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New York Fashion Week: Bon Appetit's pop-up feeds the fashion flock in style

September 14, 2010 |  5:53 pm


More than a few people have drawn the comparison between the social aspects of fashion week and high school over the years -- what with the never-ending gossip, the cattiness, the obsession over every last party invite and seating snub.

But what always seemed to be missing was the fashion flock's equivalent of the high school cafeteria -- at least until now. For just five days (Sept. 12 through 16) during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Conde Nast's Bon Appétit magazine is running a temporary cafe in the lobby of Avery Fisher Hall, which puts breakfast and lunch well within stiletto-wobbling distance of the tents on the other side of Lincoln Plaza.

And we're not talking your run-of-the-mill grub-grabbing experience either; the magazine has asked a handful of today's top celebrity chefs to contribute recipes to the breakfast, lunch and wine bar menu, and the result includes items like a caprese salad by Mario Batali, a roast turkey panini by Emeril Lagasse and house-made terrines by Daniel Boulud.

What's more, the chefs themselves have wandered in and out of the space on occasion. On my first trip (and yes -- I have been more than once -- thanks for asking), I had a chance to chat with the chef who created my delicious cauliflower soup with wild mushrooms (The Lion's John Delucie) while I was still devouring it, and today, as I was headed out with a vegetarian cubano sandwich (as envisioned by Bill  Telepan) under my arm, I saw Cat Cora on her way in, blond hair in pony tail and Louis Vuitton Neverfull slung over her arm.

Rage_lobster The food is affordable too. One of my frequent dining companions -- a tough critic whose search for the perfect lobster roll is the stuff of legend -- joined me for lunch the first day the cafe opened its doors, and promptly proclaimed that Laurent Tourondel's $13.50 version would be moved to the front of the list.

So far it seems to be a hit with the catwalk crowd (those who sit adjacent to it, not walk it, mind you), since it's been packed every day that it's been open for business.

I know because I've been in there every day, slowly stockpiling bags of Michael Laiskonis' bacon brittle for the long flight back to Los Angeles.

-- Adam Tschorn, reporting from New York

More All The Rage coverage of New York Fashion Week

Photos: At top, the Bon Appétit Café menu board, at bottom, a lobster roll by chef Laurent Tourondel. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times.