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The Chefs/Cheftestants of Top Chef

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Fabio sighting last night at his new place, Bar Siena, in Chicago's West Loop, right across the street from Stephanie Izard's Little Goat Dinner and a stones throw from The Girl and the Goat. He was walking out around 8pm while we were enjoying the weather while waiting for our table. He gave us a wave but seemed to be in a hurry.

Place has been open a little over a week and the food was pretty good. Yes, there is gnocchi, but we had the gnudi instead and it was the only thing that wasn't under-seasoned, something that was surprising for me since it was Fabio!

Edited by AriAu
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Message from Cat Cora:

In Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) waiting for my flight on my way with CARE and three amazing chefs, Chef Carla Hall, Chef Antonia Lofaso, and Spike Mendelsohn for this life changing trip up Mozambique. Follow our journey on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag ‪#‎ChefsTable‬!

They are on a humanitarian mission for CARE. Looking forward to updates. :)

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Yigit Pura, winner of Top Chef Just Desserts, is looking for extras if you live in San Francisco:

TV people… last chance to sign up to come be a part of a filming in our SF store at Tout Sweet Patisserie this coming Monday at 10am, if interested, e mail info@toutsweetsf.com for more info.

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http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/consumer/fl-top-chef-cityplace-restaurant-20151006-story.html

 

A renowned South Florida chef and finalist on Bravo's "Top Chef" is partnering with a local restaurateur to debut a new restaurant early next year.

Lindsay Autry, a finalist on Top Chef's ninth season, is teaming up with Thierry Beaud, who owns bakeries and restaurants in Palm Beach County, to open the Regional Kitchen & Public House at CityPlace in West Palm Beach.

 

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Kenny won!  He was by far the best one - he made the best dish in round 2, despite having two sabotages and the other chefs having none.

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This makes me want to visit the Dallas area!
http://dallas.culturemap.com/news/restaurants-bars/10-14-15-top-chef-tre-wilcox-cooking-class/

 

Chef Tre Wilcox, who became a local celebrity of sorts after his 2007 appearance on Top Chef, has a new venture called Tre Wilcox Cooking Concepts that is occupying an actual brick-and-mortar location at 8300 Preston Rd., right on the edge of Plano and Frisco.

It will serve as a unique hub for events, catering, team building competitions, and cooking classes, and will give guests the opportunity to work with Chef Tre in a hands-on environment while creating memorable culinary experiences.

After a 20-year career as a restaurant chef, private chef, and TV personality, Chef Tre is taking everything he’s learned and applying it to a new setting where he can host individuals, couples, parties, and companies with his brand of fun, educational cooking classes. 

 

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http://www.bravotv.com/the-daily-dish/harold-dieterle-top-chef-to-shutter-nyc-restaurants?cid=soc_dg_fb_TopChef

 

Top Chef Season 1 winner Harold Dieterle just announced that he will shutter his remaining two New York City eateries, Kin Shop and Perilla, by year's end. According to Eater, Kin Shop will close its doors by Thanksgiving, while Perilla is expected to close by early December. "The cost of doing business in New York is going up and up and up, and our sales haven't continued to go up to keep that in line. It's been very frustrating," he said about the decision. As for his impact in the culinary world, he had this to say, "I'm really proud of what we've done. It's all kind of run its course. It's gotten to the point where I'm not having fun and enjoying myself. I'm not saying I never want to return to the restaurant business, but right now, I'm feeling a little beat up and a little tired."

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That's sad. DH and I have visited Perilla 4 or 5 times and were hoping to return on our next visit to NYC. I hope we see him again in some capacity.

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Argh!  I never got to go to Marrow, and I'd been dying to return to Kin Shop sooner than later.

 

Perilla was a special place for me and my ex, but I admit last time we went, there was a sense that the thrill was going from it.  I chalked it up to Harold having moved on a bit and concentrating on his newer places, but maybe that malaise hit the other places too.  Too bad, because I never had a bad time at any of them.

