Balthazar and Pastis Cannot Be Duplicated; Gluten-Free in Chelsea Market?

• Keith McNally won't sell his empire to a London restaurateur who wants to replicate it all over the world. “If I duplicated Balthazar or Pastis, I'd be ripping the soul out of the original,” he says. [NYP]

• For the second year in a row, a firefighter has bested a professional chef in the Iron Skillet Cookoff. Jimmy Lowe, of the Bronx's Ladder 33, used his flank-steak pinwheels to beat Primehouse New York's Brian O'Donohoe. [NYDN]

• Friedman’s Delicatessen in Chelsea Market has plans to go gluten-free. [Feedbag]

• A Westchester restaurateur is funding an expansion by selling “VIP cards” to customers for up to $10,000 that grant them deep discounts on future meals. [NYT]

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