Graham, I Wish I Was Your Lover

Chef dons Chippendales-style outfit for guest bartending gig

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Marcus Riley
    Superstar chef Graham Elliot strikes a pose while guest bartending at Pops for Champagne Monday night.

    It'd be a bit of an understatement to say that superstar chef Graham Elliot Bowles marches to the beat of his own drummer.

    The creative mind behind graham elliot restaurant certainly raised eyebrows -- or caused some eyes to hurriedly close -- when he dropped "trou" in a viral video last month (view below).

    But the first sign that he was up to some new hijinx came last week on his Twitter feed when he posted this item:

      "Guest bartending at Pop's this monday: deciding between Chippendale's outfits or going w/ a Miami Vice theme. thoughts/suggestions?"

    We're not sure how many people suggested he go with the Chippendales outfit, but that's the look he decided to rock at Monday night's "Shift Drink" event at Pops for Champagne.

    Yes, that was the acclaimed chef guest bartending with a sleeveless shirt buttoned down to his navel, a wig, bowtie, fake moustache, nunchucks in his back pocket that he says he uses as chopsticks and the piece de résistance -- cut-off jean shorts that were cut way too short for comfort. His or ours.

    Judging by his recent behavior, it begs the question, is Graham going crackers?

    "We're just having fun. There's two ways you can take something like this -- super fun or super serious," Bowles said in between mixing drinks at the bar. "It's a reflection of our restaurant -- we like to have a good time."

    Bowles also roped his sous chef, Merlin Verrier, into the mix, who also donned a similar outfit.

    "And here I thought when I got this gig it would be all about cooking," Verrier said.

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    Now let's be clear -- Bowles is one of Chicago's most accomplished chefs. He's the youngest four-star chef in America, a three-time James Beard Award nominee, Food & Wine magazine's Best New Chef of 2004 and a contestant on Bravo's Top Chef Masters.

    There's no doubt he can cook. And judging by his recent behavior, he may also be on his way to becoming the Dennis Rodman of the culinary world.