At South Beach one year, a happily married Food Network chef recalls a young woman who suddenly started licking his shirt in the middle of it all.“His wife was standing two feet away and her friends were cheering her on,” says one observer.I’m a huge fan of yours.’ It doesn’t get much wilder than that!” Or weirder — Artisanal’s executive chef John Creger had an even creepier run-in.She somehow got his phone number and texted him pictures of herself in lingerie from the dining room as he was in the kitchen.“It was definitely the chef factor,” says the generally reserved Tourondel, who won’t say how the encounter ended.It was only guys like Jean-Georges [Vongerichten] or [David] Bouley or Rocco Di Spirito who partied with models,” he says.
At a New York Food & Wine Festival dinner prepared by James Beard Award-winning Spotted Pig chef April Bloomfield and Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen last month, a table of young attendees made no bones about their intense interest in Bloomfield. Not only is she attractive, but her food is so creative,” gushed Dana Salvatore, a 25-year-old producer.
“She was very flirtatious and said, ‘Let me cook with you — I promise it will be fun,’ ” Creger says. I thought it was brave of her, but a little strange at the same time.
I let her come into the kitchen, but I had a girlfriend, so it didn’t go further.” Many cooks are surprised by the reactions they elicit.
“A woman on my plane started screaming, ‘It’s John, it’s John! “I looked around to see who it was, and so did everyone else. ’ ” “Sometimes it’s really great and sometimes it’s not so great,” Waxman says of all the attention.
“The other day I took my son to the movies, and when I went to the bathroom, a guy in the next urinal leaned over and said, ‘Hey, aren’t you Jonathan Waxman?