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Perilla was a special place for me and my ex, but I admit last time we went, there was a sense that the thrill was going from it.  I chalked it up to Harold having moved on a bit and concentrating on his newer places, but maybe that malaise hit the other places too.  Too bad, because I never had a bad time at any of them.

 

I sort of agree with this - no restaurant is perfect and they all have their misses. We experienced that at Perilla the last time we were there. Still, I believe in Harold's capacity to make great food and develop excellent restaurants, so I'm hoping he comes roaring back with something spectacular, even if he does shift gears for a while.

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Harold Dieterle has been showing up regularly as a judge on this season of Ilan Hall's Knife Fight.  Maybe he thought the publicity would benefit his failing restaurants.

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I sort of agree with this - no restaurant is perfect and they all have their misses. We experienced that at Perilla the last time we were there. Still, I believe in Harold's capacity to make great food and develop excellent restaurants, so I'm hoping he comes roaring back with something spectacular, even if he does shift gears for a while.

 

Too bad about Harold, so many restaurants go this route.  The chef/owner cannot keep up the grind.  Getting TV gigs or a show is the ultimate goal for a chef.  Harold doesn't have the personality to pull this off, unfortunately.  I love the guy. 

 

I wonder how all the restaurants owned by famous chefs keep going.  We ate and one of Emeril's restaurants and it was mediocre at best.  The vegetarian meal that was advertised on line did not exist.  The two at our table who ordered it got a bunch of sides  haphazardly thrown together and not good.  Pucks restaurant on the same trip was excellent.  

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I wonder how all the restaurants owned by famous chefs keep going.  We ate and one of Emeril's restaurants and it was mediocre at best.  The vegetarian meal that was advertised on line did not exist.  The two at our table who ordered it got a bunch of sides  haphazardly thrown together and not good.  Pucks restaurant on the same trip was excellent.  

 

That's really too bad. I do think there are some Top Chefs who manage to keep high degree of quality. I can't speak highly enough of Bryan Voltaggio's Volt, for example. And Kevin Sbraga's restaurant in Philadelphia, Sbraga, is excellent as well. However, aside from appearing on TC Masters, Bryan V. hasn't been super-high-profile on the cooking shows, and I'm not sure that Kevin S. has appeared on national TV since winning his season of Top Chef. 

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Love the rabbit hole I just went down re-reading this whole thread (and Cooksdelight, you rock!) ... 

 

THOUGHT I had posted about my experience (now experiences) at Kapnos, but since I haven't I'll throw in a comment here now, especially since I am officially getting SO EXCITED about the new season!

 

Have been to Kapnos three times now ... once seated in the main dining room for my birthday dinner and two more times when we ate at the bar (which was just as good except harder to enjoy the view of George in the kitchen). And seriously, this is BY FAR the best "Greek restaurant" in DC, as far as I'm concerned. We've yet to have anything that wasn't incredible, and the saganaki there is the best I've ever had anywhere (and I'm a saganaki fiend). 

 

I live in the 'burbs and don't get into the city very often, but hubby directs a jazz vocal choir (among other things) that rehearses about 10 minutes from there on Tuesday nights and I'm in the group, so when we are not rushed for time (either by my work or his other work) we like to swing by there for dinner at the bar. 

 

And there is no such thing as too much George ... I'm so excited that Kapnos Kouzina is opening in Bethesda eventually (it was supposed to be open already but has been experiencing construction delays and it's been pushed back to 2016 ... not surprising, watching the other restaurants at that interchange having been under construction seemingly forever) ... it's across the street from where I get my hair cut so I know who will be getting all of my lunch business on those days now!

 

ETA: I may have to check out Mexikosher this week ... my daughter lives less than a mile's walk from there so I want to swing by there and have a bite at Katsuji's place during one of my daily strolls. I loved Katsuji!

Edited by PamelaMaeSnap
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I'm listening to On Point on NPR and Stacey from Top Chef Boston is on to give Thanksgiving tips and explain how she got eliminated on the Thanksgiving episode.

