COOKING FOR A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE

COOKING FOR A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE

The personal chef gig came up at the right time for the 36-year-old Schaedelin. Le Cirque 2000 owner Sirio Maccioni temporarily closed his trend-setting Manhattan restaurant this past New Year's Eve, citing landlord issues. He's still searching for another location, so Schaedelin needed something to do. Stewart called Maccioni, asking him to loan out his on-hiatus executive chef.

"She asked me and I said 'yes,'" Maccioni told the New York Post. "He'll be cooking for her and working on recipes." Schaedelin will return to Le Cirque 2000 when it opens again in its unspecified new space.

Stewart promises to be an unusually demanding client, even though her palate may have been dulled by her recent diet of West Virginia prison food. But Schaedelin should be able to keep her happy. French superchef Alain Ducasse, for whom Schaedelin once worked, called him "one of the most exciting, talented and innovative chefs on the international scene today." A native of Alsace, Schaedelin's European background includes stints at Auberge de L'Ill in France, and Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo--both three-star Michelin operations--and Monte's, a private club in London run by Ducasse.

There should be plenty of people to cook for at Stewart's house, which is located 40 miles north of Manhattan. The domesticity diva will be working with reality show producer Mark Burnett and her pal Donald Trump on an "Apprentice"-style TV show. Ever the multitasker, Stewart also plans to launch new signature lines of upscale clothing and furniture, "upscale" being defined as not sold in Kmart like her other products. She also plans to contribute to Martha Stewart Living magazine. She's set to make $900,000 a year from her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, so Schaedelin won't have to scrimp on ingredients.

Stewart is scheduled to be released from house arrest in August, 2005. Until then, she may be wearing the electronic ankle bracelet that lets authorities monitor her movements from afar. But at least she'll be eating well.