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Have you met a "celebrity chef?" Were you pleased or disappointed?

Firegoat Jul 21, 2013 12:41 PM

I have a few "celebrity chefs" I favor. Of course everyone knows I'm a Gordon fan, but haven't met him. I'm not a "chef stalker," as in I don't go to the South Beach events, etc, or pay money for such.

The only true celebrity chef I have met has been Kerry Vincent. When I lived in Tulsa she based out of there and did charity events and ran the national Sugar Show every year. Was I pleased? Extremely. Gracious. Spent about 15 minutes talking to me about FN shows and how they work and discussed food. (She also likes the chocolate turnovers from Arby's). If I found a charity event with Gordon I admit, I'd probably try to find a way to go.

Any celebrity chef on your bucket list?

  1. jinet12 Aug 26, 2013 02:21 AM

    Saw Collichio at Balthazar's dining, didn't meet him, but found him to be very attractive. Met Hubert Keller the opening weekend at his Burger Bar in San Francisco. He was shy and gracious and very attractive as well. Have been to Flay's restaurants several times when in New York but haven't seen him yet!

    1. susancinsf Aug 24, 2013 07:22 AM

      Anyone wants to meet or see Chris Cosentino should hang out at the SF Ferry Building Farmer's Market. I've seen him shopping there almost every time I've been.(and of course, his Boccalone shop is there). He is apparently quite dedicated to the FBFM(with good reason, especially if one can afford it). I don't think I've seen him in the restaurant the five or six times I've dined at Incanto, however.

      1 Reply
      1. re: susancinsf
        grayelf Aug 24, 2013 08:12 AM

        That's a good point, susan -- I'm a visitor to SF and I've seen him at FPFM twice!

      2. c
        collardman Aug 23, 2013 12:14 PM

        Paul Prudhomme is very nice. he does not have to show up at some chatity eventws but he does and is gracious. And he still rides a cart.

        Emeril is generally nice and has a good reputation among his employees.

        A celebrity chef, to reach celebrity, probably has a good personality along with a tough side. The first works with customers, employees and investors. The second works to make a successful restaurant (and with employees and investors)

        Someone that hasn't been mentioned is Rachel Ray. I don't have this first hand but from a close relative who managed a restaurant where she did a road show gig. She was a chefzilla diva that was rude to everyone there. I guess if you have to be perky on screen all the time it's got to balance out somewhere.

        11 Replies
        1. re: collardman
          Phaedrus Aug 23, 2013 01:06 PM

          Strictly speaking, Rachel Ray was never a chef. She never cooked in a restaurant kitchen. She was always a TV personality who made stuff for the busy housewives that were quick, efficient and tasted good. I don't think Giada ever worked in a restaurant either, I could be wrong there.

          1. re: Phaedrus
            bagelman01 Aug 23, 2013 01:25 PM

            Thanks. I met RR years ago when she doing in-store cooking demonstrations for an upstate NY grocery chain. I didn't include her in my earlier post because she isn't/wasn't a chef. At best she is a cook, but in reality I would call her a food stylist.

            Too quote Ed Asner as Lou Grant meeting Mary Tyler Moore (new employee) "Perky, I don't like perky."

            1. re: bagelman01
              l
              linus Aug 23, 2013 01:48 PM

              please excuse my pedantry, but i believe the exchange went more like this:

              lou: you've got spunk.
              mary: why, thank you
              lou: i hate spunk.

              1. re: linus
                Withnail42 Aug 23, 2013 02:35 PM

                I think you got it.

                1. re: Withnail42
                  Withnail42 Aug 23, 2013 07:07 PM

                  To clarify 'you got it' refers to Linus finding the right quote. Not to any particular spunkiness that Linus may or may not be in possession of.

                  1. re: Withnail42
                    l
                    linus Aug 23, 2013 09:04 PM

                    id be sad if lou grant hated me. then again, i am most certainly completely lacking in spunk.

                2. re: linus
                  bagelman01 Aug 23, 2013 04:29 PM

                  I'm old..................
                  But I think it applies to RR

                  1. re: bagelman01
                    ttoommyy Aug 23, 2013 04:51 PM

                    It most certainly does!

                  2. re: linus
                    p
                    pine time Aug 25, 2013 12:58 PM

                    My other favorite Lou Grant quote was something like "cottage cheese? I don't even like SAYING cottage cheese." Gotta love a curmudgeon.

                3. re: Phaedrus
                  pamf Aug 23, 2013 02:32 PM

                  Giada went to culinary school and has some restaurant and catering experience. Mostly a pastry chef, IIRC.

                  1. re: pamf
                    Firegoat Aug 24, 2013 06:13 AM

                    Giada is soon opening her own restaurant. I believe the press release mentioned she worked at Wolfgang Puck's Spago.

                    Have read a lot of reports on RR at book signings, filming her show, commercials or in restaurants. In general the gist is she is very diva-ish and not particularly pleasant when the camera isn't on her.

              2. RetiredChef Aug 22, 2013 10:57 AM

                Being in the business for as many years as I was I got to meet some of the people mentioned here. I will say that when we are on stage (book signings, at our restaurant, being recognized in public, etc.) we put on a show for our fans. How some of these people act off the stage is quite different.

                Genuinely nice people I have met and spent time with.

                Paul Prudhomme
                Emeril Lagasse
                Gaston Lenotre
                Rick Bayless
                Alice Waters
                Graham Kerr
                Julia Child (She was a truly funny person, could have been a stand-up comic)
                Alain Chapel

                There are only a few that I would not want to spend time with again here are their initials

                AB (This is NOT Alton Brown)
                MB
                WP
                JR

                NOTE: This says nothing about their cooking ability at least one person on this list I would put in the top 5 chefs in the world.

                4 Replies
                1. re: RetiredChef
                  Withnail42 Aug 22, 2013 11:41 AM

                  I would have loved to meet Alain Chapel. He sounded like a fascinating man. Still talked about with great reverence by his colleagues.

                  Julia Child as well I would have loved to have meet.

                  Drawing a blank on 'WP' and 'JR'

                  1. re: Withnail42
                    TripleAxel Aug 22, 2013 12:13 PM

                    Wolfgang Puck is the WP. I've met him on closing night of the Spago's on Sunset Strip. He was very engaging, making sure we were all enjoying our meals. You could also see him at Spago's Beverly Hills having lunch with his young son.

                    Most celebrity chefs are approachable, even the ones with the bad boy image: Ludo Lefebvre and Michael Voltaggio. The only chef I found to be somewhat of an arse was Rocco DiSpirito. The guy can't keep his eyes off of women. You'd ask him to sign a book or pose for a picture, and the momen an attractive woman passes by, he's distracted and would literally want to chat her up.

                    1. re: Withnail42
                      RetiredChef Aug 22, 2013 12:49 PM

                      Full disclosure - I actually apprenticed under Chapel but he was a wonderful person in and out of the kitchen. JR - Some might call him the most famous and respected chef in the world, respect and awe I have for the man but he's rude and arrogant, not a nice person to be around.

                      1. re: Withnail42
                        Gio Aug 22, 2013 02:00 PM

                        I'm thinking JR is Joël Robuchon. I won't ask chef though, I don't want to jeopardize his decision not to reveal.

                    2. c
                      cleobeach Aug 21, 2013 12:09 PM

                      I didn't official meet but sat next to Mario Batalli at a restaurant for a 2+ hour meal. He was with his family and I noticed how engaged his children were with the staff.

                      I am a huge fan. I learned to cook by watching Molto Mario. I likely paid too much attention to them (my back was to him, I didn't stare or talk to him) and he was very chatty with the staff.

                      They were on vacation (as were we) and later on in the vacation, several wait staff people from three different restaurants mentioned to me the Batalli's are regulars and the staffs love the family.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: cleobeach
                        alkapal Aug 22, 2013 07:03 AM

                        i have probably learned the most about cooking techniques from molto mario and lidia's shows. i also loved molto mario for how engaged he was with his guests -- his wit and enthusiasm were so entertaining.

                        1. re: alkapal
                          c
                          cleobeach Aug 22, 2013 09:35 AM

                          I have often thought about trying to find the shows on DVD.

                          1. re: cleobeach
                            alkapal Aug 22, 2013 09:39 AM

                            here's a start for lidia's:
                            http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&p...

                            (i didn't see any molto mario episodes at amazon).

                            but boy, those prices sure add up! looks like it is $15 per episode.

                            i think our local library has some of the dvds. you might want to check your library's collection.

                            1. re: alkapal
                              bagelman01 Aug 22, 2013 11:54 AM

                              cheaper than Amazon>>eBay............
                              Lots of Lidia's DVDs from $7-12

                      2. s
                        Siegal Aug 21, 2013 09:36 AM

                        I met/know Michelle Bernstein and her parents. She is always very nice and seems to be loving motherhood.

                        1. c
                          catroast Aug 21, 2013 09:01 AM

                          bourdain once told me to go fuck myself

                          18 Replies
                          1. re: catroast
                            Withnail42 Aug 21, 2013 09:15 AM

                            I'd be curious to hear that story.

                            1. re: Withnail42
                              c
                              catroast Aug 21, 2013 09:17 AM

                              when the book no reservations came out, I asked him to sign a particularly embarrassing page

                              1. re: Withnail42
                                s
                                shesallthat Aug 21, 2013 09:19 AM

                                I saw Mario Balati as I was leaving Bloomingdales and he was walking in for a book signing. I simply said "hi Mario" and he looked at me in disbelief and shock. I recently saw a live viewing of the Chew. Mario was no different that time either. While the other panelist..Michael Symon and Carla, and Daphnie and the guy from What Not to Wear..all were friendly especially Michael and Carla..Mario stayed far far from the audience and never acknowledged us either. I mean how hard is it to wave.

                                1. re: shesallthat
                                  l
                                  linus Aug 21, 2013 09:33 AM

                                  i'm with bourdain and batali in these instances.
                                  in the bourdain case, well, you were trying to get one over on him, so what did you expect?
                                  in the batali case, well, maybe he likes making money by appearing on the t.v., but is uncomfortable with strangers saying hello to him.
                                  i know when people i don't know say hello to me it freaks me out.
                                  yes, i know he's a celebrity, but i don't think he or anyone famous is obligated when they're not working.

                                  1. re: linus
                                    Withnail42 Aug 21, 2013 10:04 AM

                                    Batali has made an image for himself. He goes around Manhattan in orange clogs and short in apparently all kinds of weather. I believe he even rides an orange Vespa. He has developed and cultivates a unique very recognizable look. When they have it on they are on duty.

                                    Anyone who does that can't/shouldn't be upset when people do recognize them. It is after all just what they wanted in the first place.

