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Originally published September 23, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified September 23, 2007 at 2:05 AM

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Seasoned chefs, and buxom mugs

America's Next Top Food Network Star — or whatever it's called — could be one of Seattle's own top chefs. Longtime pals Eric Hellner...

Seattle Times columnist

America's Next Top Food Network Star — or whatever it's called — could be one of Seattle's own top chefs. Longtime pals Eric Hellner of Union Square Grill and Jeremy Anderson of Elliott's Oyster House were among those granted callbacks at the Food Network's local auditions. They were required to fill out a 10-page application, including questions like: If you were an ingredient, what ingredient would you be? Eric: "I said salt." Not to be outdone, Jeremy promptly chimed in with, "And I'd be Pepa!" OK, I made up that last part. But in related news, Salt-N-Pepa have a new reality show coming to VH1. So if all else fails, maybe the guys can apply for that. ...

THE NEWEST ATTRACTION at the 10th annual Oktoberfest this weekend is the Buxom Beer Garden, described as "Munich with a Fremont flair." I don't know what that means, either. The beer-garden-within-a-beer-garden is outfitted with cream couches and pink tables from Ikea and staffed by girls in Halloween-style costumes called "Heidi Hos." Festival organizer Phil Megenhardt describes its appeal thusly: "You walk around [Oktoberfest] and get a bunch of little beers, but sometimes you want to sit down with a big 16-ounce mug. In the Buxom Beer Garden, you have the opportunity to buy one big beer." Shouldn't it be two big beers? ...

KAPOW! PACKS A PUNCH: At Kapow! Coffee, where "Ride the S.L.U.T." shirts made headlines, they've taken to fielding hundreds of phone calls with, "Kapow Coffee, www.ridetheslut.com." The $10 T-shirts poke fun at the rumored original acronym for the South Lake Union Trolley and come in black, brown, navy and green — but the cool kids have the limited-edition orange tees, made at the request of construction workers laying streetcar tracks on Harrison Street. Asked whether any women have objected to the shirt's message, co-creator Don Clifton deadpanned: "Why would they be upset about trolleys?" Next up: Beanie hats may be in the works for winter. ...

RICH, BUT SHY: Marquis Jet, whose local office is run by former Seattle Sonic Rich King, has a huge local presence in the Puget Sound area — but you wouldn't necessarily know it. "In other markets, the owners tell anyone they meet that they're Marquis Jet owners," says a company rep. "In Seattle, I think people feel that they'll be ridiculed." Typical! Personally, I prefer to fly on Jon Stewart's Private Jet Sandwich. ...

SPEAKING OF THE EMMYS, Seattle-based jeweler Bruce Magnotti traveled to Los Angeles to bejewel celebs for the ceremony, where his "zero conflict" gemstones on recycled vintage bands were a hit with ecoconscious stars. He reports back from the 100-percent-recycled red carpet: "Everyone is really into the 'green' theme here, and they think Seattleites are way ahead of them — perhaps for the first time." I like to do my part for the environment by recycling jokes. (See: Jon Stewart) ...

RUMOR HAS IT Jimmy Choo will open a shoe store in 2009 at The Bravern in downtown Bellevue, just a hop, skip and a jump from Neiman Marcus. Next up: Designer shoes for all the Heidi Hos at the Buxom Beer Bravern, coming soon. ...

CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS MINI-ROUNDUP: Bill Gates dining al fresco at Cactus in Madison Park ... Randy Quaid declining to be photographed at the Met because his hair was dyed magenta for his role in "Lone Star Love" at the 5th Avenue Theatre ... Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel wearing a dapper gray suit while dining on halibut cheeks at Elliott's Oyster House. Who does he think he is, Mike Nolan?

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

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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