At South Beach one year, a happily married Food Network chef recalls a young woman who suddenly started licking his shirt in the middle of it all.
“His wife was standing two feet away and her friends were cheering her on,” says one observer.
“I didn’t ask for that to happen, but I was not upset about it.” Others tell of downright bizarre behavior.
“I’m terribly picky, but I would date a chef because I’d like someone to expand my horizons,” said Shanna’s friend, Melissa Getlen, 32, a producer who lives near Gramercy Park. ” In these food-obsessed, dinner-Instagramming times, chefs are clearly the new rock stars — and they now have the groupies to go with their celeb status.
Women erupt in shrieks upon seeing their culinary crushes, get busy with sushi gods in restaurant kitchens, and hop naked into hot tubs with celeb chef and global brand Todd English — as three young lovelies did last year.
She somehow got his phone number and texted him pictures of herself in lingerie from the dining room as he was in the kitchen.
“It was definitely the chef factor,” says the generally reserved Tourondel, who won’t say how the encounter ended.
“A woman on my plane started screaming, ‘It’s John, it’s John! “I looked around to see who it was, and so did everyone else. ’ ” “Sometimes it’s really great and sometimes it’s not so great,” Waxman says of all the attention.
“The other day I took my son to the movies, and when I went to the bathroom, a guy in the next urinal leaned over and said, ‘Hey, aren’t you Jonathan Waxman?“People are passionate about seeing Mario Batali share his favorite recipe onstage the way they used to go crazy seeing The Beatles,” says Lee Schrager, producer of both the South Beach and New York Food & Wine Festivals.The crazed fans are especially prevalent at Schrager’s bacchanalian megafests.Last month at the New York Food and Wine Festival’s Burger Bash, women dressed in short skirts and leather were looking for meat — and not just the kind that comes nestled in a potato bun.“We thought boys, burgers and beers, in that order,” said Shanna N., a 31-year-old visiting from Miami who declined to give her name for professional reasons.Her date was running late, so she and Daley got to chatting.