Top 10 Reasons Chi Spacca Did Not Received A Michelin Star

Saturday afternoon at Chi Spacca, during the preview of Pizzette, Nancy Silverton and Kirsten Mayell’s new venture in a Culver City food court set to open late Fall, legendary local wine professional Gary Alan - or is that Alan Gary? - came up to me and said “This is the best restaurant in Los Angeles.”

He was, of course, referring to Chi - or chi - Spacca. He is not alone in that opinion. Many people, including - occasionally - Nancy Silverton herself, have told me that.

Then why, when the Michelin Guide returned in June after a decade long absence, was Spacca shut out? Nothing. No stars. The reasons, officailly, are not being released. However, a joint investigative team from the Washinton Post ;and Krikorain Writes has just unveiled the top 10 reasons Spacca did not receive a Michelin star.

10. Michelin inspectors could not get a reservation.

9. One of the inspectors, Francois Geronimo, a descendant of the legendary Apache chief, felt extreme nervousnes by “Tomahawk” menu offering.

8. Another inspector, about to award a star, took it away in the confusion over “chi” or “Chi”.  “Is it capped or not? Is it Spacca or SPACCA? Get your name spelling together and maybe get the star.”

7. An inspector felt sous chef Joe Tagorda was “Hurtful”  

6. Michelin inspectors too busy staring at Eva to notice the food.

5. One inspector said “Food was clearly two Michelin stars, but view of Circle K bummed me out.”

4. Another inspector said “About to award a star, but was seated at table 33 and homeless man urinating outside revolted my taste buds..”

3. Inspector Jamal Adid Mohammad said “I didn’t like the fact some guy named Jesus was cooking my food.”

2. Chief Michelin Inspector Pierre SuSway told the Post and Writes “Truth? I called Nancy up to tell her we were going to award Chi SPACCA  with the first ever three stars in L.A . And you know what she said? She said ‘Don’t do that. Don’t give me any stars for Spacca. If Spacca got three stars, Ryan’s head would get so big he’d go back to wearing that damn Dodgers cap in the dining room.”

 1. And the number one reason Chi Spacca did not get a Michelin star?

Michelin Guide was paid  $600,000 by Chad Colby and his wife NOT to give Spacca star.


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L.A . City Council Approves Measure To Name Stretch Of Melrose Avenue "Michelin Mile" After Restaurants Honored

Several Los Angeles streets have long been anointed with famous nicknames. There is  “The Sunset Strip”. A stretch of Wilshire Boulevard is known as “The Miracle Mile”. On the glum side, two miles of Vermont Avenue in South Central are known as Death Alley.

Now a new one will join the ranks; Welcome to the Michelin Mile.

Friday, the Los Angeles City Council voted to name a not-quite-a mile stretch of Melrose Avenue as “The Michelin Mile” due to the high concentration of restaurants that recently were honored by the esteemed Michelin Guide.

 “I think it’s high time we brought recognition to the deliciousness of our own city,” City Council president Herb Wesson said after the unanimous vote. “For two long New York and San Francisco have sought to be known as the dining capital of America. Those days are over.”

 Starting on the west end of the Michelin Mile is Osteria Mozza at Highland and Melrose which was awarded a Michelin star at the June 3rd ceremony. Next door, the beloved Pizzeria Mozza was listed in Michelin’s Bibb Gourmand guide which pays tribute to more casual, yet delicious restaurants.

 Cattycorner to Mozza, Petit Trois made it to the Bibb and Trois Mec earned a star.   A few blocks east, Providence received two Michelin stars and at the east end of the Michelin Mile – which is actually only eight-tenths of a mile long – was unexpected one star winner Kali, whose co- owners - chef Kevin Meehan and somm Drew Langley - are really good friends with Kate Green.

But, like almost all City Council actions, this one was not without protest.

Manik, owner of the Circle K on the northwest corner of Highland and Melrose, was livid about not being included in the Michelin Mile.

“You know damn well the Round K deserves a Bib,” said Manik from Dhaka, Bangladesh. “You need a bag of Fritos. Original, Scoups? We have it for you. You gonna get that at Little Mec? I don’t think so.”

