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February 23, 2008

Wine and Food Nuggets

Rachaelrayhusbandjohncusimano Giadadelaurentiisdannydevitorachael Anthonybourdainandjamieoliver The Rachael Ray party at the Victor last night was, um, entertaining in many ways. Unfortunately, according to many in attendance, the one thing missing was earplugs---you see, Ray's hubby John Cusimano and his band, the appropriately titled The Cringe, was the headlining act. "Her husband should stick to his day job," said our source who is still experiencing ringing in her ears today. And where was Rach while hubby played with his band? "She was inside in air conditioning most of the time. She came out to clap for him at the end of each interminable song." Ouch! Meanwhile elsewhere in wine and food mania, the Bubble Q event was a stellar one. Preggo hostess Giada De Laurentiis (who sort of resembles Natalie Portman) was one of many hits of the night. Al Roker left his weatherman hat at home in favor of a toque, cooking up some serious sausages. We asked him what the secret was, to which he replied heartily, "Beer!" Bobby Flay was roaming around, too, pausing for pix with fans, one who told us he's starting to get a little paunchy. Katie Lee Joel was hardly a diva piano man's wife, cooking up her own BBQ and serving it to eager fans, some who couldn't avoid asking where hubby Billy was. "He didn't want to upstage her, so he stayed away," said one source. Smart guy but  her BBQ could have stood up to him at least last night anyway. Another big hit based on the swarms of camera toting fans looking for photo ops was the diminutive Cat Cora, whose shrimp with chili powder was, as Paris would say, "hot." Spotted sipping bubbly in the back of the tented area, R&B singer John Legend, who looked as happy as, say, we'd look if he started to serenade us. Who knew he was a foodie? The only one missing from the bash was Paula Deen, who was probably up at the Hard Rock or Gulfstream, channeling her alter ego---the one she told our colleague about at her Poker Party the night before---Paula Deen as "slot whore." Now that's delicious.

Windows1252bzgl2axrvlmpwzw Anthony Bourdain has been out and about this weekend, too, but to the dismay of many a smitten female fan, with  his wife. We've seen him everywhere, from the Bubble Q to poolside at the Raleigh yesterday and last night at DeVito for the Mario Batali and Jamie Oliver affair (where we actually saw China Grill emperor Jeffrey Chodorow waiting on line to get in). Speaking of DeVito, he was there, too. Rachael Ray and Giada were also there but we didn't see them. DeVito must have eclipsed 'em. Also seen around town, Top Chef Miami finalist Casey Thompson, at the Ritz South Beach, who told us she's doing well and was happy to be here again. Windows1252bymf0ywxpigfuzcbvbgl2zx

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Photos: Lily Blitstein and Ralph Notaro/Splash News