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Chef Justin Smillie's New Concoctions for Il Buco Alimentari

ilbucochefblog1.jpgNoHo's Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria was one of the most exciting restaurants to open in 2011, showcasing the talents of executive chef Justin Smillie. The 32-year-old has strong connections to the New York chef world, having worked at Mercer Kitchen, Gramercy Tavern, Barbuto, The Standard, The Harrison, Andre Balazs's Sunset Beach on Shelter Island, plus another now-closed place where things didn't go so well (more on that later). For the past few months he and his team have been curing a number of Italian-style pork products in the kitchen "laboratory," guided by Chez Panisse alum Christopher Lee. Next week the resulting salame Toscano, finocchiona, capocollo, lonza, guanciale, pancetta and lardo will debut at the Alimentari's new antipasti hour, starting at 5 p.m. Here's what Smillie had to say about it over the phone this morning:
Tell me about the new antipasti hour. It's about having some meat along with a drink?

All of the salumi taste distinctly different; we're not using the same blend of spices for any of them. The pigs we're buying are phenomenal [from upstate New York's Flying Pigs Farm, North Carolina's Cane Creek Farm and Bev Eggleston's EcoFriendly Foods of Virginia]. None of it is mass-produced. We've been curing the meats for the past few months and it's this whole ritualistic thing, from taking apart the animal to using every part of it. We have a guy named Bernardo who's an artist with the meat, doing all the butchering in-house. It's about preserving the harvest, whether it's a vegetable or an animal. As responsible, ethical eaters, we have a nose-to-tail philosophy and are not only using the middle of the animal.
That's got to be expensive, though.

What Il Buco is about is the best ingredients. Everything we do is so simple and bare bones, you have to start with the best ingredients. The hardest thing for us as chefs is finding an owner that supports what you do, shares a common vision. Obviously, we have to be attentive to food costs or you can't run a business. It's a huge commitment on Donna's part [owner Donna Lennard] but she's willing to do it for her customers. Our production facility is amazing, much bigger than any kitchen I've ever worked in.

ilbucochefblog2.jpgWhen I was Googling you I saw that you got fired a few years ago from the restaurant E.U. in the East Village for buying too many expensive ingredients from the Greenmarket.

Me and Jason [The E.U.'s owner Jason Hennings] did not see eye to eye. It was a long time ago so I don't want to go into it but I was the seventh chef there within a year.
You seem obsessed with the Greenmarket.

There's nothing in the dirt right now so we're mainly getting squash and chicory. You're not going to see a local tomato right now. We've had to have some ingredients shipped from the farmers market in Santa Monica.
How was it working with Jonathan Waxman at Barbuto?

He informed my sensibility with his farm-to-table approach. It was so great working on his line. Jonathan is mythical. It's very hard to count the number of chefs he's influenced. He knows everybody and touches everybody in a different way. He's not trying to force cookie cutter replications of himself. He tries to get you to think for yourself.

What did you learn from Dan Silverman at The Standard?

He refined my style. Jonathan [Waxman] is very rustic and Dan is careful. I learned how to balance the menu from him, how to focus on what I'm doing. He's an organizational mastermind.
You also worked at The Harrison, one of my favorite restaurants. How is Jimmy Bradley?

He was in here for dinner last night along with Jonathan [Waxman]. He's fine, back at work and up to his old tricks. (Bradley was successfully treated for oral cancer last year.) The chefs I've worked with have been coming in a lot.
You guys stick together.

We're thick as thieves.

Jews For Tebow + Stefon's on Yelp = Eight Items or Less



1. Jews for Tebow is something that exists. [Buzzfeed]

2. Beats by Dre headphones will no longer be manufactured by Monster Cable Product when the licensing deal expires at the end of the year. Interestingly, Monster claims it was all their idea and that Dre and Jimmy Iovine originally wanted to make speakers. [Business Week]

3. A decomposing mural by the late New York artist Keith Haring has caused a controversy  in Australia over the best way to preserve and restore the work. [Art Newspaper]

4. Here's a guide to the LGBT films screening at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, January 19 to 29. [The Bilerico Project]

5. PERFORMA launched an online magazine.

6. Calling all LEGO nerds: The National Geographic Channel takes a look inside the LEGO factory in Denmark. The segment airs on Saturday, January 21st, 8 p.m. E.T.

7. NYC artist Futura 2000 opened an exhibit of new works, "Expansions," at Galerie Jerome de Noirmont in Paris. It's up until February 29th.

