A Real Bloodbath in the Hamptons

“What time does this bloodbath actually start?” asked a young woman hovering by a grill in the Hamptons’ East End. Flesh was burning and blood cooked as people waited anxiously for the fourth annual en vogue cook-off, The Hamptons Burger Bloodbath, to officially begin. But there were no fisticuffs or knife fights at this year’s culinary mayhem (nor any fellatio mishaps, or accidental snorting of Ajax in the kitchen). Everyone in attendance appeared to be in jubilant-spirits as the event, which has gained serious momentum since it started, began heating up in the August afternoon. “It gets bigger and better every year. We have five great burgers this year,” said Ben Leventhal, managing editor of NBC’s lifestyle content and the host of the afternoon. “It should be interesting to see who wins.” What’s the competition? A simple concept born of simple food: hundreds of free gourmet burgers, four judges, five contestants both local and professional, and nearly two hundred animated guests primed to indulge in some of the finest burger eating on Long Island. All of the contestants were instructed to cook with the same beef, sponsored by Pat LaFrieda, and all were encouraged to customize flavors and add fixings as they saw fit, so long as they hewed to this year’s theme: Beach Burger.

This invite-only feast lasted for several hours and was set on traditional red and white-checked picnic tables that were spread across the spacious lawns of an exclusive summer beach home. Photos snapped, smiles were exchanged, and bottled drinks of every blend were handed out—including the very appropriate sponsor item BluePrint cleansing drink for an after burger colon wash. Everyone here knew everyone’s name (there was only one stranger). A few guests had even gone to grade school together.

By the time the grills were raging, word whipped around the party that the press was floating about, and the crowd became instantly quotable. “I ate so many fucking burgers last summer,” mentioned Joanne Wilson, a blogger who’s been “involved with the internet for years. I write about everything. I’ll write about this event too.” Perhaps she’ll allude to the lack of recycling bins at this year’s party?

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One man asked if there was sufficient material to write about. “Are you getting what you need?” he asked. He then filled in the silence with, “I’m sure you’ll get what you need. How many beers deep are you?”

From across the yard, Josh Capon shouted, “I’m starving. Let’s eat already!” Mr. Capon, 2009’s Bloodbath Burger champion and head chef at Lure Fishbar in Soho, believes that a good burger represents”a lot of love and a quality product.” Mr. Leventhal echoed this sentiment, adding his thoughts on what distinguishes one burger from another. “It’s not just the condiments. It’s the intangibles, too. Today should be fun.” The four panel judges sat at a table with a tightly woven crowd eagerly awaiting their response. The lineup included Pat LaFrieda, the supplier of the meat, Kate Krader editor at Food and Wine, Lee Schrager of the Food and Wine Festivals, and the aforementioned Josh Capon. “It’s going to be a difficult choice this year,” added Lee Schrager. But in the end it was house resident Mo Koyfman and his classic American burger that won the competition. The crowd rallied in applause, and he absorbed every bit of their adulation.

His winning treat was responsibly dressed in local tomato, pickle, lettuce, American cheese, ketchup, and Dijon mustard (subtle subversion), all stuffed between a lightly-grilled bun. His intent was to stir up judges and guests’ nostalgia, and ultimately to remind everyone that Americana wins again. But the other burgers had their own unique flavors, too: house resident Cobi Levy (of Charles and the hotly-anticipated tapas spot in the old Beatrice space) concocted a spicy Asian burger; Joe Tremblay of Sag Harbor’s Bay Burger brought out their Bleu cheese Bacon favorite; New York City’s new American restaurant, Whitmans, represented by Larry Kramer and Dan Hartwick, put together a ‘’juicy Lucy” stuffed with pimento cheese; and Westside NYC’s restaurant, bobo, featuring chef Patrick Connolly, unloaded a unique corn-squash spread for their bun.

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The attendees continued to discuss their favorite burgers well after the panel doled out its decision. One young woman sparked up a heady conversation about the famous cultural critic Jean Baudrillard. (Perhaps the beef excited her imagination?) She said she found it fascinating how Baudrillard depicted modern American life as merely a series of illusions that will slowly disappear.

