A recipe for bad manners?

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Carol Beggy & Mark Shanahan
May 16, 2008

The knives are out on Nantucket. The island's restaurant crowd is whispering about a recipe used by Sfoglia owner Ron Suhanosky on a recent episode of "The Martha Stewart Show." Seems the savory goat cheese torta, which was described on the show as a Suhanosky creation, is remarkably similar, both in ingredients and preparation, to a goat cheese torta featured in celebrated chef Mario Batali's popular "Babbo Cookbook." (You can see Suhanosky's dish here: marthastewart .com/recipe/goat-cheese-torta) A rep for Stewart's show was unaware of the duplicate dishes, but said she would find it "hard to believe" that Suhanosky would use Batali's recipe without crediting him. Asked about it yesterday, Suhanosky scoffed: "How do they know Batali didn't take it from me? People can think what they want to think. Everyone in this business uses other people's recipes." We showed the two recipes to a food critic, who declared it a tempest in a sauce pan, pointing out that a similar recipe appears in Jody Adams's 2002 cookbook "In the Hands of a Chef." Suhanosky, who met his wife, Colleen, while both worked at Lydia Shire's Biba, was scheduled to open Sfoglia Nantucket for the season last night. (The couple also own Sfoglia New York.) Meanwhile, one of Suhanosky's fellow foodies on the island had a suggestion for the chef: "If you're going to do someone else's recipe, at least give him a shout-out."

Honoring some exceptional women

Michelle Phillips, a member of the Mamas and the Papas, added some star power to a reception at Turner Fisheries in Copley Square last night. The event was a warm-up for today's Exceptional Women Awards, which will honor Phillips and six others, including state Attorney General Martha Coakley, creator Sheila Lirio Marcela, and Partners in Health cofounder Ophelia Dahl.

Mass. senators pass on Patriots probe

Jonathan Kraft chuckled yesterday when asked about Senator Arlen Specter's request for an independent investigation of the Patriots's illegal taping practices. Talking to WEEI's John Dennis and Gerry Callahan, the Pats president said it's the Pennsylvania senator's prerogative to make such a request, but he'd be surprised if other senators support it. "With oil at $125 a barrel, a war going on in Iraq, and a credit crisis that's affecting the economy," said Kraft, "maybe you should ask Senator Kennedy and Senator Kerry if this ranks up there with their priorities." We did and it doesn't. Said Kennedy: "I'm looking forward to another great Patriots season where they can let their play on the field speak for itself." Kerry was even more dismissive: "This is the biggest waste of time and money since the Mitt Romney campaign."

Raising a Reader, and $250,000

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, his wife, Myra, and son Jonathan were among the 200 guests who turned out Wednesday night at the Raising a Reader benefit to honor auto magnate and philanthropist Don Rodman. The event raised $250,000 and was hosted by Davio's owner Steve DiFillippio and his sister Donna, executive director of the nonprofit's Boston branch.

‘French Chef ’ rises again

Maybe Meryl Streep will be a reasonable facsimile of the the French Chef after all. The Oscar winner has begun work on the Julia Child biopic "Julie & Julia," and judging from the first photos, Streep looks a lot like the culinary queen. Directed by Nora Ephron and based on Julie Powell's book "Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen," the movie is being shot mostly in New York even though Child lived for many years in Cambridge. (Her many friends here include chefs Michela Larson, Lydia Shire, and Jasper White.) Stanley Tucci plays Child's husband Paul, and Amy Adams, Dave Annable, and Mary Lynn Rajskub costar.

Building on his success

Famed architect Robert A.M. Stern was at Grill 23 & Bar in the Back Bay yesterday to talk about The Clarendon, Stern's first residential project in Boston. His previous area projects include 222 Berkeley St., the Baker Library, and Harvard Business School's Spangler Campus Center.

Planning a big Irish bash

A slew of Boston big shots gathered last night to plan the American Ireland Fund's annual gala, which is being chaired this year by Citizens Financial Group president Jim Connolly. Invited to last night's strategy session at Hill Holliday's deluxe new digs were Suffolk Construction's John Fish, Bank of America's Anne Finucane, Worldwide Ireland Funds CEO Kingsley Aikins, The Kessler Group's Howard and Michele Kessler, O'Neill and Associates CEO Tom O'Neill, Arnold Worldwide CEO Ed Eskandarian, and Bob Crowe of WolfBlock Public Strategies.

He’s an institution

After years of playing Indiana Jones, the big screen's most famous archeologist, Harrison Ford , has won election to the board of directors of the Boston-based Archaeological Institute of America. "Harrison Ford has played a significant role in stimulating the public's interest in archeological exploration," said Brian Rose, president of the institute, which counts more than 250,000 members. "Knowledge is power, and understanding the past can only help us in dealing with the present and the future," Ford said in a statement. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," starring Ford, Cate Blanchett, and Shia LeBeouf, opens Thursday.

Jay-Z courting a king?

Wondering why Jay-Z and Beyoncé were at the Celtics game the other night? The rapper and his wife are big basketball fans, but also good buddies with Cavs star LeBron James. A few weeks ago, Jay-Z cut a track dissing Washington Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson, who was King James's combatant in the first round of the playoffs. (Paul Pierce should remember that before hard-fouling LeBron tonight.) There's also speculation that Jay-Z, who's a part owner of the New Jersey Nets, wants James to join his team when the Nets move to Brooklyn.

Wilson and Hudson put an end to romance

Not only are Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson not engaged, they're not even dating. confirms that the on-again, off-again couple are officially kaput less than two months after rekindling their romance. Hudson has been wearing a big rock while shooting "Bride Wars" in Boston, but it's just a prop for the film.

Life after 'October'

Some guys have all the luck. No sooner did Scott Rosenberg's show "October Road" get canceled than the Needham native was recruited to write "Life on Mars," ABC's only new scripted show for the fall. Produced by David E. Kelley and based on a beloved BBC miniseries, "Life on Mars" is about a police detective transported back to 1973. The good news is that the network has ordered up 13 episodes, and it's slotted to air in the prized 10 p.m. time slot after "Grey's Anatomy." The bad news? There isn't any. Asked how he got the gig, Rosenberg was typically understated. "Since it's based on a very [expletive] cool BBC series, they knew they could only put it in the hands of someone very [expletive] cool," he wrote in an e-mail.

Heartfelt thanks

Cardiac surgeon Ron Weintraub was honored at Tuesday's first fund-raiser for the Cambridge Health Alliance. Weintraub worked for 35 years at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical before joining CHA as chief of surgery. Cochairs of the sold-out shindig at the Charles Hotel were CHA's current chief of surgery Dr. Steven Schwaitzberg and Weintraub's wife, gossip girl Margo Howard. The event was emceed by WBUR's Robin Young, and the guest list included Boston boldfacers Joan Parker, the Atlantic Monthly's Corby Kummer, Family Center founder Anne Peretz, Dr. Gerald Austen, and chef Jody Adams.

Names can be reached at or at 617-929-8253.

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