Englert no doubt searching for Folkman’s replacement.

Nightclub mogul Joe Englert might be surprised at the lies his staff apparently spun to hide Teddy Folkman‘s absences for weeks of taping, but he’s not shocked that his Granville Moore’s chef has become a finalist for the Next Food Network Star. Englert has been singing Folkman’s praises for a long time now and has brought the toque into a number of upcoming projects. (See the items at the bottom of this Y&H column.)

So is Englert worried that Folkman could leave the fold to start a cooking show of his own?

“I’m Colonel Tom Parker,” Englert cracked, “and I own Teddy Folkman.”

Seriously, Joe, what’s your plan if Folkman leaves?

“I think if he goes somewhere, he deserves whatever he got,” Englert says. “If you love something, you got to set it free…”

Did you just quote Sting? Don’t you feel about Sting like you do about George Michael on the jukebox? Are you going to give me a straight answer?

“I’d be happy for him” if Folkman got his own show, says Englert. “We’ll figure it out [if he wins]. The last thing I want to do is hold him back.”

Englert says he doesn’t know the outcome of the Food Network reality series. He plans to host some viewing parties at the Capitol Lounge and find out along with the rest of us. Speaking of the Cap Lounge, Englert says Folkman is about to introduce a whole new pub menu to the bar.

Yep, the dude will be hard to replace.