Cross Examination

Wash U researchers become pony tipsters and we talk to a local producer who wants Josh Hartnett in Flames. Plus, a blogger who cares about cross-contamination and you.


"Vampire Chickens"

Don't cross David Salvato.
Jennifer Silverberg
Don't cross David Salvato.
He wants Josh Hartnett in Flames.
He wants Josh Hartnett in Flames.

Author: The Mad "Chef"

About the blogger: Understandably reticent about divulging too much personal information, the blogger identifies himself like so: "I've been working as a 'Chef' for the past 10 years in a local Grocery chain. Recently bittered by the whole gourmet/carry-out concept, I've decided to publish, online, about my job and the people I work for."

Recent Highlight (March 8): On this Friday there was raw fish and chicken sitting in water, in separate containers, in a prep sink (not being held at proper temp, cross contamination). No one in the kitchen was in any big hurry to either put these items back in refrigeration or cook them, seemed they were not even aware that this was reason for concern. From what I could tell, someone was also prepping cauliflower at this same prep sink area. I say this because there was a container, uncovered, of cut cauliflower sitting on the edge of the sink and whole heads sitting next to it, as well as, on a prep table in the middle of the room. This is contamination waiting to happen, if it hadn't already.[...]

One of the associates grabbed some wings that had been hanging in a basket over the fry grease for who knows how long, put them in a container that had been used for this at least one time before, poured sauce on them, shook them up, and took them out to the Salad Bar. Never checked the temp on one thing....a million questions I would have asked as a manager and have in these situations. I work for the same company as them, so I have opened my mouth to this manager, to merchandiser, to God, etc. I'm laughed off, told that it ain't really that bad........I'd be scared to eat at this place and I have on the same uniform as they do, I think it is a reflection of the entire organization when I see this type of behavior......I don't think I'm the only one.... .

Know of an Unreal-worthy local blog? Send the URL to [email protected].

Shoot for the Star

Paul Hennessey believes he discovered buried treasure in the otherwise insufferable 2001 film Pearl Harbor. The jewel, says Hennessey, came by way of Josh Hartnett, whose yeoman effort rescued the film from the botched work of more well-known thespians Ben Affleck and Cuba Gooding Jr.

A novice screenwriter from southern Missouri, Hennessey wants Hartnett to play the leading role in Flames, which tells the tale of a 1942 nightclub fire that killed 492 people. So determined is Hennessey that he placed a half-page ad in the alternative newsweekly in Hartnett's hometown of Minneapolis.

"I've been trying for almost 3 years to get a script to you that will probably win you the award for Best Actor in the Academy Awards and the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) awards," reads the ad, published in City Pages. "However, it's been a real struggle because I am an UNKNOWN. I don't know anyone in the business...this is a last resort."

Reached by phone in his double-wide just outside the town of Alton, the budding screenwriter says his $990 investment has yet to yield pay dirt.

"I need a pretty big star," the 59-year-old retiree confides. "Someone who can bring in a producer with enough money to make the film."

Ideally, he says, he'd cast the singer Jewel as Hartnett's romantic interest. But that's another long shot, and right now Hennessey is determined to concentrate on the Hartnett angle. "I sent off an express-mail copy of the script this morning to a woman who's friends with Josh," he reports. "She's going to give it to him this week."

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