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Nov 2, 2000 02:58 PM

restaurateur panel discussion at New School

  • s

Last night I went to hear a panel disussion about the restaurant business. The panel consisted of Drew Nieperont, Clark Wolf, Michael Whiteman, Anthony Bourdain, Anne Rosenzweig and Mario Batalli. The moderator was Michael Batterberry. I was not familiar with all of the names but having read Kitchen Confidential, I was anxious to ask Tony Bourdain some questions. The moderator was especially good and the questions he asked the panelists were interesting. Stories of heaven and hell were recounted and just as I was planning to ask various questions and even allude to Chowhound, they ended the evening with having taken only one question from the audience. Bummer! Was anyone else there? What did you think?

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  1. m
    Martha Gehan

    I thought the panel discussion was great--especially entertaining were Anthony Bourdain,who speaks as well as he writes, and Mario Batali. Thought Michael Whiteman was a little didatic (and his plug of his wife's cookbooks was shameless) and that Wolf, while he made some good observations, is just a little too in love with the sound of his own voice. I have seen Batterberry speak before and he's always interesting--he's a very good moderator as well. I too would have enjoyed more questions from the audience but I was sitting right up front and saw that someone was signalling Michael Batterberry that time was up. Guess they were forced to end at 9:30. I thought that Batali's observations about the reservations process were most intriguing, given the brouhaha on Chowhound about this very subject vis-a-vis one of his places.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Martha Gehan

      I too really enjoyed the program.
      Unfortuneately not only do too many cooks spoil the broth, but they can also spoil a panel discussion. Way too many people up there! (7 including Batterberry, who was basically a panelist as well) Mario, while a little full of himself (OK, they were all full of themselves, particularly those two consultants!), was hillarious; Boudrain was great - just as you would have expected and Nieporent had a lot too add too (I've read about that being punched at E.H Point story - great to hear it from the horses mouth). I wish it were only 3 or 4 of them up there to tell so much more - and answer our questions (I had a few ready as well)!
      Would be great if they could do it again.

      1. re: Martha Gehan
        Rachel Perlow

        "I thought that Batali's observations about the reservations process were most intriguing, given the brouhaha on Chowhound about this very subject vis-a-vis one of his places."

        Could you elaborate on this a little? Thanks!

      2. How did you hear about the program? Are you on a mailing list and do you have info on how to get info on future programs, sounds interesting. Thanks

        2 Replies
        1. re: Lisa

          i actually work at the special programs office at the new school. i'm an office lackey. they have really amazing programs, panel discussions and readings and concerts. if you call 229-5353 they can put you on the mailing list.

          (i hope this doesn't sound pr-ish. i really don't get paid to endorse their programs; this is my work-study job and it just happens to be really cool!)

          1. re: Lisa

            I went to this conference and I found it very entertaining and informative. I thought it would be
            more combative but everyone seemed to be basically on the same team. I appreciated the candor and of Clark Wolf and Mario Batali who offset the pretentiousness of Michael Whiteman. For future events I think the link below should work.


          2. Does anyone remember the name of the "authentic" Mexican place near Do Hwa in the W. Village mentioned at the end of the discussion?

            4 Replies
            1. re: Hungry

              The restaurant mentioned was Il Cantinero. It doesn't look very authentic and I know a friend who is pretty familiar with "authentic" food who thought it was far from it. IF you try it let us know what you think.


              1. re: Frank

                According to the phone book, El Cantinero ("Il" would be Italian, no?) is on University Place, about 1 1/4 miles from Do Hwa. This is hardly around the corner.

                Given El Cantinero's lack of authenticity per your friend, could this not be the restaurant in question?

                1. re: Hungry

                  Sorry about the type O, yes it is El Cantinero and what the restaurant consultant meant was around the corner from the new school. Which it is about two blocks away. He even said that it didn't look very enticing from the outside but the Mexican cook he was with said that it excellent and he agreed.

                  1. re: Frank

                    Aha! Thanks for the clarification. What you say makes perfect sense now.

                    The question remains -- to try the place or not?