After a mere two episodes, the food-lovers community is abuzz with speculation that the winner of Top Chef Masters was leaked. According to published reports, seasoned San Francisco-based food journalist Grace Ann Walden revealed the winner of the Top Chef upgrade in her Yummy Letter newspaper. She did put in a spoiler warning, but in the same paragraph revealed the identity of the winner, attracting blame for single-handedly ruining the Bravo cooking show.
Asked by Bravo's PR company FerenComm why she openly published the winner knowing the nature of Top Chef Masters, Walden simply said she was in the news business and "it is news."
Yummy Letter's SCOOP has a reported reach of 18,000 via email, and the news bit, she claimed, carried the proper spoiler alert.
"I am protected by the California Reporters' Shield law and something called the First Amendment," she further wrote. "Wouldn't it be funny if Bravo subpoenaed me to spill the beans? I, of course, would refuse and they'd send me to the pokey, where I would go on a hunger strike, come out incredibly slim, marry a millionaire old dude, and retire in Barcelona."
Walden adds that she will never reveal her source. All the contestants signed a contract stipulating a $1 million-fine if they reveal the outcome of the competition. FerenComm's Shannon Sturcken said the scoop "was cheating people out of their experience."
Top Chef Masters is just on its second week of competition. Last night's episode featured the second group of four contestants to battle it out in the elimination, until the four winners slug it out starting on the seventh episode. All the chef-testants - world renowned, compared to the amateurs in the regular Top Chef - are playing for charity.
If you want to know who purportedly won Top Chef Masters, visit the Yummy Letter website and go to archives.