Woo-hoo - tonight's the night! And there's a media feeding-frenzy goin' on.
Here's what TV Guide gleaned from head judge Tom Collichio about the All-Stars season (I'd love to know Tom's 1-year-old son's reaction to being on set - and I'd really love to know which contestant(s) were among the 5% of the previous competitors the producers didn't manage to snag for their dream team All-Stars roster).
Click here for an interesting assessment of "All-Star Alignment" and a star chart I'm not sure I completely understand or agree with.
And here's a fun trip down memory lane.
Richard Blais offers his own assessment of some of his All-Star competitors in this interview.
Jamie Lauren reveals that she had no idea who she'd be competing against in the All-Star season until she met them all back in NYC.
Dale Levitski talks about this season's judging and why he hears TC theme music wherever he goes in this great piece from the Chicago Tribune. He also says he felt "stood up at the prom" by Michelin and has some interesting things to say about how he'd restructure the finale challenges in this Q&A with Metromix.
Dale L. encourages fans to come out for an All-Stars viewing party tomorrow at Small Bar, next to his Chicago restaurant, Sprout. No doubt there will be plenty more viewing parties from other cheftestants as well. Here are some that have hit our radar.
You can crack a Bud Light Lime and sample "globally inspired snacks" at Tiffani Faison's Boston restaurant, Rocca. Tre Wilcox is having a viewing party at The Loft 610 in Plano, TX. And Fabio Viviani says on facebook, in his own inimitable way, "Tomorrow night Premiere TOP CHEF All Star !! 7pm Cafe Firenze & 9pm Osteria Firenze ill be in both place !! See you there !!" Casey Thompson's Dallas restaurant, Brownstone, will offer complimentary bites, happy hour drink specials and half-priced bottles of wine throughout the season according to this.
Updates on Jennifer Carroll's premiere viewing party at 10 Arts in DC, which we reported about previously: Details of Jen's tasting menu here. According to this, an a la carte menu will also be offered, and Eric Ripert, frequent TC guest judge and Jen's mentor will be on hand to meet, greet, and sign books.
Photo courtesy of Max Jacobson, Unicaworld.comIf you, like me, don't live in a city graced with the presence of a Top Cheftestant (yet), you can check out the food and festivities presented by a number of former TC competitors at the Food and Wine All-Star Weekend held earlier in November in Las Vegas, thanks to this report from Unicaworld. And for a truly charming take on what it's like to put together such an event, check out this post from culinary student Athena Thickstun who worked behind the scenes.
Photo courtesy of Athena Thickstun, http://athenathickstun.blogspot.com/
Not sated yet? Click here for a full transcript of that media conference call with Tom Collichio and Anthony Bourdain that our own Minx reported on earlier.
Or live chat with TC judge Gail Simmons tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. EST according to these directions:
WHEN: Thursday, December 2nd at 1:00pm EST
WHERE: Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry’s USTREAM channel
1. RSVP by replying to this invitation
2. Sign up for a USTREAM account – it’s easy and free!
3. Logon to ask Gail your questions… Or submit your questions ahead of time on the Puff Pastry web site or Tweet to @PepperidgeFarm using “#AskGail”
Happy premiere viewing, all!