Bess Levin

Posts by Bess Levin

  • 12 Sep 2014 at 3:15 PM

Dealbreaker Chef de Cuisine Says Cook This Now: Nachos Nouriel

I get to do it all as Dealbreaker Chef de Cuisine, and for that I’m obviously grateful. But like anyone, I have unfulfilled dreams. I’m mortal, after all (though anyone who’s eaten my avocado, bacon, egg and cheese on fresh-baked sourdough bread might beg to differ).

If you ask most of my fellow chefs who they most want to cook for, you’d get the expected responses: heads of state, famous authors, maybe the Manning brothers and Archie.

Not me. The thing I dream about most is actually a catering job at a very specific kind of party. A party in the East Village where a man’s – and woman’s – dreams come true. A place with literally wall-to-ceiling vaginas, and I haven’t even mentioned the guests.

Sometimes after a rough day, you know the kind – the one where your now-former sous chef screwed up the seasoning on the pork medallions or the ship carrying the oysters from Japan capsized – I close my eyes and dare to dream about what it would be like.

I picture myself sitting 5 feet away from the honoured host. He’s pregaming with a glass of Prosecco, and two windows open on his computer. In one, he’s frantically refreshing and re-refreshing the Department of Buildings’ website in hopes that his permit for a roof deck jacuzzi gets approved in time for tonight’s bash. In the other he’s having business cards made – the premium stock – with just three words on them: “Maestro of Fucking.”

Obviously, I’m talking about Nouriel Roubini, and the pleasure it would be to come to one of his parties and feed his motley crew of guests. Instead of the typical items they’ve come to expect at parties thrown and attended by the 1%, I’d open their mind to a finger food humble in presentation and explosive in taste: nachos. Read more »


Pamela Anderson works the phones at Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners’ annual Charity Day. [DM]

  • 12 Sep 2014 at 2:30 PM

Jamie-Lynn Sigler-Dykstra’s Ex Is Back In The Game

Remember Abraxas “A.J.” Discala? Ex-husband of Jamie-Lynn Sigler (who’s since moved on with Lenny Dykstra’s son)? Guy who swore he didn’t mean to suggest he was pumping and dumping penny stocks when he said to a friend, in discussing the share price of a company called Cubed: “I’m the fucking brake and the gas, jackass“? He’s now able to move a bit more freely without the pesky weight of ankle-monitoring bracelet, which was apparently cramping his style. Read more »

As those of you familiar with the career of Daniel S. Loeb know, the hedge fund manager makes a nice chunk of change each year through activist investing. While the boards of most public companies view activist investors in general as people who show up to their home uninvited, take a shit on their staircase and then demand to know how anyone in good conscience could live in such squalor, to view Loeb as just one of many would be like lumping Pavarotti together with a bunch of glee club dropouts.

The man, quite simply, has elevated the art of activist investing, through his trademark letters (all of which include a potent, poetic blend of sarcasm, self-regard, belittling attacks on management competence, and lengthy prescriptions for change) and delightful flourishes like tasking his best researchers with uncovering damning details about the objects of his wrath, like, for instance, that they lied about their college majors. Anyone who has watched him at work will agree: he is an artist.

And now, he’s got even more money than usual to spend on fieldwork, correspondence, and possibly skywriters who will be paid to leave a fluffy white “Just Quit Already” above various chief executives’ homes and offices. Read more »

“I’ve redeemed myself. I do the right thing every day,” he told a packed auditorium Wednesday night at an event run by New York University’s School of Law and the 92nd Street Y. “I’m turning over all the profits to people who lost money.” Belfort is required to pay back $110 million in restitution to his victims, although he still refers to them as “investors.” So far he’s handed over about $11 million…”If you want to hang on to mistakes I made 25 years ago, that’s your prerogative,” he said. [WPTV]

Robert Bou-Simon–who sued BGC Partners last year over hazing rituals that included a bizarre wet-tee shirt contest and the fallout from refusing to participate in it– learned this the hard way. Read more »

Also, he’s a very hands on investor, so. Read more »

“If Alibaba wanted to defraud investors, it absolutely could,” Mr. Block, the founder of Muddy Waters Research, told an audience of accounting students and aspiring investors at Baruch College in Manhattan on Wednesday. Mr. Block, 38, belongs to a small group of short-sellers who cut their teeth digging up corporate misdeeds on Chinese companies listed in the United States. “China is to stock fraud as Silicon Valley is to technology,” Mr. Block said, adding that this reality should weigh on Alibaba’s stock price when it lists in New York next week, in what could be the largest stock debut ever in the United States. Mr. Block didn’t offer any evidence of fraud at Alibaba, but was using the company to illustrate a broader point. [Dealbook]