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Top Chef 5: Conference Call with Jamie Lauren

Well, I, for one, was shocked last night when cheftestant Jamie Lauren was kicked off of Top Chef 5. It's always a possibility for the stronger chefs to be eliminated before their time on Top Chef, since you are only as good as your last dish. Nevertheless, it's hard to let go of the mindset that the strongest overall performing chefs will make it all the way to the end. But braised celery did the chef in, and we talked to her today about her elimination, what she thought about the judges, and Stefan's hopeless crush. I asked her about her feelings last night during elimination. She seemed to be reconciled to her fate and took it all in stride, so I wanted to find out what she was thinking during the episode. She said that the challenge was pretty obvious from the beginning, noting you don't take six people to Le Bernardin and serve them six fish dishes and not expect them to think they'll be cooking that. She had commented elsewhere that replication is not her strong suit, so she went into the competition already aware that it might not be her best hour. As to the judging, she says she knew her fate, the celery was oversalted and there was nothing she could do about it. She says she probably would have had less equanimity about being eliminated if it had been her own creation. As things happened, though, she feels satisfied that she had the chance to showcase her strengths as a chef on Top Chef 5. She even takes all the Top Scallop talk in stride, saying it's hard to take any of the other chef's interview comments too seriously when she knows they are edited and often taken out of context. Although she hasn't quite seen all of them, as she noted that last night she got home late and then her priority was watching American Idol, so she hasn't even had time yet to watch the episode. For More Read Here

Casting Call for 'Top Chef' Season 6 Begins

Chefs finding him or herself capable in competing nationally are welcomed to join Bravo TV's reality cooking competition, " Top Chef ". The sixth season of the Emmy-winning series has opened a casting call in seven cities across the nation. Starting February 8, there will be a series of auditions that begins with San Francisco. More will be conducted in Seattle on February 11, Atlanta on February 22, New York on March 1, Philadelphia on March 4 and Los Angeles on March 15. Place and time can be read below. Once again hosted by Padma Lakshmi, and head-judged by Chef Tom Colicchio, the show offers opportunities for chefs with culinary skills to display their talents and earn the prestigious title of "Top Chef" on top of other prizes. Each episode holds two challenges for the chefs and each week one will be sent to pack up their knives and go home. Meanwhile, the fifth season is still running on Bravo and six chefs remain in the competition. One will be sent home tonight, February 4 in the edition of "Le Bernardin". Casting call schedules: * SAN FRANCISCO - Sunday, February 8, 10 A.M. - 2 P.M., Ducca Restaurant & Lounge * SEATTLE - Wednesday, February 11, 10 A.M. - 2 P.M., Canlis Restaurant * ATLANTA - Sunday, February 22, 10 A.M. - 2 P.M., Craft Restaurant * NEW YORK - Sunday, March 1, 10 A.M. - 2 P.M., CraftSteak Restaurant * PHILADELPHIA - Wednesday, March 4, 10 A.M. - 2 P.M., XIX NINETEEN at Park Hyatt at the Bellevue * LOS ANGELES - Sunday, March 15, 10 A.M. - 2 P.M.1, Craft Restaurant * CHICAGO - For casting information in Chicago, please email TCCastingChicago@gmail.com Source here

''Top Chef's'' Tom Colicchio Turns Hero At D.C. Dinner Party

Top Chef 's Tom Colicchio went from celebrity judge to hero over the weekend, after saving the life of a fellow foodie. According to the Food Association, Colicchio performed the Heimlich maneuver on Joan Nathan, a cookbook author at the Art.Food.Hope fundraising dinner in Washington, D.C. Nathan reportedly began choking on chicken when Colicchio was forced to spring into action and perform the move, which dislodged the food from her windpipe. I just happened to be nearby, the judge told a Food Association blogger of his safety move. Colicchio is currently starring in Season 5 of Bravo TV's Top Chef, in New York City. Source here

Top Ratings for Top Chef

The 5th season premiere of Bravo 's Top Chef ( Project Runway what?) debuted to record numbers this past Wednesday night with 2.7 million viewers. This is a 19% improvement over the Season 4 premiere in March. Read a review of this episode here . Source: THR

What's Cooking with Season 5 of Top Chef?

