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Hey Jennifer, Why Did You Let Tom Colicchio Throw Me Under a Bus?

tom-232x300I was out of the office all day yesterday and returned to find an inbox with several notes from upset friends. The messages basically said “I can’t believe what Jennifer did to you in the Tom Colicchio interview” and “DallasFood.org said Tom Colicchio threw you under a bus!”

So, I just sat down and read Jennifer’s interview with Craft Dallas’ Tom Colicchio in which he says that last year I printed “some gossip that wasn’t accurate at all.”

This is a long story and  it goes back to last spring when rumors were swirling around Dallas that N9NE and Craft were in trouble. I was in Aspen for the Food and Wine Festival. At the opening night soiree, a lot of Dallas folks in attendance and several big names in the Dallas restaurant biz came up to me and said, “Craft is changing to Craftbar.”

The next morning, I went straight to Tom Colicchio and asked him point blank. I printed his reply verbatim. Two weeks later, my cell phone rings and it is TC. He calls me a rumormonger because I speculated that something might change. Read the old report. What? I can’t voice an opinion? I don’t think I printed “some gossip that wasn’t accurate at all.”

What. Ever. So, we talked about an hour–specifically about blogging and how it differs from print product and how things on the Internet can get out of hand so fast–and ended on nice terms. He said if I ever needed to ask him a question, fire away. He is a man of his word.

Fast forward to a month or so ago. I get an e-mail from Craft’s local PR firm. They are interested in holding the SideDish Supper Club at Craft. I wrote (paraphrasing) “I called you folks before to get TC to do a SDSC and nobody called me back.” PR gal says lemme get back to you. She e-mails back and says TC is coming to town to do a wine dinner. Do I wanna talk to him? I say, sure.

Then a SideDish reader leaves a comment under the announcement of said wine dinner intimating that TC is no longer the owner of Craft Dallas. It reads, “Now that he [Colicchio] no longer owns the place, and signed a licensing agreement with the owners of the hotel, he is contractually obligated to be at the restaurant X times per year. What a shame.”

SO, as a recovering rumormonger and a woman of my word, I e-mailed the PR gal and asked her to verify or deny what the commenter said. I copy and pasted the comment and wrote: “Someone left this comment on the blog. Could you confirm or deny. I don’t want to leave comment out there if it isn’t true. Thanks, Nancy.”

The next day I get this reply from local PR gal: “I want to be sure to clarify that Tom is not doing a series of dinners at Craft. He’ll be part of the wine dinner next week, but each time he’s in Dallas, we expect his agenda to be different. In fact, with the filming of “Top Chef,” we’re not even sure when he’ll be able to make it back to Dallas again this year. Also, Tom’s name is still on the restaurant, and he is very much involved with the concept and menu. We would love to talk more about hosting SideDish’s Supper Club at Craft!”

I took a pass on talking to Colicchio because I originally (January) wanted to explore the idea of doing a Supper Club and that wasn’t going to happen  because he would have just thrown his own wine dinner. And frankly, I didn’t appreciate getting such a flabby answer from the  TC folks.

And that’s the facts.

14 comments on “Hey Jennifer, Why Did You Let Tom Colicchio Throw Me Under a Bus?

  1. “Tom’s name is still on the restaurant, and he is very much involved with the concept and menu”

    So what does that mean? Bill Bates’ name was on his restaurant that failed but he didn’t own it. I assume this mean that Tom no longer owns it????????

  2. As the aged beef actress-author Shirley McLaine said last year: “The more I learn about men, the better I like dogs.”

    PS query: Is in true that in parts of Guam and much of Bosnia, ‘PR’ stands for ‘Puffed Rubbage’?

  3. I remember thinking that there was probably no love lost between Jennifer and Nancy after reading Jennifer’s snippy reply to the Sprinkles post and then I thought the same thing yesterday when I read the TC interview.

  4. Good grief. Do you experience this kind of run around often? I got a headache just reading about it.

    Life could be worse tho I guess Nancy.

    You could be working for TMZ and trying to nail down quotes from those involved with the Jackson camp these days.

  5. A typical Nancy Nichols day:

    6:45: Bikini wax
    7:30: Blintzes at Cindi’s (coupon)
    8:00 Interview with Bono in Plano about post Bush era cookery in Africa.
    9:00 Pilates with Wick in Executive Inn.
    10:00 Tag team wrestling with local foodies. Charity event.
    11:00 Post on blog: Sprinkles updates.
    11:15 Early lunch with Dallas Eats blog per Leslie Brenner
    2:00: Facial.
    2:45: Off site performance review with Tim Rogers at Samuel Tennyson Rec Room.
    3:45: Write some stories for ‘D’ upcoming print issue.
    5:00: Happy Hour cocktails somewhere.
    8:45: Car pickup at said lounge.
    9:00: Host seated dinner for 14 @ home pool. (Cold cuts)
    10:00: Attend ‘birthing event’ of nocturnal birds in organic aviary.
    11:30: Cuvee
    12:00: Conference call Guam/Montreal/Jaifa/Rio
    12:30: Blog for Martina
    1:00: Call ex-husband with loud music playing ‘You’re So Vain’ in background.
    1:15: Dermabrasion with Susan Lucci ‘roto hand held device’.
    1:30: Make love.
    1:35: Bed time.

  6. Rawlins, once again you grace us with your brilliance and I love you for that.

  7. does anyone think that maybe “TC” is not the only reason why Craft has done as well as it has? why screw over another business over pettiness like these types of blogs.lord knows its hard enough these days

  8. You’re right NN — it only got worse.

    Just read your Frost/Nixon interview with Costa. Wheew!! Double good grief all over again. Think at this head pounding moment only one word springs to mind for you — Demerol.

    And speaking of pounding.

    @the great nichol plated one — hey, why after a day like you describe for Nancy do you only allow the poor girl only minutes of bliss between 1:30 and 1:35?? She deserves MORE

  9. Rawlins, don’t ever leave me. Favorite: Attend ‘birthing event’ of nocturnal birds in organic aviary. Full disclosure: (before i even read your comment)last night I went for a walk at 10:30 and searched the trees with a flashlight to find owls.)

  10. Comments on several items. No, Kelly is not prettier than Padma. Different, but both seemingly sweet, and drop dead gorgeous.
    I have been lobbying for a couple of years now to get a new Head Judge on Top Chef. Mr. Colicchio (he’s not a trained chef) has no palate for fine food in my opinion. I remember when he claimed truffles had no business in French food? WHAT ??? Rocco DiSpirito set him straight. All that double talk about that restauant sounds like (A) no he doesn’t own it but thinks his name means something so they leave it. and (B) he’s gonna run for president soon … non denial denials are everywhere.
    I don’t live in Dallas, but I am enjoying the discussions on this website. I’m a fan of Lisa Garza and am happy she is getting some respect as a chef. It seems Food (evil) Network was able to find jobs for the two MALE finalists.
    I also was disappointed Tim Love didn’t do better on TCM. His food looks really good and he is a great guy, it would seem.
    Well, thanks for letting me vent and keep up the good work.