The Hebberoy story is interesting for a number of reasons, the main one being the hard-to-resist intrigue of "underground" restaurants. Seems like going to these off-the-grid dinners is, to many a foodie, like being invited to hang with the uber-cool kids. Hebberoy became the poster-boy for the trend, even garnering Food & Wine features during his reign.
But then, well, he just took off, leaving others to pick up the pieces of his broken businesses. And that's the even more interesting side of the story.
Now he's here. For the last year or so Hebberoy's been living in Seattle, hosting One Pot dinners and getting lots of love from local media. Imagine the egg on our face when the NY Times airs the dirty laundry on this guy. You see, anyone who has ever lived in NYC knows that the NY Times isn't known for breaking food stories, especially when it comes to food stories in cities outside of New York. In other words, Hebberoy's exploits aren't news. And anyone who googled him would've known it.
In fact, Dan Savage says so himself in a mea culpa about the Stranger's own coverage of One Pot. Very worth reading (if only for the vitriolic comments--always fun).
Also check out Willamette Week's coverage of the Hebberoy debacle here.
Seattle foodies talk about it a little on Chowhound and Portland foodies on the Food Dude's site.
For a little history, read Naomi Hebberoy's official statement on the topic on Portland Mercury.
PS: Hebberoy, in classic narcissist fashion, has decided to embrace his newly public "bad guy" status. From One Pot's website:
in honor of james abbott mcneill whistler and my new found prestige as public villain - one pot announces a new series - an inquiry into creating animosity - the table has such a generative way of bringing people together, so then, why not use it to discover what tears us apart… stay tuned. the first dinner is imminent…
Oy. When this tanks, where do you think he'll move next?