CIAO, CIPRIANI: It seems that not only bankers are casualties of the current economy. Harry Cipriani’s longtime, much-loved maitre d’ Hassan el Garrahy clocked his last day at the haute eatery on Monday, a spokesman for the restaurant confirmed. Though he declined to provide details of el Garrahy’s departure, rumor has it he was let go for cost-cutting purposes. The sharply dressed former maitre d’ was said to have changed twice daily (a different outfit for lunch and dinner), drawing from an extensive collection of bespoke suits.

Party planner Bronson van Wyck is getting into the gourmet food business. Friends and clients received his first product — a Dijon mustard vinaigrette — this holiday season, and it appears there is more to come. “I’m trying to figure out ways to help people entertain better and more often,” says van Wyck, “which means each item needs to be easy, convenient and really delicious. I’ve been asked to bring that dressing to friends’ houses who have had it at mine, so I thought that it’d be a nice gift.”

For now, van Wyck’s distribution is limited to his mailing list. But those on it should keep their eyes out for the next installment: a variation on César Ritz’s classic Caesar salad dressing.

This story first appeared in the January 8, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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