TOP CHEF PHOTOCAP: And The Winner Is…

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Finally, at long last, we have a new Top Chef. And he’s not just any Top Chef. He’s a Top Chef amongst all-stars.

Yes, Top Chef: All Stars wrapped up its stellar season with a nail-biting finale that had me guessing until the very last minute. The producers and editors did a phenomenal job of not just ramping up the suspense but setting up this epic showdown over the course of the entire season. And epic it was. In one corner we had Richard Blais: the humble, shockingly insecure inventive chef. He dominated his original season and this one too with his creativity and flavors. It seemed like he’d be on the odds-on favorite to win.

But in the other corner was lumbering, crude, ethically dubious Mike Isabella, who despite incurring the wrath of many Top Chef fans was coming on strong in the end. Every since the competition moved to the Bahamas, Mike has dominated, and it’s hard to take that away from him. Sure, we can grouse about certain things going his way, but truth be told, the big lug prepared intensively for the finale stage, and it seemed to be paying off in spades. That didn’t mean we had to dislike him any less. Every time I saw his arrogant mug grinning on screen I wanted to slap the braised leeks out of him.

So there we were: Richard vs. Mike; good vs. evil; spiky hair vs. a little less spiky hair.

Who would win?? Continue reading

VIDEO: Padma Lakshmi Gives B-Side Blog A Roast Chicken Recipe!

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Yesterday, I covered a Bravo red carpet event, which meant I had my dream come true of meeting Padma Lakshmi, hostess of Top Chef. Here’s a video of me asking her about what I should bring to a pot luck later that night. I was very impressed with how quickly she thought of a recipe (compared to Curtis Stone, who as you’ll see in a later video, became a touch flustered).

Anyway, the sad news is that I was too tired to go to the potluck last night, but you can bet that when it rolls around again next week, I’m bringing this dish (and bragging about its origins all the way).

Thanks PAD!

PHOTOS: B-Side Blog Tangles With Bravo Celebrities at Red Carpet Event

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My head is about to explode. I just met way too many Bravo celebrities for my system to handle.

Tonight, as we speak, Bravo is holding a party just down the street at the Roosevelt Hotel for its various stars and luminaries. The event has been billed as both an “Upfronts presentation” and a season finale bash for Top Chef. Whatever it was, there were many Bravo faces there, and when I got the invite to cover the red carpet, I was only too happy to sign up. This was actually quite momentous for me as I’d never done a red carpet before. I tell people that I like to be IN the party, not behind the press lines, but let’s be honest: the real reason I’d never done a red carpet is that I’m often too lazy to go fight may way past other bloggers and reporters (and then later transcribe whatever drivel I’ve captured on film).

Still, even though I’m generally loathe to go to cover a red carpet, there were just too many Housewives and Top Chef stars to ignore. Plus, this was all going on just feet from my pad. How could I say no? And so with my handy camera, I headed to the event and took many pictures and videos. The videos probably won’t go up until tomorrow. But for now, we have plenty of pics… Continue reading

TOP CHEF PHOTOCAP: A Bite To The Finish

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Ugh. UGGGGGGH.

I love Top Chef: All Stars, but I’m not happy with the direction it’s headed in. With just three finalists left, the show is thisclose to crowning a winner amongst losers, and I’m not sure I can deal with the stress anymore. The latest episode saw the final trio cook “last suppers” for three culinary giants: Iron Chef Morimoto, Michelle Bernstein, and Wolfgang Puck. No easy feat. Continue reading

TOP CHEF PHOTOCAP: Conch Blocked

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It’s getting down to the wire on Top Chef: All Stars, and I’m most dismayed to report that Mike Isabella has been coming on strong so far. How did this happen? Coming in to this week’s episode, he had already beaten out a Voltaggio in one challenge and taken home the big prize for another. He’s suddenly unstoppable. That’s hard for me to say though. I can’t even say “coming on strong” in association with Mike. It’s more like the others are just coming on weak. Whatever it is, somebody’s gotta stop Mike before he somehow takes home the big prize.

Not cool. Continue reading

TOP CHEF PHOTOCAP: This Show Is On FIRE!

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Our five finalists on Top Chef: All-Stars headed down to the Bahamas Wednesday night for the first of several final challenges. After last week’s strong showing, it was hard to imagine who might go home next. But alas, a new country brought on new challenges, and whereas once these chefs soared, they now seemed barely able to put anything edible on the plate. It didn’t help that they nearly burned down their kitchen in the process. Continue reading

TOP CHEF PHOTOCAP: Richard Was Robbed!

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SCANDAL! This week’s Top Chef: All Stars was riddled with intrigue as Richard Blais accused Mike Isabella of plagiarizing a recipe. It all happened after Mike read through Richard’s little notebook, which featured a “chicken oysters” idea. You see, the oyster is an oft-overlooked part of a chicken, and Richard had a nifty idea to cook some up and serve them in an oyster shell (get it?). And what did Mike do right after reading that recipe? He deep fried some chicken oysters and served them on the half-shell. Mike explained that he had merely been inspired by Richard’s idea, but let’s look at the history, shall we? Continue reading

TOP CHEF PHOTOCAP: Sesame Street & Target — What Could Be Better?

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Soooooooo… I haven’t recapped Top Chef: Masters all season long, and I don’t really know why. I mean, I love it. I really do. I think I needed a little break. But now that we’re in the final stretch, I feel the need to speak my mind on the matter. Besides, how could anyone keep quiet after an episode featuring Sesame Street AND Target?? It was just too good to be true.

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TOP CHEF PHOTOCAP: Those Bastards!

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Hands down, Wednesday’s episode of Top Chef: DC was the best of the season, and perhaps the best in a few seasons. And it’s not just because of Nancy Pelosi (the secret crush of my friend IndianJones). The episode brought out all the big guns: the always crazy blindfold relay, restaurant wars, Pelosi, and even Frank Bruni. This was one heavy hitting episode, and we haven’t even talked about the drama.

OH the drama.

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TOP CHEF PHOTOCAP: Master Pea

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I lurve Top Chef: DC, and not just because we have a fun cast full of colorful characters. I’m really digging the challenges, which seem to truly mine local DC traditions. This week, the gang had to serve up a toothpick-sized hors d’oeuvre for the Quick Fire and then a meaty power lunch for the Elimination. It was all fun and the usual stuff; although, adding some sizzle into the proceedings was a noteworthy pea scandal that almost rattled the competition to its core. The grimy details: Ed, the resident sourpuss, had made a pea purée for his lobster power lunch, but the next day, it had mysteriously vanished. Meanwhile, the scatterbrained Alex had mysteriously appeared with his very own pea purée, seemingly out of nowhere. Had he stolen the verdant mixture from his rival? Or was it merely a coincidence? Most people seemed to think some shenanigans were at play, but I actually felt that Alex was innocent. I don’t know why. I just like the goofy guy. Clearly though the producers are pouncing on this drama because if next week is any indication, he’s about to go through the character assassination wringer.

Continue reading