British Invasion, McNally's Refusal, and Chickens Lack Diversity

Appropriately, all concerns will be tuned into today’s election, but for those taking a time-out to bask in their patriotic fulfillment (perhaps over an election day freebie), here is some restaurant chatter.

Diners flocked to the West Village restaurant, The Spotted Pig, Sunday and the East Village’s Momofuku Noodle Bar yesterday, in hordes that could only be conjured by someone with rock star status, or with a variation of that charisma.

It wasn’t Paul or Mick, but in a slightly less musical and contemporary British invasion,  Fergus Henderson, renowned English chef of St. John restaurant, made appearances – with menus – in both New York City kitchens.

Conversely, not all British invasions are welcome.  Keith McNally (Balthazar and Pastis) turned down a 100 million dollar offer from London restaurateur Richard Caring, who wanted to fabricate McNally’s successful establishments around the world.

“If I duplicated Balthazar or Pastis, I’d be ripping the soul out of the original,” McNally tells Vanity Fair in a profile of Caring, who owns Soho House, Anabel’s, The Ivy, Harry’s Bar and several other London eateries. “I’m not the kind of person who goes to Nobu in Moscow because I like the Nobu in New York. Quite the opposite – I’d never go to another Nobu again anywhere!”

And finally, the mundane character of chicken has also become a genetic bore.  Scientists at Purdue University have found that the commercial production of chicken that began in the 1950’s has resulted in “a lack of genetic diversity in the birds that are raised for meat and eggs.”

Fifty percent or more of the diversity of ancestral breeds has been lost, they report in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That could make chicken production more susceptible to disease outbreaks for which resistant genes have disappeared.

Now put down that chicken leg and go vote!

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