Famous Food – Episode 2 – Picnique Or Melons?


It’s pretty clear which name Juicy “J” is rooting for!

After nearing making the disastrous choice to open an Italian soul food restaurant last week, the cast of Famous Food took the first initial steps towards making a picnic-themed restaurant come to life. Well, sort of.

This week’s episode begins with Vincent “Big Pussy” Pastore and Danielle Staub bickering over the costs of manual labor. You see, Big Pussy has enlisted three of his associates (or, as he calls them, “doze three Mexicans”) to help clean out the kitchen of the now defunct Ketchup for the rate of $300/day. We’re not entirely sure the total number of hours they worked, but assuming they put in a 10 hour day, that’s just a slight bump up from the national minimum wage of $7.25/hour. However, Danielle is incensed that Big Pussy went over her head and made a decision regarding the group’s financials without involving her, so she lambasts him endlessly and gets him to agree to pay “doze three Mexicans” out of his pocket if they incur costs that go above the $300 price quote. This gives Big Pussy a chance to break out some Mafioso vernacular.

Ding ding ding!

Meanwhile, the tensions between former working girl Ashley Dupre and former working girl (allegedly) Danielle continue to simmer. Danielle views Ashley as a threat —actually, come to think of it, the mildly paranoid Danielle views everyone on this show as a threat— and the two engage in one of the more epic verbal confrontations of this or any other time:

We’ll call this one a draw.

However, Danielle does manage to get yet another shot in at Ashley’s former career during a conversation with producers, when she addresses Ashley with the following zing: “Sweetheart, I was standing on my feet when I became famous.” Oh yeah, then about thirty seconds later, Danielle calls Ashley “a f***ing hooker” right to her face. Somewhere in the Mount Hope Cemetery in upstate New York, Susan B. Anthony just spun in her grave.

But on to the food! And by “food,” we really mean “more fighting.” Remember the verbal brawl between Big Pussy and Danielle from a few minutes ago? It’s still going on! (Danielle gets in more fights than a UFC warrior.) Well, the $300 disagreement intensifies, resulting in Danielle storming off into the streets of Hollywood crying and calling her manager, while Big Pussy eviscerates her level of fame by pretending that he doesn’t know what show launched her into the spotlight:

Then Vinny goes off on a bizarre and borderline homophobic rant, in which he once again intimates that Jake Pavelka is gay and the two of them should go out trolling for transvestites in West Hollywood. Between this and last week’s “swishy” rant, we applaud Jake for his ability to turn the other cheek. However, we kind of wish that he would start balling his fists, too, and put Vinny in his place. Then again, Vinny DOES work out with a hand strengthener whenever he gets an opportunity…

Enough with the fighting already, it’s time to get down to business. Meet Scott Benassi, interior restaurant designer to the stars, who has successfully worked with the Dolce Group in the past.

Scott says that he can take care of the interior design and a bunch of paperwork for $85-90K which, despite what some of the math-challenged cast thinks, is actually 57% of the group’s $150,000 budget (less the $300 that Vinny spent on manual labor, natch). Juicy “J” tries to negotiate with Scott on the cost and fails miserably, which leads us to believe that he would be the last person on earth to score the role that Samuel L. Jackson played in The Negotiator when Hollywood inevitably decides to reboot that movie. He’s hilarious, don’t get me wrong, but not exactly what one would describe as an ace negotiator.

Flash forward to a meeting with Mike and Lonnie, Dolce Group partners. The two sense an extreme amount of tension in the group, as well as an inability to reach anything resembling consensus. So they decide to break the group into three teams, each with their own set of responsibilities. The structure looks like this:

That’s Ashley, Heidi and Jake on Design, Danielle, Juicy “J” and DJ Paul on Food, and Big Pussy on Labor. Seems like a decent distribution of talent, but will this bring the cast closer together or drive a wedge between them? Well, before we find that out, there’s still the matter of landing on a name for the restaurant that everyone can agree on. Juicy “J” has an idea!

Hmmm, kinda catchy! Sadly, after a recommendation from Scott, the group decides to go with Picnique instead. This leads Lonnie to comment that, “I don’t know how to spell it, but it’s perfect.” Juicy “J”, though, is bummed.

Don’t we all, Juicy “J” … don’t we all. Until next week!

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