This season of Top Chef (premieres Wednesday at 10 pm/ET on Bravo) is all about the apple - the Big Apple. With the world-famous food mecca as the background, the chefs of the Emmy-nominated competitive reality show are the most diverse, facing some of the toughest (and coolest) guest judges to date. Host Padma Lakshmi said Season 5's chef-testants "were very quick learners and over the course of the challenges and weeks really surprised us." And the personalities weren't the only thing that made for great TV. "Shooting in New York lent itself to amazing things that New York has to offer, a lot of different ethnic cuisines. And that worked itself into the challenges at a lot of different locations," said head judge Tom Colicchio. Even the first quick-fire challenge was inspired by the locale, which involved an apple and the chefs showing off their intense (or lack of) knife skills. read more from: TvGuide

Top Chef Returns Tomorrow: Season 5 Pics

The new season of Top Chef premieres on Bravo this Wednesday night! Check out some images of the new cast and location (Brooklyn) and get excited. Source: TvGuide [Image://static.

Top Chef: Shame on You, Marcel!

Marcel Vigneron, from season 2 of Top Chef , has been arrested for a DUI in Laguna Beach over the weekend. I hope Marcel goes to jail, if only so he can experience a life without gelee or foam (I also always hated Marcel). Wishful thinking though. He was released on $2,500 bail. Source: E!Online

Top Chef's Sam Talbot Engaged

Sam Talbot, the heartthrob finalist from Top Chef season two, is engaged to his Colombian girlfriend, Paola Guerro, he tells People exclusively. "I'm so in love it's unreal. We got engaged this weekend," Talbot gushed on Wednesday. The couple met on Talbot's 30th Birthday in Brazil last December. "She's amazing. She's stunning," Talbot says. Guerra, also 30, a model and T-shirt designer, visits Talbot at his new Montauk restaurant, Surf Lodge, every weekend or more. He adds: "She takes care of me in many ways. I'm quite lucky." They haven't set a date yet, but chances are Top Chef judges Padma Lakshmi. For More Information, Visit The Internet Movie Database

Where is the next Top Chef?

We've had San Francisco, LA, Miami and Chicago. So where will the new season of Bravo 's Top Chef take place? Rumors are flying that it will be in Brooklyn. Brooklyn?! Reps from the show have not confirmed this, but they have not denied it either. What do you think? Source: NY Post

Top Chef: Fan Favorites and 'Culinary Boner' T-Shirts

I hope you all remembered to watch the Top Chef : Watch What Happens Chicago Reunion last night. Honestly, I found it weird that this season they chose to film and air this special after the finale, as I imagine that many people assumed with the finale that the season had concluded. At any rate, if you missed it here are the most interesting tidbits from the hour: 1. Richard - this season's Willy Wonka - appeared via satellite because his wife (yes, his wife) was giving birth. Awwww! 2. Lisa insists that people come up to her on the streets and call her a b%#$. 3. Andrew's undeniably most hilarious line of the season, "I have a culinary boner" has been made into a T-Shirt by Bravo which can be purchased here . 4. Dale spoke graciously about his elimination (though Tom Colicchio confirmed that had he been there, he would have sent Lisa home) admitting that he screwed up his dish and because of that, he was ok with being sent home. Who likes Dale so much more ever since he got eliminated and then reappeared in the final episodes and at this reunion? 5. Zoi and Jen awkwardly dismissed a question about whether they had broken up or not. Interpret that as you please... And...finally: 6. Stephanie was chosen as Fan Favorite (in addition to obviously the bigger title of Top Chef). I know there is no way around this since voting occurs before a winner is crowned, but it honestly kind of stinks that somebody else couldn't get a small slice of victory too. Stephanie seemed to agree, as she appeared more uncomfortable than anything else with receiving the title. For that reason though, Stephanie continues to be awesome and entirely likable! That about sums up the reunion! If Stephanie wasn't the fan favorite, who do you think would have been the most deserving?