8. A faux version of SNL's club-kid Stefon reviews "New York's hottest" clubs and bars on Yelp. Here's a taste: "Ella (9 Ave. A) This club has everything. Jefferies, live-action furbies, Jewish pole-vaulters, closeted Guidos and flaming straight guys making out with none other than THE Nelson Mandela." If only. [via AfterElton]

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One Life to Live Ends, Mr. Mickey Says Buh-Bye

ih3zaP4eooHl.jpgMr. Mickey has on his sad-face right now because the final episode of One Life to Live aired today at 2 p.m. EST on ABC. This is a tough blow, considering I still haven't recovered from the cancellation of Search for Tomorrow in 1986. What can I say? I'm addicted to daytime drama. As a little nipper, I'd watch the The Doctors and Days of our Lives with my mother while she ironed. When I was a little older, I was hooked on All My Children during the summer that Jenny Gardner (played by Kim Delaney) ran away to New York City. It just seemed like such a glamorous adventure to a kid growing up in small-town Illinois. At one time or another I've watched every soap on the air. I'm proud to say I watched the first ever episodes of Loving and Santa Barbara. I cried like a little bitch during the final episodes of favorite shows like Another World, Guiding Light and As the World Turns, and those weren't necessarily my favorites. These days, I feel more and more like my Grandma, who used to shush the kids when she was 'watching her stories.'

The art of the soap opera has been slowly dying for years, and the demise of OLTL leaves only four daytime dramas remaining on the air. The problem? Soaps are much more expensive to produce than a court show like Judge Judy or a game show, but they're so much richer. Watching Days of Our Lives off and on for almost 40 years ( how scary is that thought?), I feel like the Hortons and Bradys, the two families featured on the show, are some of my oldest friends. I've watched Julie Horton Williams go from evil, conniving slut to happily married lady to family grand dame. I've seen little Will Horton be born. I've seen it turn out that his father, Austin, wasn't his father. It was Austin's brother, Lucas! And Lucas's mother, Kate, used to be a prostitute who hated Will's mother, Sami. Sami's sister, Carrie, then married Austin so she was Will's Aunt and her step-mother. Now Will is grown up and gay. And he's even one of the more 'normal' characters.

There's a special kind of bond a viewer makes with a show that's been on five days a week for 43 years, as OLTL was (Guiding Light was on for over 70 years including its time on radio). It hurts to see these shows go. One consolation is that although daytime drama may be on its last leg, soapy melodrama prevails in shows like Mad Men, Homeland and the wildly popular Downton Abbey. Hello? Lady Mary and her sister Lady Edith constantly sabotaging each other's marital aspirations is something straight out of Young and the Restless! So though I'm sad every time the final fade-out happens on one of my beloved stories, I know I can get my fix of family drama, tortured romance, intrigue and backstabbing somewhere else on the boob tube. I'll guess I'll just have to make do with that. Not to sound too dramatic, or anything. 

Below: Image of actors who've appeared on One Life to Live over the years, courtesy of TheFW.com. Left to right: Tom Berenger, Tommy Lee Jones, Laurence Fishburne, Hayden Panetierre and Marcia Cross.



Winston's Champagne Bar -- 5 Reasons To Stop By


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Tucked into the Gansevoort Hotel on Park Avenue South, Winston's Champagne Bar is a plush two-story room meant to entertain cavorting guests, wealthy wanderers and the aspiring champagne collector. No one really needs an excuse to begin the weekend with bubbly, but just in case you need a little extra push, we've listed all the reasons you could possibly need.

1. The cocktail list is solely composed of champagne cocktails, of course, including variations on classics like the French 76 and the Bitters Blanc. Try your tongue at guessing the signature cocktail's undisclosed ingredient.

2.  Krug by the glass. For. 75. Dollars. A. Pop.

3.  The place is owned and run by Brian Gefter who started his nightlife career in the Hamptons and then paved the rest of the way with his involvement in the tony Gansevoort club Provocateur, so he knows about bottle service.

4.  A cozy second floor allows guests who may wish to avert (ahem) attention to gaze voyeuristically below without making any grand entrances.

5.  The place is named after a collector with cave full of bubbly. You should attempt to acquaint yourself with this Winston character immediately.

Nice Cans! Diet Coke's Chic New Look

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Check out these new limited-edition Diet Coke cans, which recently debuted in the UK as part of their new female-centric "Love It Light" campaign, meant to "encourage women to embrace a lighter attitude to life and make them feel great." The cans feature a lady's profile filled in with floral, zebra and houndstooth patterns. Chic!

