We’re eating a prix fixe service of crow as it turns out Chez Panisse’s Alice Waters was in fact in Chicago this weekend, and so could not have been the angry diner who objected so strenuously to the salty situation at Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York. A Per Se person denied it was Waters, claiming restaurant staff had a name on the reservation and knew who the dissatisfied party was. And various sources (including Twitter — DAMN YOU once AGAIN, Twitter) place Waters elsewhere. Mea culpa, apologies all round, et cetera. For amusement value, original non-Waters sighting reproduced after the jump.
Much subtle and tasteful fawning over Alice Waters at Per Se lunch on Sunday. [NOTE: Was not actually Alice Waters. – ed.] At first didn’t notice but by mid-meal she had ramped up the much-storied bitchiness. Sent back her entrée, a duck breast, for it was “oversalted,” and took this is an opportunity to also note that the previous dish, Hawaiian blue prawns, was also on the salty side. After her main had been traded out for a more palatable lamb dish, she proceeded to explain how she would have done a vegetable preparation differently. The maitre d’ actually stopped her and returned a few seconds later with a notepad to write down her “recipe.” There was also an interruption of the presentation of chocolates to complain about something else, but was too quiet to hear what. All in all it took about 10 minutes for her to select a satisfactory chocolate. To the staff’s great credit, if we hadn’t been so close, all of this would have went totally unnoticed, they handled it with such subtlety.
Of course, there might be good sport finding out who this actually was. After all, it’s one thing if an egomaniacal superchef criticizes another, but what civilian has the stones to abuse Keller in his lair? To the point where the host actually writes down your suggested recipe? If you know — or care to guess! — feel free to say so in the comments.