How the Montauk Grifter Infiltrated the World of Hell's Kitchen

John Cook · 02/17/12 03:13PM

Mystery solved, sort of: It seems reasonably clear to me that Daniel Kaufman, a.k.a., Dan Kay, a.k.a. Dan Katze, a.k.a. the Busted Chef, a.k.a. the Montauk Grifter, never actually worked as a producer on Hell's Kitchen, as he repeatedly claimed to the people he conned. But he definitely managed to convince several of the show's former contestants that he worked there, which is some fairly acrobatic grifting.

It Looks Like the Montauk Grifter Conned Gordon Ramsay, Too

John Cook · 02/15/12 03:55PM

Yesterday, we brought you the tale of Daniel Kaufman, a.k.a. Dan Kay, a.k.a. Dan Katze, the preternaturally prolific conman who told his victims, among many other things, that he was a world-class chef and a producer on Hell's Kitchen and Chopped—even though he can't cook. Since then, we've learned that he probably did manage to grift his way onto Hell's Kitchen. Also: We've gotten tons of emails from people who have crossed Dan's path, which we've published below.

The Montauk Grifter: How One Con Man Used OkCupid for Fun, Fraud, and Profit

John Cook · 02/14/12 03:55PM

He is Dan Kaufman, Dan Kay, Dan Katze. He is a celebrity chef, an internet entrepreneur, a television producer. He has worked for Apple, Google, AOL, the Rainbow Room. He hangs out with Steve Case, Gordon Ramsey, Tim Armstrong. He's a world-class surfer, a AAA baseball legend, the founder of a seminal punk band. He's one of the more persistent and obsessive grifters to ply the streets of New York City—not to mention online dating sites—in recent decades.

Eating & Drinking: Thursday Edition

cityfile · 10/08/09 05:02PM

• Following a brief makeover, Café Boulud has reopened its doors. [W&D]
Donatella Arpaia's Mia Dona, however, is now closed for renovations. [GS]
• Despite the recession, food festivals remain a hot ticket. [WSJ]
• High-end sushi, however, is totally over. Make a note of it. [GS]
Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin has jumped on the wine club bandwagon. [Eater]
• Incoming Times food critic Sam Sifton has an uphill battle ahead of him, clearly. He was immediately spotted when he walked into Daniel last week. [P6]

Eating & Drinking: Monday Edition

cityfile · 10/05/09 05:17PM

• The new edition of the Michelin Guide is out and five spots earn a coveted three stars: Per Se, Masa, Le Bernardin, Jean Georges, and Daniel. [GS]
• Café Boulud reopens this Wednesday following a month-long refresh. [TONY]
• A roundup of restaurants opening in the next week or so. [TONY]
• Carnival, the amusement park/nightclub owned by (and located above) Bowlmor Lanes, soft opened this weekend. The grand opening this coming weekend will be hosted by none other than Paris Hilton. [NYP]
• A look back at Gourmet, which is shutting down after 68 years. [Gawker]
• Another sign o' the times: McDonald's is opening inside the Louvre. [NYDN]

Accolades and Annoyances at the James Beard Awards

cityfile · 05/05/09 10:34AM

The James Beard Awards were held at Avery Fisher Hall last night, gifting Jean-Georges Vongerichten's eponymous flagship the title of "Outstanding Restaurant." Other notable winners included David Chang's Momofuko Ko (Best New Restaurant) and opulent dinosaur Daniel (Best Service), with Drew Nieporent (left) knighted Outstanding Restaurateur for his (apparently outstanding) work at Corton and Nobu. But, much like the Costume Institute Gala across town, the night was not without a bit of drama.

