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Won't You Be My (Chef/Foodie) Neighbor?

The For Sale sign is up and there have been trailers and vans. My neighbor, a nationally known chef and foodie is moving. I don't really know the guy other than the front yard exchange of "Hey, how ya doin'?" with a chin jerk. As the Hub and I were being our usual what-are-the-neighbors-doing selves, we started thinking about what other foodie type we'd like to buy the house.

Who would we want as a neighbor? Well...

Rick Bayless. He might understand our crazy yard, general mindset, and he seems (from his PBS show) to have fun parties. Maybe a neighbor would be invited. (Or could foist herself upon the invite list.)

Jacques Pepin. I want him to be my favorite uncle. (Can one be adopted this late in life?) And as a neighbor? I'd go visit with baked goods just to hear him pronounce "emulsify" as "emoolthify."

There's two of my candidates. What chef/foodie would be your neighbor of choice?

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  1. I would like Rachael Ray to move next door to me. I'd encourage my cat to poop in her yard and would play music at a ridiculous volume level and would buy a blackboard to scrape a fork across at odd hours.(not unlike her voice...) Yummo, indeed!

    1. My first thought would be Jamie Oliver, but he'd make me (just by being himself) want to become a better person.

      People will suggest (and I could be myself around) Bourdain, but he's probably boring and reclusive at home.

      It would have to be Gordon Ramsey. I can use the F word as well as he can, love it that he really cares, was irritated when he picked on Richard Quest, and think that I do my job as well as he does his.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Jamie Oliver would be a great neighbour I think. I'd definitely invite him for dinner - he said the other day that he'd only been invited to someone's house for dinner about five times, the poor chap. I'd also like Nigel Slater to move in next door and be my gay, foodie best friend.

        What did Gordon say about Richard Quest (I'm especially interested because he's a friend of a friend, and the OH used to know him too)?

        1. re: greedygirl

          I love Jamie, but he would make me want to change my ways for the better.

          Quest did a piece for CNN where he tried to learn to cook something from Ramsey. Gordon yelled at Quest throughout and at the end declared, "Well you better keep your day job!".

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            Haha! I'm on Gordon's side to be honest.

      2. Imbued with her inspiration, I think I could be the best griller of all time if Julia Child had been buried under a marble slab in front of my barbecue pit.

        1. Definitely Lidia Bastianich. I adore the woman, thinning hair and all, and I want her to teach me how to taste sauce from the pot without dribbling all over the front of my shirt. Plus, I really like her family and I think she'd like mine. Maybe she'd even invite me over to make gnocchi with her and her little grandkids.

          1. My first thought was Ming Tsai, but he would probably not be at home much, so scratch that.

            Steve Raichlen would be a great neighbor, and I could be "conveniently" doing yard work as he was firing up his grill. I could easily contribute a brisket or a rack of ribs as a welcome to the hood present. He seems like a really nice person, and his Primal Grill show makes me drool.

            Sara Moulton would be another great one. And I agree, Cay, that Jacques is a most beloved "uncle." He would be a top choice.

            1 Reply
            1. re: danhole

              Gotta go with Bourdain, love his style, attitude, humor and I think he is super sexy so I would be able to oggle.

            2. I want to live next door to Andrew Zimmern. Or Mario Batali.

              1. Curtis Stone, the Take Home Chef. He'd be a fine next door neighbor. He has all the attributes: tall, good looking, happy, courtious. I'm sure he'd let me tag along when he goes shopping. I'll even let him pay. Only thing is, he doesn't know how to pronounce Gerwertztraminer.

                Jacques Pepin can't be your favorite uncle...he's mine. Unless you're my long lost cousin.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Gio

                  Too right about Curtis. I'd have to move or give up chicks - he's a lot better looking and cooks far better than me.

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Well hey - maybe I've described V. Does he know how to pronounce Gerwertz?
                    But Sam..... You can make yogurt. Surely that's a plus.....

                    1. re: Gio

                      Oh, Joe, I' m not worried, got all the plusses. Really love Curtis... but... he might be the only one who'd make me feel like a geezer!

                2. Rachel Ray, Sara Moulton, Stephanie Izard, Giada De Laurentiis, Radhika Desai, Stephanie Izard. Any of those would do. SO might not be too happy about all the cups of sugar I would be borrowing...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Scargod

                    You do realize Stephanie Izard was in there twice? ;-)

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Yea, two of her would be too many.. :)

                  2. Jamie Oliver for the same reasons as Sam & because he seems like the most likely to have the neighbors over to try new recipes, kick the soccer ball around and enjoy a pint.

                    Wylie Dufresne would probably be a great neighbor. How cool would it be to have him & his wife (an editor for Rachel Ray's magazine) come to the neighborhood BBQ or dinner club? He could entertain the kids with crazy cooking methods of a hotdog & she probably has some good insights on everyday cooking without saying things like Yum-O or sammies. I wonder if he would fill his pool with hollandaise sauce as a way to live out his fantasy of bathing in it? Hope they have a fence.