                                    1. re: Withnail42
                                      l
                                      linus Aug 21, 2013 10:08 AM

                                      i respectfully disagree. in my opinion, if they're at an appearance, book signing, demonstration, t.v. show, etc., they're working.
                                      if he's on the street just living his life, i don't care what anyone's wearing or riding. they're off duty.

                                      i find it fascinating folks are desperate for "celebrities" to act like "normal people" and then are appalled when they actually do.

                                      1. re: linus
                                        Withnail42 Aug 21, 2013 10:27 AM

                                        If you're trying to draw attention to yourself you have to expect there will be attention even if you don't want it.

                                        Nor does it mean that once you've been spotted you have to drop everything and go grab a coffee together.

                                        That being said there could be numerous reasons why he wasn't overly responsive to Shesallthat's advances. He might have been lost in thought, on the phone, preparing for his next segment...

                                        I've passed him on the street you see him coming from a long way off. It is what he seems to want.

                                        1. re: Withnail42
                                          ttoommyy Aug 21, 2013 10:54 AM

                                          I dine at one of Batalli's place here in NYC very frequently and have seen him sitting at the end of the bar numerous times. I have never once acknowledged his presence or felt the need to. I love his food and will continue to eat at most any place he opens. Do I want to meet him or feel the need to say hi to him? Not in the least. It's his food I'm interested in, not him in the least.

                                          1. re: Withnail42
                                            l
                                            linus Aug 21, 2013 12:39 PM

                                            i think there's a difference between "trying to draw attention to yourself" and trying to sell books, ad space and seats in restaurants.

                                            1. re: linus
                                              Withnail42 Aug 21, 2013 01:06 PM

                                              Not if you created that image or brand to get noticed, to get in the public eye 'to sell books, ad space and seats in restaurants.'

                                              1. re: Withnail42
                                                c
                                                catroast Aug 21, 2013 02:18 PM

                                                Withnail how old are you and do you live in a cave?

                                                Bright flashy colors are everywhere - it's urban.

                                                1. re: catroast
                                                  Withnail42 Aug 21, 2013 02:36 PM

                                                  I live in the real world...join us won't you.

                                                  And look up 'branding' while you are at it...

                                                  1. re: Withnail42
                                                    l
                                                    linus Aug 21, 2013 04:11 PM

                                                    just because someone creates a "brand" and dresses a certain way to "perform" does not mean they want to "get noticed" or hassled on the street.
                                                    sorry, i don't think wearing orange clogs and shorts means i get to treat people like my personal plaything. i just assume they like dressing that way.
                                                    WHY they like dressing that way is none of my business.

                                                    it's 2013. this whole "you dress that way to get noticed" thing sounds way 1950s to me.
                                                    and can we agree there's a difference, at least, between "get noticed" and "invite to intrude"?

                                                    1. re: linus
                                                      Withnail42 Aug 22, 2013 07:34 AM

                                                      Actuality we are in agreement. It's like the telephone game the more the message gets passed alone the more diluted it gets.

                                                      I agree recognizing someone does not mean that they need to stop everything and begin an on the spot cooking improve. That was never my point.

                                    2. re: shesallthat
                                      Njchicaa Aug 22, 2013 07:13 AM

                                      that's a shame because he seems so friendly and accessible on The Chew. He is one of my favorites.

                                  2. re: catroast
                                    JAB Aug 21, 2013 07:51 PM

                                    Depending on how it was said, I could see being honored to have been told to go fuck myself by Bourdain.

                                    1. re: JAB
                                      TripleAxel Aug 23, 2013 11:39 AM

                                      I find it a "turn on" if I were told that in my face by Bourdain

                                    2. re: catroast
                                      EWSflash Aug 22, 2013 07:15 PM

                                      We have a winner...

                                    3. alkapal Aug 21, 2013 05:21 AM

                                      I've met RJ Cooper (Rogue 24, Iron Chef challenger), and he is intense. His mom is really super, and his wife, too. Really nice.

                                      I'd love to meet Emeril and Eric Ripert.

                                      As an aside, I "met" Jeffrey Steingarten (who pretended NOT TO BE Jeffrey Steingarten). What a jerk.
                                      Here is my recounting of the incident around Christmas 2011:

                                      ""I saw Jeffrey Steingarten today sitting around chatting after finishing lunch with three pals at a local strip mall Chinese restaurant here in Arlington, Virginia where we sometimes have the lunch special. (Table had been cleared.) He played the game, when I asked if he wasn't Jeffrey Steingarten, that he wasn't, and blithely said "Who is he?" Then one pal chimed in, to "bolster" the lie. Both of them had a slight smirk, Oh ho, dumb TV fan. His other two friends just sat there while I said, "Iron Chef Judge, author, Harvard graduate." I had planned on buying them a round of drinks. I apologized for bothering them, wished them Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, and went back to my table six feet away. I honestly thought he'd "come clean" as they left, but he didn't. Really, Mr. Steingarten, you ARE like you seem on TV!""""

                                      20 Replies
                                      1. re: alkapal
                                        Spiritchaser Aug 21, 2013 06:24 AM

                                        He seems to be a total ***** on TV so I'm not surprised.

                                        1. re: Spiritchaser
                                          alkapal Aug 21, 2013 07:40 AM

                                          in essence, his behavior was vulgar.

                                          i guess i expected that he might be better in person than his TV persona. but that smug ass you see on TV is actually BETTER than the smug ass in person.

                                          1. re: alkapal
                                            l
                                            linus Aug 21, 2013 08:12 AM

                                            i'm not clear, from your description, what behaviour of steingarten's was "vulgar."

                                            o.k., he didn't acknowledge who he was to you, a complete stranger. how was that vulgar?

                                            was there something else he did that was? power vomit in your direction? make sexual suggestions to you or your companion? take a dump on the table?

                                            1. re: linus
                                              Spiritchaser Aug 21, 2013 08:51 AM

                                              This will most likely be removed by moderators but...an unsophisticated or class less person is often reffered to as vulgar, based upon the way the OP was treated I think vulgar is a legitimate adjective.

                                        2. re: alkapal
                                          c
                                          catroast Aug 21, 2013 09:05 AM

                                          Have you considered that maybe you were bothering him? And to top it off, you ran to the internet to tell everyone what a shit head he is. It's you who should have some respect. Buying him a drink doesn't make up for your bad behaviour - and really, what purpose would it serve other than to make you feel cool? I am sure he can afford his own drink.

                                          1. re: catroast
                                            alkapal Aug 21, 2013 09:23 AM

                                            it was the holidays. people are generous. people usually are friendly around here. it was a place we go to often. i certainly didn't need to buy him a drink that he could afford in order to "feel cool" as you put it so eloquently.

                                            i guess if your default position is to be smug and deny who you are if someone is trying to make a nice holiday gesture, then bully for you.

                                            1. re: alkapal
                                              l
                                              linus Aug 21, 2013 09:49 AM

                                              one man's "nice holiday gesture" is another's inappropriate interruption.

                                          2. re: alkapal
                                            ttoommyy Aug 21, 2013 10:50 AM

                                            "Really, Mr. Steingarten, you ARE like you seem on TV!"""""

                                            Ok, so he is. Big surprise? Why do people think celebrities have to be nice to them... or anyone else? They are just people with all the same quirks and oddities we all have. If a celebrity acts like a "jerk" so be it. Who really cares?

                                            1. re: ttoommyy
                                              JonParker Aug 21, 2013 11:18 AM

                                              I agree, but I don't see how wanting to eat lunch in peace makes you a jerk. It makes you someone who wants to eat lunch in peace.

                                              1. re: JonParker
                                                ttoommyy Aug 21, 2013 11:35 AM

                                                I put jerk in quotation marks because that is the sentiment I got from @alkapal. Not my opinion of Mr. Steingarten.

                                                1. re: JonParker
                                                  alkapal Aug 22, 2013 07:09 AM

                                                  they were done eating. the table had long been cleared. i guess that doesn't matter.

                                                  i was such a boor -- i mean greeting someone and offering to buy them a round of drinks to celebrate the holidays, then apologizing after i was mocked -- yes, yes, i see the error of my ways.

                                                  celebrities want public acclaim, but apparently some are not graceful enough to accept a modicum of attention from people themselves. what a lovely world. phooey.

                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                    ttoommyy Aug 22, 2013 08:14 AM

                                                    I guess I learned my lesson at an early age. When I would follow my favorite bands around in my teens and very early 20s, I soon realized how obnoxious and/or boring they were when I finally got to "meet" them at a record signing or stage door. Since then, I have never approached anyone famous that I have seen on the street or in a restaurant. And when you think about it, we pay money and for that price we get a cookbook, a record, a meal, a song, a concert, etc. They owe us nothing more. In fact, I once worked for the publisher of my favorite author and declined an invitation to an exclusive reception in his honor for fear that he would turn out to be less than a nice person (which I later found out was pretty much true).

                                                    1. re: ttoommyy
                                                      alkapal Aug 22, 2013 08:26 AM

                                                      <sigh> yes, i need to learn, too.

                                                      but then again, i have met terrific people as they signed their books. one shining example is the late vince flynn. what a superb guy he was, and taken much too soon from this world.

                                                      new rule: don't approach any celebrity. avoid eye contact. walk on other side of street. only permitted contact is book signing. ;-).

                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                        l
                                                        linus Aug 22, 2013 08:49 AM

                                                        or, alternatively, you could investigate that whole "do unto others" thing.

                                                        1. re: linus
                                                          alkapal Aug 22, 2013 08:54 AM

                                                          that is how i try to live my entire life, as my parents taught me. i "get" smug. thanks for your advice.

                                                          1. re: alkapal
                                                            l
                                                            linus Aug 22, 2013 08:57 AM

                                                            well, i'm not getting your vibe, and i like discussing things, so let me explain:

                                                            in any situation where you're thinking about approaching a celebrity, you could ask youself, how would i feel about being approached if the situation were reversed, and i was the celebrity and someone was approaching me.
                                                            they're just people. think about if you would like to be approached in that situation or not.

                                                            now, a celebrity acting like an asshole at a book signing or public appearance is a whole different kettle o'fish.

                                                            1. re: linus
                                                              alkapal Aug 22, 2013 09:10 AM

                                                              linus, to be frank, i DID think about how i'd feel if the situation were reversed. i can tell you that i would have been pleased with a friendly gesture. obviously, not a universal feeling, i see.

                                                              your comment about them being "just people" is very accurate, because people come with a range of temperaments and worldviews. i forget that, and my expectations are that people are friendly and open to kindness and gestures of generosity. (and look how many SUPER NICE celebrities have been mentioned on this thread!)

                                                              i see now that what *i* expect is not (nearly) always the case, and also, that my *perception* of a "friendly gesture at the holidays" is read by some as a rude intrusion into a group. had i been a better judge of people, i should have figured out that if one is on TV and is rude or curt to fellow judges on a cooking show, why should *i* be any different -- esp. since i have no elite status. (i wonder if some *other celeb* had come up to his table if he would have reacted the same….? now that's a different head trip).

