Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend, and welcome to all our new Twitter followers. I'm grateful to have had a few days break, but guessing I'm not the only one in overdrive anticipating the Top Chef All-Stars premiere Wednesday night. So let's get to at least a few tidbits from the mailbox.
Season 5 Fan Fave and returning All-Star Fabio Viviani recently reopened Cafe Firenze after ownership squabbles, and he seems giddy with the prospect of redemption, baby, in this interview with WGN radio, where he's promised to offer weekly updates as the season unfolds. You can also find some choice quotes from Fabio, as well as returning All-Star Antonia Lofaso (S4), here. Antonia says, "The first time we were on the show, a lot of us didn't know how to express ourselves. . . . Now we've come into our own. . . . A certain level of respect needs to be paid to us." Hmmm, Antonia, who is now working as a private chef, came in second only to Richard Blais among the returning All-Stars according the Chicago Trib's Top Chef Power Index.
If you're a seriously hard-core Top Chef crack monkey, and have an hour available, you can find some interesting audio from Art of Living with Carla Hall in the first half-hour and Jamie Lauren in the second half-hour (both All-Stars originally competed on S5). Carla is moving on from her catering business, and Jamie has moved from Absinthe in SF to a new gig at Beechwood in LA, which is getting some pretty sweet reviews - here's what Feast had to say, and Grub Street offers up a slideshow of Jamie's dishes including "an edible 'I Told You So' created with Padma Lakshmi in mind." Hmm. Jamie also says in the Art of Living interview that she'd never return for another shot at TC.
What else is in store for the upcoming All-Star season? I would be remiss in my media-watching duties if I didn't forewarn you of the S8 "Top Sponsors" - Boursin, Buitoni, (Swanson) broth, and Toyota.
And Bravo's facebook page has this: "Rooting for your favorite All-Star this season? Get ready to show your love in a whole new way... Check back tomorrow for the exciting details."
More to come from us at AllTopChef tomorrow too, kids.