Peel Me a Grape!
Or rather, do NOT peel me a grape, if it comes via Eataly... That's the name of celebrity chef Mario Batali's new gourmet food porn store at the Fifth Avenue end of 23rd Street. Despite its name -- a pun about as effectively corny as the tourism commercials some years ago during which a posh English accented voice would intone "Aaaaaah... Indiaaaaaaaaaah!" -- the Italian food joint is: a) packed to the ceiling with Italian fine foods; b) crammed with shoppers who seem not to have heard the news about the recession; and c) expensive.
How expensive? This expensive: in an August Q & A interview with New York Magazine, Batali slipped in this crass store policy regarding pre-prepared vegetables (by the store 'vegetable butcher', an artist (!) called Jennifer Rubell).
And it’s true that artist Jennifer Rubell is running the vegetable department?
Yeah, she’s the vegetable butcher.
What does a vegetable butcher do?
Anything you want. If you’re not familiar with how to trim an artichoke, we’ll trim you an artichoke. If you don’t think you have time to peel your baby carrots, you can leave them with us and go shop in the other parts of the store, and we’ll peel them. We’ll do anything but cook them. On your way out, we’ll put the peels in a little separate bag—because they’re going to weigh them at the checkout counter—and then they go into a compost can up front.