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Boston's Top Restaurant & Food News of the Week

August 22, 2014
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by Scott Kearnan

This week Bravo announced the contestants that will take on Top Chef in its 12th, Boston-filmed season, and among them is chef Stacy Cogswell of Brookline's Regal Beagle. A trailer for the season shows off a number of other familiar Hub-based faces, like star chef Barbara Lynch, Patriots player Rob Gronkowski, Cheers actor George Wendt, and Bravo's own BU alum Andy Cohen. Snapshots of settings reveal that dinners will take place at local landmarks like Plimouth Plantation and Fenway Park. [Zagat Boston]

However, Bravo won't be itching to return to Boston anytime soon, if this report from Deadline is to be believed. The article quotes unnamed sources with Top Chef describing the alleged harassment of host Padma Lakshmi (pictured) and other crew members by Teamsters who were angry that producers hired non-union local production assistants as drivers. The Deadline piece specifically details a taping at Steel & Rye, where protestors supposedly hurled violent, sexist, racist, and anti-gay "threats and slurs" at Top Chef crew, including Lakshmi, and allegedly slashed the tires of production vehicles. Teamsters Local 25 did not comment to Deadline for its piece, but has since called the report "fiction at best" via a Facebook post. It's certainly disappointing to consider that Bostonians would show their city in such an unflattering light. [Deadline]

Brendan Joy has assumed the role of chef de cuisine at Bondir, reports Eater. Joy is an alum of Clio and No.9 Park, among others, and recently returned to the Hub after a swing through San Francisco's SPQR. Evidently Joy is working with chef-owner Jason Bond on preserves, fermentations, and a collaboration with a local ceramic potter to create new dishes. [Eater Boston]

The donut craze continues with news that Kane's Donuts is coming to the Financial District. The decades-spanning Saugus landmark will open a location at 2 High Street in the Fall, according to Eater. [Eater Boston]

Bambara reopened last night following an extensive facelift to its interior and menu. Now known as Bambara Kitchen & Bar, the space has been updated in a contemporary style (lots of electric blues) and given a new menu by chef Jay Silva. Take a look inside, and scope some of the newly added dishes, here. [Zagat Boston] 

This week we also looked ahead to the 8 Most Anticipated Fall Openings, and unearthed some juicy details about spots like Cafe ArtScience, a futuristic and high-concept eatery opening near MIT, and BISq, a Bergamot spin-off that will focus on small plates and charcuterie. We also dove deep into the Northeast debut of Earls Kitchen + Bar, a Canadian "upscale-casual" brand that will enter its fourth American city when it opens in at Somerville's Assembly Row in September. And you can slake your thirst for talent with our list of 8 Bartenders You Need to Know, which includes a new general manager at Fort Point haven Drink and a beer expert at Bronwyn.  [Zagat Boston]

top news of the week