Restaurant News: Top Chef, Bad Karma, Fire & Ice Cream

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• Fire and ice cream is not a happy marriage, as the folks at Palm

Beach's Sprinkles ice cream shop found out last weekend. A kitchen fire

gutted the shop, which not only dishes everyone's favorite hot-weather

treat but breakfast, lunch, and assorted retail items. Sprinkles

expects to be again serving its ice cream, lauded as best in the county

in 2003 by People magazine, by the time "season" gets underway later

this year.

• What happens in Vegas gets splashed all over cable TV, and Ron Duprat, executive chef of the Hollywood Beach Marriott, will be doing some of the splashing as one of the contestants on this year's Top Chef: Las Vegas, set to air on the Bravo channel on Wednesday, August 19, at 9 p.m. Duprat, 40, is a native of Haiti who began cooking as a child with his grandmother and went on to cook at the Noble House and Pelican Bay in Naples and the Montauk Yacht Club in New York. He joins 16 other contestants, plus the usual panel of judges and special guests like Wolfgang Puck, Hubert Keller, Daniel Boulud, and our own Michelle Bernstein. 

• Karma, they say, is a bitch. And some thieving doofus or doofuses is/are going to get bitch-slapped big time after stealing - -not once, but twice -- a giant Buddha's head from Saba restaurant in Boca Raton. Owner Zack Gardner, a native of Vietnam and practicing Buddhist, had a 150-pound, four-foot cement head stolen from in front of his restaurant July 13. When he heard about the theft, Nicolas Jacobsen, proprietor of Classic Chandeliers in West Palm Beach, donated a statue of the Buddha he'd picked up in China to the restaurant. Two weeks later, the 400-pound wooden statue was, you guessed, ripped off. No suspects in custody yet, but you can bet that getting busted is going to be the least of these nitwits' troubles.

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