As the August light began to fade, the crowd dispersed to various after and after-after parties. Smoke rose up from the smothered coals.

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Industry Insiders: Wesley and Spencer Vultaggio, AriZona Tea Titans

First, AriZona Beverage scions Wesley and Spencer Vultaggio re-energized the iconic iced tea company their father Don started in Brooklyn eighteen years ago, making it a mainstay for thirsty Americans across the country. Now the Vultaggio boys, two hard working bon vivants with a taste for top tier nightlife—and burritos—are taking the company global along with a cadre of forward thinking pals and fresh ideas. First stop: Bali.

Point of origin: We both lived and breathed the business since we were little kids. Our dad’s very old school. He doesn’t believe in giving anyone a free ride. You have to learn how to drive a fork lift in this family or you’re not a real man—going on the truck with the sales people, working in the warehouses, the whole gamut. We learned the whole business over the years, from the ground up.

Wesley, AriZona Beverages creative director, on re-energizing the brand: “I started in 2004 full time and tried to get the company to modernize a little bit. My father is this amazing marketing genius but he doesn’t have a computer, doesn’t have email. My first project was to overhaul the website, which was nonexistent, in order to reach out to the audience we’ve amassed over the past 18 years since the company was started in Brooklyn.

On liquid remedies: We take great pride in the quality of our beverages. For the newest line, AriZona Rescue Water, we partnered with Twin Labs. We use real-deal vitamins from a national brand as opposed to other vitamin waters that use generic vitamins that you don’t really know where they come from. They really do help with a hangover!

Wesley, on hospitality ventures: I opened up Cain with some friends after college—with Jamie Mullholland, Jayma Cardosa and the crew, which was the hottest spot in the city for a while. Then we opened up GoldBar. A few years ago I partnered with some other friends from college and opened the restaurant Charles.

Spencer, AriZona’s Director of Brand Development, on burrito expertise: I’m hooked on Torrisi. The eggplant parm sandwiches are to die for. Sticking to Soho, I just had a burrito from Calexico the other day. Delicious. I’m a burrito connoisseur. I’m working on a burrito restaurant. We’re looking for space right now in New York, though it was inspired by a place in Boston where I went to college.

Welsey, on beating the hundred layer lasagna: I’ve been going to the Boom Boom Room quite a bit. Kenmare is good and it’s in my hood, Soho. I’ve been sticking to my hood lately. Raoul’s and Blue Ribbon are some of my staples. Lure on Mercer is a hidden gem; the burger’s amazing. Last night I went to Del Posto for their hundred-layer lasagna. A little over-hyped. And it was actually not enough! I ordered two orders of it. When it came out I thought, is this really it?

Spencer, on George Lopez: Information spreads like wildfire now. George Lopez made a comment on Twitter, ‘I went to buy an Arizona Iced Tea and they asked me for ID, so I bought horchata instead.’ So that got re-tweeted like I couldn’t believe and the next day I contacted him and said, ‘We’re born in Brooklyn since 1992, always been, and we’d like to send you some iced tea.’ The next day he actually apologized on Twitter, and everything got picked up by the media, so it actually worked out.

Wesley, on expansion beyond the US: One of our main focuses this year is international expansion. We’re in Canada and Mexico now, where we became the number one Iced Tea in less than two years, and now we’re moving into South America and Central America. Just this year we started to produce in Russia, the Netherlands, and Germany. We’re moving into Asia and looking for partners there. There are obviously tea drinkers there and they have very high standards of what tea should be. The international side is something we’re very excited about. Coming back from Japan, we stayed at the Bulgari hotel in Bali—just a different level. And the people are the nicest. That’s the spot. Of anywhere we’ve ever stayed, they really got it.

Photo: Patrick McMullan Company

The Dish: Mainstream Shrooming @ Charles

What: Lobster and wild mushroom ravioli in a shitake broth with parmagiano reggiano & white truffle Where: Charles (West Village) Course: Main Price: $24 Why: Food Psychedelia

Who knew the glammy West Village set would be so into fungus? Who knew lobster paired so well with shrooms? The solid Nouveau American eatery parades this dish with four—count ’em—mushroom elements, including wild mushroom ravioli, Shitake broth, white truffles and more wild mushrooms to garnish. Sure, let’s not forget about the whole lobster part of the dish, but the mushroom component is the stuff hallucinations are made of.

