- Amongst the Head Chef's many talents is her ability to spot celebrities on the street. This comes from years....oh, many, many years....spent in the West Village, home to the stars. She's actually cooked for some of them too - Rikki Lake, Donna Karan, and a guy from Depeche Mode to name a few. But her main talent is spotting them on the street. Some relatively recent sightings include: Kyra Sedgwick (today), Philip Seymour Hoffman, Peter Dinklage, Christy Turlington, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Calvin Klein, James Woods, John Krasinksi, Rachel Ray, Todd Oldham, Mark Wahlberg, Jimmy Fallon, Mary Louise-Parker, Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman...the list goes on. Or so she says. "Just the tip of the iceberg," she claims. I spotted Tom Verlaine on Spring Street a few months ago; that's the best I can offer (though that was pretty cool).
She aptly demonstrated her skills on Sunday. We were walking up West 11th Street from the river, we had just crossed a street, and she goes: "Shhh....Pay attention!" It had to be a good halfway up the block, when I saw Julianne Moore with a kid and a dog in tow. We had just seen her in I'm Not There the day before. "How did you know?" I demanded. "I just know." She claims to be able to spot the celebrity glow without having to see their faces. I think it's the same sense she gets when she picks out horses from the paddock. She looks in their eyes and she knows that they know that they are something special. I think she employs the Vulcan Mind Meld, or something along those lines. Maybe she could use that to help me forget all my recent bad bets, like when Spock erased Kirk's memory of that robot he had the hots for. (A great episode, in which Spock also expertly plays a waltz on the piano, and is greatly surprised (for a Vulcan, at least), when he recognizes the waltz as an unknown work of Johannes Brahms written in his own hand.)
The Head Chef is not so good, however, at getting many names right when it comes to racing, and sports in general. The other day, I for some reason brought up the name Edgar Prado. And just to see if she's been paying attention for the last six years, I asked her who he is. "Baseball player! He's a baseball player, right?" Well, he does have the name for it, don't you think? I can hear Bob Shepard at Yankee Stadium (you mean, the Red Sox have a PA announcer?) going: "Leading off......the shortstop.....number twenty-four.......Edgah......Pra-dough."
So I thought I'd compile an all-star team of jockeys with good baseball names (since I, of course, have absolutely nothing more productive in my life I could possibly be doing right now). So here it is, position by position:
1B - Garrett Gomez
2B - Eusebio Razo, Jr.
SS - Edgar Prado
3B - Dale Beckner
C - Joe Talamo
LF - Corey Lanerie
CF - Elvis Trujillo
RF - Michael Baze
Top Starting Pitcher - Martin Garcia
Righty Setup Man - Calvin Borel
Lefty Setup Man - Jamie Theriot
Closer - Ramon Dominguez