Basketball star LeBron James has yet to decide where he'll play next season, much to the consternation of fans in his home in Cleveland and here in New York. In a huge New York spread last month, restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten offered James "Free dinners as long as he wants. I’ll feed him whatever he likes—double chickens" should he come to the Knicks. Later, Iron Chef and Cleveland resident Michael Symon said he would go to James' house once a month and "cook up a Iron Chef style dinner" for his friends and family. Even Shake Shack got in on the fun.
Now that Mayor Bloomberg has upped the ante with a huge citywide "C'mon LeBron" publicity campaign (our tax dollars at work?), Mario Batali has joined the circus. He's offering a dinner every two weeks, "wherever you want, up to 20 people. I will make a dinner, not an Iron Chef dinner, a delicious dinner, in New York City, as a welcome."