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The Michelin Guide Beard Awards

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Da Franks!
Da Franks!
[Photos: Joshua David Stein / Eater.com]

Last night chefs, starred, double-starred and a few-treble starred, gathered at The Wooly inside the Woolworth building to toast their ascension at an event called Diner en Rouge. I was, at first, dubious of the whole enterprise. Supper club chefs would be handling the catering (how's that for free labor!) and serving their food to the guests. Having been to many supper clubs in my day wherein the quality of the food is vastly outpaced by the ambition of the home chef, I girded myself for crappy food. Happily I was disappointed.

Something I noticed was how nice Jean-George Vongrichten's suit was. The man has three stars and a very nice suit collection. Rivals Gay Talese. I also noticed the large number of beards and if I had the time, I'd figure out the ratio of beards-to-stars in this years Michelin Guide. I am willing to bet, however, that there are more beards in the land of Bib Gourmand than there are in the starred territory. Reggie Watts, who is but has not star and performed a set later on in the night, had the best beard. I had the second best, I like to think though that honor probably goes to Frank Castronovo.. Frank Falcinelli and Sel de Mer chef Jeff Slagg, cooking for Whisk and Ladle, get silver and bronze. Mine might be too Amish to win.

The other things I noticed before everything went black and I ended up passed out on a sofa with a copy of the Michelin Guide protruding from my waistband: The Wooly is a funny place because the busboys look and act exactly like guests. So they'll approach you, clearly sipping a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or some such and casually say, "Hi! Can I take your plate?" at which point one says, "Hey," like greeting a friend, "sure you can take it?.but why would you want to?" And then it dawns on one that actually it is this person's job to take it.

Jean-Luc Naret blends into a room of middle-aged French men in suits very well. Danielle Florio and Mark Low of Whisk and Ladle are the best-looking Supper Clubbers in America. Sarah Simmons is the tastiest. Her Low Country rice and shrimp was the best bite of the night and of the week preceding.

· All Hangover Observations on Eater [-E-]
· All Michelin Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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