On the southeast corner, the Valvoline, general manager Lewis Hamilton was thrilled about the designation. “To be part of the Michelin Mile is a true honor,” said Hamilton, who works part time for Mercedes Formula One. “We will strive to be worthy.”

The Mile could be even longer next year. Perhaps too new to be honored was Auburn, the bright new spot at the old Citrus space, which got a excellent review from the Times’ Phil Addersen.

As for Chi Spacca, please see the accompanying article.

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Massimo Bottura Strikes Back

Banned for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants competition, Massimo Bottura has struck back with a vengeance.

His latest venture, Francescana at Maria Luigia, located just off the Autostrada near Modena South, has just been rated #1 by World’s 50 Best Truck Stops, the equivilent of the Michelin Guide for truckers.

It was an astounding rebound for Bottura, whose restaurant Osteria Francescana had been named best in the world two times. But, in a move manty considered ridiculous, he was outlawed from entering, apparently because he would have probably won.

“It would be like not allowing Seabiscuit run in a horse race because he would probably win,” said Nancy Silverton, a chef from America. “It would be like not allowing Lewis Hamilton to race in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza because he would probably win.”

Bottura, 56, took the news of the ban with the style of storied jazz piano player Thelonious Monk - in other words, he didn’t give a damn.

Bottura unveiled Casa Maria Luigia, named after his mother, last year to an elite unit of people including writer Ruth Reichl and cook Dominique Crenn. But, it wasn’t until several months ago that it became eligible for World’s 50 Best Truck Stops.

The top American truck stop on the list, coming in at #3, was Jubitz in Portland, Oregon. Second place went to the Nordschleife Truck Halt, Dummkopf!! at the Nurburgring in Germany, best known for the Porsche 919 sauerbraten.

Touring Casa Maria Luigia Saturday was Nancy Silverton who was mesmerized by the rooms, gardens. the trees - there are even a couple few Sequoias - and the menu which features some Osteria Francescana classics. “I wanna stop and park my truck here next year,.” Silverton said.

As she walked with Bottura, his wife Lara, their daughter Alexa, their son, “Don’t Pat Me on the Back Charlie”, and their dog - seriously - Thelonious Monk, the news came that Maria Luigia had been named best truck stop in the world. They were all so excited to hear the news that Charlie actually allowed a reporter to briefly pat him on the back.

The joy was not universal.

The Autogrill organization, which orperates truck and automobile stop throughout Western Europe Ital, filed a formal complaint with the Italian Supreme Court in the Piazza Cavour of Rome, stating “the Bottura place is hardly a truck stop. It’s too far from the freeway.”

However, officials at World’s 50 Best Truck Stops issued the following statment. “The rules are clearly stated, “A truck stop does not have to be located immediately adjacent to a Autostrada, freeway or Autobahn. Any establishment withing five kilometers (3.1) miles) is eligible.”

Francescana de Maria Luigia is less than four kilometers from A1/E35 Autostrada.

in response, Autogrill anounced Thursday that they had hired Rene Redzepi, whose Noma - along with The French Laundry, elBulli, El Celler de Can Roca, is the only other multi World’s 50 Best Restaurants winner - as a consultant. Redzepi could not be reached for comment.

A spokesperson for Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, emailed Krikorian Wrties the following, “Gimme a goddamn break. This Bottura guy drives a Maserati. Here’s what our founder ( Ferruccio Lamborghini) had to say about Masers. And I quote “ "Adolfo Orsi, then the owner of Maserati, was a man I had a lot of respect for: he had started life as a poor boy, like myself. But, I did not like his cars much. They felt heavy and did not really go very fast." :

Before speeding down a dirt road away from Casa Maria Luigia in a nimble and fast bright purple blue Maserati, Bottura himself declined comment for this article. So, the this is from the website Casamarialuigia.com :

FRANCESCANA at MARIA LUIGIA is an exciting new dining experience curated by three-Michelin star Chef Massimo Bottura. It is located in the lovingly restored Casa Maria Luigia, the Bottura’s Italian country house recently opened to public. The dining experience takes place in a turn of the century Carriage House transformed into a stunning dining room with open kitchen, contemporary artwork and views of the surrounding countryside.

