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Reader Report: Top Chef Live
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 | posted by Mike

We always like it when we get a little feedback from our readers, so we were excited when we got an e-mail from Zach out in Arizona about a trip that he made to the local installment of the Top Chef Live tour.  He said that he read the write-up we posted here on TVFF and wanted to share his experience (and the image below).

Now, Zach is a serious foodie. ("I watch “Food TV” like a crack addict. I want to name my first daughter "Giada". My friends have given me "Lunchbox" as my nickname.")  He and his wife, Lynn, were able to score tickets to the 8:30 a.m. (now that's dedication) show in Phoenix.  Take it away, Lunchbox!
We were only able to find one person to go with us for such an early demo, so our friend Heather agreed to get up early and head downtown to the show. That just meant that one more person from the waiting list would get into the trailer. Former contestants Casey Thompson and Betty Fraser were scheduled to appear. We were excited at the prospect of meeting Casey. However a quick check of the website a day before gave us the real lineup of Richard Blais and Betty. I was excited to see Richard cook with smoke and aromatics and get super crazy in the kitchen. I would be disappointed in the end, but more on that in a min.

It was cool to see them in person and not stressed out from competition. I’ve attached a picture of me Lynn and Heather inside the trailer. We’re in the second row and I’m the guy making the goofy face with the thumbs up. The picture came from the girl sitting in front of Lynn's chair... I of course made that face and when she checked the picture she gave me a few chuckles and promised to email me. I told her my email address, never thinking I would actually see the picture. So mad props to Holly for actually sending it to me...

So Blais and Betty come in and they're 2 feet away from us and very enthusiastic for being so early in the morning. Betty started the demo by starting a Coconut shrimp with cabbage slaw... Three things that are not part of my pallet, coconut, shrimp, and cabbage... I’m just not a super big seafood guy, and I really don’t like the coconut texture. So I was a little disappointed about the demo as far as picking up a new recipe. When all was said and done I ate the dish and it wasn't too bad. I was excited about the prospect of Blais cooking something crazy but it didn't happen. Betty cooked, and Richard helped her with whatever she needed.

The coolest part was getting to ask questions while they were cooking and getting to hear the skinny on what really goes on behind the scenes of Bravo's "Top Chef". Like the fact that every episode is one day of taping. So they eliminate one person everyday when they're filming. This to me tells me how good those chefs are that get picked for the show. The question that I asked was what they did after the elimination when the chefs would just be hanging out at the house as far as cooking for each other... Richard said that the chefs would show off for each other and try to show their cooking skills and "intimidate" each other so to speak. They are totally sequestered as far as internet, TV, newspapers, etc... so as to not get any recipe ideas. What they bring to the show is what they bring, no outside influence whatsoever. I was impressed with how personable both chefs were. Richard even made a few jokes along the way, which I didn't expect. It was a lot of fun and I'm really glad we got to go.
Zach also told us that the folks at the demo from the network confirmed that they're currently taping the next season of Top Chef in New York, which jibes with reports of sightings of the cheftestants in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

Zach...great job and thanks for sharing!



Hi, I'm Mike and I created TVFoodFan.com as a place where you can come to get the latest news and views about what’s going on in the world of culinary television.

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