                    Eric Ripert. Purely selfish reasons. The aroma of his cooking drifting into my open kitchen window would be inspirational. Plus I could watch him cut the yard & giggle everytime he said "shrimps" in his incredible accent.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: oldbaycupcake

                      Dufresne would be awesome, and I wouldn't mind moving to the English countryside if I could live next door to Heston Blumenthal- "hey, try this insane thing I just invented! and here, have some triple cooked chips to go with it!" and then we would have a pint at his pub.

                    2. I wish some of my fellow "Cookbook of the Month" participants would move in next door so that we could have potlucks, try out more recipes, etc.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: MMRuth

                        MM wouldn't that be fantastic? Weekly cook-alongs followed by daily visits to the gym.
                        OTOH - some like it hot and some don't......

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          Do I have to move in? Couldn't I just drop by? I've had a lot of fun with friends and relatives cookin' and playin' in the kitchen. And we've got a hot tub...

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            I'd move next door to you in a shot!

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              MMRuth, I suddenly had an idea for a retirement home - the Chowhound retirement home!!!! Could you imagine? We could have daily cooking classes, outings to great markets/shops, do lunches, and throw in the odd game of shuffleboard. I would volunteer for monthly fried chicken frying.

                              Re: next door neighbour: I would love to live next to Chen Kenichi, Iron Chef Chinese. I'm hoping he could teach me something about wok hai. I'd also love to watch him flip food in his wok.

                              I would also have to agree that Mario wold be a great neighbour. Good food, love of wine. Someone who knows how to eat. gotta love that.

                              But Martin Picard might be a bit much. He scares me sometimes!

                              1. re: MMRuth

                                I'd gain 100 pounds, but with everyone's cooking have fun doing it!

                              2. Batali, Bastianich, Di Laurentis, Bourdain, Oliver, Bittman...Anne Burrell? All for different reasons. I'd love someone to make pasta or specialty cocktails with, but it would also be fun to garden swap.

                                1. Not for their cooking "skills", but for their smoking hot looks:

                                  Rachael Ray
                                  Ingrid Hoffman

                                  As a cool neighbor to grill, and drink with:

                                  Bobby Flay
                                  Anthony Bourdain
                                  Rick Bayless
                                  Gordon Ramsey

                                  1. Rick Bayless or Mario Batali

                                    1. Either Bourdain because he manages to eat pig in whatever part of the world he's currently in (and we love some pig, yes we do!) or White because he hunts and fishes and respects the bounty (c'mon Anthony, show some respect when they take you to hunt what you eat!). But best of all would be to have both on either side of my house because they seem to be twisted in all the right ways!

                                      1. Any of you fellow 'Hounds!!!!! Plus most of the people that you have already mentioned! As to the retirement home idea, do we have to be retired??? I'd move into that compound in a New York minute! Most of my friends don't know how much fun I have grocery shopping, you guys soo get me!

                                        1. I have to add another neighbor-to-be to add (gads...neighborhood might gets crowded): Jose Andres. On my Saturday morning food show sojourn (Made in Spain, PBS - love it, someone buy me the soundtrack!) I realized that this is the kind of food person I like as well. Enthusiastic. Intellectually curious (very important). Skilled, but not making a big deal out of it.

                                          Still, he might be a little exhausting to have as a neighbor...oh well. I'd rather be exhausted in that direction.


                                          1. I wouldn't want any great chef to be my neighbor. They would hate me. I would be "that annoying person next door". You know the one always dropping by at meal times.

                                            1. I would like Stephanie Izzard (the winner of Top Chef season 3) to be my neighbor because her persoanlity seems very neighborly! She's nice, super talented and really immodest, all great qualities in a neighbor. Invite me over for dinner Stephanie! :)

                                              1. Mario just comes off as a little too elitist for me. Like nothing you make could be good enough for him and he'd probably take over and tell you how to do it "the right way."

                                                I vote for Jamie Oliver. He would be so enthusiastic about whatever you made and seems like he'd be great to hang out with. he's just glad when someone else is cooking!

                                                1. I'd pick either Mario Batali or Nigella Lawson. I like both of their cooking styles and they also seem like they'd be fun to have a bottle of wine with and chat in the back yard.

                                                  1. Alton Brown because he's known to be really friendly so I can actually talk to him. I will just be intimidated by Ramsay or Bourdain.

                                                    Ina Garten, I don't like her show, but her food looks quite good and she always have neighbours and friends over =D!

                                                    Rachel Ray, so I can terrorize her XD!

                                                    Thomas Keller so I can bug him until he gives me a job at his restaurant...he might just move lol...

                                                    1. My Thai cooking teacher. She gives her neighbors leftovers and I'm very jealous.