Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cocktails and Gossip - Robert Irvine and Mario Batali

Hey everyone, it's Saturday - and you know what that means! It's time for another round of cocktails and gossip - this week featuring one of my all time favourite drinks for the beach: Electric Blue Lemonade - and the skinny on a few foodie related scams including a famous one perpetrated by Robert Irvine.

Irvine, who reminds me of a buff version of Simon from Alvin and the Chipmunks...

 is reported to have been rather imaginative in coming up with his original Food Network bio.

When he first came onto the Foodie Celebrity scene, Irvine boasted a resume that included claims he was a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, had a degree in food and nutrition from the University of Leeds, and had worked on the wedding cake for Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

But when an article in the the St. Petersburg Times disputed most of Irvine's assertions, the Food Network pulled his biography from its website and fired him in 2008 as host for the show Dinner Impossible - replacing him with Michael Simon of Iron Chef America. 

As a person who once told a guy I was trying to impress that I played honky tonk piano and taught tennis lessons to underprivileged children, I am not throwing any stones - we do what we do - but I will say, it's interesting how quickly he was forgiven by The Food Network.

In 2009 he was re-hired to host Dinner Impossible, began an offshoot series called Restaurant Impossible, and then went on to do The Worst Cooks in America with Anne Burrell.

Which makes me wonder... even though I was outed at a party one night when an over eager piano lover exclaimed "I wish somebody could play this!" and the guy I was dating shouted "Lyndsay can play!" (People, my journey to the piano that night was like Dead man Walking) though I played an up tempo, two finger version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, perhaps there lies, still, the possibility that he doesn't think I'm insane.


A girl can dream.

Speaking of Anne Burrell, though, I couldn't dredge up any gossip on her that was cocktail worthy - but I did, however, find a little tidbit about her former mentor Mario Batali and his business partner, evil eyed Joe Bastianich.

Batali just settled to the tune of 5.25 million dollars, in  a case that went to New York Federal Court where 117 waiters, captains, servers and busboys sued him and Bastianich.

According to the complaint, the workers say these restaurant owners took their hard-earned tips — in some cases as much as 5 percent of the nightly wine sales — to supplement their own profits.

 To that I say, throw your cocktails down!

I may have taught some phony tennis in my day, but stealing from the people who work for you - that is just wrong.

And its interesting too because I have never liked Batali - or Bastianich for that matter - chiefly because they both come across as incredibly arrogant.

On the other hand, I must admit - as Food Network chefs go - Batali would be among the first I would want to cook for me if I was, you know, incredibly wealthy and could hire him for the evening.

Barring that, I'll just have to stick with making my own cocktails.

Watch my step by step how to video here.


Add 2 oz of lemonade or lemon sweet and sour mix to a cocktail shaker, top with 2 oz of vodka, 1.5 oz blue cureaco, and 8 ice cubes.

Shake well. 

Fill a highball glass with crushed ice and strain the drink into it. Top with 7 Up.

Cheers everyone!   

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  1. I can't imagine taking tips when we all know that's what the staff is working for! On top of that, how much money do these men need? I was disgusted when I first heard of this incident. I always enjoyed Dinner Impossible with Irvine, he's fun to watch. I don't believe in "embellishing" as it usually comes back to bite us on the butt... But, I do believe he can cook and think he brings a lot to FoodNetwork. I was glad to see him back:@)

    1. I'm with you! I enjoy watching Robert Irvine and am willing to forgive him his embellishments. But you are so right... it is a always a tangled web we weave ;)

  2. That's just low... As a former food service worker, I would have been upset. Especially in the U.S where servers rely on tips to make a living (they don't get paid more than $3-4/hr)

    1. Yah, the Mario and Joe thing is pretty unbelievable isn't it?

  3. Fun post! Love the gossip. I knew that about Irvine (and was surprised when I saw him back on FN) but didn't know that about Mario and Joe. Now I wish I hadn't eaten at their restaurant in Vegas, lol!

    1. That's right - I remember when you ate there! Thanks for stopping by Brenda :-)

  4. Ya Mario isn't one of my favs. I've worked in the food industry for 20 years in pretty much all aspects of it. It is such hard work and tips especially for the servers and bus people make up a lot of their income. Bad Bad MAN !! I'm glad he had to pay it back ! Thank you for the yummy looking it drink I will take a pic of it when its pool time (still a few months off I think)
    CHEERS !!

  5. good post..nice writeup
    new to your space..awesome space you have..
    happy following you..:)
    do stop by mine sometime
    Tasty Appetite

  6. That is just terrible what Mario and Joe did to those hardworking employees. I am glad they were made to pay for what they had done.

  7. I heard the story of Robert Irvine's embellishment a while ago, I have to say it coloured my view of him a bit. Do you ever watch Worst Cooks in America? I've wondered why Anne Burrell is on her 3rd cohost in 3 seasons... Let me know if you unearth anything.
    I'm your newest follower!

  8. Yes, I was surprised that they brought Irvine back after that revelation; but I guess ratings are ratings, eh? (and I would eat Mario's food anytime too) Love you dishing on dishland!