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Top Chef 5 in NYC!

Found this on NY Magazine's website today. It's about time (if it's true)!

Top Chef is coming at last to the city where it was plainly meant to be: our own metropolis of New York City, reports Snack. Lee Ann Wong of the French Culinary Institute, Top Chef’s culinary producer, confirms that the show will be in New York, but not without some reservations: “It’s definitely going to create some challenges for us. Hopefully people will be cool enough to respect what we’re doing and not follow us around with cameraphones.” We doubt it, but that should just add to the frenzy of hype, speculation, and gossip that is Top Chef’s singular mood and music. Given how aggressive the bloggers were in Chicago (they scoped out the chefs with telescopic lenses), we can only imagine what will happen when New York’s blogging corps gets a beachhead.


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  1. Yipeeee!!!! I thought it wouldn't happen because of all the pushy New Yorkers. Goodhealthgourmet, I'm sure you're celebrating right now!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Miss Needle

      I expect the Alpha Hound to be a judge on one of those episodes. And Meredith won't have to deal with crappy cell phone connections for her interviews.

      1. re: Phaedrus

        Jim Leff HAS to be one of the judges! Figured it would be in NYC - will be interesting to see what happens when the bloggers get a hold of the information! I didn't realize the Chicago bloggers were as vigilant in scoping things out!

        1. re: LindaWhit

          You think he'll be wearing his dog mask on national TV? : )

            1. re: Miss Needle

              Well, to keep himself anonymous, he HAS to! Whaddya say Jim? Think you could manage to eat around that mask? ;-)

        2. re: Miss Needle

          lol, miss needle :) of course i am...i just saw this post & it made my night.

          time for the happy dance!

        3. How is Bravo going to narrow down where to go? I would find the choices overwhelming.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Chew on That

            While I'm sure we'll see some new places, I'm guessing some past judges and their respective places will be represented. Boulud, Dufresne, Ripert, etc. As well as the FCI, Le Cirque...

            1. re: hash_slinger

              and considering that they served as sous-chefs & guest judges for the finale, i imagine april bloomfield & dan barber [or their respective restaurants] may make appearances as well.

          2. Its true.. they will be filming later this summer.. I was surprised they didn't pick a west coast location, but NYC is a mecca for food..

            5 Replies
            1. re: grant.cook

              They've already done two West Coast locations. Although they've already been to NY once (for the penultimate episodes of season three).

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                And I could have sworn Bravo's headquarters were in NY. It would definitely make it easier on the budget as they don't have to find housing for the crew.

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  Bravo's headquarters are in NY (it's part of NBC). But the show itself is not produced by Bravo. It's produced by a company called Magical Elves, which is not owned by Bravo (in fact, I'm guessing Bravo is pretty upset about the fact that ME sold the sixth season of Project Runway to Lifetime, which I believe is owned by ABC). It appears their HQ is in Los Angeles. http://www.magicalelves.com/about.html

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    I read about that. NBC is accusing Magic Elves of not dealing in good faith. I forget the reason they gave for the switch. I don't think it was all about the money though.

                    1. re: Phaedrus

                      Will be interesting to see what they do with TC as well. And see how the ratings hold up on Lifetime.

            2. with the exception of Boulud, i hope they use new judges instead of using ones already from the previous seasons.

              Bruni, Ramsey, Batali, Reichl

              8 Replies
              1. re: attractivekid

                bruni would never appear as himself on TV...it's challenging enough for him already to review restaurants without being recognized.

                i don't think mario & ruthie are such long shots, but i doubt gordon would make an appearance...particularly after tom colicchio has said in interviews that while TC is about the food & the contestants, "gordon's shows are all about gordon."

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I agree Bruni will not appear to protect his anonymity but it's really not hard to find a picture of the man. He appears on the dust jacket of the book he published before he got the restaurant critic gig.

                  1. re: KTinNYC

                    apparently he's much heavier than he was then, so i'm guessing that helps a little. anyway, he may not be a guest judge, but he obviously watches the show...

                    from his review of *bar q* in today's paper:

                    "...a dessert of warm walnut soup that tasted like a mishap involving cookie dough and dishwater. I’d kill to listen to a panel of “Top Chef” judges make sense of this sludge."

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      LOL! It would be interesting to hear several of the more vocal TC judges weigh in on that dessert!

                2. re: attractivekid

                  Maybe Bruni and Bourdain can compete who can be the snarkiest as they judge.

                  1. re: attractivekid

                    everyone knows what bruni looks like though

                    batali (tvfn), ramsey (fox), and reichl (gourmet magazine) all have shows/contracts with competing media outlets, which is why I see them as longshots.

                    1. re: attractivekid

                      But you've got Ted Allen who's appeared numerous times as a guest judge on Iron Chef America and Bourdain who's on the Travel Network.

                      And I don't know what Bruni looks like. All I've seen is the old pic of him that is reminiscent of Ray Liotta.

                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        Ah! Just found a more recent pic of Bruni. Looks like a chubby Liotta.

                  2. Too Much Time At Work (tm)

                    Quickfire Challenges:
                    * make a new menu item for Shake Shack
                    * 5am Fulton Fish market raw bar
                    * attend a Sandra Lee taping and recreate all her dishes from scratch

                    Elimination Challenges:
                    * Top Chef hot dog carts
                    * Top Iron Chef America: Battle Glad products
                    * Anyone not getting the 8pm seating at Momofuku Ko will be eliminated

                    Guest Judges:
                    * Chowhound's Leff
                    * E-Gullet's Fat Guy
                    * halloween (masked) judges: Frank Bruni + Gael Greene
                    * Julie Chen (cbs-cnet connection)

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: marblebag

                      bill buford would make for an interesting judge.

