Yesterday I stopped by Union Square where Bravo TV and NYC & Co co-hosted a media event to simultaneously launch both Top Chef Season Three and NYC Restaurant Week. Under a tent in the north end of the square a mash-up of contestant from all three seasons, press, and fans milled about watching a "quick-fire challenge" and waiting patiently for their opportunity to get a photo or autograph from one of the cast. Season three chefs seemed to roam the crowd unfettered by fan adoration as they're still moments away from their TV celebrity.
I'd guess that for a large number of fans the big news is Sam Talbot shaved his head. And while we're on hair, what's with all the faux-hawks on season three contestants?
Season Three start tonight. I plan to watch. I feel a professional obligation to be aware of all TV happenings.
What can we expect from said season? If you run the numbers, along with the bits and pieces of intel picked up along the way, it goes something like this:
Top Chef is actually more like being in the witness protection program than being a celebrated cook. Apparently they're completely sequestered together for the duration (save sanctioned time off, like to go to a promotional event in New York mid-taping.), with minimal contact with the outside world. There is also a lot more time spent waiting to cook than actually cooking.
To prevent a leak in the results, which is always possible given the hundreds of people involved in the production, they will be going with a live finale. They also have a very hardcore non-disclosure agreement. Good luck with that.
We'll see some faces from last season as guest judges and some new faces. (Maybe even from the blogosphere. But more on that later.) It's not that hard to figure out. Like chef Michelle Bernstein and Jeffrey Chodorow. Both appeared in past seasons. Both much loved by production. Both in business in Miami. You'll see them soon. Like I said - run the numbers.
The big questions is this: so far New York City is two for two on winners. Do I hear three?