was there, and think Valentino Rossi will regain his crown this year.

There were also some Italian celebs that got the rest of the kitchen all aflutter, but I couldn't tell you who they were - one was a female talk show host - but that's all I know.

Here in Toronto, was in the kitchen when Ron Howard (Opie!, Richie Cunningham!), in town directing Cinderella Man was dining - but I was just doing prep - he didn't eat anything I'd touched. Pretty sure I didn't even help plate the desserts that day.

And that's about it as far as I know. Doesn't really matter though really - I guess it's sort of a talking point after you go home, but while you're at work, you just get on with it really. I suspect it impacts front of house more?

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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In the past year and a half, I've cooked for:

Martha Stewart

Lewis Black

Jude Law

Jimmy Fallon

Danny Meyer

The Rolling Stones

Those are the ones I know about. Jude Law was the most exciting, as that happened late at night in an open kitchen, and he and Sienna and her mom were about the only people there.

Brad and Angelina came in about a month ago, but left after being told there was a wait.

I'm getting married soon, and the caterer has a list of the celebrities he's cooked for on his info, which I think is really cheesy.

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  • 2 months later...

Mostly local celebs at our joint--

Andre 3000

Dominique Wilkins

Ludacris

And once I moved from the BOH to General Mgr, we had Wayman Tisdale and Li'l Bow Wow come through a few times.

"have a sense of humor about things...you'll need it" A. Bourdain

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Mostly local celebs at our joint--

Andre 3000

Dominique Wilkins

Ludacris

And once I moved from the BOH to General Mgr, we had Wayman Tisdale and Li'l Bow Wow come through a few times.

you got andre 3000 and I got Big Boi, :cool:

numerous NBA NFL and Baseball players.

Charles Barkley Micheal Jordan..

one of our regulars - Sean connery

John Kerry (does he count?)

Hulk Hogan....i resisted the urge to go out and ask him,'what are you gonna do brother?" lol :laugh:

some celeb chefs have come in aswell: Emeril, Jean George, Tyler florence....

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Shakira, Queen Latifia, Conan O'Brien, John Cleese, Pam Anderson, Seal, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, numerous NHL hockey players and oh yeah, Prince William and Prince Harry and Anne Heche just last week.

They were all really nice people. Just some of their entourage that weren't so great.

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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In the last year my students have cooked for, Scarlett Johannsen, Mickey Hart, Mike Gordon, John Fishman, Laurah Bush, David burke, and Paul Simon. I may be missing a few.

When I was a private chef for a ridiculously rich guy: The hilton parents, George Bush senior, Colin Powell, The owners of Heineken, Swiss Army people, a Ford, and probably others I did not even know about.

Funny the only one I wanted to go meet was David Burke, hehe

You got the jam band catering job, cool. And someone else mentioned Los Lobos.

Good food and good music!

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While at Gibson's and Hugo's Frog Bar in Chicago, it was a nightly event for at least one or two celebs to pop in.

Billy Joel (he even played the piano in the lounge), Michael Jordan and the rest of the Bulls squad, pretty much every athlete in every sport, Presidents Clinton and Bush, Jr., Jack Nicholson, Billy Corgan, Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack, Vince Vaughn, ...................................countless more.

Ryan Jaronik

Executive Chef

Monkey Town

NYC

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From Jimmy Carter to Slash, The Clinton Gals, Jimmy Fallon, Green Day drummer and his daughter, Michael Keaton(when he was with Courtney Cox) Kevin Kostner(frigin guy sent his steak back three times) Diddy when he was Puffy and my favorite of all times-Finch(don't even know his real name). There are many more but I do work in NYC.

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I was lucky enough to be able to make wings for the Barenaked Ladies. About 20#, bagged up per tour bus (perhaps they travelled seperately?). Definitely a shining moment for me :blink:

Others include:

David Copperfield

Lyle Lovett

Zach Braff (whose gf later that night was sitting on the curb about to puke she was so hammered...)

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At The French Laundry, we got celebs all the time... like Oprah, Lance Armstrong and Sheryl Crow, yada yada yada.

After that, at EdK, we got "Al Bundy"(i forget his real name), James Hetfield and his wife, Lisa Loeb and family, a couple Chief Justices and the Secret Service, Gov. Swarchenegger and the Prime Minister of Mexico, John Lasseter(owns Pixar), and the BEST one of all.... His Steve-ness Steve Jobs.

