Dan Gross: Ray gets a LaBelle grilling

LaBelle hightails it to Grill-Off date on Ray show yesterday.
LaBelle hightails it to Grill-Off date on Ray show yesterday. (PHOTOS: SARAH J. GLOVER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)
Posted: August 31, 2011

PATTI LABELLE could teach Rachael Ray a thing or two about cooking. And she did. The iconic songbird appeared yesterday afternoon on the Great Philly Grill-Off on "The Rachael Ray Show," which taped outside Pat's King of Steaks, in South Philly.

LaBelle told us before the taping that she was making her fried corn on the show. The diabetic singing sensation says she doesn't eat the dish herself but people will hurt themselves trying to eat too much of it once they've tried it.

We asked LaBelle what was up with her musically and she teased, "So much I can't tell you yet.

"Also I am Beyonce's baby's godmother, her spiritual godmother," she told us jokingly. LaBelle was excited to cook with Ray and use her line of Lady Marmalade spices and sauces, which are sold in supermarkets and available at PattiLaBelle.com.

Local cooks Douglas Feldman, Sarah Gulish and Stephanie Dumpson participated in the Great Philly Cook-Off at the taping, during which Philadelphia's own Boyz II Men, now celebrating their 20th anniversary as a group, performed. "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" host Ty Pennington was also part of the shoot.

The Philly episode will run when Ray's new season begins in late September. It airs locally at 10 a.m. weekdays on 6ABC.

Earlier yesterday, Ray stopped for a bite at the Famous 4th Street Deli (4th & Bainbridge) where she ate half a corned beef and half a brisket sandwich, plus some pickles.

Oosterhouse helps out

HGTV's Carter Oosterhouse is in Point Breeze today working with Habitat for Humanity to build a home for Anna Johnson and her daughter, Tatiana, who has asthma. Oosterhouse is working with Merck, Habitat and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America as part of the Build Smart, Breathe Easier campaign, and will help paint the interior walls and exterior siding of the new house.

Top dog in bars

Chickie's & Pete's (1526 Packer) was named ESPN's Top Sports Bar in North America through an online poll. "We are just ecstatic," said Chickie's owner, Pete Ciarrocchi. He said that the award was humbling. "And I'm a tough guy to humble!"

As seen on TV

* West Chester's Jeff Devlin hosts the DIY Network's new "I Hate My Bath" series, which premieres at 9:30 p.m. Sept. 13. The Northeast- and Langhorne-raised Neshaminy High graduate owns Schoolhouse Woodworking and previously appeared on "Sheer Luck" and "Spice Up Your Kitchen." He says that while people used to spend money fixing up their kitchens, now many focus on bathrooms. "People are making it a place of solitude, a place to relax," says Devlin, who admits that his own bathrooms are nothing special. "We're blowing their minds with how simple it is to really style up your bathroom," he said. "Big-box stores are carrying products you used to pay thousands for." The show has taped nine episodes so far in Minnesota.

* Wills Eye Institute surgeon Richard S. Kaiser will be on "The Doctors" (3 p.m., CBS 3) on Sept. 8, talking about the impact that diabetes can have on the eyes, as well as treatment options. His patient, Renee Elliot, of Richboro, will appear with him.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow @PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or email grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit philly.com/DanGross.