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Four More Chasen's to Love

September 02, 1998|CHARLES PERRY

Chasen's chili, famous since Burton courted Taylor with it, famous from the earliest days of the Beverly Hills restaurant and still being sold at Gelson's and Costco after Chasen's Restaurant's demise, now introduces four exciting new flavors: chicken, turkey, vegetarian and extra-spicy.

Probably these variations on the Chasen's chili recipe are just what some people want. But it's funny that Chasen's overlooked these exciting opportunities for about three-quarters of a century.

Cook Slick

If you watch kitchen styles, you know the latest trend is the kitchen that's unrecognizable as such, because all the working elements are hidden away in appliance "garages" when not in use. The aim is the purity of clean lines and stainless steel surfaces. Or as an architect told the Wall Street Journal, an anorexic kitchen.

This can be a very expensive look--the Kitchen System from the Belgian manufacturer Obumex runs $600,000 and up. But it's being mainstreamed by General Electric, for instance, whose Profile line has anorexic tendencies.

In effect, this super-clean look is a repudiation of the high-tech aesthetic of the '80s, when the theme was relishing the shapes of practical objects. Now we're back to the tea-cozy concept, except that now the teapot is hidden by something flat and shiny. Maybe it's high tech for the home-computer age, when everybody knows the busiest machinery has no visible moving parts at all.

PETA Gets the Hook

When Wheaties scheduled championship fisherman Denny Brauer as one of the champions to be honored on its cereal boxes, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals objected, calling the sport cruel. "Anglers have no place next to real sportsmen like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods," argued PETA, but for once somebody stood up to the role-model police, and General Mills ignored the complaint. Brauer will appear on Wheaties packages in October.

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