Chefs Serving Free Food to Government Employees During Shutdown

10/03/2013 at 02:44 PM ET

Shutdown: Bryan Voltaggio and Jose Andres Offer Free Food to Government Workers
Trae Patton/Bravo, Alexander Tamargo/Getty

If you live in or around Washington, D.C., your next meal could be on the house … unless you happen to work for the House of Representatives.

As the government shutdown enters its third day, celeb chefs from the D.C. area are coming to the aid of furloughed state employees by dishing out free food. Top Chef’s Bryan Voltaggio Tweeted on Tuesday that any employee could receive a complementary government cheese pizza from his Range restaurant by presenting his or her ID. Though he made sure to add one careful exemption: “Forgot to mention… members of congress not eligible until you get your s–t together”

Similarly, chef José Andrés is offering free sandwiches from his three restaurants, Jaleo, Oyamel and Zaytina, between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. The shutdown comes at an especially inopportune time for the Spanish-born culinary whiz, who was set to be sworn in as a natural citizen next week, but will now have to wait. While the nation continues to hope for a speedy resolution, it’s good to know that while we may be impatient, we’re not hungry.

–Kiran Hefa


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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