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Close Encounters of the Celebrity Chef Kind #004

All this week, we're serving up your stories of celebrity chef encounters. These are the results of a Resy Contest we ran several weeks back, as you may recall. When possible, we'll reveal the chef's identity; in some cases, where providing details would likely lead to Eater playing the defendant in a massive pile of litigation, we'll just cull and post your best guesses. Of course, if you've got a story that's gone untold to date, talk to us.

4)While at the bar in the front room of the Tribeca Tavern, I saw [the chef] standing talking with a small group. As I rejoined my friends in the back room, I mentioned this sighting to my foodie compatriot.

"Did you talk to him?" he asked.

"No, I've heard he's kind of a jerk. Also, rumor has it that he doesn't bathe often enough, and he smells," I replied.

My friend pulled out his wallet. "I'll give you a dollar if you go sniff him."

Since [the chef] was standing near the top of the stairs to the bathrooms, and in direct sight of my friend's table, this would be an easy task to pull off and have witnessed, so I took the dare.

As I tried to squeeze past [the chef], I put my hands on his shoulders, leaned in for a sniff, and said "excuse me." Mission accomplished. But...

He took my hand and called me beautiful, and asked my name.

"Hi, I'm Jo.. actually, since you can probably pronounce it right, I'll tell you my real name: Giovanna." "[the chef]," he said, still holding my hand. "So, you speak Italian?" he said, in Italian. In better Italian than his, I explained that my parents were born there and we go back almost every year. He cut me off, in English.

"You were headed to the bathroom. Go do what you have to do and then come back and talk to me." He finally let go of my hand.

When I came back upstairs, he was talking to another young brunette. She slipped off (relieved?) as he turned his attention back to me.

Now, [the chef] the man may be a smelly philanderer, but [the chef] the chef has some fine restaurants that I love. At the time, [restaurant] was still serving breakfast, and I used to go every Friday morning. A really great guy named Dennis worked that shift, so I decided to take the opportunity to praise Dennis to his boss.

"Oh, yes, Dennis is a very important member of my team. But let's talk about us." He leaned in a bit more.

"Excuse me?"

"Well, now that I know you like my breakfast, we just have to decide when you and I are going to . . . make love."

I suppressed a laugh at this incredibly cheesy and out of the blue pick up line, and considered reminding him that he was wearing a wedding band. Instead, I decided to laugh it off.

"After breakfast sometime, apparently." I shrugged.

"That's good, since morning wood is the hardest, after all. Especially mine, as you'll see."