                      1. re: steve h.

                        Lets face it, there is no shortage of potential judges in NYC. Its just a matter of who they can entice.

                        1. re: Phaedrus

                          enticement isn't an issue either. in his salon.com interview, colicchio said that every chef he knows has asked if/when they can appear on the show.

                      2. re: marblebag

                        "Anyone not getting the 8pm seating at Momofuku Ko will be eliminated"
                        So we can wrap-up the whole season in one day :-)

                      3. It's already been set in the bleeding edge food and technology capital of the country (if not the globe) and survived just fine. Of course, I refer to San Francisco. It is a place on the bleeding (just beyond the cutting and leading) edge of everything, whether you or we like it or not. If it survived here it will do fine in the rest of the world. We don't follow trends, we set them.

                        Now if Padma could just deflate the collagen and enunciate, it'd be a great show. NYC hmmmm Gee I wonder if Tony Bordain will be a judge again, or the guy from "The Restaurant" again. Yawn. Maybe Thomas Keller will show up (I'm sure the NYC 3rd branch of his chain needs the press). You'd think after 20 or so years of East-coast centric garbage on The Food Network, that Bravo would step up and offer us an alternative. Oh well, should be fun. Will there be subtitles ???

                        Born and Bred in Chicago. Lived in Manhattan. Love SAN FRANCISCO. ... AND CHOW !!!

                        4 Replies
                          1. re: koshergourmetmart

                            The link's not working. They're on to us!

                            1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

                              here's the article info
                              Bravo reveals 'Top Chef: New York' cast, series to debut November 12

                              By John Bracchitta, 10/01/2008

                              Bravo has revealed the identities of the 17 culinary up-and-comers who will compete on Top Chef: New York, which will premiere with a special 90-minute broadcast on Wednesday, November 12 at 10PM ET/PT.


                              Top Chef: New York's contestants -- or "chef'testants" as the network terms them -- will be competing for a grand-prize package similar to the show's previous seasons: $100,000 in seed money to help open a restaurant, a feature in Food & Wine magazine, and a showcase at the Annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.

                              "Being in New York this season, we've upped the ante -- because this is our home turf -- so the pressure's on for the chefs to impress us," said Top Chef lead judge and restaurateur Tom Colicchio.

                              RELATED LINKS
                              RealityTVWorld: Top Chef
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                              More Top Chef 4 News

                              Rounding out the judging panel with Colicchio will be Padma Lakshmi (returning for her fourth season of hosting duties), Food & Wine magazine editor Gail Simmons, and new judge Toby Young.

                              Young, a best-selling British author and food critic, will replace Ted Allen, the former Queer Eye expert who had served as a judge on Top Chef's last two seasons. Allen wasn't able to participate due to the show's time commitments, according to a Bravo spokesperson. He began serving as the host of Food Detectives, a new Mythbusters-like Food Network series that attempts to debunk food myths, earlier this summer.

                              In addition, Top Chef: New York will also feature guest appearances by several culinary and mainstream stars including Martha Stewart, The Foo Fighters, Jean-Georges, Eric Ripert, Rocco DiSpirito, Wylie Dufresne, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Natasha Richardson.

                              The 17 new Top Chef: New York contestants -- whose ages range from 21 to 44 -- are:

                              - Alex, a 33-year-old executive chef from New York, NY who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

                              - Ariane, a 41-year-old chef and restaurant owner from Verona, NJ.

                              - Carla, a 44-year-old chef and catering business owner from Nashville, TN who currently resides in Washington, D.C.

                              - Danny, a 26-year-old executive chef from New Hyde Park, NY.

                              - Fabio, a 30-year-old restaurant owner from Florence, Italy who currently resides in Moorpark, CA.

                              - Gene, a 33-year-old executive sushi chef and chef consultant from Whitmore Village, HI who currently resides in Las Vegas, NV.

                              - Hosea, a 26-year-old executive chef and restaurant owner from Taos, NM who currently resides in Boulder, CO.

                              - Jamie, a 30-year-old executive chef from New York, NY. who currently resides in San Francisco,

                              - Jeff, a 30-year-old chef du cuisine from Niceville, FL who currently resides in Miami, FL.

                              - Jill, a 28-year-old executive chef from Latrobe, PA who currently resides in Baltimore, MD.

                              - Lauren, a 24-year-old chef tournant from Cincinnati, OH who is currently stationed at Fort
                              Stewart in Georgia.

                              - Leah, a 27-year-old sous chef from Scarsdale, NY who currently resides in New York, NY.

                              - Melissa, a 28-year-old sous chef from Maryland who currently resides in Boulder, CO.

                              - Patrick, a 21-year-old culinary student from Quincy, MA who currently resides in Hyde Park, NY.

                              - Radhika, a 28-year-old executive chef from Chicago, IL.

                              - Richard, a 27-year-old executive sous chef from Long Island, NY who currently resides in San Diego, CA.

                              - Stefan, a 35-year-old chef from Tampere, Finland who currently resides in Santa Monica, CA.

                              1. re: koshergourmetmart

                                woo hoo, Martha Stewart.
                                Let's see them all gush over how excited they are to cook for Martha!