                                                              the question i'll throw out for discussion is: whether it is better to err on the side of being what one believes is friendly and risk being thought rude, or to err on the side of not being friendly, and missing the chance for a warm, human connection? maybe that is not the ideal way to put the question, but there it is.

                                                              it goes really to the heart of what one wants in a society.

                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                l
                                                                linus Aug 22, 2013 09:19 AM

                                                                well, i'm a cynic, so my world view of people is different.

                                                                as far as you question goes, for myself, well, it's like pornography. you kind of "know when you see it" as far as approaching celebrities (or anyone) goes. every situation is different, so you have to gauge appropriateness for yourself.

                                                                again, for myself, it would never occur to me to approach a celebrity in a regular public situation. it's not something i'm comfortable doing.

                                                              2. re: linus
                                                                Joanie Aug 26, 2013 04:49 AM

                                                                I'm surprised people are getting on Alkapal so much. I suppose it gets tired for these chefs if you're out getting chatted up all the time. But they had to have loved it at one point and should remember that as they become more famous. I've had people recognize me/my voice (kinda known in a very tiny circle) and it's a huge ego boost and compliment for me. There's no way these guys didn't like it at one point and they should be able to let someone down easy if indeed it's an imposition when they're approached. Screw that guy.

                                                                1. re: Joanie
                                                                  ttoommyy Aug 26, 2013 06:09 AM

                                                                  "There's no way these guys didn't like it at one point and they should be able to let someone down easy if indeed it's an imposition when they're approached."

                                                                  But at some point it becomes too, too much and bad things happen like stalking, getting too familiar, etc. This is the point when a lot of celebrities have to draw the line and just avoid or rebuff everyone and not take a chance. Like any bad experience, it only takes one time to be wary of future situations.

                                              2. Spiritchaser Aug 15, 2013 05:30 AM

                                                I failed to mention that at the same event where we spoke with Anthony Bourdain Eric Ripert was also present and very active. There was an older women who was dying to meet him but she was afraid to approach him; I went up and asked if he could please stop by and say hello and get a picture with her, he was over to her in a heartbeat, chatted and then took pictures and then chatted some more, he was awesome.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Spiritchaser
                                                  p
                                                  pine time Aug 25, 2013 12:48 PM

                                                  I confess that I can't understand 90% of what he says, but maybe that doesn't matter much, right!

                                                2. grayelf Aug 14, 2013 06:46 PM

                                                  I'm not sure this counts as a celebrity chef meeting in the sense the OP meant but I met John Bishop at an outdoor fundraising event a few summers ago. He is the father of locavore cooking in our province, and has mentored dozens of excellent chefs.

                                                  I'd had a chow crush on him for ages but this was the first chance I'd had to interact with him, as he was serving samples of one of his dishes to the guests. When I mentioned that I'd admired him for years, he actually BLUSHED. Then he thanked me very genuinely. A real gentleman.

                                                  Another celeb chef I've met on multiple occasions, including a fundraising event I was lucky enough to attend at his home, is Vikram Vij. When he was first starting out he used to remember what we'd ordered from one meal to the next at his first restaurant. I still see him regularly at the summer farmers' markets, and he always stops to say hello, often asking after my parents. He is as gracious as ever even now that he has three restaurants (one in Seattle) and has been positively renewed in the NYT. And he was trained by John Bishop. Coincidence? I think not.

                                                  I also admire Dennis Leary (the SF chef, not the actor) formerly of Rubicon and lately of the ever-expanding Bay Area resto and bar empire. In mourning over the fact that his flagship spot, Canteen, is closing this month. I've met him several times there, though during service when he was head down and super focused.

                                                  On my bucket list: Tom Colicchio and Eric Ripert. Just because they are both easygoing (at least they appear so on telly) and easy on the eyes. I have never had occasion to try their food.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: grayelf
                                                    JonParker Aug 14, 2013 06:55 PM

                                                    I follow Colicchio on Twitter, and he's a really great guy who's politically committed, working hard on issues of hunger and nutrition. I admire him greatly.

                                                    1. re: JonParker
                                                      grayelf Aug 15, 2013 04:26 PM

                                                      Good to know that chow crush is not so shallow after all! I'll have to sign up to follow him too.

                                                    2. re: grayelf
                                                      m
                                                      madeliner Aug 14, 2013 10:23 PM

                                                      John Bishop from America's test kitchen?

                                                      oops that is Jack Bishop nevermind

                                                      But Jack Bishop seems like such a mensch who wouldn't want to say hi to him

                                                      1. re: grayelf
                                                        hal2010 Aug 21, 2013 04:17 PM

                                                        Vikram Vij sat down at our table and chatted with us for a few minutes when we visited his restaurant in Vancouver. Very nice man and he had some amusing tales about the time Anthony Bourdain visited him.

                                                        1. re: hal2010
                                                          janetofreno Aug 25, 2013 09:56 AM

                                                          I think Vij makes a habit of chatting with people waiting for tables in the bar if he is in the restaurant in Vancouver. He did the same with us, maybe about seven or eight years ago. He was very much the gentleman. My friend bought a copy of his cookbook as a gift for me, and he autographed it with a personalized note.. "nice to meet you; thanks for coming" or something like that. One of these days I am GOING to make those lamb lollipops for friends! (DH doesn't eat meat...)

                                                      2. girloftheworld Aug 9, 2013 05:54 PM

                                                        oh if we count Hells Kitchen my moms cousin is Ben Knack... and he is the sweetest man.. the only time he seemed like himself on the show was when they had to clean up the trash under the bridge and he said " It wasnt a reward but it waqs rewarding" He is a very encourging and kind person.

                                                        1. Thanks4Food Aug 9, 2013 11:25 AM

                                                          Does Orville Redenbacher count?

                                                          :-)

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: Thanks4Food
                                                            JonParker Aug 9, 2013 11:33 AM

                                                            Orville was awesome. I would have loved to have met him.

                                                            1. re: JonParker
                                                              Thanks4Food Aug 9, 2013 11:44 AM

                                                              Um, well...our experience wasn't so good. This was back in the 80s, and my mother and I were at the airport in San Diego when we spotted him. He did not have the famous smile on his face and I would have left him alone, but my mother was always the kind to go up and talk to anyone, so she went up to him and said with a big smile, "Are you Orville Redenbacher?" Without a word or a smile but with great effort he set his suitcase down, reached into his coat pocket, pulled out some papers, handed them to my mother, picked up the suitcase, and walked away.

                                                              My mother's mouth was kind of hanging open as she stood there wondering what had just happened, so I took the papers out of her hand to see what they were: big round stickers with Orville's smiling face and the words, "I met Orville Redenbacher!"

                                                              My mother took one look at those stickers and immediately stuffed them into the nearest waste basket.

                                                              1. re: Thanks4Food
                                                                Withnail42 Aug 9, 2013 01:52 PM

                                                                Perhaps the moments wasn't so great. But at least you did get a pretty good story out of it.

                                                                1. re: Withnail42
                                                                  Gio Aug 9, 2013 03:33 PM

                                                                  It's a story but not a " pretty good story". It says quite a lot about what's his name, though.

                                                                  1. re: Gio
                                                                    Withnail42 Aug 21, 2013 05:05 AM

                                                                    No it's a pretty good story to tell people. Perhaps not a positive affirming one. But a pretty good story nonetheless.

                                                                2. re: Thanks4Food
                                                                  alkapal Aug 21, 2013 04:31 AM

                                                                  what an ass.
                                                                  a total ass.

                                                            2. a
                                                              ahuva Aug 8, 2013 08:15 PM

                                                              Chef Hung from Top Chef was extremely self-effacing and gracious when I met him. He was all about the food and not about his own celebrity.

                                                              1. b
                                                                BuildingMyBento Aug 8, 2013 08:08 PM

                                                                In 2005 on a Narita airport bus going to Tokyo, I met Morimoto Masaharu. I heard a raspy voice communicating with the driver, and it sounded familiar (all I could relate it to was the original Iron Chef. The good one.). We spoke a bit, and I took a photo in Ginza.

                                                                Randomly enough, my parents were staying in the same hotel he was, and the next morning we all met him and his manager. He said I should go to his new restaurant in NY when it opens. Ok... He was a nice guy, though I had to use a bit of Japanese too.

                                                                Years before, at a fancy food show in NY, I met Bobby Flay and Ming Tsai. Didn't know who they were at the time, don't think I care now.

                                                                Last year, I saw Emeril Lagasse in NY, at a sushi place. The pretentious manager made us wait for him to pass, saying to us "you can't go back there. That's Emeril Lagasse's table."

                                                                I might have met another, but of all of the celebrity chef's out there, I'd like to meet Martin Yan. He made me laugh a lot as a kid, though I had/still have no interest in what he cooks.

                                                                Jonathan
                                                                http://buildingmybento.com
                                                                http://collaterallettuce.com

                                                                1. a
                                                                  Apple Aug 8, 2013 07:37 PM

                                                                  My meagre list:

                                                                  David Rocco - at the local Costco

                                                                  I am too nervous to talk to the chefs but enjoyed meals while the chef was in the house:
                                                                  Stephanie Izzard at the Girl and the Goat
                                                                  David Chang at Ma Peche
                                                                  Martin Picard at Le pied du cochon

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Apple
                                                                    juliejulez Aug 21, 2013 09:32 AM

                                                                    When I ate at GATG shortly after it opened (when you could still walk in and get a seat!), Stephanie was expediting, we were in the tables in the back so we got to watch. Our waiter asked us if we wanted to meet her but my friend and I were both too nervous too so we said no, and just took a picture with him instead LOL!

                                                                  2. k
                                                                    kitchengardengal Aug 8, 2013 09:43 AM

                                                                    At the NKBA Kitchen and Bath Show a few years ago, Ann Burrell was one of the speakers. She was scheduled to do a seminar on designing commercial kitchens, and we got to the room early. She was just hanging out, so we got to yack with her till the room started filling up. She was friendly and funny, and a joy to talk to.
                                                                    To begin the seminar, she started telling her personal history; where she was from, what led her to make her life choices...the audience was so entertained by her stories, they kept asking more questions. Ms. Burrell never did get to talk about commercial kitchens, and everyone was howling at her entertaining stories. We all left happy to have had the pleasure of her company for an hour or two, and didn't mind that she never did the scheduled seminar.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: kitchengardengal
                                                                      JonParker Aug 8, 2013 10:45 AM

                                                                      I'm glad to hear that. Anne is one of my top three TV chefs, and it's largely because she can not only cook, but her personality comes right through the screen and into your living room. She's so much fun to watch. I wish FN would stop using her as a full time reality show host and give her another cooking show.

