All-Star contestant Spike Mendelsohn will be back on the small screen in October, competing on the next "Next Iron Chef." And he'll be going up against TC Masters 2 winner Marcus Samuelsson and two-time TC Masters contestant Michael Chiarello. Odds, anyone? Grub Street has the full cast lineup.
Not to be outdone, All-Star Fan Favorite Carla Hall will be joining the "The Chew," a daytime talk show devoted to "food from EVERY angle," says the press release. Carla will be part of a "rotating cast" of hosts that includes former Iron Chef Mario Batali, current Iron Chef Michael Symon, "entertaining expert" Clinton Kelly (TLC's "What Not to Wear"), and "nutrition expert" Daphne Oz (who apparently is related to Dr. Oz, also of daytime talk show fame). Eater is all over this story, with the full press release, news of the ire it has inspired in fans of "All My Children" (the daytime soap that will go off the air in September to make room for "The Chew"), Mario Batali's response to the soap backlash, and best of all, a photoshopped image of The View, er, Chew's foodie cast.
Season 4 TC winner Stephanie Izard keeps racking up so many awards it's almost hard to keep track of them. She somehow managed to find time in her crazy schedule to write a blog post about the thrill of being named one of Food + Wine's 10 Best New Chefs of 2011, and it's a a sweet and funny read.
All-Star winner Richard Blais is everywhere these days too. Check out this piece from Yumsugar, where he says he's opening "several restaurants in the Southeast" and confirms he will be part of this year's Top Chef Tour.
The TC Tour got underway last week in St. Louis, and Bravo's website is continuing to add and change details as plans firm up. Click here for the latest and to see if they'll be stopping near you. Season 6's Hector Santiago (who talks about the Tour here) competed against Season 4's Nikki Cascone at the St. Louis stop, which current Masters contestant Celina Tio judged, according to her facebook page.
For an even more impressive Top Chef Midwestern meal (sadly for the rest of us, not part of the Tour), check out this post from blogger Big Shamu at The Karmic Kitchen, who was fortunate enough to taste a six-course meal prepared by Carla Hall and Antonio LoFaso in Kansas City, appropriately dubbed "Girl Power."
In light of the events of last week's Top Chef Masters, here's an interesting piece the LA Times that ran just before that episode aired. Of John Rivera Sedlar (who disappeared from Episode 2 with little fanfare - hence, the return of Hugh Acheson), the LAT says: "As will be seen in an upcoming episode, Sedlar was opening his new restaurant, Playa, at the start of the five-week Top Chef Masters shoot. 'I had everybody working double-time,' Sedlar said. When he saw how the restaurant's marketing campaign was unfolding without his guidance, 'my blood was starting to boil' but he couldn't leave the show to deal with it. That's when he considered fleeing to France." The article also says that Mary Sue Milliken, "clearly a bit more unflappable, decided to leave her restaurants in [business partner and former TCM contestant Susan] Feniger's hands and even moved into the Top Chef Masters contestants' hotel for much of the production, hence her description of it as the 'evil vacation.'" Future episode reveals? A sequesterville hotel? Hmm.
A tip of the hat to my co-blogger here, Minx, who has deduced that this season of Top Chef Masters will conclude June 15, when Rocco DiSpirito's "Dinner Party" prepares to take over the coveted Wednesday night timeslot on Bravo.
And finally, are you as charmed by Suvir Saran as I am? Love his dry wit. Here's a cute piece - and cuter photo - of him. He doesn't seem to be doing a lot of appearances, but if you're near Silicon Valley, you can catch him at the Dining Out for Life fundraiser April 28-29.
Posted on AllTopChef.com