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Originally published May 13, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified May 13, 2007 at 2:01 AM

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Today's chef special: bun in the oven

The idea that I would interview Tyler Florence, celebrity chef, is ludicrous on many levels, not the least of which is that my kitchen is...

Seattle Times columnist

The idea that I would interview Tyler Florence, celebrity chef, is ludicrous on many levels, not the least of which is that my kitchen is stocked with things like steak knives from IKEA. They cost $1.50 each and don't cut much of anything.

But since he was at the downtown Seattle Macy's throwing a "culinary party" — i.e. cooking demonstration and book signing — I did some quick research, meaning I sent out an e-mail to my friends saying, "Do you know who Tyler Florence is?" To which they replied: "He's not pompous like Bobby Flay" and "He looks pretty hot on his cookbooks" and "My manager thinks he's cute."

I felt adequately prepared, and off I went.

Tyler flew into town from San Francisco — his new home base — on May 3, lunched at Serious Pie and stopped in at Salumi to pick up some meats. The personable Food Network star met me in a green room at Macy's, where he spent the entire interview with a cellphone in his hand. I thought this was very L.A. of him, until he explained that his wife was nine months and two weeks pregnant. "You realize she's having the baby right now," I told him. He was ready: "I've got my cellphone and three plane options out of here." ...

AN OVERBOOKED TIM GUNN graciously made time to meet with me over chicken Caesar salads at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel last week during his book-tour stop in Seattle. We dished about the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, where Tim was seated at a table with Sanjaya Malakar and Valerie Bertinelli. "Sanjaya had no idea who she was or who I was," Tim said. "He looked dazed and confused." Sanjaya brought his mother and had two huge bodyguards, who at one point tried to block Tim from sitting at his own table. "People would come up to [Sanjaya], and they only got past the bodyguards because they were Eliot Spitzer or something." Tim wore a tux, of course, but how did he rate Sanjaya's style — and, of course, his hair? Let's see, how to put this delicately: "He looks ... messy." ...

"FATHERHOOD IS FANTASTIC," said Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard, seen wandering around with a baby bottle in one hand and a glass of red wine in the other at Western Bridge art gallery in SODO on May 3. Three-week-old Vivian, daughter of Stone and wife Liz Weber, stole the show at THAW, a fashion show/fundraiser for the Huntington's Disease Society of America organized by Liz, whose family has been affected by the disease. "I was six weeks pregnant when we started [planning the event]," said Liz, whose most talked-about accessory was the black baby sling she wore over her turquoise-and-brown dress. "I was completely naive." Auction items included some of supermodel Gisele Bundchen's "favorite things": a Carolina Herrera handbag, Roberto Cavalli sunglasses. Disappointingly, they didn't include Tom Brady. ...

WHAT HAPPENS AT Black Tie Gay Bingo stays at Black Tie Gay Bingo, except when JJ McKay invites me to sit at his table and take notes. A jovial state Sen. Ed Murray couldn't stop with the one-liners while calling out bingo balls onstage with Congressman Jim McDermott. I didn't win anything, but the senator — who was seated at my table — did offer to find me a boyfriend, adding as he looked around the room, "but not here." ...

PAGING ALL MCDREAMYS! The Hotel Monaco and Sazerac Restaurant will hold a Look-A-Like contest at its "Grey's Anatomy" finale-viewing party starting at 6 p.m. Thursday. The contest is open to anyone resembling any member of the cast. Grand prize is a "Sweet McDreams" package, including a night at the Hotel Monaco and gift certificate to Sazerac. But as a consolation prize, they'll probably let you take a ride on the horny elevator. ...

EVER WONDER WHAT you get for penning a marquee slogan at the Lusty Lady? "You can choose between a T-shirt or a thong," reports Aaron Freed, who recently had the honor. He chose the T-shirt, the front of which reads, "Have an erotic day," and wore it to the SAM opening Saturday night. His winning suggestion: "NICE SPREAD, SAM."

Girl About Town appears every Sunday in Northwest Life. Pamela Sitt: 206-464-2376 or psitt@seattletimes.com

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