                                                                    2. jrvedivici Aug 8, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                                      I'll leave it up to the crowd to decide if he is a true "celebrity chef" but as close as I come is David Burke.

                                                                      I couldn't stand his bloated ass before I met him, so my opinion pretty much remained the same.

                                                                      1. a
                                                                        Augieang Aug 8, 2013 07:42 AM

                                                                        Met Rick Moonen in Vegas while he was walking to his restaurant. Shook his hand and told him I loved him on Top Chef Masters first season. Very nice guy. Down to earth kind of nice. Told him his prices here too high for us tourists, he laughed and invited us for some appetizers. We went to Hubert Kellers Burger Bar instead and spent $50 on burgers. Worth every penny!

                                                                        1. ttoommyy Aug 7, 2013 12:31 PM

                                                                          I've met Lidia Bastianich a number of times over the years at her restaurants and book signings. With Lidia, what you see is what you get. She can be a little rough around the edges at times, a bit bossy, but she is full of love and passion for cooking and people: in other words, the typical Italian nonna.

                                                                          1. bagelman01 Aug 7, 2013 09:02 AM

                                                                            I have met:
                                                                            Jacques Pepin...run into him a number of times along the CT shore near his home, at seafood shacks, markets and a particular bookstore.

                                                                            Gordon Ramsay--I was dining at a CT restaurant while he was filming a Kitchen Nightmares episode a couple of years ago. NOT a nice person. We were not invited guests for the filming and had not signed waivers or agreed to be filmed. He and his producer got POd when we wouldn't let them buy the rights to our appearance with the cost of a meal.

                                                                            Lidia Bastianich---absolutely love her. 10 years ago wife bought me tickets for an evening with Lidia sponsored by CPTV. Three weeks before the event, I fell and shattered my leg. I was confined to a rehab hospital for 12 weeks. Wife notified the sponsor that I was hurt and could not attend (it had been limited to 20 attendees). Told CPTV they should resell my place to someone who was closed out. The night of the event, Lidia sent a complete dinner to me at the rehab. She also sent a note inviting to dine as her guest at her restaurant in NY when I was mobile again.
                                                                            5 Months later, I made the reservation to dine in NY. Lidia, personally came to the table and visited with us for about 20 minutes. What a gem.

                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                            1. re: bagelman01
                                                                              Phaedrus Aug 7, 2013 10:33 AM

                                                                              WOW about the Lidia story.

                                                                              I understand about the demands of fame and how unreasonable people can get when they see an opportunity could be taken advantage of. But your story shows that you CAN still be thoughtful and kind when you are famous.

                                                                              1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                Gio Aug 7, 2013 10:59 AM

                                                                                That's the Best chef story I've ever heard. That's the Best Lidia story I've ever read. She gets some bad press here every now and then. It's really good to hear about this side of her.

                                                                                1. re: Gio
                                                                                  bagelman01 Aug 7, 2013 12:24 PM

                                                                                  I think Lidia personifies the American Dream in many ways, Displaced from home due to communist takeover, arrive with nothing, works hard and makes a success of herself. Most of the potshots taken at her seem to be unfounded or grounded in jealousy.
                                                                                  I am not a groupie, in fact I don't care for much of her food, but love her personality and the way she educates the viewing public about the Italian and Italo-American heritage.

                                                                                  1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                    Gio Aug 7, 2013 12:36 PM

                                                                                    I agree with you Bagelman. Would you believe I first heard of her on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood probably about 46 years ago when my son was young and that was his favorite program. It was Fred Rogers' favorite restaurant and she was on the show to chat with him. As I recall there were even a few scenes at Felidia as well.

                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                      chicgail Aug 8, 2013 03:27 AM

                                                                                      What happened to her son?

                                                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                                                        ttoommyy Aug 8, 2013 03:43 AM

                                                                                        Joe Bastianich is a key player in the running of the Batali Bastianich restaurant empire. He also overees the Bastianich wine production in Italy. Plu, I think he's a judge on one of the cooking competition shows on TV.

                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy
                                                                                          Joanie Aug 8, 2013 04:42 AM

                                                                                          Chicgail is saying the mother is so nice, what happened to the son that he's not.

                                                                                          1. re: Joanie
                                                                                            chicgail Aug 8, 2013 07:27 AM

                                                                                            Thank you for clarifying that for me. Sorry it was unclear in the first place.

                                                                                            1. re: chicgail
                                                                                              JonParker Aug 8, 2013 08:40 AM

                                                                                              Why do people think Joe B. is such a jerk? I really don't know much about him.

                                                                                              1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                ttoommyy Aug 8, 2013 05:36 PM

                                                                                                No problem; got it now.
                                                                                                I've also met him at Del Posto and again, what you see is what you get. He reminds me of a typical, spoiled Italian mama's boy.

                                                                                              2. re: Joanie
                                                                                                AmyH Aug 8, 2013 07:27 AM

                                                                                                That's one apple that did fall far from the tree!

                                                                                                1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                  bagelman01 Aug 8, 2013 08:54 AM

                                                                                                  But, you've only been exposed to the maternal branch of the tree. Lidia's ex didn't have the best reputation, but as he's dead............................

                                                                                      2. re: bagelman01
                                                                                        s
                                                                                        shesallthat Aug 21, 2013 09:22 AM

                                                                                        That's a great story.

                                                                                      3. j
                                                                                        Janet from Richmond Aug 7, 2013 06:32 AM

                                                                                        I have met Patrick O'Connell on several occasions. My first husband was one of the first employees at The Inn at Little Washington and so I met him before The Inn was "The Inn". I have also spoken to him at The Inn and he is always gracious and open.

                                                                                        1. h
                                                                                          hopegoode Aug 6, 2013 11:45 AM

                                                                                          Went to a fundraiser last summer In Newport, RI and met Jacques Pepin with his daughter, Claudine, who has moved to the area. Both were charming and open. Claudine is now working with Jacques on his current projects. Sadly, they reported that he may not be doing any more tv shows with PBS. What a fine gentleman, however!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: hopegoode
                                                                                            Withnail42 Aug 6, 2013 11:58 AM

                                                                                            He is always a class act!

                                                                                          2. l
                                                                                            lawgirl3278 Jul 29, 2013 12:25 PM

                                                                                            I met Eric Ripert at a special Le Bernadin dinner he did at 10 Arts in Philly. He came to every table and chatted. He was just as gracious, pleasant and attractive as he is on TV :)

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: lawgirl3278
                                                                                              alkapal Aug 21, 2013 04:36 AM

                                                                                              he's my chef crush.

                                                                                            2. girloftheworld Jul 29, 2013 12:07 AM

                                                                                              Wolfgang Puck- awesome
                                                                                              Stefan Richter- Very Nice
                                                                                              Ben Starr- Sweetest kindest funneist guy on the planet
                                                                                              Alex Gurnischelli- generous sweet
                                                                                              Paul Qui- amazing nice
                                                                                              Lisa Garza- super duper sweet
                                                                                              Stephen Asprinio- suprizingly warm and friendly and un stuck up
                                                                                              Andrew Knowels- he was kind of drunk so I cant really judge
                                                                                              Anthony Bordine- Roof of Whole Foods during SXSW he was eating tacos so we didnt talk much but he seemed nice

                                                                                               
                                                                                              1. Coogles Jul 28, 2013 05:18 AM

                                                                                                Met Fabio Viviani at a Costco in Chicago yesterday where he was signing copies of his cookbook. Very friendly, chatting with everyone who came up and taking photos with anyone who asked.

                                                                                                1. k
                                                                                                  kimfair1 Jul 26, 2013 02:05 PM

                                                                                                  I have met:

                                                                                                  Ming Tsai - @ Blue Ginger, very nice, signed a book for our dining companions

                                                                                                  Stephanie Izzard @ The Girl And The Goat. She stopped by each table to say hello, very sweet

                                                                                                  Tiffani Faison @ Sweet Cheeks, also very nice

                                                                                                  Wylie Dufresne @ WD-50. Our waiter saw me taking notes (and a few pictures) of our dinner, and invited my wife and I to the kitchen to meet Wylie. he was very nice and gracious, (even after my wife told him she'd heard he was "mean"). She gets VERY nervous meeting regular people, never mind celebrities!

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: kimfair1
                                                                                                    chicgail Jul 27, 2013 04:30 AM

                                                                                                    I have run into Stephanie Izzard several times as well at the Green City Market, Chicago's big organic farmers market. She didn't know me from Adam, but couldn't have been sweeter every time. She was loading up her Mini with produce and I got her parking spot once.

                                                                                                    I also have met Tiffani Falson and Carla Hall and David Levitski at his restaurant (Sprout). Carla was exceptionally friendly. She remembered having met my son months earlier. Tiffani, on the other hand, was much prettier than I had expected, but was clearly not interested in talking to people. She sat at the bar by herself with her back to us, not looking at anyone. The body language said "stay away." Maybe she was having a hard time that night.

                                                                                                    Takashi Yagihashi's restaurant is in our neighborhood. He was warm, friendly, albeit a bit shy when we met him there. Talked a bit about his family, but we certainly felt welcomed.

                                                                                                  2. e
                                                                                                    EAH Jul 26, 2013 12:59 AM

                                                                                                    I met Marcus Samuelsson at the Concours d'Elegance last August in Pebble Beach. He was with a friend just strolling around looking at the beautiful cars. I looked at him - he smiled- and I blurted out his name ( just in case he forgot it).
                                                                                                    He said hello and shook my hand -all with his dazzling smile.
                                                                                                    Very nice and good looking man!

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: EAH
                                                                                                      mcel215 Jul 26, 2013 04:15 AM

                                                                                                      I really like him too. :)

                                                                                                      1. re: EAH
                                                                                                        w
                                                                                                        wyogal Jul 26, 2013 02:10 PM

                                                                                                        hahahaha! I misread your post and thought you said he was standing around looking beautiful.....
                                                                                                        ;)

                                                                                                        1. re: wyogal
                                                                                                          e
                                                                                                          EAH Jul 27, 2013 03:16 AM

                                                                                                          Well, that too ;-)

                                                                                                      2. f
                                                                                                        french5000 Jul 24, 2013 08:51 PM

                                                                                                        I met Hugh Atchison at a book signing in Clemson, SC. I just finished listening to an interview on the radio where the last question the man of the pair of radio personalities chose to ask Hugh was "what's with all the tattoos? "
                                                                                                        Hugh started to justify his ink and then stopped and asked, "what's with the beard? " he was very nice and bantered with a few kids about food. He was a little smaller than he looks on tv and he has a very luxurious unibrow!