BlackBook Staff Picks: Dining, Drinking, Shopping, & Staying

Here at BlackBook, we pay a lot of attention to where cool customers go out — bars, clubs, restaurants, shops, hotels, you name it. So why not flip the frame and let you see where we go out? Here’s a periodically updated, exhaustive list of hotspots currently favored by everyone at BlackBook, from the mighty bosses down to the humble interns, from the charming local lounges around the corner to the jet-setting temples of luxe living.

BLACKBOOK MEDIA CORP ● Chairman – Bob Hoff, Voyeur (LA) ● CEO – Ari Horowitz, W South Beach (Miami) ● Associate Publisher – Brett Wagner, Da Umberto (NYC) ● Director of Finance and Operations – Tim Umstead, Aquagrill (NYC) ● Corporate Counsel – Drew Patrick, El Ay Si (NYC) ● Executive Assistant – Bridgette Bek, Manhattan Inn (NYC)

EDITORIAL ● Creative Director – Jason Daniels, Morimoto (NYC) ● Vice President Content – Chris Mohney, This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef (NYC) ● Senior Editor – Nick Haramis, Freemans (NYC) ● Features Editor – Willa Paskin, The Sackett (NYC) ● Writer-at-Large – Alison Powell, Jean Philippe Patisserie (Las Vegas) ● Nightlife Correspondent – Steve Lewis, subMercer (NYC) ● Assistant Editors – Ben Barna, LeVack Block (Toronto), Cayte Grieve, Vince (NYC), Foster Ethan Kamer, Sel De Mer (NYC), Eiseley Tauginas, Maialino (NYC) ● Copy Editor – Michèle Filon, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (Miami) ● Editorial Interns – Megan LaBruna, Crash Mansion (NYC), Averie Timm, Madiba (NYC), Hillary Weston, Les Halles (NYC), Annie Werner, DBGB (NYC), Ashley Simpson, Barcade (NYC), Michael Jordan, Destination Bar & Grill (NYC)

ART ● Art Director – Amy Steinhauser, Union Pool (NYC) ● Assistant Designer – Serra Semi, Five Points (NYC) ● Photography Assistant – Stephanie Swanicke, Provocateur (NYC) ● Freelance Designer – Krista Quick, Fornino (NYC)

FASHION & BEAUTY ● Fashion Editor – Christopher Campbell, Grand Sichuan International (NYC) ● Fashion Interns – Jillian K. Aurrichio, Greenhouse (NYC), Anabele Netter, Il Buco (NYC), Nicole Applewhite, Vanilla Bake Shop (NYC), Deanna Clevesy, Tao (NYC)

ADVERTISING ● Senior Account Executive – Dina Matar, Blue Duck Tavern (Washington, DC) ● Executive Director, BlackBook Access – Gregg Berger, Charles (NYC) ● Advertising Director – Michelle Koruda, Supper (NYC) ● Detroit Account Executives – Jeff Hannigan, The Lodge (Chicago), Kristen von Bernthal, Pukk (NYC) ● Midwest Account Executives – Susan Welter, Old Town Social (Chicago), Andrea Forrester, Tuman’s (Chicago) ● Southwest Account Executive – Molly Ballantine, The Tar Pit (LA) ● Northwest Account Executives – Catherine Hurley, Flora (Oakland), Shawn O’Meara, Nopalito (San Francisco)

MARKETING ● Marketing Manager – Julie Fabricant, Eponymy (NYC) ● Partnerships & Promotions Manager – Andrew Berman, Bozu (NYC) ● Interns – Adam Meshekow, Ronnybrook Milk Bar (NYC), Kayla Gambino, Grom (NYC), Marie Baginski, Stir (NYC)

