Monday, January 26, 2009

Top Chef: Where are they now?

Since I'm a big fan of Top Chef and have watched the show from the beginning, often I wonder what has happened to the winners, the losers and the in betweens.

Over Top Chef's run, several accusations of wrong-doing have been alleged on Contestants as well as Judges.
1) Contestant Marcel Vigneron was arrested on August 23, 2008 on suspicion of DUI [20] .
2) Contestant Richard Blais had a petition filed against him by a women named "Samantha" alleging that he had neglected to pay Child Support for a child she claimed was his. [21] Blais's name is on the Birth Certificate as the father of the Child (now 17).
3) Contestant Cliff Crooks was discharged from the show as a result of assaulting fellow Contestant Marcel Vigneron [23] Vigneron did not file charges against Crooks.
4) Judge Tom Colicchio was sued for allegedly failing to pay a waitress minimum-wage. [24]

Marcel Vigneron has had a tough time of it. He was always portrayed as sort of an ass in the show. It hasn't served him well. Vigneron, after identifying himself, was assaulted and struck on the face with a bottle by a Top Chef viewer at a nightclub.[3] On August 23, 2008, Vigneron was arrested in Laguna Beach, California, for suspicion of DUI after being pulled over for speeding.[4] As of November 2008 he serves as a lowly sous chef at The Bazaar in the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills.

I'm excited and fascinated by the Internet gossip regarding Ilan Hall (Season 4). He seems to either be suffering from lack of focus or lack of funds. There have been many rumors of him opening restaurants in Manhattan and now Los Angeles. The latest is a restaurant called Gorbals in Los Angeles that is a severe twist on Irish/Jewish cooking. There will be rabbis doing backflips in their graves at this restaurant with menu items like bacon wrapped matzoh balls and lobster hummus. There is no indication that it is open but the rumor was for it to open in January 2009. Knowing funding, the economy and the Los Angeles permit fiasco it probably isn’t. Details here.

I am also excited to be taking Dena out for her birthday to Tom Colicchio's restaurant Craft in Century City, CA. I had the privilege of eating there for the holidays in 2008 and am looking forward to another visit. The service was impeccable, the food was excellent and innovative although the amuse bouche was practically inedible. We shall see what a second visit holds.

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