                                                                                                        1. mcel215 Jul 23, 2013 04:15 PM

                                                                                                          I was at a supposed "question and answer" session with Giada DeLaurentiis, in a small book store right after her first cookbook came out. She kept about 100 people waiting for this wonderful little event in Acton, Ma. After she was about an hour late, the store owner announced that the airlines had lost her luggage and that was the reason she was detained. When she was finally dropped off in a large, black SUV, with her assistant (and the driver), there was an announcement that she wouldn't be doing the question and answer chat. She would only be signing her cookbooks and we were herded in line like cattle, to have her assistant take our books and hand them to her so she could sign them. If we were giving them as a gift, we had to have the person's name written down on the book, so she could add their name. When we got up to her, she said hello and signed the book. I was angry because I thought it was rude that she kept 100 people waiting for 2 hours for such a stupid reason. I believed and still believe that she could have left her assistant to wait at the airport for her luggage to be found and kept her appointment with the group at the little bookstore that was there waiting to chat a bit with her.

                                                                                                          I never bought another cookbook of hers. And I didn't get a "warm and fuzzy" feeling from meeting her either. There were lots of other fans who were very disappointed about the situation.

                                                                                                          But, I do love most of the dishes from her original cookbook. :)

                                                                                                          www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: mcel215
                                                                                                            p
                                                                                                            piccola Jul 24, 2013 04:42 AM

                                                                                                            Stories like this remind me of why I never want to be famous.

                                                                                                            She committed to a Q & A and should have stuck to that regardless of her own situation -- I totally understand why you were disappointed, especially if she was in a bad mood too. I would have been very annoyed in your shoes, and probably would have left instead of waiting.

                                                                                                            At the same time, if my luggage was more than an hour late, I'd probably be super grumpy and want to cancel my plans too. And I could, because there wouldn't be dozens of people waiting for me to go make small talk.

                                                                                                            1. re: piccola
                                                                                                              JonParker Jul 24, 2013 05:28 AM

                                                                                                              Giada has a story on the back page of this month's Bon Appetit about standing at the gym totally naked when someone came up to her and asked for an autograph.

                                                                                                              If I had to deal with that kind of thing regularly I don't think I'd be all that easy to get along with either.

                                                                                                              1. re: JonParker
                                                                                                                Phaedrus Jul 24, 2013 07:08 AM

                                                                                                                I probably would not have recognized her, for I would not be looking at her face. Then again, I probably would not be in the ladies locker room either. :P

                                                                                                                1. re: JonParker
                                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                                  baseballfan Jul 24, 2013 07:12 AM

                                                                                                                  I agree that I would be bothered by that as well. However, when you seek out the limelight, you have to take both the good and bad that come with it. I think it's ridiculous when celebrities want fans to support them in all of their endeavors but then get irritated when said fans ask for an autograph or picture.

                                                                                                                  With that being said, some fans have absolutely no common sense or manners.

                                                                                                              2. re: mcel215
                                                                                                                Withnail42 Jul 24, 2013 06:42 AM

                                                                                                                She has never struck me as being very nice or gracious. (Anyone remember how badly she acted when she lost Iron Chef to RR?) The people in line were there for her she could have made a little speech thanking them for waiting. The book store committed to her doesn't make them look good.

                                                                                                                And you're right the assistant could have taken care of the luggage.

                                                                                                                1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                  mcel215 Jul 24, 2013 06:42 PM

                                                                                                                  Thank you,

                                                                                                                  I felt that if I had an assistant and 100 people were waiting for me, then I would ask the assistant to wait for the luggage.

                                                                                                                  The airport was 10 miles from the bookstore and it would have taken only a few minutes to have her driver drop her off and go back and wait for the assistant.

                                                                                                                  To me, missing luggage is not an emergency. In her defense, perhaps it's one of those poor decisions that we are all guilty of making from time to time.

                                                                                                                  www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                  1. re: mcel215
                                                                                                                    JonParker Jul 24, 2013 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                    I'd say that in her defense people have no idea what was going on. Maybe she wore sweat pants on the plane and needed her luggage to change before her public appearance. Or needed to fix her makeup. Those might not be important issues to some people, but they very well could be to her.

                                                                                                                    The point is that no one but her knows what was going on. I can understand being unhappy with the situation, but I don't think I'd take it out on her.

                                                                                                                    1. re: JonParker
                                                                                                                      Withnail42 Jul 25, 2013 03:39 AM

                                                                                                                      'I don't think I'd take it out on her.'...she seemed to have no trouble to take it out on her fans. What ever the reason it sounds like she did not handle the situation very gracefully.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                        JonParker Jul 25, 2013 09:41 AM

                                                                                                                        Really failing to see what she "took out" on you. She showed up, albeit late after what sounds like a challenging day and signed all the books, but cancelled the Q&A session. I might have been disappointed, but I certainly wouldn't feel that she was taking anything out on me.

                                                                                                                        1. re: JonParker
                                                                                                                          mcel215 Jul 26, 2013 04:14 AM

                                                                                                                          I didn't say she was taking anything out on her fans. I said that she showed up 2 hours late and kept us waiting, all because of missing luggage. I felt it was poor judgment on her part, that's all. IMHO, of course. :)

                                                                                                                  2. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                    alkapal Aug 21, 2013 04:40 AM

                                                                                                                    i remember how she freaked out on iron chef, frantically jumping up and down like a five year old when something was not cooking fast enough. geesh!

                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                      Withnail42 Aug 21, 2013 05:08 AM

                                                                                                                      She did that a couple of times at least. Once when she couldn't get the water to boil and again when she couldn't get the food processor to work.

                                                                                                                      I remember how pissed off she was that she didn't win did not even try to hide her feelings. A real sore loser.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                        alkapal Aug 21, 2013 05:14 AM

                                                                                                                        yes, it was the water that wasn't boiling! LOL. it was a HUUUUGE pot of water. hahaha.

                                                                                                                        she struck me as being a spoiled brat.

                                                                                                                2. Tehama Jul 23, 2013 03:54 PM

                                                                                                                  Oh, has anyone met Cat Cora? I think she's absolutely divine on TV and social media. I'd love to hear any stories folks have - but if they're bad, please don't tell me! :-)

                                                                                                                  1. Disneyfreak Jul 23, 2013 02:55 PM

                                                                                                                    Oh and I forgot -- I had dinner with a group of people including Daisy Martinez. She was a total doll. The restaurant was BYOB so a few of us brought wine with us. She didn't know that, but when she found out she left the restaurant to walk to a nearby liquor store and came back with plenty of wine to add to the party.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: Disneyfreak
                                                                                                                      alkapal Aug 21, 2013 04:42 AM

                                                                                                                      i really loved her on her cooking show. she seems to be super fun.

                                                                                                                    2. a
                                                                                                                      amazinc Jul 23, 2013 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                      Met the Seattle celeb. chef, Tom Douglas at his restaurant, Etta. He's positively cherubic and dedicated to his community and his restaurants. Lovely man. Also met Hugh Acheson (sp?) at the Charleston Food Show in 2012. He is such a cutie and nice, nice. Hoping to meet Lidia B. at a lunch in San Antonio, TX, next week. Will report. Would love to meet Bayless as I love his cooking and his tv show. I'm told he's not quite so nerdy in person. :)

                                                                                                                      1. b
                                                                                                                        butterandbeer Jul 23, 2013 10:38 AM

                                                                                                                        Ming Tsai at Blue Ginger. I had been there before, but that was the first time I ever saw him in the restaurant. He stepped out of the kitchen for a bit to chat up the tables, and when he came to my table, my mom and I both flirted with him. He was super nice and gracious and signed a menu for me. He's also a lot taller and bigger than I thought he would be.

                                                                                                                        1. poptart Jul 23, 2013 10:24 AM

                                                                                                                          I one saw Ming Tsai in a furniture store. He was approached by a couple who complimented his restaurant and show and he was very kind and gracious. And very tall!

                                                                                                                          Also met Yvette Van Boven, Dutch author of cookbooks "Home Made", "Home Made Winter" and "Home Made Summer". What a lovely person, and her husband too. I told them how much I loved their dog's pictures in the books (her husband is a photographer) and he whipped out his iphone to show me more pics of their beloved pup.
                                                                                                                          Great cookbooks, too!
                                                                                                                          :-)

                                                                                                                          1. sockii Jul 23, 2013 09:21 AM

                                                                                                                            Mentioned upthread that I met Morimoto at his restaurant in Philly, not long after it first opened. He was very friendly and nice, I've always liked him back from watching the old Japanese Iron Chef episodes.

                                                                                                                            Ran into Mario Batali at Eataly, he was nice enough to chat for a few minutes with the sweetie and I.

                                                                                                                            Met Joe B. at the MasterChef casting call in New York last November. He was every bit as much of the smug jerk he comes across on screen - whether he was just "in character" for the day or not, I have no idea. He was all friendly at first when I mentioned I was actually born in Italy and half-Italian, and then wanted to criticize my dish for not being "Italian" enough (Hello, roast pork stuffed with figs and pine nuts...? Whatever.) It got raves from the tasting judge, while Joe just stood around casting scowls at everyone.

                                                                                                                            1. juliejulez Jul 22, 2013 05:52 PM

                                                                                                                              A friend of mine just recently went to Aspen Food & Wine, and met a number of chefs. She called me and asked if I wanted a book signed, and I picked Tyler Florence because he's so dreamy and I like his other books. I told her I wanted to marry him. Apparently she told him that because he signed the book "Julie - maybe next time". I thought that was pretty funny :)

                                                                                                                              1. r
                                                                                                                                rockycat Jul 22, 2013 05:51 PM

                                                                                                                                I've staged for both Nick Malgieri and Bobby Flay. I had the honor - and yes, I consider it such - of being bitched at by Malgieri for cleaning up behind him too well. He's easily one of the best teachers out there. I'd volunteer to get yelled at by him again in a second.

                                                                                                                                I didn't have any particular impression of Bobby Flay one way or another until 2 years ago. A family I knew (and this connects to the next story) were huge fans and went out their way to try to meet him at one of his restaurants. He wasn't in, but a staffer gave him a call and he dropped in specifically to meet the little girl who was so in love with him. My estimation of him shot way up then.

                                                                                                                                I was with my child and a number of other children on that particular trip. The kids were scheduled to do a TV appearance with Paula Deen. This was 2 years ago, before all the stuff hit the fan. She was one aloof b**ch on wheels. She was rude to the parents, mangled some of the kids' names on live TV (after nailing it perfectly in rehearsal), and generally upstaged the kids completely. Her husband was a gentleman, though.