Eating & Drinking: Tuesday Edition

cityfile · 04/14/09 03:40PM

• The Beatrice Inn will need to install fire sprinklers, add an additional exit, and create a wider entrance to the haunt if it wants to reopen its doors. [P6]
• Frederick Lesort's Frederick's Madison filed for bankruptcy today. [Crain's]
• Masa charges a 20% service charge to diners' tabs, although they prefer to call it an "administrative fee." Of course if you can still afford to spend $400 per person on sushi, you can probably afford to additional fee, too. [Eater]
• Speaking of overpriced spots, Daniel is now offering an early-bird special: The three-course prix-fixe menu with wine is (only) $98 per person, but you'll have to consume it between 5:30 to 6pm and on weeknights only. [TONY]
• Tavern on the Green bidders took a final tour of the place today. [NYT]
Silvano Marchetto's Scuderia gets a blah review in the News today. [NYDN]
• Beverage conglomerate smackdown: Pepsi is now suing Coke for suggesting Powerade is better than Gatorade when, in fact, they're both lousy. [AP]

Eating & Drinking: Friday Edition

cityfile · 02/27/09 04:01PM

• Masa is cutting prices. The set menu at Masa Takayama's sushi temple went from $450 to $400, but it has nothing to do with the recession, okay? [BN]
• Despite the economy, several pricey new venues are opening anyway. [WSJ]
• Speaking of pricey: Daniel will host a truffle-laden dinner on March 8. It's $1,000 per person, although the proceeds go to Citymeals-on-Wheels. [GS]
• Is Restaurant Week going to last forever? Probably. [NYT/City Room]
• A roundup of the eateries that closed this past week. [Eater]

Eating & Drinking: Wednesday Edition

cityfile · 01/21/09 03:05PM

• You can't afford to eat there any more, but you'll be pleased to hear that Daniel is still a four-star restaurant, according to Frank Bruni, who says Adam Tihany's recent redesign is "genuinely gorgeous." [NYT]
Jason Pomeranc's Thompson LES is opening a rooftop bar. [GS]
• Gramercy Tavern gives away free $24.07 gift cards, chaos ensues. [GS]
• Chocolate Bar is re-opening at a new location in the West Village. [NYO]
• Kevin Adey is taking over as chef at Park Slope's Bussaco. [TONY]
• Your Tony Bourdain rant o' the day: "Alice Waters annoys the living shit out of me... There's something very Khmer Rouge about [her]." [DCist via Eater]
• Spotted: Adam Platt's photo appears in Conde Nast Traveler. [Eater]

Eating & Drinking: Tuesday Edition

cityfile · 01/20/09 02:24PM

• Still looking for a place to celebrate the inauguration? You're in luck. A long list of restaurants and bars have special events planned. [GS, Eater, Metromix]
• Newly opened restaurants have been hit the hardest by the recession. [NYT]
• A few more gloomy indicators: High-end eateries are allowing diners to bring their own wine and Daniel will host a beer-tasting next month. [NYP, CNY]
• The dining crime wave may be over: Cops have nabbed two suspects. [NYP]
• Sad news for hot dog fans: The original Nathan's may be forced to close as part of the plan to "revitalize" Coney Island. [NYP]
• Emeril Lagasse will guest-judge the final two episodes of Top Chef. [Eater]

Flay Rings the Bell, A Peek at Chloe

cityfile · 10/03/08 02:14PM

♦ And some have suggested that no one wants to ring the closing bell these days? Bobby Flay turned up at the NASDAQ this afternoon to handle the honors as part of the promo campaign for the New York City Wine & Food Festival. [Eater]
♦ A first look at Chloe on Ludlow Street. [GS]
♦ Recession special! The five-course game dinner at Daniel is $495 per person. [Zagat]
♦ Comfort food: It's what's for dinner. [NYDN]
Anthony Bourdain's fantasy party? A barbie with Marco Pierre White and Keith Richards, among others. [P6]
♦ A look inside the new Magnolia Bakery in Rockefeller Center. [Eater]

The Cougar of Secrets

Richard Lawson · 09/03/08 02:15PM

Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe apparently lost his virginity, at 16, to an older woman—an age difference that would "freak some people out." I'm looking at you, Professor McGonagall. [Us]

Graydon Spurns Craft

cityfile · 07/10/08 06:04AM
  • Graydon Carter has backed out of hosting Vanity Fair's next Oscar party at Tom Colicchio's LA iteration of Craft because he doesn't like the Century City complex spot's "corporate feel." Laurent Tourondel's BLT on Sunset Strip will probably host the celeb-glutted affair instead. [P6]