Ann and I had the opportunity to appear on two episodes of Top Chef this year. Some of you saw us. If not, here's us, post-Stefan&Brooke monte cristo and fig.
We were also in part 1 of Restaurant Wars with the concept food stands at Bite of Seattle.
It was great to be a part of a show that we've followed for many years, and watch religiously. We were very lucky to know the right people that graciously offered to bring us along. So thanks to Brooks & his wife, Nate & Jenna, and the producers at Bravo for letting us in and not leaving us on the cutting room floor.
Here's some random thoughts I have on the season, based on what we all saw, and what I saw behind the scenes:
- Kristen and Lizzie had the best dishes at Bite. We didn't have a chance to sample Josie's or Brooke's, and Sheldon had run out of food by the time we got to him, but none of the other contestants came close.
- Stefan is a ham. Not that anyone didn't already know this. He joked with us while we waited for his white chocolate & passionfruit lollipops. He splashed liquid nitrogen on the floor next to him and dared us to stick our hands in and do the same. He talked shit about Josie. We asked if he was nervous. "Oh shit, of course not. This is my second time around. I don't even care. I have 5 restaurants and a Ferrari." He also said Brooke and Kristen were very talented. And look who's in the final...
- Lizzie was probably the nicest chef we talked to. Very sweet and bordering on shy. I'm a sucker for her Saffa accent too.
- CJ was the comedian of the bunch at Pike's Place. Bummed he didn't make it farther. Very cool dude.
- Both times, Sheldon ran out of food early. I never got to eat any of his food. I was kinda surprised that the judges didn't make a bigger deal about this given in the past, wait times and lack of food have been held against chef-testants.
- Padma is probably the most ridiculously beautiful woman I've ever seen in person. She's an effing alien. Her legs go up to her armpits. She has cheekbones for days. She must drink the blood of 7 virgins each night to maintain her perfect skin & hair.
- Like every other male who watches the show, I have a major crush on Kristen. She's very striking in real-life. She also served up some really great dishes, especially at Bite. Kristen and her onsen egg have a special place in my heart (and probably in my arteries too).
- At Bite of Seattle, we were forced to wait for close to 2 hours, despite being in the second of four groups. The producers did a horrible job managing the crowd. The first group went in and basically camped for as long as possible. When we finally got in, most of the chefs were running out of food. We quickly grabbed dishes from Josh and Lizzie first, then Micah and Kristen, sat down, and started eating. Then the unbelievable happened. We were immediately approached by a producer and his camera crew and had the following dialogue:
- Producer "Hi there - So, how many dishes is for you guys?"
- Me "Just grabbed our 4th from over there. We were in the 2nd group."
- Producer "Yeah, so we need you guys to finish up and head out so we can get everyone in. We still have 2 more groups to bring in."
- Me "Well, we just came in not more than 15 minutes ago, and there's people that have been in here for 2 hours already. We haven't even had half the dishes."
- Producer "Yeah, but we still have people that haven't had anything."
- Me (in my head) Those sound an awful lot like "you" problems and not "me" problems...if you can't even feed two groups, maybe you shouldn't have let in twice as many people as you needed.
- Me (out-loud) "Alright, we'll leave."
- We didn't leave. We just hid over next to Stefan's stand and made jokes with him about the other chefs and Padma. It was rad.
Live-blogging of the finale coming up next. I'm rooting for Kristen, but I feel like Brooke is engineered for a finale, where planning and course-progression are very important. My guess is Kristen will have 2 amazing dishes and 2 semi-clunkers and squeak out a win, but I definitely won't be upset if Brooke wins. Both presented the most consistent talent throughout the season, and I think we all agree they were the two that needed to face off at the end. We shall see...