                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: rockycat
                                                                                                                                  LaLa Jul 23, 2013 11:44 AM

                                                                                                                                  Wow...that has not been my experience with Paula Deen at all. I have been around her several times since first meeting her in 1998 and she was lovely every single time. She hugs and even smooched my husband on the check once.Her sons are great too. I will say they all look more tan since the first time but they are still just as sweet.
                                                                                                                                  I see Sean Brock pretty consistently at one of the farms he sources from....he is super nice and passionate about food when he talks.
                                                                                                                                  I met Bobby Flay at the Derby one year and he was nice, but reserved....or as we say in the South "he is Northern"
                                                                                                                                  I know Nathalie Dupree socially and she is a trick! Funny and nice.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: LaLa
                                                                                                                                    Phaedrus Jul 23, 2013 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                    I remember Natalie Dupree from my Atlanta years. Good to hear that my impressions from over the TV is accurate.

                                                                                                                                    Another person that I think is a hoot is Sarah Moulton. I love that she doesn't let screwups ruin her lessons.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                      alkapal Aug 21, 2013 04:45 AM

                                                                                                                                      i'm another big fan of sarah moulton.

                                                                                                                                2. s
                                                                                                                                  sparky403 Jul 22, 2013 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                                  I very briefly met Anthony Bourdain (shook his hand and said love the show).

                                                                                                                                  He was having beers with Chis Cosantino a few years back when they shot the second 'no reservations' show in Hayes Valley (SF) just prior to going to the Sushi resto across the street.

                                                                                                                                  He's much taller than he looks on TV - he claims to be 6,5' but he seemed taller than that to me. (I'm 6'). Nice enough but didn't want to stop and talk much.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: sparky403
                                                                                                                                    Firegoat Jul 22, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                                    That's one thing I liked about Kerry and her husband. When they arrived at the event I don't think a lot of people realized who she was. I, of course, was waiting for her as it was the only reason I was at this giantic dessert event. I felt weird approaching her, but she seemed to enjoy the talk and a time to look around and get assimilated to the room. I had them all to myself for a good 15 minutes and was just entertained as could possibly be by her stories. My escort for the evening couldn't give a crap for food. He took our pictures, then had his picture with her.

                                                                                                                                  2. i
                                                                                                                                    Isolda Jul 22, 2013 12:13 PM

                                                                                                                                    My husband met Ming Tsai at his restaurant Blue Ginger when eating there with a colleague who is a friend of Ming's. DH said he was very friendly and gracious.

                                                                                                                                    I've never met a celebrity chef, but I did hope to run into Julia Child nearly 30 years ago when shopping at Savenor's, where she allegedly shopped when she lived in Cambridge. Never saw her, even though I shopped there whenever my meager salary would allow.

                                                                                                                                    1. Disneyfreak Jul 22, 2013 10:39 AM

                                                                                                                                      I've met Bobby Flay (years ago) -- he was very nice. Lidia Bastianich on a couple of occasions -- she was nice as can be. Rick Bayless is always very nice and approachable. I met Emeril probably 17 years ago -- he was in Emeril's in NO. Paul Prudhomme is always a gentleman -- taking the time to talk to people.

                                                                                                                                      I had a lengthy conversation with Ilan Hall in the Gorbals one night. I was sitting at the counter and he sat down next to me. We talked food and kids. Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo were both in Animal the night I dined there.

                                                                                                                                      I've met Ina Garten twice -- the most recent was 3 years ago. Both times were at food events. At the first meeting she was very friendly but by the second event (one year later) she was not nearly as friendly.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Disneyfreak
                                                                                                                                        Phaedrus Jul 23, 2013 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                                        Was the second time after the whole brouhaha with someone taking her to task for turning down the Make a Wish Foundation?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                          Disneyfreak Jul 23, 2013 02:52 PM

                                                                                                                                          No Phaedrus -- I believe this was before that happened. I was shocked because I had always liked her tv persona and because she seemed so different the year before -- genuinely chatting with people as opposed to cold and not happy to be at the event the following year.

                                                                                                                                      2. Jpan99 Jul 22, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                                                                                                        I met Bobby Flay at a book signing. I was towards the end of a very long line. They prep everything in advance so the worker bees come through the line with sticky pads with your name and have it sticking out on the page he is going to sign. When I got to him some lackey took the book from me, handed it to him and he signed it. He never smiled, barely looked at me. I'm sure I said something like "you look tired" to which he grumbled some reply. Granted it he was standing the whole time and look exhausted but I had been standing in line longer than him as the line started hours before he even showed up. Wasn't worth the time I spent waiting.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jpan99
                                                                                                                                          Tehama Jul 22, 2013 04:07 PM

                                                                                                                                          Totally what I expected. I have never gotten a good vibe from him. Ever.

                                                                                                                                        2. C. Hamster Jul 22, 2013 09:46 AM

                                                                                                                                          I have met

                                                                                                                                          Ming Tsai
                                                                                                                                          Mary Ann Esposito (twice, on the street just walking along)
                                                                                                                                          Kristin Kish
                                                                                                                                          Emeril
                                                                                                                                          Rick Bayless

                                                                                                                                          All have been very nice and gracious.

                                                                                                                                          I got to know Aaron McCargo,Jr. pretty well while filming a pilot of a show he was supposed to host called Outrageous Food. He was a really great guy

                                                                                                                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF9jAj...

                                                                                                                                          Mary Sue Mikkiken and Susan Feniger initiated a great cinversation with me when they were guest chefs at a local restaurant years back.

                                                                                                                                          Steven Reichlin was demo-ing at a BJ's warehouse, while trying to sell books, and no one was paying attention so we chatted for about 10 minutes and I said I was sorry but I couldn't buy his books because I already had them all at home. He took down my name and address and a week later I received signed book plates for each of my books along with a kind habdwritten note.

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                                                            Firegoat Jul 22, 2013 09:59 AM

                                                                                                                                            That's good to hear. I'm a recent convert to Steven Reichlin and love his shows. He's weird, but in a good way.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                              JonParker Jul 22, 2013 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                                              That's good to hear about Rick Bayless. I'm a huge fan of his. He's taught me more about cooking than anyone.

                                                                                                                                          2. AmyH Jul 22, 2013 09:05 AM

                                                                                                                                            Many years ago I went to a book signing by Jeff Smith (the Frugal Gourmet). A colleague, who happened to be a nice looking young man, went with me. Even though I was the one with the book and the one who watched his show religiously, Jeff Smith spent most of the time talking to my colleague. It was only years later I understood why...
                                                                                                                                            :-(

                                                                                                                                            1. alliegator Jul 22, 2013 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                              I met a cooking hero of mine, Martin Yan, and a demonstration and book signing. He was friendly, humorous, and took his time to chat with everyone for a few minutes.
                                                                                                                                              I also sat across the aisle from Alton Brown on a plane once on a 40 minute flight from Atlanta to Charleston. I never said anything to him. He seemed very polite and pleasant to anyone he spoke to, though.

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator
                                                                                                                                                enbell Jul 22, 2013 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                jealous!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: enbell
                                                                                                                                                  alliegator Jul 23, 2013 04:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Just even a little chat with Martin Yan put me in a good mood for a week :) But as for Alton Brown, off the clock means off limits in my head. But it was nice to see he was so pleasant.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: alliegator
                                                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                                                  dimsumgirl Aug 7, 2013 01:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I met Martin Yan BEFORE he got that phony accent of his. I've seen him a few times in the last few years-- arrogant and rude-- sorry that his fame has ruined his personality.

                                                                                                                                                3. Withnail42 Jul 22, 2013 08:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I have to say the every 'celebrity chef' that I have met has been nice and gracious.

                                                                                                                                                  The one exception belongs to a mother and son team known for their Italian cooking, tv shows, books and restaurants. I meet them separately on different professional occasions neither of them were overly friendly. Closer to being rude and condescending.

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                                                                    Bunson Jul 22, 2013 09:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Does the son's name rhyme with Moe? If so I think his act on MasterChef shows you everything you need to see.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bunson
                                                                                                                                                      Withnail42 Jul 22, 2013 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I don't think it is an act.

                                                                                                                                                  2. melpy Jul 22, 2013 05:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Ate at Table 21 at Volt and met Bryan Voltaggio and had my picture taken with him he was very gracious but very busy so we did not chat long.

                                                                                                                                                    Only chef I have met but have sighted celebrities while dining. I was eating brunch at Rue 57 in NYC and Jorge Garcia walked by me, going into brunch with family at Sarabeth's in NYC and Phyliss Smith from the Office was standing outside and my uncle stopped her and thanked her for the many years of great comedy (although the show had only been on a year or two). Eating at American Flatbread in Middlebury, VT and Michael J. Fox came in with his family and sat two tables away.

                                                                                                                                                    So lots of food and celebrities but not so many food celebrities.

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: melpy
                                                                                                                                                      JonParker Jul 22, 2013 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Sadly, I snagged a reservation at Table 21 but broke up with my date before I could go.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JonParker
                                                                                                                                                        melpy Jul 22, 2013 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I would have driven the hour to Frederick to go with you.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Gio Jul 22, 2013 05:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Some time in the early '90s I met Chef Paul Prudhomme at a book signing that was held after his cooking demo at a prominent organic local food market. I had 3 of his books with me including the one he was promoting. This was before his enormous weight loss. He was so large that had to ride in on one of the handicapped shopping scooters, although he stood up to cook. It was a pleasant experience to be sure and he noted that my copies of his books were first editions. He was impressed, as I was with him.

                                                                                                                                                      Later that same decade I met Ming Tsai at his restaurant Blue Ginger in Wellesley MA when he came around to more or less each table. We were six at table that night. He stayed quite a long time with us, I thought. He's a very handsome man, taller than I expected, enormously charming and amusing. Dinner was wonderful and of course we told him...

                                                                                                                                                      While I didn't actually meet her, I did get a wave and smile from Mary Ann Esposito who was filming a promotional commercial at our local salumeria. I came around the aisle and almost bumped into the cameraman. The crew was all around her and I had a feeling they hadn't started yet. She's a little bit of thing and looks exactly like she does on TV.

                                                                                                                                                      At their restaurants I have seen but not met Todd English, dour & sullen, and Jasper White, tall and definitely In Charge.

                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                        pinehurst Jul 22, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                        SO jealous of all your encounters. I share you and foodieX2's impression of Todd English. On both occasions I've had (brief) contact with him, he's been abrupt.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pinehurst
                                                                                                                                                          Gio Jul 22, 2013 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks pinehurst. It was definitely fun. Don't be jealous...

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                          The Librarian Jul 23, 2013 10:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I met Chef Prudhomme in the early 80s at his restaurant K-Paul's in New Orleans. We ate upstairs, but I saw him sitting downstairs and went over to tell him how much I enjoyed his food and his cookbooks. He was very sweet, and I have a picture of the two of us on my refrigerator. Very lovely man!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                            Joanie Aug 6, 2013 01:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                            I've talked with Ming at a couple Taste of the Nation events, once as a customer and once while in charge of the list at the door. Super cool. My friend actually plays squash and "parties" with him once or twice a year, sigh. Also good experiences with Boston local celebs Gordon Hamersley and Jody Adams.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                                                                              Gio Aug 6, 2013 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Ah - Hamersley and Adams - saw them at their restaurants but never met them. Love their food BTW.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                Joanie Aug 7, 2013 12:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                And I should have mentioned Andy Husbands since he's been on TV, altho I'm not sure Hell's Kitchen is really where a celebrity goes. He's been involved w/ Taste for years, good guy in my dealings.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                  jinet12 Aug 26, 2013 02:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Met Hamersley. He's very gregarious.

