Many years ago I went down to the old Conde Nast offices to drop off a manuscript at Allure and got on the elevator with an employee who was greeted by two other women who gushed, “Great dress!” She stepped off a few floors later and the Heathers started in: “Can you believe what she was wearing? She looked like her grandmother.” I think of that exchange whenever I go to an especially lavish food party: There’s a whole lot of social prevaricating going on. Not being so good at that stuff, I have my share of awkward moments, but at least I’m spared any “bearhugs” from Molto. And I can always tell when the creme de la creme is feeling a little too insular because the BFs will actually come around, whether out of ennui or just to trash me behind my back afterward. That’s how I knew the better party must have been over on the piers, where all the women chefs were strutting their stuff. But I still had a superb time, as did my consort, and I learned a few things. Like the fact that a $700 hotel in the meat district does not have the “services” of a Hampton Inn (coffee in the room). Or why the Liberace of food emcees is at every damned event — he can read the lamest script off a teleprompter and make it sound ad-libbed. And that a strip steak with no fibrous aspect is a bizarre thing to consume. (They didn’t slip us tongue, did they?) But bacon in the streusel with the apple tart? Bring it on.