According to several attendees of Sunday’s XX Caesar Salad Competition, the charity event ended with a quite a bang. SideDish reporter Andrew Chalk was leaving the Westin Galleria tonight when he heard emcee Scott Murray yelling from the Senate floor stage. “At first I thought it was the live auction and somebody had just made a big buy,” Chalk said. “Then I realized he was shouting abuse at some guy in the audience.”
I contacted AIWF rep Freda Ballas. “We did have some people complain about him [Murray] using the f-word,” Ballas said. Both Ballas and Chalk tell the same tale. Murray was onstage pulling names from the raffle bowl and announcing winners. You buy a ticket and a number is called. Simple. Tonight, a nice little girl put her hand in the bowl and pulled out a ticket and handed it to Murray. Instead of announcing a number, Murray read out a name.
Some dude near the stage yelled something to the effect of “This is rigged,” and Murray went nuts. From various reports Murray say words to the effect of: “If somebody thinks I have control over the tickets I pulled, you can meet me outside right now and I’ll give you a check for $500.” Meanwhile, Del Frisco’s chef, David Holben, was busy packing up his knives. He won the competition.
Somewhere, both Julius Caesar and Caesar Cardini are smiling. Holben’s victorious salad was an extra-garlic-and-anchovy version of Cardini’s original. Murray battled like a gladiator.