Last night's episode of Law & Order was amazing. The writers threw everything, including the kitchen sink. The plot surrounded the murder of a food network executive, who had been attending a fundraiser for tsunami orphans; the executive was also the wife of one celebrity chef and having an affair with another! It was compelling and very much ripped from the headlines, as well as salacious and interesting. Here are some of the highlights:
- A shifty foundation that has fundraisers but doesn't give the funds to any organizations (shades of James Beard Foundation) - A celebrity chef who wears a leather jacket and has a coke problem (shades of Anthony Bourdain); he also gets approached by fans for autographs
- Another "flamboyant celebrity chef" who specializes in Italian and might be faltering (shades of Rocco)
- In court demonstration of strangulation with Medical Examiner Rodgers, not to mention talk of erotic asphyxiation
- Coveted restaurant space at the Time Warner Center
- Jury problems
- Sucky writers writing tell-all books about celebrities

Plus, it had Wendie Malick as the defense attorney. The debate about celebrity chefs makes Gothamist think about the talk at the Museum of Radio & Television with cookbook authors and TV personalities Jeff Steingarten, Mario Batali, Alton Brown and Giada DeLaurentiis. Dan Dickinson reports that the talk got ugly, with Steingarten complaining that the TV personalities had an unfair advantage because they had TV shows. We wish we had seen it.

Did you watch last night's episode? What did you think? And Law & Order: Trial by Jury has its premiere tonight at 10PM. Tomorrow there's another episode in its usual timeslot of Friday, 10PM. The NY Times Virginia Heffernan says, "The series has the makings of another hit for Dick Wolf.