You may recall that at the end of the Chefs Congress I spoke to Tony Esnault, chef of Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, about published reports (in Eater and the New York Post) about the restaurant closing.
He shrugged it off as ridiculous, and then his bosses pretty much immediately announced that the Essex House location would close shop and move a few blocks away to the St. Regis.
Not exactly closing, but, well, I'll stick to relying on that particular chef for food-related information from now on and instead simply spin the rumor mill a bit on my own with gossip in the chef world, from a well-connected head-hunter on the DL*, that Alain Ducasse is merely to be a consultant in the St. Regis venture.
*My friend Birdman also was around when this bit of information was let out.
"DL?" he asked.
"Down-low," I said.
Birdman, a paleontologist, explained that if something had happened less than 70 million years ago he really wasn't up on it.
He did know that "down-low" meant "secret," though, so he's not totally out of touch. We are pushing 40, after all.