Patriots stud Rob Gronkowski isn't afraid to mix it up with football fans ... even when they're contestants on a reality show he's judging.
Gronk was a guest critic on this week's episode of "Top Chef: Boston" ... but not all the cooks were star struck ... 'cause chef George Pagonis tells TMZ Sports he got in Gronk's face and told him exactly how he felt about the Pats. Hint ... George is not a fan.
Chef P says, "I never really cared for any Boston teams. I've spent a lot of time in New York, and I'm a big Redskins fan."
Still, razzing Gronk when he controls your culinary fate doesn't seem wise. Pagans says ... "I couldn't let my team down and not speak up." He adds Gronk was totally cool with his verbal jabs.
Obviously, it didn't affect his judging because Chef Pagonis cooked the winning dish -- a pork and veal sausage.
Pigskin and sausage ... the key to Gronk's heart.
Benihana vs. Benny Hunna
Shrimp Flipper Battles Hip Hopper
In Epic Name War
12/21/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Benihana doesn't want anybody mistaking a guy who slings rhymes with a chef who slings rice balls -- so it's trying to force the rapper to drop his stage name.
Benny Hunna, neé Benny Hodges from Mississippi ... has been fighting to trademark his handle because he's got big plans besides music. He says he wants to build an entertainment empire called Benny Hunna TV. Real talk.
But according to court docs -- the O.G. Benihana wants the U.S. Patent & Trademark office to deny his application for fear Mr. Hunna will create confusion in the marketplace.
That's debatable, since Hunna currently has less than 300 Twitter followers. The matter could be settled in court early next year.
FUN FACT: Hunna is street for a hundred bucks -- so you know Benny's all about that paper.
Robbed at Gunpoint
12/19/2014 12:47 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The restaurant was packed with celebs Thursday night. Just after closing at around 2 AM, as the managers were counting the receipts, 2 men came through the backdoor, pulled a gun and pointed it at a manager's head. The thieves grabbed the waitstaff's cash tips, and raided the restaurant's safe.
We're told they took off with somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000.
The gunmen are still on the loose.
Road Kill Cafes ...
Convenient and Tasty
12/11/2014 6:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Jethro Sues CBS
You Broke My Rib Deal
12/9/2014 6:01 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jethro ...
Max Baer, Jr. -- who played Jethro in "The Beverly Hillbillies" -- has a bone to pick with CBS for undermining his plan to create a restaurant empire ... all because of a rib joint in Des Moines.
According to the lawsuit -- obtained by TMZ -- Max cut a deal with CBS that allowed him to develop a chain of "Beverly Hillbillies" themed restaurants, casinos and hotels. Max claims he had the exclusive right to use the Jethro character and other themes from the show.
So imagine his dismay when he found out about Jethro's BBQ in Iowa. Max says CBS cut a secret side deal with the owners, allowing them to use the Jethro character that Max says was his and his alone.
When you look at the mission statement from Jethro's ... it's pretty clear ... they're taking a bite out of the same rib to which Max laid claim.
Then again ... the people who eat at Jethro's may simply be poor mountaineers who barely kept their family fed.
My Bday Cake ...
12/9/2014 4:54 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Johnny Manziel's birthday cake game just went NEXT LEVEL ... 'cause the guy celebrated his big 22 with a 45-pound MONEY CAKE ... TMZ Sports has learned.
Johnny's friends hit up Colossal Cupcakes in Cleveland -- which has baked for stars like Kyrie Irving and Joe Haden -- and ordered up a custom dessert for the new Cleveland Browns starting QB.
We spoke with CC owner Kelly Kandah who tells us it took 2 days to sculpt the double chocolate fudge cake ... which included edible gold bars and gold coins.
Final bill for the 45-pound monster ... $600!
[h/t Busted Coverage]
Umami Burger Founder
My Marriage Is Well ... Done
12/9/2014 8:24 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The wife of Umami Burger founder, Adam Fleischman would like a single to go ... with a side of cheddar, or in legal terms -- she's filed for divorce and wants spousal support too.
Adam's wife Shanna Fleischman filed divorce docs in L.A. County last month, but they separated back in April ... 10 days shy of their 10th anniversary.
The couple have 2 kids who are both minors ... and Shanna's asking for joint legal and physical custody.
It's unclear how much Umami beef is up for grabs in the split. Adam is still CEO of the company which launched in 2009. According to the docs, the exact amount of their community assets is "unknown" at this point.
Their marriage is survived by 24 locations serving juicy burgers ... with really pretentious toppings.