Betty White Makes Out with Zachary Levi at her 90th Birthday Party


Betty White's turning 90 on January 17th (so is my Grandpa!) and NBC has put together a fun little prime-time tribute to America's nonagenarian sweetheart, airing Monday, January 16th. Here's a preview, featuring Amy Poehler and Carol Burnett telling roast-y, "Betty White's so old that..." jokes as well as a cute, but kind of too-long, segment featuring Chuck star Zachary Levi proposing to White. (They also share an awesomely lengthy kiss on the mouth.) Happy birthday, Betty! Watch above.

Emma Stone: Our Inaugural "Beauty Look of the Week" Winner

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With awards season in full swing (The Golden Globes are Sunday!), all of Hollywood is looking its very glammed-out best lately -- which inspired us to start a little feature called Beauty Look of the Week. This week's winner is the lovely Emma Stone, photographed at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards! We love how the sparkly, slate-blue shadow lining her emerald eyes matches her earrings and is offset by the luminescent peach cream blush. Since her eye makeup and dress are colorful, she tops it off with a subdued lip. Way to go, Emma. 

To get this look try an Make Up For Ever's Aqua Eyes in Irisdescent Navy and Nars blush in Deep Throat. (Sidenote: We love the kinky names Nars comes up with for their products!) and then add some OCC Lip Tar in Divine True Pink Flamingo.

Tune in Sunday, as We Live-Blog The Golden Globes!

Forget friends and family -- all we need for an awards show these days is our laptop, our iPhone, our iPad and a bottle of Jack Daniels. Join us this Sunday, as we live-blog the Golden Globes. Will Ricky Gervais be too mean? Will Bridesmaids win big? Will Miss Golden Globe 2012, Andee MacDowell's daughter Rainey Qualley, look pretty? Will Angelina Jolie apply lip gloss while on camera? Stay tuned!

Face Time

Who knew that the freshest film to come out of Hollywood this year would be black and white, and silent? Since debuting at Cannes earlier this year, director Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist has been getting major Oscar buzz for its portrayal '20s-era Tinsletown, along with its star, Jean DuJardin. The French actor plays George Valentin, a silent film mega-star whose career starts to slip when talkies hit the scene. Since much of the emotion in silent films depends on the facial expressions of their stars, we asked DuJardin to walk us through what his character was feeling in each of these stills from the film, in theaters now.

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"Here, he's watching himself on screen and feeling so self-satisfied. He loves being George Valentin. He always plays the same character in the same movie and he's very happy. I find him not necessarily arrogant but rather sort of endearing because he doesn't see the wall he's about to hit."


"This is him shooting and directing a movie that he assumes will be very successful, but, as an audience, we know it's in vain. Here, he's definitely arrogant. He's so sure of his success and of the audience's fidelity, but he's absolutely outdated."


"This is the end of the film -- we're seeing his renaissance, his rebirth, with his Gene Kelly smile and hair. Gene Kelly was the inspiration for this character when I was creating the role. This is the sunny, solar side of the character.  But I also can't help but think of his dark side. That's what attracted me to this part when Michel offered me this role. There were these two facets to George -- he is so complex."

Two's a Trend: Golden Globes Edition

Last night was like a two's-a-trend blog come to life, with all the things that happened twice. Here are five of them.



Both Tina Fey and Jesse Tyler Ferguson "photo-bombed" their buddies, Golden Globe nominees Amy Poehler and Michael Stonestreet, respectively, as the camera zoomed in on them while their awards were announced. (Neither won, though. Sad face!)


Screen shot 2012-01-16 at 12.34.18 PM.pngJessica Biel's hair = Kristen Wiig's hair.


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Both Antonio Banderas and Sofia Vergara broke out into Spanish while on stage -- Banderas, while presenting the award with Salma Hayek for best TV Comedy (apparently, he was reciting a famous Spanish poem), and Vergara, after Modern Family won best TV Comedy.


tumblr_lxw0tjloPh1r03eggo1_r1_500.pngScreen shot 2012-01-16 at 1.01.14 PM.png

Last night was all about the Jack Russells! Uggie, the pup from Best Picture-winner The Artist, pranced around on stage, stealing the spotlight from the rest of the cast. And Christoper Plummer, during his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama, gave a shout-out to "Cosmo, my favorite dog," the adorable, scruffy little guy from Beginners.



Natalie Portman and Angelina Jolie both sported dresses adorned with red flappy things.

