Monday, March 14, 2011

TC News and Information 3.14.11

Wanna eat at Restaurant Wars for Season 9? A table is being auctioned off for the episode, to be filmed "sometime in July or August, 2011," reports Eater. Estimated value: $20K, to benefit the Endometriosis Foundation of America.

Season 2 Finalist Sam Talbot’s new restaurant, Imperial No. 9 at the Mondrian Hotel in NYC has finally opened, and the New York Times offers up a lengthy piece in - of all places - its Fashion and Style section. If you’re looking for info about the food he’s cooking, you won’t find much here. What you will find is an assertion by the NYT’s writer that Sam “is among a new breed of celebrity chefs who have coasted into culinary fame, less by grueling dues-paying, and more on their telegenic brand. The group includes the brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, Ludo Lefebvre, Spike Mendelsohn, Sam Mason, Fabio Viviani and Marcel Vigneron.”

Ouch! Both Michael Voltaggio and Top Chef Masters’ Ludo Lefebvre took issue with inclusion on NYT list, and contacted the LA Times with their own rebuttals.

If you are actually interested in Sam's food, Eater has a round-up of early blogger buzz about No. 9, some of it from fans who find the chef a hunk and are perhaps not too discerning in the food department. On the other hand, there seems to be something about those cauliflower fritters . . .

In other news, Richard Blais does baby food, partnering with organic baby food maker Jack’s Harvest. Their first product offering, featuring cauliflower and quinoa, debuted March 1. (What is it with cauliflower?)

We reported previously that Top Chef Master Rick Bayless has opened a spot in Chicago's O'Hare airport. Now comes news that his fellow Masters contestant, pop-up king Ludo Lefebvre may open a "chicken shack" at LAX.

Starting tomorrow, Season 6’s Preeti Mistry launches a weekday lunch pop-up in San Francisco called Juhu Beach Club featuring Indian street food, according to this item.

Floyd Cardoz of the upcoming Top Chef Masters 3 is slated to helm a new Danny Meyer restaurant in NYC to open near the end of the year, according to NYT and Grub Street.

Finally, although I haven't read anything official about this year's traveling Top Chef road show yet, Season 6's Hector Santiago posted on facebook: "TC 2011 tour starts in ST. Louis , on April 15,c you there Y'all ...their will b quick fire challenges this time aroud , fun fun ;)" Let us know if you hear about the Top Chef Tour coming to your city.

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