I Can Make You Hot
With My Chocolate
12/2/2014 12:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Ariana Grande is an Oval-teen heartthrob ... delivering piping hot chocolate to her freezing fans.
Grande is in London where she performed at Tuesday night's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Her fans are camped outside The Langham Hotel and it is COLD.
Ariana sent down the hot chocolate to warm the throngs ... and they got a signed cup for their support.
Bet Bette never did that.
Cops to Drunk Driving
12/1/2014 8:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Buddy Valastro put his drunk driving case to bed by making a surprise trip to the courthouse ... to plead guilty to driving while drunk.
As a result of the plea, the "Cake Boss" star's license will be suspended for three months, and he has to enter a drunk driving program. He also got a $300 fine.
Valastro says he told the judge he only had one drink before getting pulled over -- but added he'd learned his lesson ... "If you have even one drink you shouldn't drive."
He wasn't scheduled to be in court until February, but after today's hearing he tweeted he went in early because ... "I wanted to make this right."
As TMZ first reported, Valastro was arrested on November 13 after cops noticed the TLC star's 2014 yellow Corvette weaving on 10th Ave in Manhattan.
Epic Meal Time Star
My Turkey Day Beats Yours
Even Though I'm Canadian
11/27/2014 12:26 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The guys from Epic Meal Time may be Canadian, but they're still stuffing their faces for Turkey day ... and we guarantee your Aunt Betty won't be making this for Thanksgiving.
Harley Morenstein tells us he was still hungry for holiday meats following T-giving in Canada last month ... so he and the boys decided to film an upcoming episode on America's day of thanks.
The bearded host says they'll be making a "Christmas PoulTree" today ... which is made entirely out of turkey, chicken, duck and quail -- and will feature 5 layers of poultry with bacon strips underneath each.
Oh, and did we mention it will be stuffed with french fry bacon sausage stuffing?
BTW ... if you want to make a PoulTree yourself ... it'll cost around $1000.
'My Five Wives' Dad
Thanksgiving Breaks the Bank
11/27/2014 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
No way to sugarcoat it -- being a polygamist is expensive during the holidays -- but "My Five Wives" patriarch Brady Williams has it more than covered this time around.
Brady has 31 mouths to feed this year ... and the grocery list is both impressive and financially depressing.
- 2 Turkeys
- 1 Ham
- 5 lbs of Yams
- 20 lbs of Mashed Potatoes
- 2 large bowls of Stuffing
- 1-2 gallons of Gravy
- 3 dozen Dinner Rolls
- 5 large Salads
- 1 pot of Corn
- 2 large Veggie Trays
- 1 large Cheese & Cracker Tray
- 1 large tray of Cheese-Stuffed Celery
- 8 cans of Black Olives
- 4 large cans of Stuffed Green Olives (a family fave)
- 1 large jar of Cranberry Sauce
- 4 quarts of Baby Dill Pickles
- 3-4 gallons of Holiday Beverage
That doesn't include dessert ... we're told the Williams clan can choose from 15-20 varieties of pie.
At least they'll be saving on electricity ... all electronics are banned on Thanksgiving. No iPods, computers, phones or TVs permitted.
So you plop yourself on the sofa and do what?
Tyga & Kylie Jenner
To Believe They're Not Dating
11/26/2014 2:39 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Tyga and Kylie Jenner had forbidden love written all over them --well, maybe a little overstated -- as they served up meals for the homeless on Thanksgiving Eve.
The 25-year-old rapper insists he's not romantically involved with the 17-year-old reality star, but there's plenty of smoke ... you'll recall a week ago when he pitched a fit because the club where he was supposed to perform wouldn't let her in because of her age.
So check out the video of Tyga and his blue haired babe at the L.A. Mission. Best part of the video ... Miss California was trying to teach Tyga how to serve up a meal and Kylie came over like a heat-seeking missile to show him who's boss.
I Ease The Pain Of Losing
... With a McFlurry
11/26/2014 1:38 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Jeremy Lin thinks the cure to frustration is 930 calories of frozen confectionery goodness ... telling TMZ Sports he turns to a McDonald's McFlurry to deal with the pain of a crushing Lakers loss.
Lin was at the annual Lakers Thanksgiving celebration this week to hand out turkeys to the less fortunate when we asked him if he had any guilty food pleasures ... given he's a world class athlete.
The Lakers star admitted that he recently indulged after a particularly tough loss ... and it seems the McFlurry did the trick.
Ba da ba ba ba.