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Mario Batali Hires Women For Smarts, Not Their Vaginas, He Says

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Mario Batali recently talked about hiring women chefs
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Mario Batali on the all-female chef team at Del Posto

Chef Mario Batali sure has a crass way of talking about his lady kitchen team at fine dining restaurant Del Posto: “It’s not because they have a vagina. It’s because they’re the smartest people for the job.” He later adds to Page Six that he hates when reporters want to do a story on one of his chefs as a “great woman chef.” “Why don’t you f–king do a piece about her being a great chef and we’ll talk about her sexuality later?” he says. Earlier this year, Melissa Rodriguez took over the executive chef position at the Meatpacking District restaurant.

East Village is getting a new rice noodle shop

Rice flour-based noodles are apparently still having their moment — another restaurant, this time called Hunan Slurp Shop, is opening at 112 First Avenue between East 6th and East 7th streets in the East Village. Signage on the storefront says that it is a rice noodle restaurant. Other rice noodle restaurants that have opened recently in Manhattan include Deng Ji, Little Tong, and Yuan.

‘Hedonistic’ Hunter S. Thompson-themed bar opening in Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen’s next bar entry will be Bar Gonzo, a ’70s-themed lounge inspired by writers like Hunter S. Thompson, George Plimpton, and Ernest Hemingway. It’s trying to revive “the hedonistic magic of an erstwhile era,” according to a statement from the bar. In practice, that will mean live performances like fire breathers and burlesque performers. Food will include a raw bar, pizza, cocktails, and tiki drinks. It opens November 8.

Falafel favorite Taïm adds a new sandwich

Taim cauliflower sandwich
The new cauliflower shawarma at Taïm
Taim [Official]

Chef Einat Admony has added a new sandwich at her popular Israeli fast-casual restaurant Taïm: a cauliflower-based version of shawarma. The vegetarian restaurant’s Nolita location now offers the shawarma-spiced roasted cauliflower in their pita sandwiches. If it’s a hit at the 45 Spring Street, at Mulberry Street, location, the chef will expand it to other outposts, too.

JJ Johnson extends his Chefs Club residency

Chef JJ Johnson’s Afro-Asian menu at Chefs Club was supposed to finish at the end of October, but the pop-up restaurant has decided to extend Johnson’s time there through the end of the year. Dishes like con’con (Jollof sticky rice, eggplant curry, coconut, and basil) and bone-in beef short rib for sharing will remain on the menu. The former Minton’s chef left the Harlem restaurant earlier this year and plans to open his own place — but until then, his food is available at the 275 Mulberry Street space in Soho. A new chef will start at the club in January 2018.

The weekend’s a good time to try making a super fancy omelette

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