FRANCESCANA at MARIA LUIGIA offers an Osteria Francescana tasting menu featuring signature dishesfrom the restaurant in Modena in a unique setting. Three communal tables welcome guests to share a close up, intimate and once in a lifetime experience of one of the most renowned kitchens in the world.

The seasonal 9-course tasting menu with beverage pairing (alcoholic and non) is 450 Euros per person.

If you have ever been fortunate enough to have Bottura’s “Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano” that’s a deal.

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Nancy Silverton To Mission Control; "The Stomach Has Landed", Eats At "The Three O's" In Three Days

“A "High fly ball into right field,,, she is gone! In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.'“

If Vin Scully was around to call the last three meals of Nancy Silverton, he coulda used those classic lines from his call of the Krik Gibson ’88 World Series home run.. Against most odds, Nancy Silverton accomplished what she set out to achieve; to dine at Italy’s “Three O’s” - Dario Cecchini, Massimo Bottura and Franco Pepe - on consecutive days.

Other than the journalist who accompained her on this quest, no one in recorded history has ever done this. The feat required the 1,000 kilometer drivng skills of Juan Fangio driving, the timing of Delta Force, and the connections of, well, of Nancy Silverton.

It was capped off Sunday night in the quiet hilltop town of Caiazzo when the two, after an arduous nightime pouring rain drive through a narrow, twisting mountain road, arrived at Pepe in Grani. the storied pizzeria of Franco Pepe, the best in Europe and made famous years ago by an article entitled “The World’s Second Best Pizza” ( see linke below.)

Silverton and Michael Krikorian sat down and were quickly brought their favorite pizza, Il Sole de Piatti. better known to Americans as the Dream of Caiazzo. It lived up.

There was a lot more; two fried pizza cones filled with ham and pinieapple, another with mozzarella, a pizza of bufala bresola and half-melted bufala mozzarella, a calzone of escarole and anchovies, another pizza with a lemon dipping sauce. Okay, let’s just say I’m not Ruth Reichl when it comes to - among other things - describing food. Just go if you are somewhere in Europe.

AFter acomplishing the feat, Nancy was pushed up the stairs by Krikorian and into one of the two guests rooms at Franco Pepe. Nancy Silverton had landed.

The Three O’s were, as we knew they would be, all we had hoped for.

For the previous article about Franco Pepe see this - http://www.krikorianwrites.com/blog/2013/9/2/the-worlds-second-best-pizza

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Two "O's" Accomplished, One To Go As Nancy Silverton Attempts Historic Italian Dining Feat

Nancy Silverton’s quest to become the first human being to dine at the Three O’s - Dario Cecchini, Massimo Bottura and Franco Pepe - on consecutive days took twp giant steps toward becoming reality after a Saturday lunch for the ages at Osteria Francescana .

Following Friday night’s lunch at Antica Macelleria Cecchini, Silverton drove to Florence, crashed at her favorite hotel there, the Oltrarno Splendid, then was driven to Modena where she had relished the cuisine of Bottura.

Sunday afternoon, she will retain a relative of Aryton Senna to drive to Caiazzo to complete her storied journey with a dinner at Pepe in Grani.

Silverton is being accompainied by ###############, a member of #################### and ######## of ##########

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Nancy Silverton Will Attempt To Dine At The "Three O's" On Connsecutive Days; Dario, Massimo, Franco

In the world of literature, it is “The Three Musketeers”: Aramis, Porthos and Athos. In the world of opera, it is “The Three Tenors” : Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. In the world of Italian dining there are “The Three O’s”; DariO Cecchini, MassimO Bottura and FrancO Pepe

Starting Friday, revered American chef Nancy Silverton will attempt to become the first human - man or woman - in recorded history to dine at the establishments of the Three O’s in three consecutive days. The attempt is considered to be the Italiian dining equivilant of “Free Solo” the true story of Alex Hannold’s successful attempt to be the frist known human to climb El Capitan without ropes.

Should she accomplish the once thought impossbile feat, Silverton will earn the title of “Triple OG Diner” from the Italian government. (For the record, many already consider her that.)

