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The lead on Marian Burros’ item on Central Michel Richard on the New York TimesDiner’s Journal blog could be considered fightin’ words if they weren’t so Gotham crotch-grabbing laughable:

Michel Richard is one of the few Washington chefs who could be a star in New York, and his restaurant Citronelle would be a huge hit here.

First of all, I dare Burros to name 10 Washington chefs off the top of her head—-keep your hands off Google, Marian—-let alone “a few” who could somehow shine bright enough to be seen in Burros’ mythical firmament. Second, I can name a number of chefs who would light up her neon-lit island without even trying. Let’s start with the obvious ones:

  • Eric Ziebold at CityZen
  • Frank Ruta at Palena
  • Cathal Armstrong at Restaurant Eve
  • Fabio Trabocchi at Maestro
  • José Andrés at Jaleo
  • R.J. Cooper at Vidalia
  • Johnny Monis at Komi
  • Robert Donna at Galileo (when it reopens)

For the less obvious ones, how ’bout:

  • Michael Landrum at Ray’s the Steaks/Ray’s the Classics
  • Katsuya Fukushima at minibar and Cafe Atlantico
  • Tony Conte at the Oval Room
  • Vikram Sunderam at Rasika
  • Frank Morales at Rustico
  • Morou Ouattara at Farrah Olivia

Oh, hell, you take it from here…