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From the S13:E02 episode thread:
 

Speaking of Jen, since I last checked on her last year, per looking at her Twitter now I mean, it seems like she's totally abandoned that lame duck idea of her own restaurant and is sucking at Mike Isabella's teat now. I can't tell if she works for him now or is a partner. Not sure it matters--either way it sounds nothing like the restaurant she talked about for years. EDIT - hah. That's because it's just a pop-up. I didn't get that until I checked more. Oh well. I suppose some day someone will think Jen's recovered enough of her sanity to run something permanent. We shall see...

The plan is for the Requin pop-up to open as a permanent restaurant in 2017.  Of course, a lot could happen between now and then.  
 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/going-out-guide/wp/2015/12/03/the-requin-pop-up-launches-next-week-in-the-mosaic-district/
 
On another note, Mike Isabella is opening restaurants at a ridiculously fast rate. In addition to multiple locations of Graffiato and Kapnos (the latter with partner George Pagonis of last season's Top Chef), he has partnered with other chefs in their ventures.  An Asian noodle restaurant, a Mexican eatery, etc.  Although it seems that in some of these restaurants, he may not be as involved in the food side of things but rather offering financial and business support.  Here are a couple of links.  
 
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/youngandhungry/2015/08/20/how-many-restaurants-does-mike-isabella-have-anyway/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/going-out-guide/wp/2015/11/19/jonah-kim-and-mike-isabella-set-to-open-yona-in-ballston-on-nov-30/

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Jen's problem always seems to getting backers with deep pockets. She came close in Philly but something happened and it all went away. Whereas her counterparts from both of her seasons are all doing quite well.

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He's a restaurant owner, I just quoted word-for-word what Cat said.

I think that's accurate. He has three restaurants down the street from my office and while he definitely checks in, and sometimes lends a hand, he's not in the kitchen every night by any means. He's super nice, so it's always pleasant to run into him.

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I think that's accurate. He has three restaurants down the street from my office and while he definitely checks in, and sometimes lends a hand, he's not in the kitchen every night by any means. He's super nice, so it's always pleasant to run into him.

 

I watched Kevin Sbraga at Sbraga one night (I forget which season he won), and he was keeping 1 eye on the open kitchen and 1 eye on the guests. He entered the kitchen twice while we were there, once to talk to a couple of the cooks and once to do some hands-on cooking for about 5 or so minutes. It was as if he was making sure they met his standards. Like Spike, he has multiple restaurants and can't be in more than one place at a time.

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This year's James Beard semi-finalists are out, and there are a few Top Chef alums (and Isaac from the current season) on the list.

 

I hope all the chefs who shat on Bev during her season send her a bouquet.

 

Nah. That dreadful woman with the Chez Casa de la Maison House contental cuisine pub grub menu still maintains she was just standing tall for american food, and Sarah thinks it's enough not to be the dreadful woman with the Casa de la Maison House contental cuisine pub grub menu.

 

And speaking of people who deserve an apology, good for Isaac.

Edited by Julia
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This year's James Beard semi-finalists are out, and there are a few Top Chef alums (and Isaac from the current season) on the list.

 

I hope all the chefs who shat on Bev during her season send her a bouquet.

 

Nah. That dreadful woman with the Chez Casa de la Maison House contental cuisine pub grub menu still maintains she was just standing tall for american food, and Sarah thinks it's enough not to be the dreadful woman with the Casa de la Maison House contental cuisine pub grub menu.

 

And speaking of people who deserve an apology, good for Isaac.

 

Beverly Kim & Johnny Clark also won the Jean Banchet Awards "Rising Chef of the Year" prize.

http://chicago.eater.com/2016/1/19/10789602/2016-jean-banchet-awards-fat-rice-chris-pandel 

 

---------------------------------

 

This year's James Beard semi-finalists are out, and there are a few Top Chef alums (and Isaac from the current season) on the list.

 

Karen Akunowicz is also on the list (Best Chef: Northeast section).

Edited by chiaros

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