Here’s the starting line up

Frdiay - Lunch at Dario Cecchini’s Antica Macelleria Cecchini,, arguably the world’s most famous butcher shop located in Panzano in Chianti.

Saturday Lunch at Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana.

Sunday - Dinner. at Franco Pepe’s pizzeria Pepe in Grani, 575 kiolometers southeast of Bottura’s restaurant.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Tuscany On High Alert As "Laughing Lesbians", Banned From Umbria, Arrive In Florence


The good news is they are not The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In fact, they might just be the exact opposite.

Dubbed Saturday in the Italian media as the “Four Lesbians of the Laughter”, a quartet of San Francisco Bay Area women - who had been in Umbria for the past week - arrived today in Florence and the city was prepared. They were prepared, not for destruction wrought by the Horsemen, but for a level of laughter perhaps not heard here since Bruneschelli slide off his Duomo and attempted - with disastrous results - to land on the adjacent Bell Tower of Giotto..

Authorities and citizens of Florence alike had been anxiously awaiting the arrival after learning the four had shattered the Umbrian laugher record while spending a week in the quiant town of Panciale. Darla K Anderson, Kori Rae, Bret Parker and Petey Wacc set a record of 2,101 group ‘jumbo laughs’ - over 110 decibels. - in the days they were in town. The four, in Panicale for Parker’s upcoming 40th birthday and to have a dinner prepared by Nancy Silverton at her home, average over 18.5 jumbo laughs per hour, ( allowing for eight hours to either sleep, pass out, our both.)

Scores of residents of Panicale have already filed formal complaints with the United States Embassy in Rome claiming sleep deprivation and the resulting crankiness.

It wasn’t that there wasn’t a giant warning signs the Laughing Lesbians could be problematic. The four made an ominous entrance into Panicale. They crashed a 4th of July party hosted by Nancy Silverton at her home. Let me repeat that. They crashed a 4th of July party hosted by Nancy Silverton..

Silverton herself saw them and turned to Michael Krikorian and said “Did you invite those lesbians?”

The word quickly spread to Florence. aka Firenze, that they were heading that way after it was confirmed by police that Darla K, the ringleader, had made a hotel reservation at an undisclosed site near the Arno.

“Look, of course I want to make tourists feel comfortable, and have a wonderful time, but my main concern is the citizens of Firenze,” said the city’s mayor Fabiano Ferrari. “My biggest concern? Of the four Ls? It would have to be that McGoo one. What’s her name? Bret? She’s liable to walk smack dab into the real David and knock my boy down. Or even the fake David out in the piazza. Hell, Mcgoo might walk into Giotto’s Bell Tower and crumble that old motherfucker. She’s a problem.”

Authorities also expressed concern for Petey Wacc, who is a dean of a K-8 school in Bernal Heights, a neighborhood of San Francisco not on any tourist’s “must see” list.

“Wacc is known for stealing sandwiches of poor students at her own school,” said Lorenzo Lamborghini, Florence’s chief of police. “Repeat. That’s students at her own school. For a baloney sandwich! It’s frightening to think what she would do to a student she didn’t even know for a proscuitto de Parma panini.

As for Kori Rae, police chief Lamborghini was skeptical. ”Look, here’s a woman who right before she leaves town, gives Nancy Silverton three bottles of wine and three large hunk of percorino de Pienze. That seems very strange to us. It makes no goddamn sense. She will be closely monitored.”

But, it was ringleader Darla K Anderson who has brought the most worries to Italian authorities.

“This is a woman who lives to break rules,” said chief Lamborghini. “Someone tells her "‘don’t do something’, Guess what? She does it.“

Still, both Chief Lamborghini and Mayor Ferrari said their main concern about the ringleader was simply her name

“No one even knows what the “K” stands for,” said Lamborghini. “That’s a very dangerous letter.”

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Michael Cimarusti's James Beard Award Under Review After Presenter Elizabeth Falkner Accused Of Collusion

Three days after the sports world was stunned when Kentucky Derby winner Maximum Security was disqualified for interference, the restaurant world was shocked to learn their most revered awards show was rife with intimidation, judge tampering and even collusion with presenters.

