After three months of heavy promotion, Food Network finally aired what was pegged to be the greatest Iron Chef ever. The secret ingredient—White House vegetables—was apparently of "national importance." Here are four things we learned during the special.
Portly chef Emeril Lagasse turns 50 today. Indie filmmaker Todd Solondz is turning 50 today, too. Fellow director Mira Nair is 52. Artist Brice Marden is turning 71. The least appreciated Jackson brother, Tito, turns 56 today. Director Penny Marshall is turning 67. Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca is 85. Paige Davis, the host of Trading Spaces, is turning 40. R&B singer Ginuwine is 34. Singer Keyshia Cole is turning 28. Billionaire media mogul Haim Saban is 65. Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, is 50. And singer Eric Benet, who may be best known as the idiot who cheated on Halle Berry, is 43 today.
• Julianne Moore's West Village townhouse is up for sale. Moore picked up the five-story, six-bedroom home on West 11th Street for $3.5 million in 2003. It can now be yours for $11.95 million. [NYO, Sotheby's, Curbed]
• Emeril Lagasse has closed on the purchase of developer Penny Bradley's 6,900-square-foot townhouse at 158 East 61st Street for "around" its most recent asking price of $11.5 million. Now that he's found a new place to store his pots and pans, the chef and Food Network fixture has put his condo at the Beekman Regent up for sale for $5.995 million. [NYP, BHS]
• Chris Burch, the entrepreneur and ex-husband of Tory Burch, has picked up a new Hamptons home. Burch paid "around $9 million" for the Southampton estate of disgraced Bear Stearns exec Ralph Cioffi. The property had been listed at $10.7 million when it went into contract last month. [NYP]
• 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]
Filmmaker Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse, Storytelling, etc.) turns 49 today. He shares his birthday with fellow director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding) who is 51. Artist Brice Marden is 70. Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is 49. TV chef Emeril Lagasse is 49, too. Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca is 84. Singer Eric Benet, the man better known as the guy who cheated on Halle Berry, is 42. R&B singer Ginuwine is 33. Director Penny Marshall is 66. Last but not least, Michael Jackson's brother, Tito, is 55 today.