Confine seriously kickass chefs in a tight space, add cocktails and the superheated buzz around the James Beard Awards and what do you get? Two words: Stripper pole. Ubuntu chef and Beard nominee Jeremy Fox admitted to SFoodie this morning that things got so off the chain last night in Manhattan superchef David Chang's party bus on the way to the awards ceremony, that Fox found himself doing a couple of turns on the stripper pole. "Something compelled me," Fox said in a tone that seemed to combine sheepishness and the effects of a hangover. The party began at Chang's Momofuku Ssam Bar in the East Village and stopped at down-homey bbq joint Daisy May's before dropping the chef-nominees off at the awards ceremony. Along the way, Fox admitted, drinks were consumed. The bearded and adorable Fox (nominated for the Pacific region's best chef) told SFoodie he didn't really mind losing out to Cyrus's Doug Keane--sort of. "It's a weird combination of relief and disappointment," he said. "If you win you gotta go up and talk in front of a lot of people." Which is much scarier than, say, shaking your ass in front of a lot of drunk chefs on a party bus.
Jeremy Fox called to protest what he suggested were inaccurate characterizations in this post. The quotes are accurate, he said, and he admitted to busting moves on the stripper pole, but he objected to the insinuations that he -- or anyone else on Chang's party bus -- was drunk. Or hungover, for that matter: Fox said his phone voice next morning was the result of getting up early for phone meetings. He said he's worked hard to build his reputation as a serious, hard-working chef and resented what he called an attempt to be funny at his expense. --J. Birdsall