Cher's Virtual Closet from Clueless Is Now a Real Thing

Remember Cher's virtual closet from Clueless? Of course you do, you think about it two to 150 times a day! Well, get excited, because a company called FaceCake Marketing Technologies has created a Microsoft Kinect program that lets you try on all your Contempo Casual separates virtually, without having to go through the trouble of putting them on. (In other words, it's a mirror for lazy people.) Check it out below -- it's actually pretty neat! [Via Buzzfeed and Videogum]

Golden Globes, Schmolden Schlobes --Papermag Hits Up a Secret Dinner at LA's Public Fiction Gallery

And you assumed everyone was watching the Golden Globes and making fun of celebrities last night. Out in L.A., PAPERMAG stopped by Public Fiction, a storefront gallery in the Highland Park area, for a "secret dinner" of about 60 people, entitled "Transformations, Digestive and Otherwise: Experiments with Voice, Strings, Percussion and Food." Two room-length communal tables sat parallel, set with intentionally mismatched plates, silverware, and napkins, for a night of music and vegetarian dishes.

Attendees were welcomed by a suite of compositions inspired by winter, written and performed by Butchy Fuego (of Pit er Pat) and cellist Heather McIntosh (who's the house cellist for Elephant 6 Collective and has played with a ton of bands, including Animal Collective, Cat Power, Lil Wayne). The duo were well-aware of the irony of playing anything winter-inspired in mild L.A. -- they even donned coats, scarves and hats to underscore this point. Their performance featured hauntingly spare drums and computer-y sounds with looped and re-looped cello.

Then came the food, which was far less experimental than the music, but still delicious. Once the last of the cabbage and lentils were down the hatch, the lights dimmed again. Eric Byers (of the Calder Quartet) sat at his cello and played a high-register note that he looped and layered in a dynamic piece, piling chords and scrapes and hums upon each other before descending back into the performance's iinitial note, which looped lonely at the end.

After cupcakes were served, the night ended on weirder note, with Andrew Bulbrook (also of the Calder Quartet) on violin accompanying Kathryn Mccullough's alien-sounding vocalizations in a meandering piece that we may have enjoyed more had we not been stuffed, drunk and tired from all the fun. 

Peaches Geldof's Baby Bump

peaches-hello-cover.jpgOne of the joys of being a middle-aged celebrity-watcher is that you get to see the kids of the rich and famous go from adorable spoiled toddlers to drug-addicted teen models and eventually settle down to start families of their own. This week, one of our favorite rock 'n' roll progeny, Peaches Geldof, is on the cover of Hello! Magazine in the first "official" shot of her showing a bump. She told the mag that her son is expected to be born on April 24th, the birthday of Peaches' late mother, TV presenter Paula Yates. Of course, Peaches' father is rocker Sir Bob Geldof of the band Boomtown Rats. He's most famous for organizing Band-Aid, the supergroup whose "Do They Know It's Christmas?" song raised money to fight famine in Ethiopia in 1984. We're happy for Peaches and her fiancé, indie rocker Thomas Cohen. In other news, doesn't she look a little bit like Lady Gaga these days? And Meanwhile, what's Peaches' half-sister Tigerlily Hutchence Geldof up to? A brief Internet search led us to these fun fun pics of Peaches, Tom and Tiger at an aquarium!

Solange Knowles Makes Runway Debut in Milan

Highsnobette-AF2-360x540.jpgOn Friday, in Milan, Alberta Feretti presented her '20s-themed, pre-Autumn 2012 collection. The runway featured bloggers/gals about town like Hanneli Mustaparta, Oroma Elwa, Audrey Marnay, Zani Gugelmann, Julia Sarr-Jamois, Candice Lake and none other than PAPER cover gal, sister of Beyoncé (and aunt of Blue Ivy) Solange Knowles, making her runway debut. Knowles recently signed to Next Model Management. You better work!

Ovenly to Set Up Shop In Greenpoint


Woo, Brooklyn snacks/sweets purveyors Ovenly (who we featured in our 2011 Beautiful People issue) are opening their very own store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn this March! Erin Patinkin and Agatha Kulaga announced today that they're setting up shop at 31 Greenpoint Ave., a stone's throw from the East River, "to highlight their unique sweet and savory recipes, as a test kitchen for snack experiments, and to provide ferry commuters with grab-and-go breakfast and lunch boxes." For those unfamiliar with Ovenly, their concoctions typically feature sweet, salty and spicy flavors, and treats include everything from blue cheese-pecan scones to black caraway-chocolate-smoked-salt shortbread to spicy-bacon caramel corn. In other words, this isn't going to be another cutesy cupcake joint. Ovenly's also planning on hosting classes and events at the space. Go get 'em, ladies!