DIGITAL ● Director of Development – Daniel Murphy, Standard (Miami) ● Developer – Bastian Kuberek, Greenhouse (NYC) ● Developer – Dan Simon, Hudson Terrace (NYC) ● Designer – Matt Strmiska, Uchi (Austin) ● Developer – Sam Withrow, Phone Booth (San Francisco) ● Quality Assurance Engineer – Sunde Johnson, Ginger’s Bar (NYC) ● Mobile Developer – Otto Toth, Alloro (NYC)

Industry Insiders: Jason Zukas, East Coast Chopper

Jason Zukas is recognized most often as a winner on Food Network’s TV show Chopped, but the Tom Collicchio look-alike has achieved more than 15 minutes of reality TV fame. A Queens native, Zukas couldn’t afford culinary school, so he taught himself to cook with the help of a Culinary Institute of America instruction book. The education paid off; Zukas has worked at some of the city’s most reputable restaurants, including Ouest, La Bottega and Blue Water Grill. In August, Zukas was named chef at Charles, filling in for Kristine Mana-ay (on maternity leave). We met Zukas at Charles midday for a quick chat about the ups and downs of the restaurant biz.

When did you know you wanted to be a chef? When I was a kid. Just having Sunday dinners with my grandmother, growing up in a house filled with food and family. I’d call my grandmother asking for recipes. Everyone in our family got together because of food. I always knew I wanted to cook. I started pretty young.

You’re self-taught. Do you think there’s an advantage for chefs who went to culinary school? No. I think there’s less of an advantage. They don’t have the passion. Someone who didn’t go to school really works to achieve a goal. Some people just go to school, learn a couple techniques and think they’re chefs. But it’s the total opposite. Being a chef comes from the heart, not from what you learn at school.

You’ve worked at some great restaurants. Where did you enjoy working most? That’s a tough one. All of them had their good points. I really enjoyed working at Ouest. That was a good time, and there were celebrities every night, one after another. Everyone from Bill Clinton to J-Lo, De Niro, Steven Spielberg.

The most exciting person to cook for? It would probably be when Steven Spielberg called up and said that his helicopter was landing, and he came in with Tom Hanks, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Bruce Springsteen. We kept the restaurant open a little later for them.

You were recently asked to fill in for Kristine Mana-ay at Charles. Do you plan on changing the menu? I’ve probably changed 70-80% so far.

What would you describe as “your” food? My food is Mediterranean soul food.

Could you give me an example of the quintessential Jason Zukas dish? That’s tough. That’s really tough. I hate when people ask me questions like that. I love doing slow, braised meats with a little bit of a Mediterranean flair. My lamb shank on the menu really describes me. Slow cooked over Israeli couscous. It’s really, really good.

Any plans to open your own place? Yeah, of course. That’s my dream.

What neighborhood would you choose? I’m loving the West Village right now. It’s a great spot.

Tell me a little about being on Chopped. Great experience. Being on Chopped opened up a lot of doors, even though it was very, very nerve wracking. I didn’t think I was going to win at all, didn’t think I had a shot, going up against the competition I was against. But it worked out and I won.

Would you do it again? Yeah. 100%.

Charles doesn’t have a listed phone number. You can only get a reservation via email. What are your thoughts on the whole mysterious restaurant-as-nightclub vibe? I think it’s great. It gives a little mystery to the restaurant. People don’t know what to expect. It’s all through word of mouth, like an old speakeasy. You’ve got to know somebody to know somebody to get in. Just makes the experience better.

Do you think it puts more pressure on the food? Yeah, definitely. Because people want to see something a little different. They’re going to say, “I waited this long to come here.” They’re going to want something amazing.

What’s the hardest part about being in the restaurant industry? Probably not having any time to yourself. When I get home, I’ve been thinking about food since 5 in the morning. You have no life. Your life is the kitchen and the restaurant. That’s the hardest part.

What are your go-to spots? My favorite bar to go to is 5 Burro Cafe in Forest Heights, Queens. A Mexican restaurant. Really good Mexican food. Good margaritas. Tequila.

If you could eat with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Mick Jagger.

What’s your favorite meal of the day? Big dish of rigatoni with meatballs and sausage. That’s my favorite meal ever. From an Italian grandmother.

New York: Top 10 Restaurants as Nightclubs

So, are restaurants really the new nightclubs? Check out these multitasking contenders.

