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DAILY BITES
'Taste of Two Forks' Food Festival Returns to Bridgehampton

Hey there hungry Hamptonites, got plans for Bastille Day? Mais oui! Dan's Taste of Two Forks is back in Bridgehampton.

If catching waves in Montauk- or waiting in line at Citerella- caused you to work up an appetite, head over to Sayre Park this Saturday for the second annual food and wine festival celebrating some of the best offerings on the East End.

The Dan's Papers-sponsored event, helmed by culinary God and prolific restaurateur Jean Georges Vongerichten and designer Nicole Miller, will feature plates by 40 local favorites including 75 Main, Babette's, Beacon and Banzai Burger. Thirsty patrons can toast with the help of 20 participating wineries such as Channing Daughters and Wolffer Estate Vineyards (of Rose fame).

DAILY BITES
Brides Drop Pre-Wedding Weight By Eating Through a Feeding Tube

Here's a disturbing story for a Monday:

The usually chirpy Vows section of the New York Times ran an alarming story yesterday about the lengths some weight-obsessed brides are taking to slim down before their big days. According to the paper, a Florida-based doctor is now offering the "K-E diet," a procedure that hooks up patients to nostril-inserted feeding tubes. The wearers will then subsist on an 800 calorie-per-day diet for 10 days with all nutrition coming from the nose piece. What's more? The tube stays in for 10 full days. But who needs to be bothered with food when you've got table assignments on the brain?

This probably goes without saying, but it seems pretty clear who the biggest losers are in this situation.

BEHIND THE PLATE
Stove Talk: Chef Robbie Wilson on Inspiration & Unsexy Yams

Chef Robbie Wilson knows how to fuse.

His renowned cuisine is recognized as being both globally-influenced and elegantly understated. A born and bred Texan, the toque likely attributes his willingness to combine diverse ingredients (think Philly Steak Eggroll with Cheez Whiz and Fritto Pie with Waygu Beef) to his impressive and well-traveled resume. Having manned the line at some of the world's most highly praised restaurants (including Maison Trois-Gras, Craft, the French Laundry and Matsuhisa), Wilson has recently moved to Nashville to work as Culinary Director of the acclaimed M Street Entertainment Group (Virago, Whiskey Kitchen, Tavern, Kayne Prime).

DAILY BITES
Eat Cheap(er) at Le Bernardin

If today's unseasonably warm weather is making you want to head outside for an extended lunch break, consider dining in serious style by heading over to Le Bernardin. Eric Ripert's famed French restaurant is now offering a $45, three-course lunch and donating five dollars from each meal to City Harvest. The menu will rotate weekly but rumor has it that hamachi tartare with cucumber, spring onion and citrus vinaigrette will be featured, as will poached skate with brown butter. Certain Bernardin classics will also make the menu rounds. [Grub Street]

MARIO BATALI
Mario Batali Settles Worker Tipping Lawsuit for $5.25 Million

Mario Batali and business parter, Joe Bastianich, have been embroiled in a wage-related lawsuit with their restaurant workers since July 2010. Yesterday, Law 360 repoted that the chef and restaurateur will settle the suit for $5.25 million.

According to Law, the 117 plaintiffs involved in the class action suit claimed that there had been a pattern of "illegal tip-skimming," where the restaurant servers were regularly shorted their wages over the course of many months. A case-related article on The Huffington Post states that, "Batali's restaurants, among other misdeeds, took four or fiver percent of tips given to servers for alcohol and wine sales to pay sommeliers' salaries."

Paula Deen and Oprah Go Fishin' In Pajamas

There aren't too many TV clips that make us uncomfortable (except for Doomsday Preppers- what if they're right?!), but this video of Paula Deen and Oprah having a sleepover takes the cake they both pretended not to eat for ickiest concept.

Here's the story: Oprah and BFF Gail head down South to spend the night at Deen's house. The three cook some food, talk about fears and family and have a good cry- bringing all the typical traits of a Winfrey production. But, wait, what happens next? Paula wakes up Oprah (who is still in pink PJs) for a good-ole-fashioned fishin' trip. Seriously.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Super Monday: 'Food & Wine' Announces 2010 People's Best New Chef Noms

Food & Wine released their 2012 People's Best New Chef Nominees today. The contest allows the mag's readers to vote for their top choice toques from ten nominees in ten different locales. Check out the list of noteworthy newcomers below and vote before March 11.

California
Sean Baker: Gather, Berkeley
Danny Bowien: Mission Chinese Food, San Francisco
Perry Hoffman: Étoile (at Domaine Chandon)
Jordan Kahn: Red Medicine, Beverly Hills
Corey Lee: Benu, San Francisco
Thomas McNaughton: Flour + Water, San Francisco
Teague Moriarty and Matt McNamara: Sons & Daughters, San Francisco
Bryant Ng: The Spice Table, Los Angeles
Rachel Sillcocks: Piccino, San Francisco
Michael Voltaggio: Ink, Los Angeles

KIBO
Lindsay Lohan Dines but Doesn't Wine at Kibo

Well this seems newsworthy:

According to Page Six, Lindsay Lohan rolled into a late-night dinner this past Saturday at Kibo Japanese Grill. The paper reports that Lohan came to celebrate after her Saturday Night Live hosting gig and was joined by Paul Rudd, Jimmy Fallon, Jack White, Jason Sudekis, Jon Hamm and Lorne Michaels. Not to be outshined by the boys, Lohan's mother, Dina, arrived at the event with "Real Housewives of New York" castmate, Jill Zarin, in tow.

DAILY BITES
'Jiro Dreams of Sushi' is Coming to a Theatre Near You

Here at First Course, we have all sorts of food-related dreams (and a few about the Voltaggio brothers, thrown in for good measure). However, nighttime thoughts about a singular food style are not really our bag. Instead, we'll leave the evening images to a expert, which is why we're so excited for the upcoming (cult blockbuster?!) film, Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

The movie will highlight the life of 85-year-old sushi master, Jiro Ono, and his Michelin-starred 10-seat restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station. The film is sure to include stunning shots of Ono's exquisitely fresh fish and a behind-the-mat look at what it takes to become recognized as one of the world's best sushi craftsman.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi opens in NYC on March 9. We'll eagerly await the Freudian review.

DAILY BITES
You Say It's Your Leap Year Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Leap Year babies!

We know it must be rough having a birthday only once every four years. Fortunately, some NYC restaurants have decided to join in on your respective celebrations by offering a few, February 29-only specials. Check out the list below and make sure to bring valid ID and all of your friends who've made you attend pesky once-a-year birthday parties.

Sprinkles Cupcakes is offering one dozen free baked goodies to anyone born on February 29. Head over to the UES storefront with a valid ID and then get your sugar high on.