Bash Compactor: All Cooked Up

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by Evan Mulvihill
Anderson Cooper comes out of the closet with a unicorn-and-flamingo-themed gala! Jennifer Aniston kicks new beau Justin Theroux to the curb in a good ol' West Village fistfight! Julianne Moore commands an hors d'oeuvres server to find her 13-year-old son and feed him cheese balls!

Alright, only the last one is true, but I wanted to make a dramatic entrance. This is, after all, my first monthly Bash Compactor column for Our Town Downtown, though attentive readers may recall my escapades from the New York Press column of the same name. On the slate this month: Emeril Lagasse blames me for making him miss his "second mother'"s funeral, some homos throw a tragic Mr. Gay New York pageant and Julianne Moore orders her son some tasty balls.

Cooked Up
I don't want to heat the waters with Emeril in the wake of his personal tragedy, but when I met the ur-celebrity chef last week, he rubbed me with a bit of sour lemon juice instead of with a sweet Louisiana Cajun marinade. Having read the news that the lady who had inspired and taught him to cook had passed away two days earlier, I asked if he'd be taking time out of his busy schedule to pay his respects.

"Unfortunately, I'm talking with you right now, so I won't be able to make the funeral," he said.

Maybe I'm jumping on a pedestal here, but if I had to choose between showing my face at press events (to shill a Macy's Thanksgiving cookbook) and attending the funeral of the woman who sparked my lucrative livelihood, I'd cancel my contractual obligations and hightail it to the funeral. But perhaps I just have an overblown sense of gratitude. BAM!

Jersey Boor
Most of the second annual Mr. Gay New York pageant is not worth recounting, but here's one part you might enjoy. One contestant, billed by host Dallas Dubois as a power bottom, was asked by judge Michael Musto to "name three adjectives describing himself as an Italian, a gay man and a power bottom." The lightly roasted Jersey boy, looking like an amateur bodybuilding version of Snooki, was at a loss for an answer. "I don't know...a people person?" That would be a phrase, buddy. Better send this one back to adjective school.

Moore Balls, Please
Julianne Moore used to be bullied in elementary school. Not for anything serious, really, but her cruel classmates dubbed her "Strawberry Freckleface." (Sounds a lot less harsh than Cartman's crusade against "daywalkers" on South Park.) Anyway, she wrote a kid's book starring a character called Freckleface Strawberry about it-all by herself. After I asked whether a ghostwriter helped out, she insisted: "You can't do that."

Moore, at a Midtown event along with Brooke Shields, Samuel L. Jackson and John C. Reilly to read children's stories in support of Children of Bellevue Reach Out and Read program, made sure to keep her son Caleb fed. When a waitress came by with a tray of big cheese balls on sticks, Moore jumped at the chance to feed Caleb something to his liking. "All the food here is, like, too spicy or weird," she frowned, instructing the waitress to find her swoopy-banged kid and feed him the inoffensive cheese balls. Don't you hate it when your mom does that?

Wall Street Party

The hottest new club around is way, way downtown...on Wall Street. "The music has been great and there are some pretty attractive hippies roaming around," a friend tells me.

For more, follow the Bash Compactor column online at and

Actors Samuel L. Jackson and Julianne Moore read out loud at the Starry Night Stories benefit for Children of Bellevue's Reach Out and Read program. PHOTO courtesy of matchbook

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