Artificial Intelligence? | Food + Drink Features | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Artificial Intelligence? 

A close encounter of the absurd kind

Published April 3, 2007 at 8:20 p.m.

As Vermont rumors go, this was a biggy. Film folk were jawing last week about reports that Stephen Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw had dined at Roque's in Burlington on March 24. But it appears they were getting goony over nothing.

Chris Albertine, a sound engineer at VPR, was "sitting there having dinner when somebody walked by who knew us and said 'Did you see Stephen Spielberg in the back?' I stood up and saw him. He was with his wife. It was definitely him and Kate Capshaw."

But the staff at Roque's weren't so sure. Owner Jeanette Wood admits, "To be honest with you, we weren't really sure it was him. He didn't sign the credit card slip." Who did? Someone named "Yvonne Byrd." And contrary to Albertine's report, which indicated that the pair left through the kitchen, "Oh gosh no, they went out the front door," Wood said with certainty.

A quick search for "Yvonne Byrd" turned up an employee of the Montpelier Community Justice Center. Did she eat dinner at Roque's on the date in question? Byrd wasn't available, but MCJC co-worker Karen Blazer called her at home and confirmed that she had indeed dined at Roque's with her boyfriend that evening. Looks like someone "mistook her boyfriend for Stephen Spielberg," Blazer explained. "He's got a bald spot and a ring of hair, and he's tall."

After hearing that the couple ordered pollo en mole, pescado borracho, a Switchback and a glass of white wine, Blazer was even more convinced - "That's what they eat and drink. I know them," she affirmed.

Looks like the only "E.T.s" at Roque's are the "extra tortillas."

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About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Former contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the first Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose, butcher a pig, make ramen from scratch, and cook a scallop perfectly.


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