Time for Le St. Germain Rumors Again

Once every couple of years or so, it seems, word starts circulating around the local food community that somebody is about to buy the veteran Le St. Germain in Hollywood, taking over from co-founder/owner Paul Bruggemans.

Usually a call to Bruggemans to ask if there is any truth to the latest speculation is met with understandable impatience: there’s no such deal.

This year, one of the hottest and apparently most “authentic” restaurant/business rumors has been that a certain top Los Angeles chef, who has been regrettably without a restaurant of his own for some time, was about to take over Le St. Germain.

But Gerry Furth, who signs himself as “Media Liaison” for Le St. Germain, has written to deny the rumors once more. “Perhaps contrary to rumor, Le St. Germain is still under the same ownership and is celebrating its 18th birthday.” Bruggemans is dividing his time, Furth continues, between that restaurant and his second establishment, Le Vallauris in Palm Springs. Bruggemans’ sister, Christiane Bruggemans Rorive, is managing the Hollywood restaurant day to day.

ATTACK OF THE CORN-DOG PIZZA PEOPLE: Restaurant professionals are nothing if not creative, forever thinking up new food ideas, forever pushing the envelope (or at least the grocery sack) in their search for newer, better, more unusual gustatory delights. And in case you think I’m kidding, consider the fact that the 272-unit Wienerschnitzel chain plans to introduce its customers this fall to a new product called, yes, Corn-Dog Nuggets. If they have plans to add breaded veal cutlets to their menu, too--that being what “Wienerschnitzel” means, of course--they have not yet announced it.


Meanwhile, in Washington, the two-unit Shanghai Express home-delivery Chinese food operation has added four “Chinese pizzas” to its repertoire--a Szechuan version with shredded beef and various vegetables in spicy sauce, a Shanghai one with shrimp and bamboo shoots, and so on--all four also involving those typical Chinese ingredients, whole wheat crust and mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

STRICTLY FOR HUNGER: The Cooking Advancement, Research and Education Foundation, established in 1984 by the International Assn. of Cooking Professionals, has published a directory entitled “Fed Up With Hunger: The Culinary Professional’s Guide to Hunger and Food Policy Organization.” The book, written by Priscilla Coe, is described as “a thorough report outlining how the culinary professional can help in the fight against hunger.” Copies of “Fed Up” are available by mail, for $5 a copy, from CAREF, 167 W. 12th Street, New York, N.Y. 10011.

FOOD CALENDAR: The libertarian Reason Foundation celebrates the 20th anniversary of Reason magazine with a benefit dinner tomorrow night at City Restaurant on La Brea. Chefs Roy Yamaguchi, Ken Frank, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Miliken will prepare such offerings as Laissez-Faire Appetizers, Revolutionary Rigatoni and Fruits of Liberty. A no-host cocktail hour kicks off the evening at 6:30 p.m., with dinner at 7:30. Tickets are $125 and may be purchased at the door, but advanced telephone reservations are a must. Call (213) 392-0443. . . .

“A Taste of the Bonaventure,” a free summer food festival, runs June 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. on the fourth level of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. The Greater Los Angeles Visitors and Convention Bureau, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Shopping Gallery are co-sponsors of the event, and food and wine samples from more than 20 restaurants in the Shopping Gallery will be served.

Chef Bruno Moeckli may be closing his Chartreuse Restaurant in West L.A. but he wants customers to take more than memories away. He’s hosting a liquidation party, with what he calls “a feast of the most incredible leftovers in history” next Saturday at 6 p.m. Customers can bid for Chartreuse’s remaining inventory: Wine by the case, liquor and liqueurs (including, of course, Chartreuse), china, silverware, linen--everything but the kitchen sink . . . and maybe even that, if the price is right.