The news broke in Chicago early Tuesday morning, less than 12 hours after the end of James Beard Awards, the so-called “Culinary Academy Awards”,. when a shaken chef Elizabeth Falkner, who presented the award for “Best Chef in the West”, was accused of collusion and placed in protective custody by the FBI immediately after giving a tearful news conference where she broke her silence on what law enforcement is calling the “underporkbelly” of the restaurant world.

Falkner said she feared for her life and that’s why she blurted out “Michael Cimarusti“ as the winner of the award for best chef in the west. There was jubilation in the crowd for Cimarusti, the chef and co-owner of the revered Los Angeles seafood restaurant Providence, who had finally won an award that had eluded him for nine years.

Or had he?

Falkner, literally shaking, refused to name names, but she said her life was threatened by a business associate of Cimarusti’s. When a reporter pressed her to give up a name, Falkner went ballistic. “What the fuck? Do you think I want to be sleeping with the striped bass? I’d be floating in the Chicago River in an hour if I give you the name. Fuck you and your newspaper.”

Almost immediately the announcement, another Los Angeles chef, Jessica Koslow of Sqirl who finished second in the voting. said Cimarusti should not be disqualified. “I love Michael and last night was a long time coming. He is a great chef, but his boss has no business in the restaurant world.”

Koslow was referring to reputed mob boss Donato Poto, Cimarusti’s business partner who calls himself “a humble front of the house guy” at Providence. An FBI agent,, speaking on the condition of anonymity, scoffed at that notion. “Don Poto calling himself a front of the house guy” is like Don Corleone calling himself an olive oil salesman,” he said.

It is universally believed that the genuinely nice Cimarusti had absolutely nothing to do with any alleged crimes. However, sources admitted they were focusing their investigation Poto.

In the jam-packed after parties of the James Beard Awards, Don Poto smiled at this reporter when asked about the incident and possible collusion, and intimidation. When he finally spoke, it was chilling.

“Write what you have to write. Just be careful. Everyone knows you’re not hard to find. You’re at the Mozza Corner every night, right? I would hate for something unfortunate to happen to you. You have a lot to live for.. All I’m saying is be careful. Enjoy your time in Chicago.”

Terrified Elizabeth Falkner Accepts A “Handshake” From Donato “Don” Poto.

Terrified Elizabeth Falkner Accepts A “Handshake” From Donato “Don” Poto.



Nancy Silverton Sets New Course Record For Dodger Stadium To Chasen's Race

Overshadowing the summary of Mueller report today, Nancy Silverton set a course record on the first ever Dodger Stadium to Chasen’s Rally, (DSCR) covering the undulating 16 mile trek in just over four hours and inspiring people around the world who don’t train seriously.

Silverton, 64, began the DSCR, a highly exclusive subset of the Los Angeles Marathon, with famed pastry chef Dahlia Narvaez, who kept on trucking after 16 miles on her way to god knows where. The two started off at the very mound where Sandy Koufax pitched, headed to Chinatown - where I was born - for dim sum, past the old L.A. Times building, over to Grand Central Market for coffee at G & B and up toward HomeState where owner Briana “Breezy” Valdez awaited with outstanding beef brisket tacos.

Then it was through the heart of Hollywood Boulevard, the Sunset Strip and down the homestretch to Chasen’s.

For you youngsters, Chasens was a iconic L.A. restaurant at 9039 Beverly Blvd. - near Doheny - that opened in 1936 and closed in 1995 and was famous as a celebrity hangout far more than any current restaurant in America. It’s most renowned dish, Dave’s Hobo Chili, named after the owner Dave Chasen, was famously flown to Rome by Elizabeth Taylor during the filming of a movie.

Back home, Silverton did that most refreshing of things; took off her running/walking shoes, laid out by her pool and ask for red grape juice that had been slightly fermented.

Pizzeria GM Alan Birnbaum and Mozza pastry sous Marisa Takenaka ran something like 26 or 27 miles to finish the L. A Marathon before attempting to set a record for beer consumption.

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