Minetta Tavern (Greenwich Village) – A night at Minetta, complete with Barry Diller, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Harvey Keitel sightings, spawned this thesis. Your visit will confirm all the copious booze, packed interiors, and loud soundtracks of a nightclub, but you’ll also be served top brasserie eats. ● Hotel Griffou (Greenwich Village) – Stealth-posh scene-stealer serves up vintage dishes, but the elaborate array of intimate rooms is just as big a draw. Big enough to draw Leo, Chloe, and Kanye, among a glut of bold-faced names. ● Monkey Bar (Midtown East) – Graydon Carter’s latest monkeyshines lays down a hierarchical supper club scene, with banquettes for the literary elite and tables in the pit for you. Oysters named for Rockefeller, meatloaf named for Ephron. But it’s all about the scene.

The Waverly Inn (West Village) – High-wattage crowd in low-wattage light, with cozy, clubby feel that preserves the charm of the original. Still unlisted digits; go bathe yourself in the self-congratulatory vibe of the inn crowd inside. ● Charles (West Village) – Exclusive enough to start its run behind papered-over windows. But that’s how the peoples wanted it, and the unlisted number and email-only ressies just make this loungey supper spot all the more desirable. ● Delicatessen (Soho) – Corner attraction rocking enough lumber to show up a Lowe’s. Steers focus away from the food and onto the scene, which is tight, attractive, and ready to put away a few fancy-pants cocktails. And maybe eating. ● The Stanton Social (Lower East Side) – Lofty, tri-level space is sleek and energetic; draws in the Yorkville types looking to experiment with “ethnic” food. On the nightclub side, the music’s loud enough to make a Pacha DJ wince. ● Buddakan (Chelsea) – Stephen Starr’s sixth-borough export still catering to overflowing MePa mobs scarfing down fusiony fare. Stunning, mansion-esque space delves deep. Able to accommodate every single person heading over to Kiss & Fly and Tenjune later, all at once. ● Double Crown (Greenwich Village) – AvroKO design masters follow up Public success with vintage vibe, sprawling space. Come colonize another stretch of the Bowery and let the pretty people distract you from the just so-so food. ● bobo (West Village) Ring the downstairs doorbell for Boho-Bourgie dinner party scene. Kitchen still not fully sorted, but that’s alright with the frisky crowd lounging about the elegant townhouse digs.

Industry Insiders: Leading the People’s Revolution

Kelly Cutrone, the founder of People’s Revolution, embarked on her first public relations venture when she realized that fashion was the new rock ‘n’ roll. With the help of now-partners Robyn Berkley and Emily Bungert, People’s Revolution is a leading bi-coastal marketing and branding firm and a frontrunner in the fashion industry. The one-time affiliates of The Hills have their hands full for the fall ’09 collections — handing names such as: Yigal Azrouel, David Delfin, Buckler, Mara Hoffman, Nicholas K, Sergio Da Vila, Alexandre Herchcovitch, and Chado Ralph Rucci. The lightning-speed lifestyle required for the job has earned the firm a tough-as-nails reputation, but it occasionally takes a toll on the team. Upon arriving at the People’s SoHo office to sit down with BlackBook, Emily Bungert announced that her bi-annual Fashion Week ailment was already creeping in. “I’m losing my voice,” she said, “I lose my voice every Fashion Week. It’s just usually not two weeks before … it’s usually right in the middle or towards the end.” Read on for more from the power trio on the days leading up to the mayhem, nostalgia for Fashion Weeks past, and, without doubt, The Hills.

What’s this soon-to-be-legendary event that I’m hearing about? Kelly Cutrone: This year at Fashion Week, we’re doing three designers in one show. It’s the first time ever in the tents at Bryant Park that they’ve allowed one time slot for three different designers.

What’s the setup? KC: The setup is that there will be three of them, and they’re all going to have separate shows. So as one finale goes, and the lights will go down; there will be a sign change, and then the lights will come up, and the next designer with a music change will come out. It’s really fast. Robyn Berkley: All of the editors have to sit through all three shows. KC: The backstage will be crazy because there will be 80 models and three sets of hair and makeup.

