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Barneys Brings Us the Head of Mario Batali for Christmas

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Julia Chesky, 11/16/10

After much hullabaloo and many leaks, Barneys revealed its food-themed holiday windows last night. The official launch party doubled as the debut of a Food Network recipe book edited by Lee Schrager, the festival guru who helped Simon Doonan plan the window displays.

Poor headless Mario Batali shares his window with Bobby Flay, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and other "Bad Boys" of cooking. Ladies like Lidia Bastianich and Rachael Ray get their own display—keep an eye out for New York's new First Girlfriend, Andrew Cuomo's special lady Sandra Lee. In a third set-up, a stew pot gives off waves of steam featuring the faces of famous 20th century chefs and big names like Jamie Oliver. And a fourth concept stars the lovely Miss Illy clad in a gown of espresso packets.

The windows have already sparked a small food-world Twitter conflagration: Earlier today, writer Gael Greene Tweeted that she can't believe Times critic Craig Claiborne "is left out of the stew in a certain store's foodie holiday windows." Also: "Amazingly I see Ruth Reichl & Barbara Fairchild but not me. Guess I'm the invisible critic." It is a little weird that both Greene and Claiborne are left out, but we're more confused by the coincidence pointed out by our intrepid window photographer Julia Chesky: This is the second time in four years that the Barneys holiday windows have featured crocs.
· Two Early Looks at the Barneys Holiday Windows [Racked NY]
· Holiday Window Envy [Eater NY]
· All Barneys Foodie Holiday coverage [Eater National]