5 Under $50: The Bright Stuff

For today's 5 Under $50, we were inspired by our dear friend and colleague Whitney Spaner (who turned 30 yesterday!), a fan of all things brightly colored, especially teals and pinks.


iphone-4-304-scribbles.png1. Artist Mia Christopher iPhone Case, $38.25 at giantsparrows.co.uk.

2. BKR Water Bottles, $28 each at mybkr.com.

3. Michelle Armas 2012 Calendar, $30 at michellearmas.bigcartel.com

il_570xN.297874460.jpg4. Set of Three Coffee Cups, $13 at Etsy.com.

Screen shot 2012-01-16 at 5.16.19 PM.png5. Owl Clean Bath Mat, $29.99 at ModCloth.

Sponge Bob Fashion Pants

Just in time for Fashion Week(s), Dutch illustrator Mike Frederiqo, who started as a tattoo and graffiti artist, has transformed Sponge Bob into a slew of style stars like Terry Richardson (thumbing up, of course), Karl Lagerfeld (avec entourage), artist Takashi Murakami, music master/designer Pharrell Williams, Simpsons-tattooed Marc Jacobs (in the nude, natch) and a ciggie-puffing Coco Chanel. Très cool.

MLK's Memorial Misquote, Community + Ezra Miller = Eight Items or Less


1. Martin Luther King Jr. was misquoted in an inscription on his Washington, DC, memorial.  The Interior Department says they'll fix it. [CNN]

2. Ezra Miller, the young actor that plays Tilda Swinton's son in "We Need To Talk About Kevin," is also a musician. His band, Sons of an Illustrious Father, is playing on Wednesday, January 18th, 10 p.m., $5, at The Delancey (168 Delancey Street).

3. Ben Pundole's King & Grove Hotels is the new owner of Hotel Williamsburg (160 North 12th Street, Brooklyn) and they're also expected to take over the management of the Chelsea Hotel when renovations are completed. In other hotel news, the Times of London reports that grocery store magnate Ron Burkle paid $382 million for a 60% interest in the Soho House hotel group.  He's already a part owner of Morgans Hotels. [The Real Deal]

4. DJ Spooky's "Occupy the Library" party at W.i.P. (34 Vandam Street) turned ugly when actual occupiers were denied admission. A club spokesperson claimed: "They probably hadn't showered in days. The Wall Streeters inside are a lot nicer than those guys." [Village Voice]()

5. The "$10 million" renovation of Jay-Z's 40/40 Club (6 West 25th Street) will be unveiled to media and VIPs on Wednesday, January 18th. The public gets a peek on Thursday.

6. Here's a sneak preview of a new Maroon 5 song called "Wipe Your Eyes."  It was produced by Jason Derulo.

7. A Community board game! [Buzzfeed]


Tips for Today: Howler, Mr. Coconuts & A Benefit for Pancreatic Cancer

393302_10150424919144111_334053864110_8269410_1162774216_n.jpgHowler at Other Music

Minneapolis-based Strokes-esque rock band Howler are a big deal in the UK (having signed to Rough Trade Records), and are about to be a big deal back home. They play their super-catchy pop ditties tonight -- for free! -- at Other Music.

Other Music, 15 E. 4th St. 9 p.m. Free.

Mr. Coconuts at Union Hall

Gabe Delahaye, he of Videogum fame, hosts his monthly comedy shindig at Union Hall. On tonight's docket? PAPER-approved funny men Dave Hill, Mike Albo and John Roberts.

Union Hall, 702 Union St., Park Slope, Brooklyn. 8 p.m. $5.

A Benefit for Pancreatic Cancer Research at The Tribeca Grand

Party for a good cause tonight at the Tribeca Grand, where luminaries-about-town Amina Akhtar, PAPER's Mickey Boardman, Meenal Minstry, Sarah Cristobal, Jennifer Sample, Scott Lifshutz & Heather Clason host a benefit for pancreatic cancer. DJ Drewpsie and Mad Marj will man the ones and twos.

The Tribeca Grand Hotel, 2 Avenue of the Americas. $20 minimum donation. RSVP here.

Photos of Kids at the Museum Back in The Day

We are obsessed with these black and white archival photos of young schoolchildren milling about and looking cute in various galleries within the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The photos, taken throughout the early-to-mid 1900s, appear in the museum's Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education, in the corridor alongside Carson Family Hall. We love their little old-timey coats! Read more about the images here. All photos © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.