Kirby "Dr. K" Shaw Named Best Guest of the Mozza Staff Party



When oddsmakers in Las Vegas were laying bets on who would be drunkest at the annual Mozza Worker’s Party held on Labor Day, there were two favorites; Michael Krikorian and Kirby Shaw, the Corner’s version of Seabiscuit and Secretariat when it comes to drinking.

But, come Labor Day at Nancy Silverton’s home in Windsor Square, Osteria Mozza sous chef Kirby Shaw stepped up and - instead of being drunk - was the one taking care of the several drunks in attendance. He took away car keys, stopped a DJ from electrocuting himself, checked the pulse of at least four inebriated party goers, talked and guided three people  - who were about to drown - out of the pool.

 For these actions,  Kirby Shaw has been named Guest of the Labor Party aka GOLP.

 “Kirby saved several lives that day,” said LAPD Commander Cory Palka who heads the West Bureau. “If Shaw wasn’t there, our officers would have been all over that party.”

While this may not be stunning to those who know Shaw well, it comes as a shock to the scores whose knowledge of him is simply from parties and after-shift gatherings.

That’s understandable. Let’s examine the facts. He’s Irish. He’s 25. He talks almost as much about drinking as he does his beloved Dodgers. He’s Irish. He often takes the subway. In Los Angeles. Who takes the subway in Los Angeles if they are sober? Plus, he’s Irish.

Lia Shaw, Kirby’s mother, perhaps best known in the Osteria Mozza kitchen for her chocolate chip cookies, was thrilled to hear her son had been honored as GOLP. “For a quarter of a century I have dreamed of Kirby winning something, anything. And for him to be honored at Nancy’s house, well, it means it was all worth it. I mean he’s been known to gulp, so it’s nice to have him win the GOLP.”

Kirby’s father, reached in London via cell phone, did not believe the news at first, “What?”, Kevin Shaw yelled. “We must have a bad connection. Can you hear me?  It sounds like you said Kirby was the sober one and helped the drunks? You’re breaking up. Can you hear me? “


 As for Krikorian, well, something was clearly off with him. He was nice to a Turk











Russian Men Living In L.A. Who Fought At The Battle of Stalingrad


The days are quiet now for several Russian men who live modestly in West Hollywood and Santa Monica. Little excitement passes their way. But once in a while they get together and talk about what they did more than 60 years ago near the Volga River in Russia.

These rare men fought and survived in what many historians consider to be the greatest and bloodiest combat in all of history - The Battle of Stalingrad.

Up to two million people died there from August, 1942 to Feb. 2, 1943. When it was over, the once proud and mighty 6th Army of Germany - as well as the Nazi aura of invincibility - was like the city of Stalingrand itself; in ruins.

Some of the veterans, brought to America decades ago by sons and daughters. sat recently in the Hollywood Boulevard offices of the Russian newspaper “Panorama” and talked about the ferocity that was Stalingrad.

West Hollywood resident Vladimir Barkon was not quite 17 when his military training was cut short and he received orders to “get on a train.”

“At first we didn’t know where we were going, so we weren’t scared,” said Barkon, 79, a short, stocky man with the dour look of a Brezhnev-era politburo member. Then one September night, Barkon and about 800 others were told they were being sent to the front. “There was no fear. Absolutely nyet.”

The fear would come later.

On, Sept. 29, 1942 Vladimir Barkon crossed the Volga.

““The river was on fire,” said Barkon who is vice president of the Association of Russian Veterans. “We crossed as fast as we could. Many people died on the boat.”

After crossing the river and entering the shattered city, the Russians cowered from German Stuka dive bombers whose engine’s screaming howl was utterly terrifying.

“They made such a horrible noise,” said Moysev Duginsky, 81. “The Germans were blowing up everything. What was left to defend was already destroyed.”

They defended the infamous Tractor Factory, scene of the most horrific close quarters fighting. For these Russians life was, as stated in Anthony Beevor’s book “Stalingrad - The Fateful Siege”- “an endless hell of automatic fire, sniper shots, artillery explosions, Stuka dive bombers, Russian Katyusha rockers, heavy smoke, rubble, hunger, sleepless nights and the stench of death.”

Many consider the battle to be the “turning point” of the war, including the United States President at the time. The Russians proudly show off a copy of a proclamation.

“In the name of the people of the United States of America I present this scroll to the city of Stalingrad to commemorate our admiration for the gallant defender whose courage, fortitude and devotion during the siege in 1942 and ‘1943 will inspire forever the hearts and minds of free people. Their glorious victory stemmed the tide of the invasion and marked the turning point of the war of the Allied Nations against the force of aggression.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt, May 19, 1944.

“You see,” said Barkon, who was wounded in the tractor factory and later worked as a construction manager, “The Americans know all about Stalingrad. But, they pretend they don’t. Here, all you hear about is Normandy and how they beat the Germans there.”

Attempts to find German survivors of the battle were unsuccessful. “I don’t know anyone who survived Stalingrad who lives here,” said Michael Wolff, press attache of the German Consulate of Los Angeles.

Mikail Volman thinks back on the German enemy.

“I remember the German soldiers were so full of pride when they were attacking,” said Volman, 80, who has lived with his wife in Santa Monica since 1992. “And I remember how pitiful they looked when they were captured.”

During the United States’ march toward Baghdad, Volman heard reports how the city might be “defended like Stalingrad.”

Volamn and Barkon laugh at that thought.

“Only people who have no idea of what Stalingrand was could make such a comparison,” said Volman. who became an electrical engineer after the war. “Don’t even ask me about the weather. I still get shivers.”

One of the Russians brought his proof. Like the Burgess Meredith character Mickey in “Rocky” who carries around an old newspaper clipping of his glory days, Makail Lembersriy removes a folded piece of paper from his worn brown wallet. With a nod and the barest crack of a smile, he hands the yellowed paper to a translator. It is a certificate stating that Lembersriy, a sergeant in the 62nd Army of Russia fought at Stalingrad. The old soldier retrieves the paper, folds it carefully and works it back into the wallet.

Some of the men showed off medals they had earned during World War II. Irene Parker, the editor of Panorama, deeply admires them. “These men are rare,” said Parker. “Nine out of 10 of our fighters were killed in Stalingrad. It is not common to see men such as these. It wasn’t hard for the government to give them medals. There weren’t many medals to give out because there weren’t many men who survived.”


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.














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 :

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.


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 -


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 ##########


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.


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 disasterous results - to land on the adjacent Bell Tower of Giotto..

Authorites 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 decibles. - 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 depravation 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 onimous 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 at her party.

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.”

Authorites 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 balony 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.”

four lesbians