I totally FREAKED when Steve came in. He autographed my MacBook Pro!! Even after begging and pleading, he wouldnt say if he had the iPhone on him. :P

-Chef Johnny

John Maher
Executive Chef/Owner
The Rogue Gentlemen

Richmond, VA

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I once declined to get involved with cooking a piece of swordfish for Gilda Radner, I don't know why. Victor Borge sent his calve's liver back at the same place. I told the chef it wasn't the best, but he said cook it anyway. At another place, Faye Dunaway, marinated beef salad she never ordered but the head waiter forced it on her, Robert Conrad, poached egg on a piece of toasted baquette, Colonel Klink, don't remember what he had but I thanked him for all the fun and he was nice, Rick Middleton of the Boston Bruins, rare strip steak at the bar before a game, the late Sarah Caldwell, veal chasseur with a big party and she had another serving as we finished the last person in the party. On a local level, Chet and Natalie way before the split, top butt steak with a mustaed glaze. Paul Simon and Sejii Ozawa came through at various times but the chef saved them for himself. An omelette and scallop ceviche, respectively. The Phoenix Suns one year when they played the Celtics in the playoffs, the J. Geils Band, one of whom threw up on the table. Why do I remember what they all had? Out of thousands of meals?

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hmmmm...funny thread! if you work in new york, san francisco or los angeles...you probably cook for celebrities every night of the week!

imagine the cooks at 'the ivy' in los angeles. probably a great group of illegals who could give a $hi7 about who's eating there. never even heard the name of the chef! just that all the celebrities eat there.

and here's my name-dropping list:

birthday cake for lars ulrich (all of metallica was there as well as sean penn), madeleine albright, patrick swayze, don johnson, pretty much every celebrity chef in new york city and san francisco, michael douglas and catherine zeta jones, pierre herme, jerry and jessica seinfeld, etc. etc. etc.

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Having spent 5 years at the Air Canada Centre, we had just about everyone you could imagine through there. We did takeout for all hockey and basketball teams after the game, as well the directors lounge had every Canadian polititian, A, B and C list celebrity and wannabe through there. We did most meals for concert performers, so over the years that was just about everyone.

The best though was when Andrea Bocceli and his entourage of about 20 came in to the restaurant after his performance and just asked us to cook for them, family style We just kept cooking and they just kept eating. They ate until 2 am.

The worst was Paul Mcartney the vegan nazi, who tried to demand we serve a completely raw, vegan menu in our 3 restaurants as well as remove all leather furniture from the entire building, it wasn't good enough to just be moved to another part of the building he actually wanted it moved of the premisis. It was nice to tell one of the beatles (well one of his people anyway) to go stick it.

www.azurerestaurant.ca

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We gave stuff from our bakery to a number of bands (the Melvins, the Bronx, others) but the most notable was probably the Foo Fighters. Taylor Hawkins, the drummer, specifically requested bran muffins. Guess you gotta stay regular on the road.

They were great and shared the food with their crew and everyone working backstage (a rarity). In fact, the wife of one of the local security guards became one of our most loyal customers after tasting our stuff. All thanks to Dave Grohl.

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At my cult restaurant in New Orleans, we had as regulars; Clarence "gatemouth" Brown(Blues player), Michelle Shocked, Larry Hagman, the ZZ Top guitarists, Lenny Kravitz. I've also cooked for Paul Bocuse while a sous, and while apprenticing in Paris back in early nineties, Robuchon came in for lunch one day.

Edited by Timh (log)
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I have been retired for some years now so no recent celebraties.

In the past I have cooked for:

Melvin Belli, attorney

Glen Bell, creator of Taco Bell

Thompson Twins, Hee Haw

Peter Scolari, Bosom Buddies

Slim Pickens, Western sidekick

Tom Selleck, twice.

Not being a fan of Hee Haw or country music in general, I had no idea who the Thompson Twins were. I just thought they were a couple of nice youg men who came in to have burgers and a game of pool. It wasn't long until someone in the bar recognized them and started being pesty.

Glen Bell, after getting out of Taco Bell, came here to do a theme park sort of project but it sort of faded away. He built a lovely house on a hillside outside town.

I made well done scrambled eggs for Tom Selleck's breakfast, twice. The waitresses were all in orbit. He did invite some of them to watch filming and then later to the cast party at the end.

This used to be a very popular area for filming western movies because it's beautiful country and we have the old train at Railtown 1897. The train is in restoration so we haven't had near as many movies filmed here as in previous years.

Many scenes in the Little House series were filmed here as were scenes in Bonanza and a lot of Back to the Future 3. Lots of other movies and TV progarams, too.

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diana ross

kurt russel/ goldie hawn

danny devito

martha stewart

chevy chase

mickey hart and bob weir (grateful dead)

ben harper

bill cosby

robert redford

condoleeza rice

rumsfeld

sharon stone

thats all i can remember from restaurants..

best one though was when i was a dreadlocked hippie and we parked our RV backstage for a music festival. we were woken up by a dude named Bruce who told us to move our van and talk to some woman about our work passes. we then spent the morning cooking breakfast for Willie Nelson, Toots, and the Maytals, and Pato Banton (because we had a stove on our ride). good times...

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