Was it one invite? RB: No, three different invites.

How would you describe yourself in work mode? RB: Perfectionist, conscientious, innovative, and ambitious. KC: I’m brutally honest. In my role, I’m the leader.

Tell me some memorable Fashion Week stories. RB: One of our designers decided to change the number for the RSVP line that we had set up for him to his cell phone number. At the last minute. Emily Bungert: At the Sass and Bide show, when we were filming The Hills, the designer wouldn’t start the show until her friend — who was flying in from Australia — arrived. RB: Emily’s out front. I’m on the headset, and everyone is screaming at us to start the show. EB: The friend was flying in just to see the show from Australia, and the models are literally lined up, ready to start. The designer is just refusing to start, and we had to argue over the headset and decided that we had to start at that very second, and couldn’t hold the show anymore. Her friend didn’t end up getting to see it. RB: Another one for me is when we did the Heatherette show. They had to close the front of house, and there were still close to 1,000 people outside. Everyone was screaming. And then, we had never done production, and we had to call the show for Heatherette. I wasn’t there for the runthrough, so I get on the headset, and I’m like, “Okay, what’s the whole idea for the show?” All of a sudden, there are all these little fairy girls who are maybe ten, who are walking out with Amanda Lepore and there are dancers — and it was a full-on choreographed routine, and I had no idea. That was pretty dramatic. EB: One year at LA Fashion Week, we did three shows back to back in three hours, and it was all being filmed for The Hills. Andre Leon Talley was there floating around. He’d never been to LA Fashion Week before, and he sat backstage while we were calling the show. He stayed for our shows and sat in the fourth row — he never sits in the first row, he sits in the back. We weren’t completely sure why he was there.

Who’re your favorite clients? RB: I love Jeremy Scott’s shows. The energy there, the crowd, the music … Michel Gaubert does all of the music. It’s always really powerful. EB: Andrew Buckler has really good shows. He has really great models, so there are always a lot of cute boys floating around. That’s the fun thing about doing menswear every once in awhile. He loves to pull some little tricks, and he’s been known to have interesting things happening on the runway. One season, the theme was spaceships and aliens. It was in Bryant Park, and there, everything has to be done by the book, and you have to have insurance for everything. We get to the show that day, and backstage, there are these huge stilts. He didn’t tell us about it, but he hired a guy to be an alien, and the alien had to walk on six-foot stilts, and the stilts were taking up the entire backstage. The people at Bryant Park came up to us and were like, “You need insurance for these stilts.” And there was also a unicycle, and a man in drag was going to be riding it in a corset and a hat and a full face of makeup. But that’s like a typical thing that would happen to us. RB: We did a really good job for Yigal Azrouel when he did his first menswear presentation. He got an amazing response, and this season, he’s nominated for the GQ designer of the year award.

What are your fashion staples? RB: My new favorite jeans are the KSUBI Spray-On jeans, and anything Yigal Azrouel. I wear Chloe dresses. Lots of chain jewelry and big bangles. And the Alex and Ani Halo Necklace. They’re launching on ShopBop. I love Jo de Mer swimwear, and Camilla & Marc — who just launched their new swimwear collection. It’s the best thing I’ve seen in years. I only shop at one store in New York, called No.6. EB: I wear the Alternative Apparel Burnout Tee. We’re all obsessed with the Rag & Bone riding pants. RB: We wear black and white all the time, or else I wear Jeremy Scott.

