We all have our opinions about Season 7. Executive producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves offer their own critique here.
Meanwhile, there were plenty of Season 7 finale parties and Just Desserts premiere parties last Wednesday. Zagat offers up a comparison of the Gail Simmons/Food & Wine finale bash at Craft (where Ed Cotton confirmed he will not be appearing in future TC’s – which presumably includes the all-but-certain All-Star Season 8) with the premiere party hosted by Johnny Iuzzini (at which no desserts were served).
Gawker attended the F&W shindig, encountering a Padma “lost in the fog of forgetfulness,” then fled to watch the episode elsewhere, as no one in the party crowd seemed to care to watch it.
DCist reports that viewing parties for the final S7 episode at Eric Ripert's West End Bistro, The Oval Room (where S7 contestant Tamesha Warren is the sous chef) and Spike Mendelsohn's Good Stuff Eatery were sparsely attended (but as someone who lives a long way from D.C., I still would have loved to be one of the few).
Just Desserts contestant Yigit Pura's restaurant, Taste, hosted a TC:JD viewing party, which definitely included desserts, which you can see more of here.
Kevin Sbraga reveals more details about the restaurant he hopes to open with the $125,000 he earned as Season 7 winner, while runner-up Ed Cotton says he would have sat on the money but still has aspirations for his own restaurant...
Season 4 winner Stephanie Izard has finally opened her new restaurant, Girl and the Goat, which Chicago Magazine offers an in-depth review of here. And Season 5 winner Hosea Rosenberg’s new food truck business gets a thumbs-up from his hometown paper in Boulder for its global cuisine here.
And TC:JD contestant Zac “Gold Dust” Young will be adding fried whoopee pies, seasonal doughnuts, and a chocolate soufflé with salted peanut caramel and nougat ice cream to the menu at NYC’s Flex Mussels restaurant according to this report.
The charming and multi-talented Hubert Keller (he’s also apparently a kick-ass DJ), whose Top Chef judging experience goes back to Season 1 and who is fondly remembered by many for his resourcefulness in cooking pasta in a dorm-room shower on Top Chef Masters Season 1, returns as a judge on Just Desserts this week (he’s alternating with Dannielle Kyrillos of Daily Candy – anyone else heard of her? I hadn’t). In other news, Hubert’s Las Vegas outpost of his San Francisco-based Fleur de Lys has closed but will reopen as a tapas restaurant with a lower price point in December according to this report.
[Still from Anthony Bourdain's Alternate Universe]
And finally, because he may be one of the most beloved Top Chef judges of all time, even if he wimped out on the snarkiness in his Season 7 appearance, a bit of Anthony Bourdain news. Tony is writing a “graphic novel” (aka comic book) about “ultraviolent food nerds.” In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess I am a Bourdain-o-phile (yes, I actually plunked down $46.50 to see him live and wrote about it at length here).
So that’s my inaugural post as a brand spankin’ new member of the ATC team. Any links you especially liked – or didn’t? Any news you’d like to see here that I’m missing? Please let me know in the comments or via email.