- Last Updated: 10:49 AM, December 13, 2012
- Posted: 11:50 PM, December 12, 2012
New York’s first girlfriend, Sandra Lee, stormed out of BG restaurant at Bergdorf Goodman after thinking she heard offensive comments about her “semi-homemade” empire.
The Post’s Kirsten Fleming reports that Calvin Klein’s ex Nick Gruber was dining with new boyfriend John Luciano and several friends near the entrance to the cafe Tuesday night when Lee, the longtime girlfriend of Gov. Cuomo, came in to sit near the back of the restaurant with an unidentified male friend.
Gruber and others at his table didn’t recognize Lee, whose “Semi-Homemade Cooking” empire spawned a Food Network show, magazine and more than 20 books, and asked who she was.
Luciano told The Post he began to explain to his friends how Lee became a celebrity chef: “She takes an angel food cake, slices it in half, opens a can of frosting, frosts the cake, calls it semi-homemade, and makes a lot of money.”
But because of the tricky — or perhaps too good — acoustics at swanky BG, Lee overheard Luciano’s private comments while she sat at her table, and the domestic goddess was not amused.
“Sandra did a 360 with her eyes around the restaurant, and walked to the manager to complain, ‘Someone was talking about me,’ ” Luciano told us. “She said she was going to walk around the restaurant to find out who it was.”
Luciano said Lee then walked over to the table next to them, where four Italian tourists were seated. “She extends her hand and says, ‘I’m Sandra Lee, I have feelings, too,’ ” Luciano told us. “But they were Italian tourists, so they had no idea what she was saying. They were bewildered. So she got her friend and stormed out of the restaurant.”
Luciano said a member of their group went after Lee to explain his comments were harmless. “I don’t want to offend anyone; I’m apologizing,” Luciano told us. “I feel terrible. That’s not my style to offend people. I thought it was humorous, and I was actually giving her props.”
A rep for Lee said, “It’s sad that people make up stories to see their name in the press.”
Despite her sensitivity to tattlers, Lee has much to be proud of. From humble beginnings she has built her brand into an empire. She has two long-running shows on the Food Network, a kitchen and home line at Kmart and Sears and has just launched two new culinary programs, "Restaurant Remakes" on Food Network and "Taverns Lounges & Clubs" on Cooking Channel.
The author of 25 cookbooks will be releasing her next book in the spring "Every Dish Delivers" and she is also starting a new monthly lifestyle magazine in partnership with TV Guide. And last summer when she won an Emmy for Outstanding Lifestyle/Culinary Host — the prize that Martha Stewart regularly won in years past.Follow @PageSix