Where are your places? KC: I go nowhere cool, first of all. Except for my clients’ places. I love Southside, Webster Hall. I love the Sunset Marquis hotel. I’m their publicist, and they’re my oldest client. We’ve been working together for 13 years. I love this hotel in Hermosa Beach called the Beach House, which nobody knows about. It’s the un-Malibu. It’s really beautiful and you can sleep on the second or third floor and have your door open and have the ocean rock you to sleep. I love this little, tiny restaurant on MacDougal street called Monte’s for Italian food. I am also known to pop into Little Italy and go to Angelos. I like it because the maitre’d treats fashion people like shit and is only nice to the mafia. He’s always like, “What you want?” He screams at me. And that, for some reason, I love. I love Savore, which is another unknown restaurant in SoHo, across the street from Mezzogiorno. And they have homemade foccacia. I go to Barolo once in awhile on West Broadway. I only go to places in a five-block radius. I love the Carlyle Hotel for the lobster sandwich, when I want to feel grown up. I love Sullivan Street Bakery. I like Omen, the Japanese restaurant. We love Lucky Strike. They’re like our living room. We love Sanctuary Tea. It stayed in business in a haunted space. Before they took it over, no one could stay in business there for more than six months. They give us free lattes during Fashion Week. RB: My best friend just opened up Charles. I love Nobu. I likeBar Pitti. I like Supper. I like Southside and Beatrice. I like Smith & Mills and Café Habana. I love the Vinegar Factory. We also like the backroom at Raoul’s. EB: La Esquina is my favorite restaurant. We like GoldBar. I love Café Gitane and Freemans. There’s a great restaurant in Williamsburg called Aurora. They opened one in Manhattan, but I like the one in Williamsburg better.

What is one thing that people may not know about you? EB: Well, I’m from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I don’t think that people would expect me to be from Minnesota. RB: I always wanted to be in the circus. I wanted to be a trapeze artist. EB: Something that people don’t know about Kelly Cutrone is that she’s a really talented ice skater. She used to compete when she was younger. We were ice skating with her in Syracuse, and we’re on this local ice rink all wearing all black. Kelly was showing off her moves in the middle of the ice rink, and all the younger girls were getting really jealous.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure? KC: My guiltiest pleasure is re-dating my ex-boyfriends. Recycling. Eco-dating. And just so you know, I’m down to my last ex-boyfriend to re-date. So it’s a very interesting time as to what’s going to become of me now that I’ve re-dated everyone that I’ve previously dated. RB: I cut all of them out. Three months ago, I started this intensive cleanse program, and I stopped smoking, drinking, eating, and now, I go to bed really early. I also cut out sugar. But if I wasn’t doing that, they would be smoking, drinking and eating. EB: I love red wine and Arturo’s pizza. RB: I sometimes get really obsessive watching CSI, like 10 episodes at a time.

Next is People’s Revolution — the reality show? RB: We can’t really talk about it yet. It’ll be announced right around Fashion Week. Most likely it will start pretty soon … everyone wants to delve right into it. EB: It’s definitely happening though.

Was your decision to get involved in reality TV based on The Hills and The City? EB: Kelly’s had a big presence on both shows and has gained a huge fanbase. That started everything. It will be very different from those shows though. It’s going to show what goes on during Fashion Week and with our clients and within the company. It’s more about People’s Revolution itself. It’s funny … Kelly goes to Target and has people going, “Oh my god, that’s the lady from The Hills.” It’s really funny. We went to Syracuse, Kelly’s hometown, and we stopped at a restaurant, and these young girls were staring at her and she’s like, “Oh no, Hills fans.” Her strategy is that she goes up to them and says hello because otherwise they’ll just sit and stare.

Will this be a huge lifestyle change for you? EB: I just hate having to think about my hair and makeup and what I’m going to wear.

What are you doing tonight? RB: I am getting on a plane and going to Miami. I am going to dinner with the team from Longchamp. Maybe seeing ex-boyfriends. I don’t really recycle them, but I have my ongoing conquests that don’t go away. EB: I am working on my sore throat so I don’t get too sick before Fashion Week. Taking some Emergen-C. I try not to make plans until March.

Photo: Patrik Andersson

Industry Insiders: Rochelle Gores, Winning Big at Arcade

Rochelle Gores, owner of Los Angeles boutique Arcade, on working long days, saying bye bye to boho-chic, and the year of expansion.

Where do you go out? I love Foxtail, a new club in LA. Cut is a great restaurant that I love to go to for a good steak. One of my favorite restaurants that I’ve been going to for like 18 years is Mistral. It’s in the valley. The owner is Henry. I actually really like 1912 in the Beverly Hills Hotel. It’s very casual and just a nice bar to go to.