                                                                                                                                                            2. w
                                                                                                                                                              wincountrygirl Jul 22, 2013 04:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I had the pleasure of meeting Thomas Keller a couple of times. He made it a practice to invite diners a the French Laundry to the kitchen to meet him after dinner. He was kind, warm,gracious and humble.

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: wincountrygirl
                                                                                                                                                                w
                                                                                                                                                                willyum Jul 23, 2013 03:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Lucky girl ... I've been to Per Se and French Laundry three times but Sir Thomas was never around. He's one famous chef I'd like to meet.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: willyum
                                                                                                                                                                  maria lorraine Jul 23, 2013 03:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  He's kind, even sweet, in person. I've met him a few times.

                                                                                                                                                                  Here's another one. A few years ago -- and I was a big fan --
                                                                                                                                                                  I met Nigella Lawson and hung out with her an hour or so. There were about 3 other people around sitting around a table talking. She was absolutely real, honest, forthcoming and approachable -- totally devoted to her children and their well-being. Which is why I find her recent situation with her husband so sad and horrible.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: willyum
                                                                                                                                                                    w
                                                                                                                                                                    wincountrygirl Jul 25, 2013 04:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, we were at the French Laundry in the days before Per Se and the rest of the empire and he was always there. He was truly amazing. I met him three times. Once I brought my French Laundry cookbook with me and he signed it. He was so amazed that I had the book and brought it, he was actually grateful. He is a very special man. Maria - it is good to hear that about Nigella as I always had kind of the opposite image of her. Glad she is to down to earth!

                                                                                                                                                                2. l
                                                                                                                                                                  laytonj1 Jul 21, 2013 10:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  My husband and I happened to be walking by Fleur de Lys a couple years ago at about 1am and Hubert Keller was out in front (smoking?) with he other chefs. I was so excited and intoxicated enough to ask for a photo. He was so sweet... and handsome:)

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: laytonj1
                                                                                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                                                                                    bear Jul 22, 2013 04:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Awesome pic! Love Hubert...what a class act. His shows are informative without being condescending. Have to say I'm a bit jealous!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. DiningDiva Jul 21, 2013 10:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I've met Rick Bayless mutliple times, in fact I've spent time cooking with him in Mexico. Very nice guy. What you see on TV is pretty much what you get. I think he was a little more open and available before winning Top Chef Masters than after, tho'

                                                                                                                                                                    I met Alice Waters years ago when she was just getting into school gardens and before Slow Food. She was warm and engaging.

                                                                                                                                                                    Robert Del Grande is low key, nice and quite good looking.

                                                                                                                                                                    Martin Yan is a hoot. He looks older in person than on TV, but he was very nice and a lot of fun to talk to

                                                                                                                                                                    I've met a number of celebrity chefs. I'll have to see if I can remember more of them.

                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva
                                                                                                                                                                      Phaedrus Jul 22, 2013 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I think Rick got all the charm genes in the family. His brother Skip is a professional pain in the butt.n Just check him out on ESPN.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                                        DiningDiva Jul 22, 2013 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I have heard that from more than one person :-).

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                                                                                          Bunson Jul 22, 2013 09:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I still can't believe those two are brothers and were raised by the same parents.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Phaedrus
                                                                                                                                                                            a
                                                                                                                                                                            Apple Aug 8, 2013 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Rick's dad was on hosting duties one night at topolobampo and exactly what I would imagine Rick to be decades later. Very earnest, sweet man.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: DiningDiva
                                                                                                                                                                            gaffk Jul 22, 2013 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Wow . . .I never knew those two were brothers. Were they separated at birth and one raised by wolves?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                              DiningDiva Jul 22, 2013 07:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              :-)

                                                                                                                                                                          3. ipsedixit Jul 21, 2013 07:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I've bumped into Bobby Flay several times in NYC (couple times in restaurants, and once one the streets in Midtown), and ran into Alton Brown once in an airport.

                                                                                                                                                                            Never bothered them, figured they (like most people) value their privacy and space.

                                                                                                                                                                            But they seem just like everyday people, and I'm sure their shit stank just like mine (and yours).

                                                                                                                                                                            1. f
                                                                                                                                                                              fressergirl Jul 21, 2013 07:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Farm Shop Los Angeles...food perfect, service perfect, wine delicious, Jeff Cerciello hunka a hunk of burning love...flirted with him (couldn't help myself) VERY nice, but made him a little uncomfortable.....

                                                                                                                                                                              Wolfgang Puck...ALWAYS charming, talks to everyone, even spoke Austrian with my aging Dad...

                                                                                                                                                                              Nancy Silverton...looks harried in her Marni, but made her laugh hysterically one night, when I suggested less traife on the menu at Mozza...

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Wahooty Jul 21, 2013 06:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                My best friend really, REALLY adores Fabio Viviani. We were doing a drink-and-a-snack crawl of Top Chef/TCM places in Chicago's North Loop, so naturally we had to stop at his place. He came out to greet the table across from us, and she snagged him and asked if he would take a picture.

                                                                                                                                                                                He was pretty much exactly what I expected - graciously posed for the picture, professionally flirtatious, and on his way ASAP.

                                                                                                                                                                                This is a woman who has worked with some very serious actors, and I have never seen her so starstruck. I'm surprised she was able to get the question out. Considering how much she basked in the glow of that picture for the rest of the weekend, I'd say she found the experience pleasing. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                Personally, I keep hoping to bump into Batali on one of my trips up north, but I doubt I would actually bother him if I did spot him. He has been so gracious and helpful responding to my questions on Twitter...I would feel bad intruding on his personal vacation time.

                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Wahooty
                                                                                                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                                                                                                  Bunson Jul 22, 2013 09:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I have a man-crush on Fabio.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Wahooty
                                                                                                                                                                                    Tehama Jul 22, 2013 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yep - my boyfriend and I met Fabio about 6 weeks ago. I thought he was just as terrific and awesome and charming and he appears to be on television. I was kinda like your friend... I barely stammered out some perfunctory niceities, but he and the BF were all chatty-chatty. I just stood there thinking I looked chubby in the dress I was wearing and wondering what happened to my gift of gab.

                                                                                                                                                                                    He was very nice and gracious and I'm totally loving his new cookbook: Fabio's Italian Kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tehama
                                                                                                                                                                                      Wahooty Jul 22, 2013 05:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      See, I think Fabio has his charms, but he ultimately strikes me as a very good schmoozer. NTTAWWT...it's a part of the business. I expected a schmoozer, and he schmoozed us. :) Not my cup of tea, but it made her happy, and that pic will probably pop up as her FB profile pic periodically for years, so he knows his crowd. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. f
                                                                                                                                                                                    foodieX2 Jul 21, 2013 06:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I have met and talked at length with Mary Ann Esposito on a number of occasions and she has been a joy. Personable, interested and entertaining. No wonder why she has the longest running cooking show in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I met Jasper White a few times and he was very pleasant. Todd English not so much, constantly looking over your shoulder for someone better.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. c
                                                                                                                                                                                      carnicero Jul 21, 2013 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I started cooking really young and part of that was watching early Food Network shows with my grandmother. Emeril Lagasse was my favorite at the time. I still love his earlier cookbooks and seeing him make guest judge appearances on Top Chef. I don't think I could watch "Emeril Live" if it were still in production, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, I was about 12 when his Creole Christmas cookbook came out and he did a book signing at a local Barnes and Noble. My dad took me to meet him- I had his two previous books with me to get signed and I bought the new one too. Emeril was gracious and super-friendly- and seemed beyond thrilled to inscribe and sign the roux-stained page of the seafood gumbo recipe in "Louisiana Real and Rustic." (and gumbo is still one of my favorite dishes to make. I can do it now with no recipe and my eyes closed, purely by muscle memory and smell.)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: carnicero
                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal Aug 21, 2013 04:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        i loved his "essence of emeril" show. (pre-"BAM!" days). i always have liked him. he is a very good chef, and a good teacher.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. o
                                                                                                                                                                                        onrushpam Jul 21, 2013 06:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I attended a class/demo presented by Kevin Gillespie and met him afterward. He was great! Very entertaining and informative. I completely enjoyed the evening and have cooked a couple of the recipes he demoed that night.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Njchicaa Jul 21, 2013 04:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I met Mike Minor at Border Grill in Las Vegas this spring. We had an unpleasant dinner experience and were invited back for brunch. He came out several times to make sure that everything was okay which I thought was very kind of him. He is really cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'd love to meet Mario Batali, Anne Burrell, and Alex Guarnaschelli. They are my favorites. I'd love to sit down and have a beer with them and just shoot the breeze.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                            jeanmarieok Jul 21, 2013 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I met Jen Carroll and Edward Lee at a private event last year. They were chatty, nice, answered questions, whatever, and appreciative of 'fan love'. Both were turning out good food even though they had to have been hungover from the night before (I had friends at the night before event, and they said they were both crazy fun! and out til 4 am, but in the kitchen by 9 am to prep).

                                                                                                                                                                                            Robert Irvine has a couple places in Hilton Head, and we've run into him a few times at Starbucks. He kind of tries to avoid being recognized, but when he's caught, he's gracious.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I was at Eataly when Mario Batali was there, maybe two years ago, and they had the bar he was drinking in roped off, so you couldn't get close. IDK, it kind of left me with a bad taste in my mouth, although for sure he probably would have been mobbed. So I kind of get it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                                                                                                                                                              LouisvilleFoodie Jul 21, 2013 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I've met Ed Lee a bunch of times as I work at Louisville's airport.. nice guy and he keeps telling me that if I make rezzies at his restaurant (610 Magnolia) he'll cook just for me...

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. t
                                                                                                                                                                                              Tara57 Jul 21, 2013 02:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I went to a book signing to meet Alton Brown. He extended his hand to each attendee and introduced himself, "Hi! I'm Alton!", which I thought was very gracious. He was funny and polite.

