The All-Stars Reunion Show was taped in NYC Friday, and much interwebular speculation has ensued over what the seating chart might reveal as to who the winner is. I'm inclined to agree with Eater, which offers a photo and compares the seating chart to reunions of seasons past. Photos that appear to have been shot during a break in taping were shared by Tom, Padma, Casey, and Marcel, and probably others, so methinks there's nothing too spoilerific going on here. But feel free to take a gander and make up your own mind.
While they were in town, auf'd All-Star Angelo Sosa had the gang over to his soon-to-open restaurant, Social Eatz, and received some plugs from his co-stars.
Meanwhile, another contingent of Top Cheftestants gathered for the Charleston BB&T Food + Wine Festival. Tiffany Derry had been scheduled to emcee a cook-off among six TC'ers, but she, Carla Hall, and Casey Thompson had to cancel when the All-Stars reunion taping was scheduled for the same day (as we passed along back in Feb). Marissa Churchill, Brian Malarkey, Ryan Scott, Ariane Duarte, and Kevin Gillespie were in attendance, and Season 1's Dave Martin took first place in the Giddy Goat Cheese cook-off. Food pics and commentary from the Charleston City Paper here (guess who wore a hat). And replacement emcee Kenny Gilbert's blogs about the event here.
Stephanie Izard, who will be cooking head-to-head with both Richard Blais and Antonia Lofaso in this week's installment of the All-Stars finale, will also be opening The Little Goat, a mere footsteps away from her Girl & The Goat in the fall. Time Out Chicago reports it will be a "diner/bar/bakery." She tells Eater Chicago it will feature such fare as "an awesome club sandwich with homemade bacon and our own roasted turkey, tasty malt milkshakes ... we'll poach our own tuna for a tuna melt . . . We're not doing a foie gras burger, but we will obviously have a goat burger. It'll be like old school diner favorites without making them all gastro foofy."
In other expansion news, Spike Mendelsohn tells Feast he plans to franchise his Good Stuff Eatery in this video interview from SOBE. And his sister and spokesperson says he plans to launch a deli-style Kosher food truck in April according to this item.
As for this week's All-Stars episode, there's been a lot of speculation that because five contestants were allowed to move forward last week, a double elimination is in store this week. I'm not so sure. As we reported previously, TV Guide mentioned in its Feb. 9 article that a four-part All-Stars finale is in store (yep, the same piece with the photo of Padma in a bikini). We know there's a reunion episode and that the All-Stars Season will be wrapped up before Top Chef Masters premieres April 6 - at 11:00/10:00c per the TCM facebook page. Which means it's likely that either the reunion show or the last installment of the finale is slated for the usual 10:00/9:00c timeslot on April 6. I've read variously that the finale and the reveal of Fan Favorite will be March 30, although these are usually on two separate dates. I, for one, would be happy to have Fan Fave announced during the reunion show rather than on Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens. So, kids, what do you think? Are they messing with our heads on the schedule? Have they just not figured it out yet? Or is there a crazier plan afoot?