What’s your favorite aspect of owning Arcade? The buying, obviously, is one of the greatest parts, because that’s the product, and that’s the branding of the company. I am constantly overseeing the big picture and how it’s going to grow. Last year’s focus was creating the boutique, and this year, it’s launching it into doing private label and possibly into another boutique and growing as a brand. I’m really excited about that.

Who are two people that you admire in your industry? There have been so many great women in my industry. Obviously, Coco Chanel. She was the first one to put a woman in pants, and the first person to put a bag over the shoulder as opposed to carrying it in the hand. I look up to her for innovative ideas. Donna Karan is an amazing businesswoman. Stefani Greenfield from Scoop is amazing in the aspect of retail and buying. And then, my father Alec Gores on the business end.

Trends you love in fashion? Color. People are really into bold color in fashion and accessories. People are loving accessorizing everything from earrings to bags to necklaces and layering things. I think my favorite trend is going back to femininity and sophistication. And going back to that 1920’s woman.

Trends you hate? I’m really liking what I’m seeing because it’s going away from boho-chic, which I really didn’t care for. I really like where things are going. That is what Arcade is all about, feminine, womanly, beautiful, a sophisticated, very ladylike look.

One thing that people may not know about you? I work 18 hour days. I think that may shock people.

What are you obsessed with right now? I’m getting married in May so I’m obsessed with my wedding. The ceremony will be at my dad’s estate in Beverly Hills, and the reception will be at the Beverly Wilshire. I’m getting my dresses made by Herve at Carolina Herrera. I am also obsessed with the jewelry collection that I do with Neil Lane. We do these diamond letters. I wear my “R” every day, and the girls in the store wear the letter “A” for Arcade. It’s called Neil Lane for Arcade, and all of the pieces are one of a kind. I’m excited to expand with him.

What’s on the horizon for 2009? This is the year of expansion for me. I’m looking to expand through online selling, doing my own brand, and opening another store. I’m looking to expand into a larger empire.

What’s your favorite item in the boutique right now? My bathing suits. They’re fantastic. I have all Brazilian bathing suits. I have Rosa Cha, I have Lenny. And we’re one of the only places in LA that sells them.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure? Buying cosmetics. I’m very girly in that way.

What are you doing tonight? I’m in New York. We’re going to Charles on Charles Street, and then to Bijoux and Southside.

Industry Insiders: Eugene Remm, Tenjune

Eugene Remm, the sovereign of Tenjune, talks about working his way up from the mailroom to picking up the slack in nightlife industry, and what he’s got on the books for ’09.

What are you doing tonight? Going to Tenjune!

Where do you go out? Gramercy [Hotel] is one of my favorites because they have a great scene, great design and great people who work there. Pastis always stands out because they know how to treat regulars. That combined with the great food and great staff makes for a consistently good dining experience. Charles has the appeal of an intimate restaurant where the owners treat you like family and the food is really good.

What’s your job title? I am a Partner in EMM Group, a Nightlife and Hospitality group that owns and operates businesses including Tenjune, Four Hundred; our members-only concierge company, our Hampton property The EMM Group Estate and our hotel bar The Chandelier Room.

Who do you admire in your industry? I worked for Steve Hanson and always admired the way he created a great multi-restaurant operation focusing on hospitality and top-notch, consistent service. It was an amazing learning experience for me before leaving to open Tenjune and developing the blueprint to build EMM Group’s multiple venues. Ian Schrager is another person who really stands out as a pioneer in many businesses. He took the most exclusive nightclub formula and grew it into a hotel empire. When people use the term ‘he gets it’ in my opinion no one represents that more than him.

Any downsides to working in nightlife? The lack of work ethic of some people who work in this business. There are people who still believe that if they just show up for the three to four hours of service that they are doing their job. When in actuality the job is now more 24/7 than ever.

What is something that people might not know about you? That I moved to New York and started in the mail room at a big PR firm.

Best place to spend New Year’s Eve? Miami at The Shore Club.

Where’s your dream spot for a venture? I am living my dream in my dream spaces. I have all of my businesses within three blocks of home and I don’t even have to get in a cab to do what I love to do.

What do you have going on in 2009? The opening of our first hotel bar in Hoboken and our new restaurant and club on 14th Street in the Meatpacking District.