                                                                                                                                                                                              My husband was lucky enough to eat some of Richard Blaise's cucumber sorbet when he worked at a TV station that Blaise visited. He was expecting sweet, so the savory sorbet threw him off. I still call him lucky.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tara57
                                                                                                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                                                                                                Bunson Jul 22, 2013 09:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I met Alton at a book signing in SoCal a few years back. HUGE line and he greeted every person with a handshake, a smile, and a hello.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Soul Vole Jul 21, 2013 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I went to Morimoto in Mexico City a couple weeks after it opened and was pleased to see that the Iron Chef was still around. Seated at the end of the sushi bar I watched him give one of the itamaes a real tongue-lashing at one point, arms waving, clearly very PO'd about something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'd been hoping to thank him on the way out but he disappeared from the dining room as I was paying the bill. I thought I'd missed my chance. Then I turn and he's standing next to me introducing himself, as if he needed any introduction. It took me by surprise but I managed to squeak out an "Oishii!" And he chatted with me for a few minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'd ordered one of the Morimoto-branded beers, which come in fancy ceramic bottles that are clearly not disposable. He said that in this case I could keep the bottle and proceeded to sign it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Needless to say I was pretty thrilled. (I still need to get that translated...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Soul Vole
                                                                                                                                                                                                  DiningDiva Jul 21, 2013 09:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I met Morimoto at a food conference. Very charming and funny

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Soul Vole Jul 21, 2013 09:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    That he is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Soul Vole
                                                                                                                                                                                                      DiningDiva Jul 21, 2013 10:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I thought he'd be taller...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    sockii Jul 23, 2013 09:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I met Morimoto once not long after he first opened in Philly...did the omakase dinner with a friend and he stopped by the table to be sure we were happy with it. Very nice and you could see he was very involved in the restaurant at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. drongo Jul 21, 2013 02:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Simon Rimmer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Perhaps not a celebrity chef in US (or even in England, lol).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. lamb_da_calculus Jul 21, 2013 02:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm anxiously waiting for someone with a Marco Pierre White story.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lamb_da_calculus
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Withnail42 Jul 22, 2013 05:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        He's one of the odder characters that I have encountered. Very intense air about him. Very friendly at one meeting giving out his cell # and inviting you to have lunch then next time won't say two words to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                                                                                                          lamb_da_calculus Jul 22, 2013 07:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Anyone have stories about him in his younger days? I've always heard he was sort of the first "bad boy" chef, so I'm guessing they exist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The closest thing I have to meeting a celebrity chef is seeing Rick Bayless walking around the kitchen/prep area at Xoco. He just looked like he was checking what was up and talking with the people that worked there (not cooking or anything). I didn't want to bug him - my general policy for famous people is to just leave them be - but I did stare creepily for a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. w
                                                                                                                                                                                                        willyum Jul 21, 2013 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Met Grant Achatz of Alinea when he came to the table to prepare his famous "Jackson Pollock" frozen chocolate mousse dessert ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-EQ7... Chatted him up a bit since a chef in our area had worked with him at French Laundry and asked us to say 'hi'. Pretty intense guy, great chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Met Daniel Boulud briefly at Daniel in NYC. He was gracious enough to sign a menu for us personalized for a young chef in our area who said Boulud was his favorite chef. He stopped by several tables that night chatting up guests and seemed like a personable guy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Saw Eric Ripert swanning through the dining room at Le Bernardin in his chef whites but he didn't stop to talk to anyone. Nice smile, great hair!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Would like to meet Thomas Keller someday.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: willyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                          c
                                                                                                                                                                                                          chloebell Jul 21, 2013 01:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I met Frank Stitt one night when we were at Highlands Bar & Grill.....a very nice man, but extremely shy. Had to pretty much pay the waiter to get him to come out of the kitchen. lol! He chatted for a few minutes & I got my picture w/ him. Enjoyable evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: willyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                            gourmandish Aug 22, 2013 02:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Met Achatz also, during prep of the same dessert. He was pleasant but seemed pretty intensely focused on what he was doing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I did also meet Thomas Keller before dinner service early last year in front of the French Laundry and he was very pleasant. Interestingly he wasn't in house that night (it was the first dinner service after winter break) and Tim Hollingsworth was running the show (he was wonderful as well).

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Finally, I met Pierre Gagnaire at his restaurant Twist in Las Vegas and he was lovely - the fact that I can speak French helped a lot as well.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            baseballfan Jul 21, 2013 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            My daughter and I were having lunch at Burger Bar in SF a couple of years ago. Hubert Keller happened to be there and was very nice to my daughter who was super excited to see him in person.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: baseballfan
                                                                                                                                                                                                              free sample addict aka Tracy L Jul 21, 2013 01:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think he is kind of attractive. That was part of my disappointment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                                                                                                                                                                                                                maria lorraine Jul 21, 2013 04:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                He's lovely in many ways. We have a mutual friend and have cooked together once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  gaffk Jul 21, 2013 05:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow, I would have loved that. Or maybe not--I'd be too flustered. He's definitely attractive, and not only from a looks pespective.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: baseballfan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                pamf Jul 21, 2013 05:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I met Hubert Keller at a food event about 20 years ago, probably before he was a celebrity and was just a local SF chef/restauranteur. He was friendly and charming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I did also see him at Burger Bar in SF a couple of years ago, but he was engaged in conversation with some people so I did not try to speak to him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I went to see Anthony Bourdain at a speaking engagement in about 2006. He stayed around to sign books (got a great knife graphic and autograph in my copy of Kitchen Confidential) it was a brief chat, but he did agree to a picture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pamf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wayno Aug 8, 2013 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My encounters are same as pamf. Because I used to frequent Hubert Keller's original SF restaurant, Sutter 500, when it first opened in early '80s, I approached him almost 30 yrs later when he opened Sleek, a steakhouse in the Lumiere Casino complex in St. Louis (where he also has a Burger Bar). He was uber gracious and took me back into the kitchen for a tour and a chat. And as for Bourdain, I also met him at one his speaking gigs, at Fox Theatre in StL, followed by the book signing; and, he too was really nice and funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. free sample addict aka Tracy L Jul 21, 2013 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Close calls only. Alice Waters was in line in front of me at a bookstore in Berkeley. It was long before I had dinner at Chez Panisse or was aware of her fame. I also saw Huber Keller at a food court in SF. I was on my way to the airport so I couldn't say hi. I wish both times I got to talk with them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'd love to meet Anthony Bourdain. Long before he became so popular I read Kitchen Confidential. I was working in a very challenging position at the time. The book really helped me have perspective about my situation and I often reflect on the funny and challenging moments in the book. I wish I could thank him for writing that book.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  rmarisco Jul 22, 2013 08:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is just hearsay, but I've gotten reports about both alice waters and anthony bourdain as being two incredibly down-to-earth nice people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Let's hear it for nice celebrities! yay!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rmarisco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Firegoat Jul 22, 2013 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love nice celebrities. It has to be a royal pain in the butt to have no private time, yet you do reap the benefits monetarily. Kerry hung around with me for about 15 minutes chatting. And of course my favorite, as everyone knows, David Hasselhoff was incredibly nice when I interviewed him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rmarisco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Spiritchaser Jul 23, 2013 04:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We were at an Anthony Bourdain event at Le Bernardin a couple years ago and he actually came around to the tables and sat down and chatted during dinner for quite a while. It wasn't cookie cutter stuff either, talked about music, his family, movies, and his career. He was so incredibly down to Earth and he openly acknowledged how fortunate he was to be where he is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Spiritchaser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        alliegator Jul 23, 2013 04:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm happy to read this! I would love to chat with him at an event. Hopefully, he'll make it out in my direction in the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      foiegras Aug 8, 2013 08:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Would be nice to meet Alice :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Let's see ... I've met Tim Love, Tiffany Derry, Stephen Pyles, John Tesar (who was sweet to us).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If I could meet one person from the food world, it would be Ruth Reichl. Not a chef ... but I love her writing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foiegras
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        maria lorraine Aug 14, 2013 08:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Alice is not particularly warm. I don't know if it's shyness, arrogance, bitchiness, weariness, or a defense mechanism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          grayelf Aug 15, 2013 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          She was in the cafe when we went for lunch a couple years ago. She just seemed reserved to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: grayelf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            maria lorraine Aug 15, 2013 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've met and talked to her quite a few times. Dunno what's up with her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: maria lorraine
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bunson Aug 19, 2013 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              She just sounds like an introvert, who don't always show the warm initial social interaction with strangers that extroverts do.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      wyogal Jul 21, 2013 01:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We had a "celebrity chef" here for a bit, new restaurant (no, he didn't own it, thankfully), he was on Hell's Kitchen. He was a jerk. Didn't last.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bunson Jul 22, 2013 09:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Was it Russell?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          wyogal Jul 22, 2013 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't think so. A short, very round guy. He devised the menu, and it was all over the map, crazy. Some good, some just dumb. He also had them stack the food... steaks were serve with the potatoes on the bottom, then the veg, then the steak, and then a topping. Left a huge mess after just the first bite. They got a different chef, he's changed the menu. He's a bit of a celebrity in this state, had a great restaurant in another town. and he's related to a big political name. Much better to work for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Chinon00 Jul 21, 2013 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        None on the bucket list. But George Perrier kissed my wife on the lips three times one evening during her birthday. He's lucky he stopped at three. ;]

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          gaffk Jul 21, 2013 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I took mom to a wine & food event in AC a few years back. We dined at Mia one evening and Perrier was in the house. When mom remarked how much she enjoyed her meal, he bowed and kissed her hand. Cosidering she was 81 or 82 at the time, that's a marked departure for George.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mia is in Caesar's, which was one of the sponsoring hotels. We also stayed there three days, and I assume more than a few of the "talent" were staying there as well as we saw several outside the performance venues. We met a very charming, soft-spoken Tom Colicchio (gorgeous blue eyes). We saw Guy Fieri walking through the hall; he's not so charming or soft-spoken, but was cool enough to stop and autograph an apron for me as I have a friend who is a big fan. We also saw Robert Irvine and Ted Allen . . . jerks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            melpy Jul 22, 2013 05:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh I like Ted Allen. Sad to hear that he is a jerk :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: melpy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Withnail42 Jul 22, 2013 05:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I met him once at an event, he initiated the conversation, and he could not have been nicer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tracytrace Jul 22, 2013 01:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                He was a regular customer when I was a cashier at an upscale market while in grad school. He was never anything but friendly, polite, and helpful. When he overheard me say that it was a coworker's birthday, he bought her a giftcard for the market.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tracytrace
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  gaffk Jul 22, 2013 03:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Guess I caught Ted on a bad night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wahooty Jul 22, 2013 05:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Going back to his Queer Eye days, Ted never struck me as a particularly gregarious person. It always seemed like he would prefer being at home writing to working with bubbly strangers. Whenever someone reports that any celebrity is a jerk, I have to wonder if maybe they're just a more naturally reserved person and were caught on a day where they didn't have the energy to be "on."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Unless of course that person was outwardly hostile, in which case they might legitimately be a jerkwad. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Chinon00
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            magic Aug 23, 2013 04:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hmm.

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